Veta Records & Get In Her Ears LIVE @ Servant Jazz Quarters w/ HAVVK, 06.12.18

Having just launched their utterly compelling and intensely poignant new single ‘Always The Same’, last Thursday GIHE faves HAVVK headlined East London venue Servant Jazz Quarters. To celebrate the release, the band’s label Veta Records, with a little bit of help from yours truly, put on a night filled with great vibes, awesome women and – of course – the best live music.

Kicking off the night’s music is Birmingham born, London based artist Rookes. Delivering her rich, sweeping vocals alongside shimmering melodies and infectious swirling loops, she treats our ears to anthemic pop anthems with her distinctive sparkling charm. 

Second band of the night After London have already wowed us once with their live show at The Finsbury earlier this year, but tonight they succeed in completely blowing us away. With an immense energy and alluring charisma, they deliver their gritty alt-rock with the soaring power of front woman Francesca’s vocals taking an empowering hold.

Gracing the stage to headline this intimate venue, HAVVK make their welcome return to their London fans with a subtle captivating power. Powered by front woman Julie’s trademark celestial vocals, the band treat us to offerings old and new. From the sparkling emotion of tracks such as ‘Take It Away’, to the grittier edge of latest single ‘Always The Same’,  each and every moment spent with HAVVK is one of exquisite, spine-tingling splendour.

Huge thanks to all involved for making the night so special! Catch some more of the best live music at The Finsbury this Friday 14th December, with Fightmilk, Handsome Eric, Hanya and Candy Cane!

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

Get In Her Ears Live @ Notting Hill Arts Club w/ Alyss 01.12.18

Get In Her Ears returned to West London’s Notting Hill Arts Club on Saturday night to host another successful night full of alternative electronic music. For our second gig at the venue, we chose Alyss to headline; with support coming from the brilliant Elsa Hewitt, Temples of Youth and Varley.

First up were Berlin-based trio Varley, who played a beautiful stripped back set to an appreciative, respectfully quiet crowd. Vocalist Claire-Ann Varley’s gentle, clear voice was perfectly accompanied by the acoustic & electric guitar sounds of bandmates Matthias Heising & Joschka Bender. When she cautiously asked for a little audience participation during one particular song, she was rewarded with attempts to mimic her soft voice, and the trio left the stage to well deserved and rapturous applause.

 

 

Up next were our favourites, electronic duo Temples Of Youth, who (as always) performed a stunning set. Jo & Paul’s blend of old and new songs – including ‘Darker Places’, the title track from their latest EP – captivated the crowd with their ambient guitar sounds and Jo’s standout vocals. We never tire of seeing these two live, and we were thrilled to have them on the bill with other talented electronic artists.

Penultimate act Elsa Hewitt was a one woman music machine. She played a hypnotising set, which included her latest single ‘Invisible Threads’. It’s always a pleasure to watch artists lose themselves within their own sound, and watching Elsa perform her intricate tuning and triggering, whilst simultaneously performing her soft vocals so seamlessly was a genuine pleasure to witness. We were so caught up in her soundscapes we lost track of time, and as we gently ushered her set to a close, electro-pop Queen Alyss took centre stage.

Clad in a shiny cape and black-rimmed hat, headline act Alyss dominated the stage with her powerful vocals and uncompromising attitude. Performing as a one woman band, she had the room packed full of fans who were dancing along to her pop hooks and bouncing beats.

Huge thanks to the bands and to Notting Hill Arts Club, and extended thanks to all those who donated their spare change on the door to National AIDS Trust on #WorldAIDSday – we appreciate your generosity!

Keep your eyes peeled for more gig announcements from us soon.

Photo Credit: Jon Mo Photography

LIVE (Photos): Tokyo Taboo @ Camden Fest, 29.11.18

GIHE faves Tokyo Taboo have long been blowing us away with their immense, riotous live performances and seething energy, and so we’re extremely excited that their new single ‘No Pleasure Only Pain’ is out today. Raging with the band’s trademark ferocity as whirring hooks race alongside tremendous beats, it’s the perfect example of the soaring power of front-woman Dolly Daggerz’ vocals.

To celebrate the single’s release, Tokyo Taboo held an immense launch party last night at Fest Camden, along with fellow favourites Thunder On The LeftBugeye, HAWXX and newcomers Bled The Fifth. Our Jon Mo was there to capture all the action…

Bled The Fifth:

Bugeye:

HAWXX:

Thunder On The Left:

Tokyo Taboo:

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

LIVE: Kiran Leonard @ Moth Club, 27.11.18

Arriving at the sparkling facade of the Moth Club just in time to catch the wonderful, string-strewn, punk-driven cacophony of POZI, I’m ready to be blown away by Manchester artist Kiran Leonard once again.

Opening with the first track from his new album Western Culture, ‘The Universe Knows No Smile’ immediately draws us into the whirring, twinkling splendour and multiple sonic elements of Leonard’s creations. Following, as does the album, with ‘Paralysed Force’, we bear witness to an immense raw emotion and impassioned majesty that casts us under Leonard’s spell in an instant. Angst-driven, yet dreamily euphoric; discordant, yet eerily beautiful; he wails, and he whispers, captivating the ears and not losing focus for a second. Showcasing his innovative song-writing skill with rich, multi-layered soundscapes and an epic intensity, Leonard continues to captivate as his soaring falsetto soars amid immense whirring hooks and mind-blowing, clattering cowbell-heavy beats.

Reflecting on the state of society with a spine-tingling poignancy, ‘Working People’ flows with intricate finger-picking and the distinct, visceral emotion of Leonard’s vocals, providing an utterly engrossing and lyrically rich offering, resonating with a subtle power. Continuing the run of album tracks, ‘An Easel’ (“ a song about power and responsibility…”) emanates a racing sense of urgency.

Interrupting the order of tracks from Western Culture, we’re treated to a “long song” from 2016’s Grapefruit. With fluid finger-picked hooks and swirling layers of sound, throughout ‘Don’t Make Friends With Good People’, Leonard blasts out immense shocks of energy interwoven with moments of quiet reflection, as frenzied beats are juxtaposed with an intricate musicality, building to create an utterly blissful cacophony. Continuing with another “old song”, and personal favourite, ‘Secret Police’ oozes its stirring anthemic grandeur and cinematic, goosebump-inducing power, leaving me as spellbound as the first time I heard it, back at Green Man Festival a few years back.

And back to the new album. Inspired by a conversation with a friend about stress, ‘Shuddering Instance’ races with scuzzy, discordant hooks and a gritty, seething passion before ‘Unreflective Life’ (“a song about selfies”) and ‘Suspension’ whirr with a raw ferocity.

Closing with ‘Geraldo’s Farm’, from 2013’s debut Bowler Hat Soup, a magnificent wall of sound of epic proportions is created, as each of the four band members offer their own intense sonic force, spiralling to a potent, dramatic climax to end the set.

And once again, Kiran Leonard has succeeded in taking my breath away. This being perhaps the fifth time I’ve seen him live, I was a little worried – as with any favourite – that this time wouldn’t be as impressive as the last, but I certainly had nothing to fear. A perfectly balanced set of songs new and old, Kiran Leonard and his band continue to offer something entirely unique and unforgettably poignant. The emotion and hypnotic sense of awe generated whilst watching Leonard live is unparalleled to any other performance I’ve seen. Although I have compared him to the likes of underrated ‘90s grunge outfit, Slint, in the past – and the similarities remain – it is safe to say that Kiran Leonard is truly one of a kind. And I can’t wait to hear where he might take our ears next.

Western Culture, the new album from Kiran Leonard, is out now.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

LIVE: Wolf Girl, Charmpit & Sex Jokes @ Rough Trade Nottingham, 15.11.18

A Fan Club show is always a treat not only for being brilliantly curated, but for its ‘everyone welcome’ party vibe. Tonight we’re getting three acts who give out summer-esque sounds about winter-cold feelings, and back up that sense of belonging by adding to a tribe made of those who don’t comfortably fit.

Opening tonight is Derby’s Sex Jokes – one of the many musical guises of Shelley Jane Newman (also of Mighty Kids) – who has been one of my favourite acts to debut this year, and with each performance I’m a little more deeply in love. The set opens with ‘Talk’, the only track available online, a power pop anthem with voluminous guitar and “bored-of-your-bullshit” vocals. It brings in influences from Rilo Kiley to Jucifer, Tacocat to Pillow Queens, but the result is recognisable as being very much Sex Jokes’ own sound.

Charmpit are, well, charming. With laid-back chat between songs and a definite surf-pop vibe, they bring the sunshine and some gorgeous dual-harmonies which evoke the best of ‘60s sound. Recent single ‘Squirrel Vision’ and ‘Summer Up My Skirt’ mix the rough-edged guitar with the back and forth mid-song chat of The Shangri-Las, before the chants break back in. It’s the mix of the punk attitude of The Slits with the harmonies and sing-a-long hooks of The Ronettes which make Charmpit instantly recognisable and irresistibly catchy.

Charmpit

Headlining are Wolf Girl – and while the two opening acts have set the bar high, they vault it with ease with a set consisting of the best from new album Every Now and Then. These songs are full of determination and vulnerability, intelligent lyrics that are relatable, not aloof, and melodies that cut through you in the best possible way.

There’s plenty of West Coast surf-pop here too, and the sort of wistful melancholy wrapped in jangling melody that Upset and The Muffs have, but it’s the lyricism which sticks with you. Lines like, “Don’t want to get to thirty without learning to drive / Don’t want to look back having felt barely alive” become visceral through their resonance rather than through the words themselves, and while slacker-pop and problematic adulting are dealt with, so are themes of identity and love; making this a set of songs unafraid of the big and small details of life.

Most of all, Wolf Girl, like Charmpit and Sex Jokes before them tonight, are about belonging even when you feel you don’t belong. All three bands are suave and scrappy, giving a night full of 60’s pop-influenced hooks with the sweetness razor-edged by grating guitars, and wry but honest lyrics sung in dual-vocals to amplify the personal and political. These are our experiences echoed back from the stage, these are our thoughts and feelings honed into three minute punk pop chunks that make the heart soar and the feet dance. This gig, these bands, are the sound of the new underground and the real punk spirit and tonight they delivered in style.

Words: Sarah Lay
Photo Credit: Sarah Lay

LIVE: Laura Gibson @ Queen Elizabeth Hall, 13.11.18

Having first fallen in love with Laura Gibson’s delicate, soaring vocals upon hearing 2016’s Empire Builder, it was an honour to be able to catch her live at one of my favourite London spaces last Tuesday.

Upon commencing her set at Queen Elizabeth Hall, a humble Gibson takes to the stage along with a trio of musicians, thanking us all for being there and revealing that when she creates music, she’s at her “most alone” but now – sharing her creations with us – she’s at her “most connected”. Immediately oozing her trademark spellbinding charm, and looping together layers of twinkling musicality, she treats our ears to a selection of offerings, from both her new album Goners and 2016’s aforementioned collection. From the majestic, folk-strewn melodies of the likes of ‘Slow Joke Grin’ and the sparkling splendour of ‘I Carry Water’ to the gentle, stirring emotion of ‘Damn Sure’, each poignant track tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways.

Despite issues with a broken cable , Gibson remains calm, maintaining her charming rapport and endearing humour with the crowd throughout – “Well, the cable has been around the world with me, I guess London will be its final resting place”. And, when recalling the difficulties of touring Goners in certain European countries where the word doesn’t quite translate, her gentle wit continues to shine through.

With the majority of the set seeing Gibson at the helm of the keys, with her new material having generally more of an eclectic, musically varied sound that older offerings, she reveals that “… it’s been good to be free from the guitar strap”, before placing it over her head once more and breaking into the gritty whirring hooks of ‘Tenderness’. Succeeding in casting her spell over the crowd, Gibson’s sweeping vocals and heartfelt emotion is showcased at its more raw and spine-tinglingly powerful in (personal favourite) ‘Marjory’; a beautifully intimate offering complete with heady, soul-stirring strings courtesy of Kyleen King.

Following the closing two tracks from Goners, ‘Thomas’ and ‘I Don’t Want Your Voice To Move Me’, Gibson draws the set to a close with the glistening, uptempo sounds of Empire Builder’s ‘Not Harmless’. And all at once it becomes crystal clear that she is perfectly suited to playing in a venue of such prestige; the exquisite cinematic splendour of each and every offering matching its subtle grandeur completely.

Although I unfortunately had to make my way home before Dan Mangan took to the stage (and apparently played some wonderful songs with Laura too), what I did see of Gibson I am extremely grateful for. In a world that’s so swamped in darkness and fear at the moment, I couldn’t help but be filled with a certain sense of hope witnessing her heartfelt, exquisite grace and dreamy allure.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Interview: Julie from HAVVK

We’ve been massive fans of HAVVK (previously HAWK) for a good few years now, and every time they release something new we get a massive twinge of excitement. So, we’re extremely happy to hear they’re about to release another poignant new single ‘Always The Same’ ahead of their debut album next year. And we’re particularly honoured to be co-promoting their upcoming London single launch at Servant Jazz Quarters on 6th December.

Combining soaring celestial vocals with a grunge-tinged musicality, activism is at the heart of all HAVVK do, with this new single addressing female objectification and asking men to question their sense of safety and entitlement and imagine what it’s like to walk down the same street in someone else’s shoes.

Ahead of HAVVK’s single launch shows next month, we caught up with front woman Julie to find out more about their forthcoming debut album, working with esteemed producer Rocky O’Reilly and some of the other wonderful projects she’s involved with right now…

Hi Julie, welcome back to Get In her Ears! Your band HAVVK have recently re-branded and re-released your single ‘Glass’, can you tell us a bit about what lead to this decision?
‘Glass’ was re-released out of pure love for the track. We initially put the track out there in support of the Marriage Equality referendum in Ireland in 2015. We never actually gave it an official release back then. Our videographer James Byrne created a beautiful visual of a liquid Pride flag and we uploaded it to YouTube to show our support. It all happened really quickly. We wanted to do something special to go along with the new name so it was the perfect time to add ‘Glass’ to our catalogue. The “re-brand” story is much less romantic. We’ve been hearing for a while now that it’s freaking impossible to find our music online, so we decided to change the name instead of battling through – a lot of bands we know have had the same issue. Can’t really get away from it now that the internet is so crucial to how we consume music.  

HAVVK’s debut album Cause & Effect is out next year – are there any ongoing themes running throughout the collection, and how was the songwriting process?
First of all, it’s so fucking exciting to be finally sharing this with you guys. We’ve been working on these tracks for over a year now, it means so much to unleash them. The album has a two-sided theme and we’re actually releasing it in two parts across next year. It seems to us like we’re living in a culture where news and reaction are so immediate, and only the most extreme voices are the ones that get heard. The album deals with a lot of our own digestion of how the world is looking these days, politically; the people it’s effecting and how we deal with it personally. There’s a lot of personal stuff in there too, to do with identity, relationships, self-expression and mental health. But it’s all framed in this idea of extremes – what we say and what we don’t say, right and wrong, and all the grey space in the middle.

You’ve been working with esteemed Belfast-based producer Rocky O’Reilly for the last couple of years and on production for this album, how has this experience been? How do you feel he’s helped develop your sound?
Rocky’s been an absolute force to work with and has also been super patient with us and our occasional studio cabin fever. His space in Start Together Studio is part of Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast, which is like the musical heart of the city, and an extremely supportive space for artists. When you go there, you get a sense of people who really care about their local scene but are also making music that could tour the world. We had already worked with Rocky on a few of our earlier singles, ‘Can’t Explain’ and ‘Below’, and we were so happy with the track. He and Matt co-produce alongside each other, and it’s like they each challenge and bring out the best in each other. Rocky’s got so much experience of producing very dynamic post-rock music, with a lot of heavy and quiet moments – I think you can hear this on the album.

You’re celebrating the launch of the first single from the album, ‘Always the Same’, with a couple of very special gigs in Berlin and London. We’re very excited about your return to London on 6th December! How are you feeling about the shows? Have you got something special lined up for us?
We’ve been fairly cloistered away this year, so these are kind of like home-coming shows. We’re so excited for the line-ups we’re playing with – Rookes and After London will join us at Servant Jazz Quarters, and they’re both doing amazing things. And in Berlin, we’re playing with two bands we’ve fallen in love with since moving there, Leoprrrds and Pearly. In terms of ‘something special’ we just cannot wait to play some of the album material. And we may do a giveaway of the remaining ‘HAWK’ t-shirts – never know, they might be worth a lot of money someday!

The shows are being promoted in conjunction with Veta Records, the indie label you run. Have Veta got any more gigs planned for the new year?
This is such an exciting time of year for us right now. We had put our live nights on hold for a while, after moving to Berlin, but it was always a really important part of what we did in London, and really gave us a sense of community. We’ve always been keen to showcase women in music – the majority of the acts on our label are women, and this is something we want to do our bit to address in the industry. Since we moved to Berlin, we’ve actually made more and more connections with the Irish music scene – there’s a huge creative diaspora out there. One of the reasons we are kick-starting Veta Records nights again is to build more connections across our various home countries. Part of this is co-promoting with established music supporters like your wonderful selves and the awesome women running Bang On back in Berlin. Next year, we’re planning more co-promoted gigs in Ireland, Germany and the UK, as well series of living-room shows.

As well as being in a band, running a record label and putting on gigs, you’ve also recently co-founded SelfMade – a platform to explore DIY music in Ireland through performance, discussion, and art. How did this come about, and can you tell us a bit more about the project?
This has been the most unexpected and rewarding thing to happen to me this year. Joanna Bain is an artist from Scotland, and wanted to launch an art project celebrating DIY Irish musicians last year. When she asked me to get involved, I suggest we add a discussion element, as it had been really on my mind how little transparency there is around the day-to-day of making music. What transpired was this amazing event last February where we exhibited portraits and heard performances and panel discussions from nine Irish women in music. The feedback was really positive and before we knew it we were booking our second, and third event. The last one was last Monday in Belfast at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, and we explored the ins-and-outs of releasing music. The interesting thing is that there are rarely ‘right’ answers to these things, but it’s so valuable as an artist, to get a sense that you’re not the only one with these questions and to know you can look to fellow artists for support.

You also launched ‘Female Fronted Drawn Together’ last year – a project through which you created a playlist of admirable female bands/musicians and created an illustration to accompany each song. We thought this was a wonderful idea, especially as it included some of our favourites! Are you planning on continuing this project, or do you have any more art-related ideas up your sleeve for the new year?
At the moment, my illustration energies are being put into SelfMade – you can check out some of our portraits and zines to see what we’ve been up to. I’m also doing a lot of digital design for Veta and the branding work for SelfMade. I feel like every time I commit to a new project, I’m back on the Adobe Illustrator tutorials – and I love it!

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, and we trust you have great taste, are there any upcoming bands/artists you’d recommend we check out?
Yes! My current album obsession is Dilly Dally – their latest record is infectiously good. Thinking more locally, please check out the bands we’re playing with in Berlin and London, as well as (off the top of my head!) Just Mustard, Oh Joy, Girlfriend, and our label buddies, Sive, Dyvr, and Maria Kelly.

Huge thanks for answering our questions! Can’t wait to see you on 6th December at Servant Jazz Quarters!
Thank YOU ❤

Pre-save ‘Always The Same’ now from Spotify. Cause And Effect, the upcoming debut album from HAVVK is out in 2019. Catch HAVVK live in Berlin and London:

30th November – Loophole, Berlin (with Leoprrrds and Pearly)
6th December – Servant Jazz Quarters, London (with After London and Rookes). Event info & tickets here.