WATCH: Alex Lahey – ‘They Wouldn’t Let Me In’

Following the release of lead single ‘Good Time’, the infectious ‘They Wouldn’t Let Me In’ is the latest single from Australian artist Alex Lahey‘s upcoming third album and debut for Liberation, The Answer Is Always Yes; a reflective post-punk track inspired by the isolation she experienced during her teenage years. “I spent a lot of time thinking about my own experiences growing up as a queer teenager…being excluded from conventional romantic rites of passage…feeling like I couldn’t relate to anyone around me.”

Finding inspiration after watching the coming-of-age TV romantic comedy-drama ‘Heartstopper’ (adapted from the webcomic of the same name by Alice Oseman), Alex put into words those tough moments many queer teens experience as they try to adapt to a seemingly non-inclusive world: “I couldn’t get into the bar or the church / Or the backseat of your mother’s car / The club or the bus or the band where no one plays guitar / The dance at your school / Or the change rooms at the swimming pool / The haunted house down the street / That all those people died in…”

Venturing into a furniture store for the accompanying music video – co-directed with Claire Giuffre – Alex Lahey furnishes us (literally!) with a multitude of emotions. Through self-discovery, co-writing alongside Chris Collins, she revels in the absurdity through propulsive rhythm and cathartic honesty; finding comfort in discomfort.

“Living in a world that wasn’t made for you makes you pretty strong and adaptive… It also makes you realise how absurd everything is. With this record, I wanted to get weird because the world is weird, and it’s even weirder when you realise you don’t fit into it all the time.”

“They wouldn’t let me in / C’mon just let me in / Why don’t you just fucking let me in?”

The Answer Is Always Yes, the upcoming album from Alex Lahey, is set for release on 19th May via Liberation.

Ken Wynne

Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

New Track: Cosmic Ninja – ‘Cardiac Unrest’

Living up to the vibe you might expect of a band called Cosmic Ninja, their newest track ‘Cardiac Unrest‘ is a fast-paced futuristic banger. 

Kicking off with a low but bouncy bass riff throbbing through the first few bars, it rapidly ramps up with a raucous, powerful rage, as strings and synths leap into the fray. The resulting soundscape feels like a battlefield – exciting and dangerous, rushing with righteous adrenaline. The lyrics match this energy; phrases like “step up step up, we’re not messing around, we’re gonna hold our ground” are delivered with an infectious passion. It’s difficult to listen to this song and not end up on the band’s side against the oppressive forces they’re facing off against.

Blending a sense of personal determination (“I’m doing my own thing and i don’t give a fuck what you think”) with an undefined foe that feels much wider-reaching (“we’ve got to put a stop to this somehow”), the lyrics are left open for you to project your own concerns onto, whether you’re worried about bigoted governments with too much power or a single bully persecuting you alone. Regardless, the energy is the same. The synths scream and the drums roll like thunder; inspiring all the fury and confidence required to stand up and fight back.

The track ramps up to a screaming crescendo, before rolling back into the chorus then ending abruptly on the “we aren’t fucking backing down”. There is no room for misinterpretation here: ‘Cardiac Unrest’ is a statement, a promise and a threat all in one.

Kirstie Summers

Photo Credit: Rupert Gammond

Get In Her Ears Live @ Shacklewell Arms w/ A Void, 13.04.2023

On Thursday, we were back at Shacklewell Arms with a truly immense line-up! Huge massive thanks to headliners A Void, as well as Collars and Banshi for being amazing! Thanks too to Sofia on sound, and to everyone who came down to support the bands, dance the night away, and help us raise £100 for Rainbow Migration, who do vital work to support LGBTQI+ folk seeking asylum.

Kicking the night off, Cardiff band Banshi treat us to their swirling rock anthems, each delivered with a unique sparkling energy as front person Yasmin’s incredible vocals soar alongside catchy funk-fuelled hooks.

Next up, Cambridgeshire duo Collars offer an utterly unique live experience. As Kane simultaneously pummels the drums whilst blasting out whirring hooks on guitar, Dan exudes a captivating charisma as the soaring power of their vocals fills the venue with a fierce, dazzling energy.

Headliners A Void fill the venue with their immense, grunge-fuelled anthems. Oozing a frenzied visceral energy, they treat the bouncing crowd to 45 minutes of wonderfully raging offerings as Camille Alexander’s raw, sultry vocals blast out with a captivating allure.

Massive thanks to the three amazing bands who played for us on Thursday and to everyone who came out to support them and us! We’ll be back at Shacklewell Arms on 19th May with Brighton band Hypsoline, plus support from The Ethical Debating Society and Rom Coms – nab tickets here!

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

Five Favourites: Jen Cloher

Having been a big fan of Australian artist Jen Cloher for a number of years now, I was excited to hear that they’re set to release a new album next month. Our first taster from the album, latest single ‘Mana Takatāpui‘ offers a blissful celebration of the indigenous Polynesian people of Aotearoa, New Zealand, the Māori LGBTQ+ community. Showcasing Jen’s trademark luscious soothing vocals alongside a shimmering musicality, it builds with an uplifting energy to a truly joyous unifying anthem.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of Jen Cloher’s upcoming album, we caught up with them to ask about the music that has inspired them the most. So, read about their five favourite ever albums, and check out the beautifully empowering video for single ‘Mana Takatāpui below…

PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
There’s an incredible in-depth podcast (in 2 parts) with the legendary music critic Ann Powers where she covers every PJ Harvey album, collaboration and movie soundtrack with the loving attention to detail that an artist of PJ’s magnitude deserves. I came away realising 3 things – that To Bring You My Love is my favourite of her albums (and that’s a tough call), that PJ paved the way for the incredible influence women have on guitar rock music today and that Ann Powers brings the kind of intelligence and reflection we all dream music critics would bring to our work. Go checkout this Bandsplain podcast episode, it’s a treat.

Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator)
The first time I saw Gillian Welch and David Rawlings play was at a club in Melbourne. I went in with high expectations as I’d fallen in love with the songs on the album in a way where they feel like they’re yours and you hope the artist doesn’t ruin them for you! Lols. I needn’t have worried. David Rawlings’ guitar playing alone floored me. For the first time in my life I felt an inkling of what it might have been like to watch Jimi Hendrix play live – guitar and human as one. This album is simple – two acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies and great songs. It’s a masterpiece.

The Doors – LA Woman
The Doors were my first teen band crush. I ‘discovered’ Jim Morrison when I was 13 and spent the next three years listening to and reading anything Doors related that I could get my hands on. I even had a life size Jim Morrison poster above my bed – the topless one with the beads and leather pants. Was Jim Morrison one of the few that could pull off leather pants? All teen obsessions aside (it’s weird falling in love with a dead person), The Doors wrote some classic blues rock jams. ‘Riders On The Storm’, ‘Light My Fire’ and ‘Break On Through’ still stand up as classics today.

Aretha Franklin – Lady Soul
This is one of the albums I remember most as a child. My Mum was a mega fan of the great women Soul and Blues singers. From Billie Holiday to Sarah Vaughan, to Ella Fitzgerald, there were always powerful voices floating up from the turntable in our lounge room. ‘Chain of Fools’, ‘Respect’ and ‘Natural Woman’ reimagined by Aretha Franklin still stand as the penultimate versions of these classics.

Te Kaahu O Rangi – s/t
Te Kaahu is the waiata Māori project of pop artist Theia who is based in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Theia grew up speaking and writing songs in her native tongue Te reo Māori and collaborated with me on my new album. We wrote a song together called ‘He Toka-Tu-Moana’ – which means to stand strong like a rock in the ocean. Her debut Te Kaahu album (2022) is a beautiful combination of traditional Māori songs with indie folk pop leanings. She pulls it off effortlessly.

Massive thanks to Jen for sharing their Five Favourites with us!

I Am The River, The River Is Me, the upcoming new album from Jen Cloher, is set for release on 3rd March via Milk! Records / Marathon Artists. Watch the beautiful video for latest single ‘Mana Takatāpui‘ here:

Photo Credit: Marcelle Bradbeer