Track Of The Day: Deep Tan – ‘Air’

Having previously supported the likes of Madonnatron and Naima Bock from Goat Girl, London’s Hackney-based three piece Deep Tan have spent the last year honing their sound, and have now shared a captivating new single.

A song about deception, ‘Air’ oozes a brooding sense of melancholy and dark sweeping splendour as poignant vocals are sung in both French and English. Exuding a dark, ethereal aura and twinkling dreamy haze, it’s a truly beguiling slice of atmospheric alt-pop. Of the track, the band explain:

“The song is about islanders who lie about being able to swim, and they’re a metaphor for people who lie generally. They pretend they can swim, but they can’t. It’s meaningless. It’s just… ‘Air’.”

 

‘Air’ is out now. Catch Deep Tan live:

9th March – The Windmill, London
13th April – The Shacklewell Arms, London

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Alexandra Loveless

 

 

Track Of The Day: SEX CELLS – ‘Hell Is Where The Heart Is’

Dystopian visuals and moody synths permeate SEX CELLS debut single ‘Hell Is Where The Heart Is’. Described as “a mixture of Suicide, Psychic TV, and Art House sensibilities” SEX CELLS – aka Matt Kilda and Willow Vincent – fuse visual art and vicarious noise to create challenging new sounds.

The London-based synth duo will release ‘Hell Is Where The Heart Is’ as a double A-Side release, which will be available digitally & on limited edition 7″ vinyl on their own label, Pretty Ugly Records. Under the guidance of Raf.E and produced by Dave M. Allen (The Cure, Yassassin), the two songs will be accompanied by a series of surrealist artworks made by the band.

Formed in down-and-out circumstances, SEX CELLS were originally hobbyist promoters who ran monthly nights of live music and visual projections for experimental noise acts. After being ripped off in a house rental scam, the duo turned their anger in to music in a Peckham rehearsal room, documenting their desperation with a synth and house drum kit.

Since then, SEX CELLS have shared stages with bands such as Meatraffle, Madonnatron, The Rhythm Method, and HMLTD. They’ll be back on stage tonight (Aug 9th) at The Finsbury supporting noise-pop merchants TAYNE (Free gig: event details here).

Listen to ‘Hell Is Where The Heart Is’ below and follow SEX CELLS on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Ones To Watch 2018

We’re approaching the beginning of a new year – the perfect time to celebrate new music. As we leave 2017 – and all it’s thrown at us – behind, we’re ready to venture into 2018 alongside some of the music we’re most excited about for the upcoming year.

Have a read, and keep your ears peeled for these incredible bands and artists over the coming months…

Having recently supported GIHE faves PINS on tour, and received much acclaim for their eponymous debut album from the likes of Mojo and Q Magazine, London collective Madonnatron would seem to have had a pretty successful 2017.

We’ve been in love with these four awesome women since their captivating cacophony left us completely spellbound at The Finsbury back in March. And now, with the seething vocals and haunting discordant hooks of tracks such as ‘Sangue Neuf’ and ‘Headless Children’ having provided an eerily majestic soundtrack to much of this year, we’re quite sure that the beguiling ‘Witch Prog’ of Madonnatron will be headed for big things in 2018. (Mari Lane)

We currently hold the record for “how many times you can feature Queen Zee on a roundups/playlist” article – and it’s one we’re proud to be upholding. The Liverpool-based band blew us away with their visceral, politically switched on sounds at The Garage in October, and we’ve been hooked on their punk-like anthems ever since.

Fronted by Queen Zee, the group use their platform to shout back against transphobia and homophobia, as well as supporting and celebrating equality. They’re set to record and hopefully release their debut album in 2018, as well as hitting the road again in support of The Marmozets. Make sure you put your ‘Idle Crown’ on, and get behind this incredible set of talented individuals in 2018. (Kate Crudgington)

Having blown us away with their completely captivating live performance at The Finsbury, Sink Ya Teeth are fast becoming one of our favourite bands. With the addictive, pulsating beats and ‘80s-inspired dance-pop hooks of singles ‘If You See Me’ and ‘Glass’, they’ve showcased their ability to create utterly infectious, uptempo offerings, and we cannot wait to hear more.

With praise from the likes of BBC 6 Music, and support slots with Chk Chk Chk already under their belt, this Norwich duo are sure to be continuing to seduce many an ear throughout 2018. (ML)

Although we’ve been aware of them for some time, Slowcoaches caught our full attention this year with the release of their brilliant track ‘Complex’ – a snarling comeback to the music industry’s misogynist bullshit.

Comprised of Heather (bass & vocals), Neil (drums), and Oliver (guitar), the band are a grunge-fuelled, alternative force to be reckoned with. With wicked tracks like ‘Living Out’ and ‘Complex’ behind them, we’re excited to see what 2018 holds for this talented trio. (KC)

With support from the likes of BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio, and an ever growing reputation for their vibrant live performances, London collective Kid Cupid have been alluring our ears with their blissful electro-pop for some time.

Now, with the recent release of latest single ‘Easy’, they’ve shown themselves to be true masters of their craft; creating utterly euphoric layers of sound alongside Laura Shaw’s rich, soulful vocals. With shades of the likes of Oh Wonder and Little Dragon, we cannot wait to hear more of Kid Cupid’s dreamy, sonic delights throughout 2018. (ML)

 

We’ve made no secret of our love for Essex songwriter Beckie Margaret, and we want everyone’s ears to be blessed with the sound of her impeccable voice.

Inspired by the likes of Lucy Rose, Jeff Buckley and Bon Iver, Beckie’s songs are tender, intuitive, and effortlessly delivered. She’s still at University in the final year of her song-writing degree, but there’s something about her music that can’t be learned from the pages of a textbook. Signed to Cool Thing Records, we’re confident the future for this talented vocalist, writer, and producer is blindingly bright. (KC)

Receiving support across the industry from the likes of Joe Talbot (IDLES) and BBC 6 Music’s Tom Ravenscroft and Steve Lamacq, Birmingham trio Table Scraps are certainly worth paying attention to.

Creating dark and gritty garage-punk, with tracks such as ‘My Obsession’ and latest single ‘Sick Of Me’, the band deliver thrashing riffs and stomping beats, fuelled by a ferocious force. A perfect example of raw, raging DIY music at its best.

Now, with their debut full-length album Autonomy set for release in February, the enraged, empowering energy of Table Scraps looks set to take the world by storm in 2018. (ML)

If you’re a fan of ambient electronic music with a melancholy edge, Temples Of Youth are a band you need to invest in. The Winchester duo sent divine shivers down our spines when they headlined our December show at The Finsbury, and we’ve been spinning their recent self-titled EP in an attempt to stay hypnotised by their magnetic sounds.

We’re confident that tracks like ‘Amber’ and the beautifully articulate ‘Churches’ will propel the pair further in to the spotlight in 2018. We also recommend you check out their superb cover of Nirvana’s ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ – it’s urgent and unforgettable. (KC)

With 2017’s highlights including supporting Desperate Journalist and Nelson Can on various tour dates, Manchester trio LIINES have fast been gaining attention from the likes of John Kennedy, The Quietus and BBC Introducing throughout the year, and we’re loving their gritty, post-punk sounds.

As the pummelling beats and raw vocals of tracks ‘Disappear’ and ‘Blackout’ blast into the ears with all the brooding, impassioned energy you could ever desire, we’re desperate to hear more from LIINES and wait with excitement for what they have in store for us in 2018.

We’re also extremely excited to announce that LIINES will be headlining for us at The Finsbury on 9th February with Bugeye, Suggested Friends and Duck. See you there! (ML)

Introducing Interview: Madonnatron

Having recently supported PINS on tour, and received acclaim for their eponymous debut album from the likes of Mojo and Q Magazine, London collective Madonnatron would seem to have had a pretty successful 2017.

We’ve been in love with them since their hypnotic power left us completely spellbound at The Finsbury in March, and so we thought it was about time we caught up with the band to talk about their debut album, negative female stereotypes, sequins and Tina Turner’s crotch…

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about Madonnatron?
We are four comrades engrossed in a mutual compulsion to make music. Importantly, music that communicates something of our shared experience and observations about our lives so far – things that amuse us, enrage us, frighten us, excite us – and our intentions. We are all people who understand what it feels like to be an outsider, and we are all people who champion this position. We share a certain wickedness, and that in itself is something of an impetus. We are all state educated. We have a collective passion for lamé and sequins.

How did you initially all get together and start playing music?
It was a random fermentation of fortune… Melary (our former front person) suggested we form a band, but (like some unsuspecting lab technician) left Beth, Stef and Charlie in a rehearsal space alone on one too many occasions. We grew our sound like rampant bacteria having an orgy in a sonic petri dish. We threw Joanie (a friend and former flatmate) into the mix after Mel quit the band. Like the rest of us, she couldn’t play either so there was an assuring equilibrium of discordant chaos.

Your eponymous debut album is pretty spectacular and seems to have been a great success, receiving praise from the likes of Mojo and Q Magazine, which is awesome! How has the experience of releasing an album been for you? What would you say has been the main thing you’ve learnt from the experience?
We have been unquestionably amazed and delighted with the response that the record has received… I think that we are all largely still in shock. It was a difficult record to make for so many reasons – we had limitations because we were technically inept and had to learn how to play the sounds we wanted to hear on the job, which was long. We all worked full time, one of us was pregnant and had a baby two weeks after the final recording, and we had to re-group at very short notice when our singer left. We made the record out of sheer audacity really, and fully expected to be slated from on high. The process of being in the band had been like a slow burning humiliation on so many occasions that we no longer cared what anybody thought about it. We were just thrilled that Trashmouth Records (who produced us) had given us the challenge. Essentially, we have learned that action is required if you want to make anything happen, and that you can really communicate something if you refuse to conform to expectation.

And are there any ongoing themes running throughout the album?
It appears that there are, but we hadn’t really acknowledged that ourselves until others commented on it. Various people have noted that most (if not all) of the songs are based around negative female stereotypes and wondered whether this was a theme. It wasn’t, but there is a lot of raging machismo in the music world – we are merely raising a petite finger and inserting it into the darkened caverns of these territories, and wiggling it around a bit while we’re in there daaahrling.

Who would you consider to be your main musical influences?
Collectively our main influences are probably: Can, Joy Division, Iggy & The Stooges, The Velvet Underground, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, Rod Stewart, The Pointer Sisters, Drone and Raga music.

We were blown away by your fantastic live show when you played for us at The Finsbury a while back, and since then you don’t seem to have stopped – playing with bands such as PINS and Future Of The Left, amongst others. Has one particularly live show stood out as a highlight for you so far?
The recent Fluffer Pit Party supporting The Black Lips, alongside Future of The Left, and Warmduscher without a doubt! It was fucking wicked. The bands were all immense and the 360 degrees stage was dynamically such a buzz – the audience are more involved, it felt like being in the fucking Thunderdome, we thought Tina Turner might ride out on a pig and demand that we sign her crotch.

We’re loving the video for ‘Cat Lady’ – can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind it?
Well the song itself is examining the concept of the “cat lady”, described by Wikipedia as: “A cat lady is a cultural archetype or a stock character, often depicted as a single woman, a middle-aged or elderly spinster, who owns many pet cats. The term can be considered pejorative, though it is sometimes embraced.”

We wrote the song to explore the idea that these ladies are not necessarily lonely and/or victims of their own madness, but instead have private knowledge and secrets that they have no wish to impart. They reject society because they are of a superior habit. In this case, the cat lady is a killer who has stuffed some men in order to enjoy their company. Perhaps they were simply too irritating in their previous incarnation? She lives alone and is captured by her inward fantasies of being a cat goddess / table dancer. And why not? With the help of the notorious Lou Smith, we all had a perfectly marvellous time prancing around in cat costumes and doing pelvic thrusts under the disco lights at the Windmill Brixton, where the dance shots were filmed. Roald Dahl’s most excellent story ‘The Landlady’ also had a significant contribution.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Sex Cells are just amazing. We invited them to play at our album launch and were blown away. We love the dynamic between them on stage.

Melt Dunes create a psyche sonic experience that is cathedral sized whilst being low down and dirty. We’ve played on the same bill a couple of times and there are moments when it feels like you can’t believe that these sounds are actually happening in front of you. It’s immense.

ARXX were were the other support band when we did the show with PINS in Brighton recently. There are only two of them (Hannah on guitar & Clara on drums), but they sound like a full band and have excellent vocals. These women know how to rock!

No Friendz. Their frontman Angus Steakhouse is such a talented musician, as well as being an amazing performer on stage. We just released a split 7” single with them on Trashmouth Records and will play with them at the Trashmouth Christmas Party at the Windmill in December.

And, as we near the end of the year, what’s on the horizon for Madonnatron in 2018?
We are currently in the process of recording our second record with Liam and Luke at Trashmouth Records. They are really good at what they do, and are completely about the music. We are also gearing up for a UK headline tour in Spring of 2018 and hope to leave our audial residue in music venues across the land. Irrespective of this, it is fairly safe to say that we have quite frankly, no idea what the future holds for the Tron… a ban from the Vatican most likely.

Madonnatron, the eponymous debut album, is out now via Trashmouth Records.

 

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

Interview: PINS

Manchester five-piece PINS have been on my radar since 2015 when I caught them at Brighton’s Great Escape Festival. I remember being dazzled by their devious basslines, cool lyrics, and the way they easily commanded the attention of the crowd. Two years later, they’re still pros at all three; and their headline show at The Garage looked and sounded every inch as good as I remembered them to be.

I had a quick chat with Faith, Lois, Kyoko, Sophie & Anna backstage before their show, where we discussed touring with The Breeders, the anti-austerity march they recently participated in, and whether or not it’s acceptable to interrupt Queens of the Stone Ages’s Josh Homme when he’s backstage at a buffet…

 

Hello PINS! You’ve gone straight in to a UK headline tour off the back of supporting The Breeders on their European tour. That must’ve been something special? Was it as cool as it sounds?

Lois: It was as cool as it sounds. They’re a band I’ve listened to for years and years, so I feel like I’m still processing it. We played a few dates in Europe and the UK, so it’s like we’ve been on a holiday with The Breeders.

Sophie: It’s one of the nicest tours we’ve ever been on. Everything was really easy and the band and the crew were really nice.

Before that, you spent the summer touring and you also played the main stage at Reading on the Sunday. What was that like?

Anna: We played Reading & Leeds and it was really sunny and it was so much fun.

Kyoko: We made sure we stayed for the whole festival too, mainly because we really wanted to see Liam Gallagher…

Who else did you manage to catch?

Sophie: Giggs. He had a massive rottweiller back stage and a massive entourage too. I was expecting loads of people to be on stage with him, but it was just him and a DJ (laughs)

Lois: I saw a really good Australian band…

Tired Lion?

Lois: Yes!

I caught them too. They were great.

Faith: We missed Queens of the Stone Age because they performed a secret set. Our husbands and boyfriends went to see them, and missed some of our set because they were on.

Lois: We did see them backstage though.

Kyoko: Only from a distance. Josh Homme was at the buffet, so we just saw his back, and his general size. He is enormous.

Lois: We were like, “can we interrupt him? No, he’s getting his food…”

Another time maybe?

Last time we spoke you were headlining London’s Moth Club. During the show, you called the girls in the crowd to the front for ‘Girls Like Us’ for a stage invasion. Have you been to gigs as fans and taken part in something similar?

Lois: I have done at some point. Actually, I did about a thousand stage dives when I went to see The Oh Sees at SXSW.

Faith: I haven’t done it since I was a teenager. When I was about 17 I went to see The Melvins and everyone got on stage then.

Kyoko: I’ve crowd-surfed with the attempt to get on stages, but never actually got on them. I always get dragged away.

Sounds like you have good intentions, but security always thwarts them. It is hard to get on stage nowadays actually.

Other bands like Dream Wife and Dream Nails tend to call female fans to the front as a show of solidarity in the face of sexual assault at gigs. I was wondering if this was one of the reasons why you also encourage girls to come forward?

Kyoko: Although sexual assault at gigs is a really important issue, I don’t think that was our main reason. It’s kind of just to highlight the fact that as a fan “you’re here, make yourself known and enjoy yourself!”

Lois: Kind of a safe space.

Kyoko: Exactly.

Faith: For me, I find that there’s always a line of photographers at the front and behind them are a line of men who really stand their ground and prevent other people from coming to the front. Not just girls, everyone who wants to dance and have a good time. I don’t know why they put up such a weird barrier, but it seems to happen at every show I go to and at every show I play. So it’s just a way of breaking that down and asking them to make room for other people to come to the front and have a good time.

Sophie: It does affect the room too. Those two lines of people are standing and watching, and they might be having a great time, but you can’t tell. The minute that it breaks up the whole atmosphere changes.

Faith: Do you know what, sometimes it doesn’t actually create a safe space because when it kicks off and people start pushing each other, you feel responsible for people who fall down.

Sophie: We played a show in Brighton that was really rammed and some people were getting crushed against the barrier, and Faith was like “are you alright? Do you need to come over the barrier?” and they were like “no, we’re good!”

Your fans are such troopers. You’ve had some great female talent supporting you on previous tours and on this tour, including Sink Ya Teeth, Yassassin & Madonnatron. What is it that you like about these bands? 

Lois: The music… (laughs)

I guess that was an obvious answer to an obvious question.

Faith: With Madonnatron I literally just heard their song on the radio on 6 Music. I wasn’t sure what stage they were at as a band or where they were playing, so I thought what’s the harm in asking them to play with us?  Kyoko and I met Maria from Sink Ya Teeth last time we played in Norwich, and I think they put themselves forward to play with us on this tour, because we didn’t know they were playing. There have been a few bands who have opened for us who we didn’t know were on the line up, otherwise we would’ve put them on our posters! I take no responsibility for that though…

You’re in the clear.

Your video for latest single ‘Serve The Rich’ was filmed at the anti-conservative March in Manchester at the beginning of October. What kind of reaction did you receive from fellow activists as you were shooting the footage? 

Kyoko: It wasn’t like other people on the march were like “Oh Hey! You’re PINS!”, but we had painted signs with lyrics on – “save the kids” and “I’m only here to serve the rich” – and some photographers took a real interest in that.

Faith: They put us in the news…

Lois: It was the quality of the sign that got us the attention (laughs)

Sophie: Our housemate, who’s a graphic designer, painted the signs for us, so they were honestly exceptionally well made.

Lois: The whole march was really positive. Everybody was doing their own thing and they were there for their own reasons, which was really nice. It was good to see that other people share the same frustrations as you, and then to feel supported by them too. Half way along the march there was a band on the street playing to keep the people going as well.

Faith: It was really fun actually. Everyone was really happy and positive.

Sophie: Yeah, nothing felt shady or like anything was going to kick off. There were two marches going on at the same time that day, the anti-austerity march and the anti-brexit march, and despite the two marches not meeting there were so many people walking in both of them.

Faith: The police were on our side too.

It sounds like it was a great thing to be a part of.

So, Christmas is fast approaching… any plans for another festive single?

Sophie: We’re playing some shows in December with The Cribs, so that’s how we’re going to celebrate Christmas.

Faith: We probably won’t play our Christmas songs though. We’ve got two now, we can’t do another…

Lois: I suppose we could do one a year until we’ve got about 25 of them?

Then you could release a compilation album: PINS Best of Christmas…

Finally, what does 2018 hold for PINS?

Lois: (whispers) Everything…

Sophie: A new album hopefully.

Faith: And new outfits.

AnnaSo many possibilities…

 

Huge thanks to Anna, Faith, Lois, Sophie & Kyoko for answering my questions. Follow PINS on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Kelly Chard

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut