International Women’s Day 2022

Happy International Women’s Day!

IWD is a time to celebrate the achievements of women and a time to reflect on and evaluate the work that still needs to be done to achieve equality. As you already know, these are some of the core values of GIHE. We champion women & non-binary folk who make the music that we love daily!

So, this IWD, we’re asking everyone to continue supporting the artists that we promote on GIHE and to take a look at some of the incredible organisations who work tirelessly to make local music scenes and the wider music industry a safer, more enjoyable place for women to create their art. We’ve also included links to some UK based charities who stand up for women’s rights too.

If you need an IWD Playlist, feel free to visit our Spotify – there’s plenty of good music waiting to get in your ears there!

 

Decolonise Fest

“A London-based festival created by an for punx of colour.” Visit their website

First Timers Fest

A DIY music festival encouraging people to pick up instruments for the first time and learn how to play in a low pressure, friendly environment. Visit their website

Girls Rock London

A charity based in Hackney who focus on increasing access to music for young and adult women, trans and non-binary people. Visit their website

LOUD WOMEN

London-based promoter “putting women on stage and turning up the volume!” Visit their website

Girls Against

Organisation fighting against sexual assault at live music events. Visit their website

Safe Gigs 4 Women

“An initiative established by regular gig goers with the aim of creating a safer environment for women at gigs. Visit their website

OMNII Sound Collective

A London-based collective ” aiming to inspire women, trans and non-binary sound enthusiasts to operate in all aspects of audio production.” Visit their website

Music Production For Women

“A global movement, community and online education platform which aims to encourage and empower women who are taking their first steps into music production.” Visit their website

Ladies Music Pub

A London-based community open to all women, non-binary and gender variant people in music. Visit their website

WXMB 2

A “community of womxn connecting and coming together with a shared mission: to take on inequality within the music industry.” Visit their website

WITCiH

“An inclusive platform supporting Women in Tech. WITCiH is an online and real world platform for research, creation, performance and networking.” Visit their website

Content Is Queen

A “podcasting agency and community that’s been amplifying minority voices since day dot.” Visit their website

The Log Books

An award-winning podcast telling the untold stories from Britain’s LGBTQ+ History. Founded by fellow GIHE babe Tash Walker. Listen here

We Wear Black

A podcast that focuses on what it’s like for women & non-binary people living an alternative lifestyle, talking about everything from “sex, racism and gigs to Myspace and emo fashion.” Listen here

Girls Twiddling Knobs

A podcast “for female identifying musicians eager to start self-recording their music” hosted by Isobel Anderson. They’re launching their third series on 24th March 2022, featuring interviews with Gazelle Twin, Jessica Paz and Emily Nash. Listen here

Sisters Uncut

UK based charity “taking direct action for domestic violence services.” Visit their website

Level Up!

“A growing community of UK feminists whose mission is to interrupt all forms of gender injustice.” Visit their website

INTERVIEW: Lilith Ai

Self-described as “a singer-songwriter who performs poignant tales of modern city life,” Lilith Ai writes relatable guitar tunes exploring turbulent emotions in a humble and engaging way. When I catch up with her via Zoom, she’s sat on a comfy looking bean-bag in the music shed which she’s currently sound proofing. She tells me she’s spent her morning at a power-pump weightlifting exercise class, because she’s keen to feel healthy again after “basically just eating pies” throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We laugh about how everyone buried their feelings in take-away food instead of dealing with the mental toll of multiple lockdowns in 2020.

Modest, self-deprecating but incredibly warm and open to talking about all aspects of her life and art, Lilith speaks to me about her recent album, Folk You Hard, her upcoming performance at Loud Women Fest – who just awarded her their prestigious Hercury Prize Award – and what drives her to keep creating music despite the many challenges that life brings…

Hello Lilith! Who or what first inspired you to start making music?

I think I’ve always made music, but I don’t know what first inspired me. I wanted to be a writer when I was very little but I’m dyslexic so I couldn’t really write anything. I just liked to sing songs. I don’t think I’m naturally good at music. I know I have a nice sounding voice, but some people can pick up a song and play it on guitar the first time they hear it on the radio and I’m not like that. I wish I was like that! I’m actually better at art than I am at music, but I don’t enjoy it as much as I enjoy making music.

I grew up with a lot of stress because I had so many learning disabilities, so school was difficult and my family life was really mad. I did a lot of extracurricular things that were not music. I had dance classes, I went to Brownies and Girl Guides, I did track running and I had art. Music was a thing that I didn’t tell anybody about. I just kind of did it in my brain and made songs up!

I’ve had a weird year where I’ve been doing a lot of therapy and I’ve had so many revelations about myself. I’ve had to kind of white knuckle most of my life until quite recently.

So, how did I get into music? I don’t know. I just I did it secretly until I joined a band. I was in a lot of really terrible bands and they all kept falling apart. So, in 2015/16 I just decided to do my own solo project. I didn’t really know how to play guitar at the time, so I was a bit shit. I was completely oblivious to that at the time though. I didn’t really know how terrible my playing was until I started playing on my own! I was like, “I need to be way better than this,” so I did a lot of gigs. A lot. Probably hundreds that were just not very good, but I don’t think it matters. I think a little bit of delusion is good as a musician. It doesn’t really matter how good you are at the start; you’ll get good eventually if you keep doing it.

Perseverance is key! You mentioned being in therapy, would you say creating your music has helped you make sense of things that have happened to you as well? Do you find writing songs can be quite cathartic for you? It seems that way on your most recent album, Folk You Hard.

The reason why I make music is because I want to connect with people. Because of the way I grew up, I really, really struggled to make friends. I have a best friend now, but it took me five or so years to really believe that she liked me when we were growing up, even though she wanted to hang out with me and called me every day! So, with music, I wanted to do something so that I could say “do you feel like this? Because I feel like this,” to other people.

Music is also a way of escaping for me too. Some of my songs are more like me being how I wish I was, rather than how I actually was at the time. You can still see me in them, but songs like ‘Rude Grrrl’ and ‘Riot’ are more what I want to be like. I want to be confident or strong. I think there was definitely a thing when I was writing Folk You Hard, where these things slowly toppled into who and where I am now. That album is just me being very frank about stuff. That’s the most frank I’ve ever been and I think I’m going to continue to try and do that.

But sometimes, I’m not thinking like that and I write stuff really quickly. I have a notebook that I put all of my ideas in and then when I’ve got enough ideas, I’ll sit down and be like, “okay, I’ll write a song now” and I’ll write it in half an hour. I wrote the song ‘Michaela Coel’ after watching her series I May Destroy You. I’ve always liked her ever since she did Chewing Gum and I did actually meet her at an event a couple of years ago. We talked about stuff and she was so amazing. So I just sat down and wrote that song. It doesn’t always happen like that, but sometimes it does.

That’s so cool, I think ‘Michaela Coel’ is one of my favourite songs on your album. Do you have a favourite song? If so, why?

I really like the single that I’m about to drop, ‘Bloodlines’, which is the first one I wrote for that record. But I think my favourite is probably the last song I wrote which is ‘F’. It was very easy to write and I think I’m saying stuff on it that I haven’t really said before. They’re both kind of songs about my Mum, which is weird, because I have an estranged relationship with my Mum at the moment. But ‘F’ could also be about so many things. It’s written in the key of F, it’s about family and it’s also ‘F’ for “fuck” and for Folk You Hard.

Another song I love on the record is ‘Bare Radical’. I really like the lyric “I’m not bitter / I’m better” – it almost sounds like a mantra…

I mean, I’m not sure I am better, but I’m trying to be! It’s a continuous thing. That song is about dating a person who was just like, not the person. But I try to remember that everybody is on their own journey, I think very few people deliberately do things to be a dick. Though I know I need to get away from that person, I try not to be bitter…but it is hard!

The only way that you can “win” is to be like, “Okay, I’m actually genuinely going to be happy now” – that trumps everything. This is going to sound a bit weird, but I’ve wanted to join a gym for ages, but it’s so expensive and I knew it would take up a big chunk of my money. But I realised, if I was dating someone and they wanted that gym membership – I would probably give them the money, instead of spending it on myself. So, to be like “Oh, I need this! I’m going to buy this for myself because I deserve it,” you know? I want to look after myself and that is actually me “winning.” It definitely is a long process, I’m not 100% there yet, I’ve got a long way to go. All we can do is try to be better, to get away from toxic people and encourage toxic people to get help.

That’s genuinely good advice.

You’re going to be performing at Loud Women Festival on 18th September. There are so many GIHE faves performing too – ARXX, Vulpynes, Breakup Haircut, MIRI, Deux Furieuses, Jelly Cleaver, GENN, Sister Ghost – what bands are you looking forward to seeing on the day?

I think this is my fourth time playing the festival and I can’t wait. I really want to see Jelly Cleaver. I haven’t seen her play for ages. I really like her as a person too. MIRI, who I have seen lots of times and who I love, she’s really good. I’m excited to see ARXX as well. There are a lot of bands on the line-up who I don’t know, so I’m looking forward to hearing them as well. I’ll be there in the morning with soooo much merch – I’ve made my own bracelets and everything – so I’ll be there all day.

Great stuff. Finally, as we’re a new music blog, we always ask artists to recommend a few bands they’ve recently been listening to. Any suggestions?

One is Nathan Day who I really got into last year and I just think their music is amazing. It’s literally like someone reached into my head and made the music that I want to make. Probably my favourite song is ‘Fade Like You’ but they’re all good songs.

Pom Pom Squad are also so, so, so good! And Eliza Shaddad. I really want to go on tour with her!

Thanks to much to Lilith for chatting with us!

Follow Lilith Ai on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

Grab a ticket to see her live at Loud Women Fest 5 here

PLAYLIST: May 2021

The GIHE team have unearthed some more new music gems for you to listen to on our May Playlist! There’s an eclectic mix of indie tunes, dark-pop gems, electronic bangers and gritty guitar tracks. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of this post.

Follow GIHE on Spotify to hear all of our previous playlists too.

Solidarity Not Silence – ‘This Is Sisterhood’
With members of The Tuts, Petrol Girls, Personal Best and Colour Me Wednesday collaborating, as well as a snippet of the legendary Kathleen Hanna speaking about the cause, ‘This Is Sisterhood’ sees members of the DIY feminist music community come together to raise funds for the legal costs of a group of women who are fighting a defamation claim made against them. A truly impassioned and empowering creation, ‘This Is Sisterhood’ is a totally necessary call to arms; a plea to unite in solidarity against the patriarchal norms seeking to hold us down. Find out more about the cause and how to donate here.
(Mari Lane)

LOUD WOMEN – ‘Reclaim These Streets’
LOUD WOMEN’s ‘Reclaim These Streets’ is an uncompromising feminist anthem that centers women’s experiences of harassment and fears for their safety in public spheres. The idea for the collaborative charity single was sparked by the conversations around the deaths of Blessing Olusegun and Sarah Everard, which prompted LOUD WOMEN’s founder Cassie Fox to invite a collective of female and non-binary musicians to rage alongside her on this vital musical statement. The track features over 60 female voices from the independent & alternative UK music scenes and all proceeds from the track will be donated to UK charity Women’s Aid.
(Kate Crudgington)

Deep Tan – ‘Hollow Scene’
Following their uplifting last single ‘camelot’, Hackney-based trio deep tan have now shared another stirring taste of what’s to come from their upcoming debut EP. Propelled by glitchy beats and twinkling hooks, ‘hollow scene’ captivates the ears with the vocals’ compelling seductive allure. (ML)

Krush Puppies – ‘Slay The Dragon’
Establishing themselves on the London scene for a few years now, Krush Puppies’ latest offering comes in the form of the medieval-inspired ‘Slay The Dragon’. A poignant reflection about “transcending the monsters we’ve all had to endure”, the track builds with a gritty, swirling energy and a raw, haunting majesty reminiscent of fellow London post-punkers Goat Girl. (ML)

CIRCE – ‘Going Down’
I’ve been obsessed with London-based, dark-pop sensation Circe since the release of her debut EP, She’s Made Of Saints, last year. This new offering is all about celebrating female sexuality and embracing the head-rush that comes with a new romantic infatuation. (KC)

Girl Ray – ‘Give Me Your Love’
The new single from total faves Girl Ray, ‘Give Me Your Love’ is filled with funk-fuelled beats and swirling synths, alongside the distinctive soothing allure of Poppy’s vocals. Produced and mixed by Joe Goddard and Al Doyle from Hot Chip, the track offers a more electro-driven sound than previous releases, whilst maintaining the band’s knack for creating lilting sonic delights, fizzing with plenty of vibrant, uplifting vibes and even some twinkling steel pans. Watch the new video for ‘Give Me Your Love’ here. (ML)

Ladyhawke – ‘Mixed Emotions’
This fab new single is taken from Ladyhawke’s upcoming album Time Flies, which is set for release on 8th October. It’s a buoyant exploration of the turbulent feelings you can experience with one person, sometimes over the course of a single day. (KC)

Mumble Tide – ‘Sucker’
Formed of Gina Leonard and Ryan Rogers, Bristol-based Mumble Tide originally met through a Gumtree ad and everything they create is entirely self-produced, including their own videos and artwork, proving that all you need is good company and a comfortable atmosphere to make meaningful art. (KC)

Talking Violet – ‘Superego’
The latest single from Ontario band Talking Violet, ‘Superego’ captivates the ears with its shimmering, shoegaze-inspired allure. Tackling unhealthy friendships, it flows with a brooding splendour as reverb-strewn riffs sizzle alongside dreamy harmonies, building to a perfectly scuzzy, angst-driven climax. (ML)

CIEL – ‘Never Alone’
I love this new offering from Brighton dream-pop trio CIEL. Front-woman Michelle Hindriks penned the song about her own feelings of anxiety and isolation, which will strike a chord with many of us in this post-lockdown world. (KC)

MAITA – ‘Dumb’ (Nirvana Cover)
One of my favourite Nirvana songs covered by Oregan based MAITA, fronted by Maria-Maita Keppeler. This is the second cover track the band have shared as part of iconic Riot Grrrl label Kill Rock Stars 30th anniversary celebrations. Maria said she wanted to cover ‘Dumb’ because she feels like Nirvana gave her “permission for unadulterated release” back in their heyday, and that’s what she wants listeners to embrace now. (KC)

PinkFiz – ‘Pleaser’
18 year old, Cambridgeshire artist PinkFiz penned ‘Pleaser’ after feeling the unwanted pressure of trying to satisfy someone else at the expense of her own self-esteem. This track is taken from her recent EP The World Of PinkFiz, which explores her experiences as a young, bisexual woman. (KC)

Fräulein – ‘Pretty People’
Having been winning us over since we first became pretty obsessed with last year’s single ‘Drag Behind’, South London based duo, Joni Samuels and Karsten van der Tol – aka Fräulein – have now shared their first single on Practise music, ‘Pretty People’. Reflecting on the shallow world of fashion, the track builds with a captivating dark energy and visceral, grunge-infused splendour. I cannot recommend these two strongly enough; I really think they have something wonderfully nostalgic, yet ultimately unique to offer. (ML)

Alice Hubble – ‘Power Play’
Described as “the closest thing (she’s) written to a protest song”, ‘Power Play’ is London artist Alice Hubble’s response to the #MeToo movement. Flowing with a euphoric, synth-driven energy and glitchy ‘80s-inspired musicality, it flows with Hubble’s majestic soaring vocals as the lyrics offer a poignant reflection on the disparities of sexism and gender-based violence. (ML)

SPELLLING – ‘Boys At School’
Taken from her upcoming album The Turning Wheel, set for release on 25th June via Sacred Bones, SPELLLING’s latest single sees her step back into her younger teenage self and explore feelings of angst, desire and disillusionment. I can’t wait to hear the album in full. (KC)

Janette King ft. DijahSB – ‘Cool Me Down’
The latest single from Canadian artist Janette King, ‘Cool Me Down’ flows with a funk-fuelled groove as rapper DijahSB’s gritty spoken-word lyricism complements King’s luscious, soulful vocals perfectly. What We Lost, the debut album from Janette King, is set for release 25th June via Hot Tramp Records. (ML)

Alex Loveless – ‘Idk U’
I’m a big fan of everything London-based artist Alex Loveless releases and this new super chill single is no exception. (KC)

Deap Vally ft. Jennie Vee – ‘I Like Crime’
Two names that need no introduction and a track that speaks for itself! I can’t wait to hear Deap Vally’s upcoming EP American Cockroach when it’s released on 18th June. (KC)

Tokky Horror – ‘Eden On Acid’
This banger is lifted from Liverpool-London trio Tokky Horror’s debut EP, I Found The Answers And Now I Want More, released via Alcopop! Records. It’s a wild blend of drum & bass beats, dance music rhythms and punk-infused energy and their whole EP gatecrashes multiple musical genres with pure anarchic flair. (KC)

Cherym – ‘Listening To My Head’
The new single from Derry trio Cherym, ‘Listening To My Head’ is inspired by the Netflix series Dirty John. A jangling slice of punk-pop, it’s propelled by driving beats and an uplifting, empowering energy, as swirling hooks accompany luscious angst-driven honey-sweet vocals. Oozing a wonderfully fuzzy sense of nostalgia as the tongue-in-cheek wit of the lyrical storytelling and a colourful charismatic musicality flows, ‘Listening To My Head’ is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, a clench in your fist and a spring in your step in the face of cheating men everywhere. (ML)

Fightmilk – ‘Hey Annabelle’
The latest single from faves Fightmilk, ‘Hey Annabelle’ is a perfectly scuzzy ode to an ex, oozing jangling melodies and the band’s trademark anthemic power-pop energy. Of the track the band explain: “Putting the ‘angry’ in ‘Shangri-La’s’, this is arguably our pettiest song. ‘Hey Annabelle!’ is about that very specific thing you do when you’ve split up with someone and part of moving on entails just very casually asking mutuals what they’re up to and, more importantly, whether they’re also miserable.” Contender, the new album from Fightmilk, is out now via Reckless Yes. (ML)

LISTEN: LOUD WOMEN – ‘Reclaim These Streets’

An uncompromising feminist anthem that centers women’s experiences of harassment and fears for their safety in public spheres, LOUD WOMEN have shared their new collaborative charity single ‘Reclaim These Streets’. Sparked by the conversations around the untimely deaths of Blessing Olusegun and Sarah Everard, LOUD WOMEN’s founder Cassie Fox invited a collection of female and non-binary musicians to rage alongside her on this vital musical statement, with all proceeds from the track being donated to UK charity Women’s Aid.

“Two women a week are killed by men. Refuge services are having to turn away one in two survivors of violence – and yet refuge funding has been cut by one quarter since 2010,” Cassie explains. “This is a song of feminist solidarity and hope – all women and gender non-conforming people have a right to walk safely on every street, and be safe in their own home.” Backed by the voices of Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama, Shakespears Sister), Brix Smith Start (The Fall/Brix & The Extricated) and Patsy Stevenson (the face of the Clapham vigil) and with instrumentation provided by members of My Bloody Valentine, Salad and T-Bitch, ‘Reclaim These Streets’ is a powerful and necessary punk offering that demands the right to exist in a world free from gender-based harassment and violence.

The track features over 60 female voices from the independent & alternative UK music scenes, including Estella Adeyeri (Big Joanie), Janey Starling (ex-Dream Nails), Nadia Javed (The Tuts), Ren Aldridge (Petrol Girls), Jo Bevan (Desperate Journalist), Siân Alex (Gold Baby), MIRI, Kat Five (Feral Five), Holly Carter (Berries), Angela Martin (Bugeye), Elis Sarv & Kelly Chard (Noise Noir) and many more.

‘Reclaim These Streets’ simmers with a palpable, justified rage and provides a cathartic burst of relief for female and non-binary listeners who have been living under the shadow of street harassment for most of their lives.

Watch the video for the track below. Download ‘Reclaim These Streets’ via bandcamp.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Full list of ‘Reclaim These Streets’ contributors:
Abby Werth of I, Doris and Argonaut
Amber of Hadda Be
Angela Martin of Bugeye
Bec Jevons of IDestroy
Brix Smith Start
Caroline Gilchrist of Hot Sauce Pony
Cassie Fox
Charley Stone
Debbie Googe
Debbie Smith
Dungareen Jean
Elis Sarv from Noise Noir
Ella Patenall of Naz & Ella
Emily Eagle of The Pukes
Emma Sky of Slut Magic
Erika Severyns
Estella Adeyeri of Big Joanie
Gail Something-Else of Muddy Summers & the Dirty Field Whores
Gemma Cullingford of Sink Ya Teeth
Georgie Willsher of Beverley Kills
Gilan
Harriet Doveton
Helen McCookerybook
Holly Carter of Berries
Jade Ellins
Janey Starling
Jen Macro
Jo Bevan
Joyce Raskin
Julie Riley of I Am HER
Karen of Hagar the Womb
Kat Five of Feral Five
Kel of The Empty Page
Kelly Chard
Kimmi Watson
Kristina Stazaker
Lee Friese-Greene
Lilith Ai
Liz Hayward of Ode to Sleep
Lorna Tiefholz of Rabies Babies
Marijne van der Vlugt
Michelle Marti of Girls Rock Indiana
Minni Moody
MIRI
Molly Energi
Nadia Javed
Ngaire Ruth
Nicki Mirage of Brazen Hussy/KNM
Patsy Stevenson
Paul Maps – Joyzine
Penfriend
Priya
Ren Aldridge of Petrol Girls
Ros Cairney of Deux Furieuses
Roshi Nasehi
Rowanna Chown
Sam McCann of Gender Chores
Shona MacMillan
Siân Alex of Gold Baby
Siobhan Fahey
Stevie B of T-Bitch
Suteki Hegg
The Pukes
Umbilica