WATCH: Meggie Brown – ‘Dusty Smells’

Having already been championed by the likes of Alex Kapranos, and The Guardian – who named them as ‘One To Watch’ at the beginning of 2020 -, North London-based artist Meggie Brown has now shared the first song taken from their upcoming new EP.

Dusty Smells’ is an anthem for anyone wrangling with their identity or trying to find their place in the world. Brown’s delivery is pure poetry, almost like spoken word, as they share a nostalgic take on identity. The lyrics transport us to a trashy old working men’s club, somewhere in suburbia, which allows us to reflect on who we are. It’s proper storytelling, amplified by super-sleazy guitars, primal drums and a trippy, art-rock outro that celebrates little nuggets of our collective memories – like skin on custard and getting all dolled up to show that you’re a fully functioning adult.

There’s such originality here; Brown’s vocals and lyrics sparkle, and the music feels fresh and exciting. When Brown sings “Why do I bother?” it feels like a revelation – something to liberate and inspire anyone who’s ever struggled to fit in.

Of the track, Brown – who recently came out as transgender – explains:

Coming to terms with one’s gender identity has been both beautiful and challenging during this lockdown. When I wrote and recorded ‘Dusty Smells’ and the EP I wanted them to match through sound how non-binary those emotions and realisations were… True to the circumstance, Dusty smells is very nostalgic trying to connect the old ways with the new, the feeling of home, the smells and associations whilst trying to understand our place as young adults, why do we bother?

‘Dusty Smells’ is accompanied by an immersive, artfully created, video, directed by Myfi Mountfordand produced by Creature Fleur. Watch it here:

HOME, the upcoming EP from Meggie Brown, is set for release later this year.

Vic Conway
@thepicsofvic

Five Favourites: F.R.U.I.T.Y

Following the release of ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ and ‘Not Quite Exceptional’, Belfast-based queer artist Dan O’Rawe – aka F.R.U.I.T.Y – has now shared the first single from their upcoming debut EP, set for release next month. Propelled by off-kilter glitchy beats, ‘U.P.S‘ offers a wonderfully quirky, futuristic soundscape whilst reflecting on themes of identity in O’Rawe’s trademark deadpan Northern Irish drawl. As twinkling hooks flow with a cinematic splendour, it’s a glistening, uplifting slice of alt-electro-pop; a perfect soundtrack to woozy summer evenings. Of the track, they comment: “… it’s the summer loving comedown. The doubt, the reflection and the ending of those summer days… something underscored by the blissed-out, but tired, mind...”

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to mark the release of ‘U.P.S’ today, we caught up with Dan to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five songs that they love the most. Check out their choices below and scroll down to listen to ‘U.P.S’.

Easy Life – ‘A Message to Myself’ 
I absolutely vibe so hard with this song, there is a tremendous flow to the lyrics that I am obsessed with. It speaks for itself, just be yourself. I love how much they reflect what is happening right now. In twenty years’, time, I can picture myself feeling super nostalgic for this time already. They also sent me this little merch air freshener fish with the single, which was a fun bonus!  

Remi Wolf – ‘Shawty’ 
Whenever this song comes on, I feel energised. It is so damn fun. I love lyrics that follow a mundane narrative, I know that is bizarre, but it is just really relatable. The layered vocal style she uses is something I take inspiration from. It has an early 2000s vibe; I can feel the low-rise jeans with a thong showing energy.  

Tayo Sound – ‘Cold Feet’ 
I like how this song starts with that initial infatuation with someone, the woozy start when you are so nervous you get mad butterflies. It has a tasty hook. It is easy, breezy & fresh. I always find myself attracted to that in music. Music tends to have a big effect on my mood for the day, this song always makes me feel sunny and chill.  

Ms. White – ‘Fuck Men’ 
… because Fuck Men. Haha.  

Kojaque – ‘Town’s Dead
Some local talent representation with Kojaque. The lyrics are so well written, a deep sense of humour but making a bunch of decent points too. There is a big punk energy to this one – it sounds like it would be unreal live (hit me up for a support slot Kojaque… Or a date, whatever’s easiest for ya!).

Massive thanks to Dan for sharing their Five Favourites!

F.R.U.I.T.Y, the eponymous debut EP, is set for release on 5th August. Listen to new single ‘U.P.S’ now:

PREMIERE: Bellatrix – ‘Bad Love’

With previous support from the likes of Clash and Wonderland magazine, former beat-box world champion (what a feat!) and proudly queer artist Bellatrix has now announced the release of a new EP. Taken from the EP, today they have shared a brand new single.

Propelled by glitchy hooks and a gritty, sensuous energy, ‘Bad Love’ showcases Bellatrix’s sweeping, impassioned vocals whilst oozing shimmering, blissful vibes with shades of pop legend SOPHIE. A scuzzed-out slice of infectious electro-pop reflecting on self-discovery and emotional growth, it sparkles with a fierce empowering drive, instantly demanding multiple listens. Of the inspiration behind the track, Bellatrix explains:

“‘Bad Love’ is a realisation, and really I think it does what it says on the tin. I remember being sat in circle with my women’s group – a candle lit circle of 15 witches – and saying ‘I’ve realised that I’m in an abusive relationship, and at the moment I can’t see the way out…’ There was a calmness in finally being able to be completely honest with myself about my situation. I knew that the storm would have to come, but for the minute I could just look at things as they were, and see them. Wow what a mess I had found myself in.

Listen to ‘Bad Love’, for the first time, here:


‘Bad Love’ is out tomorrow 1st July, And I Was An Aphid, the upcoming new EP from Bellatrix, is set for release later this year.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

PREMIERE: CRISP&CLASSY – ‘Boom Bay’

Feminist LGBTQIA+ electro-pop duo CRISP&CLASSY (aka producer Kat Knix and singer-songwriter Plushy) pride themselves on bringing sexual liberation and self-acceptance to the UK pop scene. Now, having captured our attention earlier this year with vibrant dance-floor anthem, ‘Basic‘ – a collaboration with GIHE fave Rookes – they have shared a brand new euphoric offering.

Oozing all the sumptuous summer vibes and colourful energy you could ever desire, ‘Boom Bay’ fuses together an eclectic palette of genres to create something wonderfully uplifting. Interweaving funk-fuelled Raggeton beats with synth-driven soundscapes as sensuous vocals exude an empowering lyricism, it’s impossible not to become utterly immersed in its blissful, sassy splendour and sparkling, soulful drive. Celebrating self-love and our connection with each other (“Self love is my husband / Confidence is my cousin”), ‘Boom Bay’ is the place to be: a sunny, sonic delight that will exhilarate and inspire; “a utopian luxury resort where everyone is welcome. Here you can be whoever you want to be; express yourself in any way you desire.” 

Treat your ears to ‘Boom Bay’, for the first time, here:

Find out more about CRISP&CLASSY and the new single in the interview below:

Hi, CRISP&CLASSY, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
We are a LGBTQ & Feminist musical love affair comprised of Scandinavian producer Kat Knix and Transylvanian songwriter Plushy. Our mission is breaking preconceptions and speaking about the unspoken. Our love for diversity and desire to break free is universal and gets translated through our iconic bops. CRISP&CLASSY is a spoiled and ignorant child; always in your face, screaming their lungs out to be heard. Because every day is riot day!

How did you initially decide to start creating music together?
Kat Knix was a proper indie rock chick in her teenage years back in Stockholm, while Plushy worshipped the pop divas and joined R’n’B dance classes in Transylvania. We met in London in 2013. Plushy was still a music student at that point and Kat was a part time DJ, so music made us bond. It was only after a few years of failing to write anything good together because of too many bottles of wine, when Kat asked Plushy to be her backing vocalist on her solo project. After performing together under Kat Knix, they eventually decided to officially unite their forces and create something never seen before. And CRISP&CLASSY was born. Mixing our music backgrounds, CRISP&CLASSY is a marriage between electronic synths, pop hooks, and dance and reggaeton beats. Both of us being ’90s kids, CRISP&CLASSY naturally carries a twisted ’90s sound, inspired by queens such as Janet Jackson and Madonna.

You’re about to release your euphoric new single ‘Boom Bay’. Can you tell us a bit about what inspired this track? Are there any particular themes running throughout it? 
The first idea for ‘Boom Bay’ came from Kat last Spring. Plushy was working out in Hackney Marshes and got sent a voice memo from Kat: “I made a beat and we should make it a song inspired by an ’80s aerobic tape with a matching video…” Eventually the concept kind of travelled from there to being an anthem of self love, and we started imagining this video where the water element in the production would be visually mirrored. We imagined it to be the perfect combination between Kat’s reggaeton beats and Plushy’s New York voguing chords over the chorus. ‘Boom Bay’ is a utopian luxury retreat in the CRISP&CLASSY world where everyone is welcome. Here we celebrate ourselves and one another. 

The track follows your epic collaboration with GIHE fave Rookes on vibrant single ‘Basic’ earlier this year – how did this collaboration come about? And how was it working with Rookes? 
Rookes pitched us the idea on a drunken night out and we simply had to join in! After several Zooms discussing the concept and Kat spending time on the production, we met up in the studio and recorded the lyrics that glued the track together, and eventually became the main concept! Rookes has taught us a lot. She is a veteran in the music industry and has not only mentored us, but also opened so many doors. Working with her was a lot of fun and we thank her for the love during our drunken wild Zoom meets! 

And you have a debut album set for release later this year, which is very exciting! Can you tell us any more about this? 
Fried Futuristic Electric guitars and Luxury Alien Spit in a glass by the beach – that’s all we have to say. You will be completely infatuated once you’ll be blessed with it! And a music video for ‘Boom Bay’ will be released along with the album, stay tuned!

How have you been connecting with your audience and other musicians during the pandemic?
Our community of amazing creative people in all areas has made us feel extremely loved. We were so lucky to shoot our ‘Boom Bay’ music video during the pandemic, and worked with incredibly talented people. So many musicians made a lot of music during the pandemic, and we’ve kept our people close. We’ve also started C&C TV on our YouTube channel, for our fans to still be able to escape to the CRISP&CLASSY world, as gigs have been out of the question for quite some time. On C&C TV we are completely letting go; ridiculing ourselves while celebrating our love for ’90s cooking shows and make-up tutorials. 

And has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, throughout these strange times? 
Creativity has been like therapy for us during the pandemic, and we’re so glad that we can always turn to each other for unlimited love and encouragement; especially during these hard times. Plushy was very happy Lady Gaga dropped an album during the pandemic. He is also continuously obsessed with Bree Runway who’s helped him make it through. Kat has become a true yogi, and the pandemic has made her realise she can’t live without gong baths! Hanging out with drag queen extraordinaires like Miss Dylan and Styled By Voodka has certainly lifted our spirits during the pandemic. And on the other hand, the pandemic has made us less distracted. As we both are restless souls and suffer from serious FOMO! 

Of course, we’re all missing live music at the moment, and understandably all have quite mixed feelings about the return of events. But do you have any tentative plans for any gigs coming up in the near future? 
We can’t wait to get back into gig life in the fall! London shows are coming up soon, so y’all better get ready!

And what can fans expect from your live show? 
The CRISP&CLASSY World is a safe haven, where you can be yourself and let your hair down, like treating yourself to a relaxing day at the beach. When the sun sets, you take your restless oozing body to a nearby bar. That’s where we will be, soothing your sunburn with our uplifting beats and nasty lyrics. And there you are; feeling yourself becoming one with the CRISP&CLASSY world, and you’ll never want to leave!

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming bands or artists that you’d recommend we check out?
Our friend Arnie Wrong’s club nostalgia songs will put words on your heart ache, while getting you back on your feet and feel your most powerful ever! She just released her new tune ‘Strange Love’, defo a must listen!

Massive thanks to CRISP&CLASSY for answering our questions!

‘Boom Bay’ is out tomorrow 25th June. And it’ll be followed by an iconic music video directed and produced by BAFTA Awarded Scholars Leo Lebeau and James Bell, plus the release of CRISP&CLASSY’s debut album, Xtra Crispy, at the end of the summer.

Mari Lane
@marimindles