GIHE: Personal Highlights Of 2020

2020 has been a year unlike any other and we’ll be glad to see the back of it, but before we wave goodbye, the GIHE team would like to share some of their personal highlights. Thanks to everyone who has been following, reading or listening to GIHE this year. It really does mean the world to us and we couldn’t do this without you.

Shared Highlights

Seeing the GIHE name appear in a PHYSICAL BOOK was a landmark moment for the team this year. Music journalist Lucy O’Brien mentioned us in her 25th anniversary edition of She Bop, a fantastic book that explores the role of female artists and how they’ve helped to shape the music industry. You can buy your copy here.

Fellow GIHE Co-Founder Tash Walker was super busy recording & producing series 2 of The Log Books throughout 2020, a podcast which explores the history of the LGBTQ community via the phone archives of LGBT+ charity Switchboard. Tash is a co-chair at Switchboard and she is dedicated to celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ community through her work with them, and through her work with GIHE. She is one of the most resilient, informed and hilarious people we know and it’s a privilege to work alongside her and call her a friend. The Log Books are a truly necessary listen for all.

Now for some personal highlights…

Kate Crudgington (Features Editor)

GIHE usually takes up a big part of my life, but it was a lifeline for me during March of this year when the government text me (lol) telling me to shield for 12 weeks. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to talk to the people who were making the music that was distracting me from the panic-inducing headlines, reminding me what a huge privilege it is to have access to this amazing platform.

As our followers already know, Lockdown 1.0 instantly put a stop to our weekly GIHE new music shows on Hoxton Radio. We had 16 weeks off air, so when it was “safe” for me to go back in to the studio in July I was buzzing with excitement (which you can hear in my voice if you listen back to the show here.)

Like most platforms during the pandemic, we embraced technology and started interviewing artists over Zoom instead of inviting them in to the studio for the usual chat and live session. We managed to get time with Jessica Winter, BISHI, Lucy O’Brien, Tessa from Girlhood, Julia-Sophie, Lizzie from Bitch Falcon, Grave Goods, Problem Patterns, ZAND, Hannah from PELA, Seraphina-Simone & Penelope Trappes. It was so lovely to see Tash in person in the studio most weeks, and while we both missed seeing Mari a great deal, her weekly track contributions to the show still made it feel like a GIHE team effort.

At the beginning of the year, I was invited by Niall Jackson, one of the hosts of Riverside Radio’s The Irish Jam, to be a contributor to their New Music Sunday section. Co-hosted by Kealan, Mel and Rob, The Irish Jam is a London based radio show that celebrates and promotes music from Irish artists. The crossover of favourite bands between GIHE & the Jam is huge and something I’ve enjoyed chatting to the team about both on and off air. They’ve introduced me to the likes of CMAT, fears, Denise Chaila, Silverbacks and Celaviedmai, whilst I’ve shared tracks by Kynsy, Party Fears and CAMI with them. Listening to their show on a Sunday evening continues to be a wonderful distraction from life.

Who could’ve predicted that bandcamp would become the musical hero of 2020? When the streaming platform announced that on the first Friday of every month they’d be waiving their fees so that 100% of profits would be going directly to artists, my newsfeeds were awash with new music recommendations. Moving home to Essex from London in March meant I actually had some expendable income to buy new records, so I was furiously typing bespoke recommendation threads on Twitter every time the date rolled around. bandcamps’ generosity meant you were able to genuinely support your friends (and the artists you secretly wish you were friends with) during a truly depressing year for music.

Normally, we’d be picking our live music highlights too, but for obvious reasons, we’ve hardly been to any gigs this year. Mari had to cancel half of the gigs GIHE she had booked pre-pandemic and it’s fucking depressing to not know when it will be (properly) safe for her to book more. That’s why I feel incredibly fortunate to have wedged in one last GIHE gig before Lockdown 1.0. GIHE worked together with Sofar Sounds to put together a special International Women’s Day gig at their Hackney HQ in March, with Beckie Margaret, Amahla and Indian Queens on the bill. It was so exciting (and nerve-racking) to host the evening with fellow GIHE pal Tash too. Even if I’d had a year full of gigs, this one still would’ve made my highlights list.

One last gloat – I published some of my all-time favourite features on our website this year. My Zoom interviews with the wonderful A.A Williams, the hilarious CMAT and the ultra talented Lido Pimienta are well worth a read.

Mari Lane (Managing Editor)

It goes without saying, most of the highlights I’d normally mention at this time of year were not able to go ahead in the void of 2020. They would normally consist of the monthly gigs that I host at The Finsbury, whereas this year I was only able to put on two before Covid hit. And, in addition to having to cancel at least seven of our regular gigs, we were pretty heartbroken to cancel what would have been our very first festival, due to take place in July. However, I did manage to fit in a couple of memorable live experiences before being confined to being permanently pyjama clad; my only weekly highlight being our regular beer delivery from Croydon’s Art & Craft bar.

The first gig I hosted this year felt particularly special. Personal Best headlined a night filled with all the best vibes. Drawing the night to a memorable close, front person Katie Gatt dedicated their set closer to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joined in with “I wanna kiss you in the street / where everyone can see / ’cause this is what we look like,” the poignancy of the lyrics was overwhelming and an empowering sense of unity took hold. The night also included the shimmering folk-strewn offerings of Athabaska, the quirky energy and sparkling charisma of Nun Habit and the sun-drenched swirling anthems of Hurtling. There is nothing quite like that joyous sense of togetherness that comes from hosting gigs filled with like-minded wonderful people.

I was also lucky enough to fit in seeing one of my all time favourite bands with a few of my all time favourite people. The last time that Tash, Kate, Paul and I were all together pre-Covid was for Sleater Kinney at Brixton Academy – a pretty special night. Not only did I get to see the legendary Carrie Brownstein deliver her distinctive gritty, scuzz-filled riffs alongside Corin Tucker’s unmistakable swooning vocals in the flesh, conjuring up massive feelings of awe and nostalgia, but they were supported by one of our favourite current bands. The second time we’d seen Big Joanie on the Brixton Academy stage (the first being opening for Bikini Kill last year!), they showcased just how deserving they are of their rising success; with their unique, raw, post-punk soundscapes and poignant lyricism, they delivered an absolutely incredible set. A truly memorable night.

My last ‘outing’ before lockdown was to the BBC 6Music festival for International Women’s Day at The Roundhouse. An epic line-up consisting of some incredible women and non-binary folk that I’m incredibly grateful I got to witness before everything fell apart. In addition to the immense poignant power of Jehnny Beth, the utterly beguiling splendour of Nadine Shah (who I fell in love with there and then), and the completely mind-blowing presence of hero Kim Gordon, Kae Tempest delivered a fiercely moving, truly breath-taking headline set.

And then gigs were gone. To be replaced by online streamed “events” which I think have had mixed reviews over the last few months – they’re of course no replacement for the “real thing” and it’s hard to feel motivated to “attend” things when you’ve been on the sofa in your pjs for weeks. However, I have managed to organise a few GIHE Instagram ‘Takeovers’, featuring some of our favourite bands and artists. From ARXX’s drum and guitar lessons, LibraLibra’s quirky tele-sales style feature and Tiger Mimic’s interviews with others on the scene, to inspiring chats with Amaroun, Eckoes, Foundlings and Husk, beaut “live” sessions from Gold Baby, Scrounge and KIN, and King Hannah’s EP run through, I feel grateful that so many creatives have wanted to be involved.

It’s a strange time, no doubt, but one which is made that much better by a sense of togetherness within the community. One positive from all this really has been the mutual support and genuine care that I’ve seen musicians and those within the industry show for each other.

John McGovern (Contributor)

On the one hand, there’s been almost no gigs, no festivals, much fewer physical releases and closed record shops. On the other, BBC 6Music’s response helped me stay indoors and make the most of my furlough life. Lauren Laverne‘s show was extended to cover the late morning, running to nearly double the length of most of the other shows on the station and basically saw her appointed as chief mood-lifter for the BBC’s flagship alternative music station. Amongst the days of uncertainty, where even leaving the house offered the risk of serious illness, with no guarantee of a job at the end of the summer, having Lauren there to soundtrack breakfast/brunch made a world of difference. It produced a kind of odd stasis: the background radiation of a pandemic, but an excellent range of music, usually featuring a smattering of classics, new music and obscure gems. The only disappointment was when the schedule reverted back to usual come the end of lockdown. Hopefully, that same semblance of normality will be back for us all, soon.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read our highlights!

You can read about our GIHE Albums of 2020 here and our GIHE Tracks Of 2020 here.

Keep an eye out for our Ones To Watch in 2021 feature next week!

PLAYLIST: Galentine’s Day 2020

Grrrls, it’s the best day of the year: GALENTINE’S DAY! Coined by Parks and Recreation character Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) back in 2010, Galentine’s has since been recognised by girls across the globe, and used as a light-hearted platform to celebrate the girls and women who enrich our lives.

We’ve selected tracks from some of our favourite female artists and put them all together in one big celebratory playlist. We’re all about self-love & sisterly support today; so scroll down, press play, and share the Galentines love.

 

Robyn – ‘Dancing On My Own’
‘Dancing On My Own’, and what’s wrong with that!? Often I prefer to dance on my own. More space. Robyn is also an outspoken ally for LGBTQ+ rights, and we all know romance isn’t just for the heterosexuals out there! So whether you honour Galentine’s, Valentine’s, or even Palentine’s Day; make sure you have a good old dance. (Tash Walker)

Le Tigre – ‘Hot Topic’
Pioneers of queer culture and ultimate faves, Le Tigre’s ‘Hot Topic’ is a celebratory ode to those who’ve inspired us. Paying homage to some queer feminist champions of the ‘90s and earlier, it’s an empowering and joy-filled protest in the face of adversity. This one’s dedicated to my GIHE gals this Galentine’s; Tash and Kate – you’re two of the most fantastic women I’ve ever met, and continue to inspire me every day! (Mari Lane)

Gold Baby – ‘What Party?’
We’re all big fans of Gold Baby here at GIHE, and I have to admit I’m a big fan of their vocalist & guitarist Sian. Not only is she a great songwriter, she’s as enthusiastic as we are about new music, and supporting other women in the industry. Keep your eyes peeled for Gold Baby’s new single ‘Japanese Racehorse’, set for release on 17th Feb. (Kate Crudgington)

ARXX – ‘Moments At A Time’
Is it even a GIHE playlist if I don’t include an ARXX track? The Brighton duo have truly taken off since Mari introduced me to them a few years ago, and us GIHE girls couldn’t be happier for them. Hannah & Clara also happen to be two of the loveliest people we’ve met in the DIY music scene. Absolute babes. (KC)

Alanis Morissette – ‘You Oughta Know’
I’m forever grateful to Alanis Morissette for showing 24-year-old me that being angry after heartbreak is totally normal. Even when I’m not in the midst of heartbreak though, this song makes me feel truly empowered. Taken from her iconic album Jagged Little Pill, which turns 25 this year, I am desperate to get my hands on a pair of tickets to Alanis’ anniversary gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 4th March. I’ll be singing this at the top of my lungs. (KC)

Personal Best – ‘This Is What We Look Like’
Headliners at our last Finsbury gig, Personal Best perfectly brand themselves as “classic rock for tragic lesbians”, and their frenetic riffs and pure-pop harmonies fill me with joy every time. Closing their set for us last month, front person Katie dedicated this track to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joined in with “I wanna kiss you in the street / where everyone can see /’cause this is what we look like”, the poignancy of the lyrics in these uncertain times was overwhelming, and an empowering sense of unity took hold as the crowd danced and sang in solidarity. A perfect anthem for love between anyone and everyone. (ML)

Chastity Belt – ‘Joke’
This was one of the bands I discovered at the start of GIHE, all those years ago, and it just reminds me so much of what it was like at the start of it all. All these years on here’s to my two GIHE gals Mari & Kate, and all of the jokes we’ve had along the way. (TW)

Taylor Swift – ‘Out Of The Woods’
Did anyone else cry multiple times watching Taylor Swift’s Netflix documentary Miss Americana? (Just me? Cool.) Even if you’re not a big Swift fan, I recommend watching the film. It impressively highlights how badly the media treats young women in the spotlight, and how empowering it is when they decide to take back their own narratives. (KC)

Lizzo – ‘Like A Girl’
Turning the common derogatory phrase ‘Like A Girl’ on its head to create something wonderfully empowering, this is another ferociously fun offering from GIHE fave, Lizzo. With references to other powerful women of colour, including Lauryn Hill and Serena Williams, it’s the perfect ode to the power of being female and the power felt when women unite. So, this Galentine’s Day, I’ll leave you with the Lizzo’s words of wisdom: “If you fight like a girl, cry like a girl, do your thing, run the whole damn world”. An ultimate feel-good anthem for women everywhere. (ML)

God Colony (feat. Samirah Raheem) – ‘Girls’
You might recognise Samira Raheem from her 2 minute interview at Amber Rose’s Slutwalk in 2018. This video caught the attention of UK Producers God Colony, who approached Raheem to collaborate. The result is ‘Girls’; an encouraging call-to-arms laced with defiant lyrics, and industrial-tinged beats. I never get sick of listening to this. Shout out to my fellow ‘Girls’ Mari & Tash. I’d be lost without you. (KC)

TLC – ‘Unpretty’
Having had my love of TLC revived through watching Netflix’s brilliant Hip Hop Evolution documentary lately, I feel this ‘90s classic is the perfect Galentine’s anthem. Although it’s primarily about a guy making you feel shit, the message of getting past this and looking inside yourself to see your inner beauty is a perfect sentiment for any of your loved ones. And, set to that oh-so-catchy groove, it never fails to uplift and leave me feeling ready to face the world. (ML)

Ji Nilsson & Marlene – ‘Love You Anyway’
Released back in 2014 this was the first song that jumped to mind for this Galentine’s Day playlist, as ‘Love You Anyway’ is all about female friendship. The lyrics speak of solidarity, but with a slight note of sadness, combined with the enchanting quality to the music the whole thing intertwined together is mesmerising. (TW)

Chromatics – ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’
A great cover of a great track. ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ always reminds me of a story about this 60 year old Italian woman who walked into her local fire station as she was having trouble with her lock. When the firemen asked the woman where she lived, thinking she’d locked herself out of her house, she lifted her sweater and showed them her chastity belt. (TW)

Wolf Alice – ‘White Leather’
Despite being a huge Wolf Alice fan, I only heard this track for the first time last year when my sister Holly sent it to me when I was having a tough time. She told me to listen carefully to the lyrics, because they reminded her of me. I had to bite back tears after hearing it; I felt loved, acknowledged, and genuinely hopeful. (Also, shout out to my other sister Sarah, who always holds my hand during ‘Bros’ when we see Wolf Alice live. God love ya both.) (KC)

Kate Bush – ‘This Woman’s Work’
I recently found out Kate Bush wrote this song specifically for John Hughes’ 1988 film She’s Having A Baby from the lead male character’s perspective, but I think her lyrics transcend the film’s premise. When I hear this track, I think of my Mum, and how hard she works to keep everyone in my family safe, healthy, and happy. Then I think about how mad it makes me that men and boys aren’t expected to perform the same kind of emotional labour. Then I worry that patriarchy dictates that men aren’t allowed to show emotion, so that must be a burden in itself. Basically, I spend a lot of time thinking about ‘women’s work’, and what that means to me, and this song helps relieve some of the tensions surrounding those thoughts. (Love you Mum. You too Dad x) (KC)

Bikini Kill – ‘Double Dare Ya’
This is the first Bikini Kill track I ever heard, and it still fills me with hope and defiance every time I listen to it. My cousin Rebecca (an original 90s Riot Grrrl) introduced me to the band, and along with the GIHE crew, we both went to see Bikini Kill live at Brixton Academy when they reunited last year. Words escape me when I try to sum up how much that night meant to me. Women are the fucking best. (KC)

LibraLibra – Skin And Bone 
Having recently blown me away at our December Finsbury gig, Brighton’s LibraLibra are one of my ‘Ones To Watch’ for this year. Listening to the incredible brutal power of Beth Cannon’s immense vocal delivery motivates me with each listen, the empowering force of this inspirationally strong and charismatic front woman makes me feel like we can conquer the world. But I’ve added this one to our Galentine’s list not only for LibraLibra’s mind-blowing sound, but because since they played for us, I’ve been speaking to Beth quite a lot, and feel that we’ve both been able to provide a bit of a virtual sounding board for each other when we’ve needed picking up, or just to have a good old rant about society’s inherent sexism! Just one example of the wonderful gals I’ve been lucky enough to meet putting on our Get In Her Ears events. (ML)

Chorusgirl – ‘Stuck’
You probably all know by now how much this song means to me. It will never fail to bring me cathartic comfort. Its poignant emotive power, and the way it builds alongside the shimmering hooks, gets me every time. Listening to its heartfelt sentiment, and knowing that there’s other ‘gals’ in the world feeling similar anxieties as I do, helps me feel a little less alone. Chorusgirl’s Silvi is not only a heartbreakingly magnificent songwriter, she’s a wonderful person, and I’m so grateful our paths crossed. (ML)

Kate Tempest – ‘People’s Faces’
There is so much that is so perfectly poignant in this song; the glaringly honest and completely relevant social commentary showcases Tempest’s unique poetic skill at creating relevant and hugely emotive social narratives. But a subtle glimmer of hope also shines through; the comfort we gain from those we love, and the comfort we can offer them just by being there. So, even when it feels like the world is ending, we can still find happiness in each other: “… then we smile at all our friends… Even when I’m weak and I’m breaking… I can see your faces. There is so much peace to be found in people’s faces.”
Also, as a belated Galentine’s treat, I’ll be seeing Kate Tempest live at the 6Music Festival on 8th March, as part of an incredible International Women’s Day line-up of her, Kim Gordon, Jehnny Beth and Nadine Shah at The Roundhouse. I cannot wait to catch some of the most incredible gals all in one place! (ML)

Shirley Ellis – ‘Soul Time’
I love this song, it’s just so much fun and completely infectious. Shirley Ellis often unfairly categorised as a novelty act by many music historians has a well earned place in the history of American soul. Funky, sophisticated and sassy. All the sisterly love for her! (TW)

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
I include this song on lots of our GIHE playlists, but that’s because it makes for such a smooth, upbeat listen. Canadian soul singer Jackie Shane was not only a talented vocalist, she was also a pioneer for trans rights in the 60s. Any chance I get to play her music, I’ll happily take. (KC)

Get In Her Ears w/ LibraLibra 14.06.18

Kate was in the studio for this week’s show, which is recognised as part of the Mayor of London’s #SoundsLikeLondon campaign! She was joined by Beth, Joe & Guy from LibraLibra, who came in to have a chat about their new single ‘Tongues’ and the joy of performing live in the wonderful city of Brighton.

Listen back to the show here:

Tracklist
Placebo – Scared Of Girls
Slander – Slow Motion
Where We Sleep – Veins
Gurr – Hot Summer
Malunga – Never Let Me Go
Carolyn’s Fingers – Twice Born
Indian Queens – Pretty Little Thing
Mercy’s Cartel – Feel My Vibe
Nick Wilson – All The Same
Pitou – Give Me a Glass
Hole – Celebrity Skin
Rebecca Phillips – Burnt Peach
**LibraLibra Interview**
LibraLibra – Animali
LibraLibra – Tongues
Yumi & The Weather – Look At The Night
Anna Aaron – Why Not?
Bad Sidekick – Circus
Noga Erez – Bad Habits
Everything By Electricity – A Place To Call My Own
Foxtrott – Wait
EVVOL – Release Me
The Breeders – Cannonball