EP: Maria Kelly – ‘Notes To Self’

Notes to Self is the new EP from Maria Kelly, an Irish alt–folk artist now based in Berlin. It features four songs dealing with themes of holding on, hiding behind, letting go and how we must do all three in order to move on. All were inspired by a diary Maria kept documenting her feelings on relocating to a new country.

Opener, ‘Prelude’, sets the mood with Maria’s soft, melodic vocals, acoustic guitar and a lovely production which blends delicate synth sounds, enhancing the song and opening it up. It sums up the feelings of holding onto memories, as the song builds up and ends on the words “replay it”. ‘june’ is an intimate communication poignantly capturing feelings of restlessness – “does the city feel this crowded to you?” 

‘july’ is confessional, conveying the idea that we are ultimately in control of how we feel, and must take responsibility for what we choose to dwell on. Building to a lovely lyrical chorus – “… don’t fight it, hold on tight” – the pace and pitch of the music and voice blend perfectly into the powerful emotional ending. 


Closing track, ‘a
ugust’, is my favourite, showing Maria coming out the other side, and taking a new direction. More uptempo than the previous songs (“the taste of something new, something I can hold on to, something that isn’t you”), the electric guitar brings it to life juxtaposed with Maria’s gracefully soaring and cooing vocals; the sound of falling in love.

I don’t want a lot for Christmas, but I do want this EP. Overall, the production is superb, never interfering with the delicate beauty of Maria’s song craft. If ever you have felt isolated and vulnerable, these songs capture the mood beautifully, bringing you heartwarming introspection and the feeling that everything will be all right in the end.

notes to self is out on 7th December 2018 via Veta Records.

Fi Ni Aicead
@gotnomoniker

LIVE (Photos): Liverpool Sound City 2018

If you weren’t out on a beach/in a pub garden trying to catch as many rays as possible in the untimely good weather last weekend, you may have been enjoying some of the best new music live at Liverpool Sound City.

Our Jon Mo certainly was, and was able to capture some of our favourites on camera.

The lush, folk-inspired beauty of Irish artist Maria Kelly.

GIHE faves HAWK with their poignant, shimmering creations.

The always wonderful, riotous energy of Queen Zee.

The atmospheric power of Sheffield band Bang Bang Romeo.

The catchy, energy-fuelled rock of GIHE faves Berries.

The jangly indie-pop of Peaness.

Stealing Sheep celebrated the centenary of suffrage with a surreal performance art piece inspired by the movement.

 

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

 

Julie Hawk’s Top Ten Female Artists @ Liverpool Sound City

With Liverpool Sound City coming up this weekend, we spoke to Julie from GIHE favourites HAWK about her top ten picks of female bands and artists to catch at the festival.

HAWK will be playing at Liverpool Sound City on Saturday 5th May at Birdies Bar for The Local.

Read about Julie’s picks here (including some of our own faves!), and have a listen to the playlist in preparation for the weekend!

Average Sex – Ugly Strangers
I can’t think of a better time of year to discover this band. Hazy summer slacker vibes
summing up my lowest-common-denominator feelings with sweet guitar refrains and
refreshingly blunt lyrics.

Peaness – Same Place
Super hooky with really satisfying vocal harmonies throughout. I am dancing in the mirror in
the ’90s all over again.

The Orielles – Sugar Tastes Like Salt
I have been wanting to see this band for ages, mostly because Mari from GIHE always has
such good things to say about them! Sugary guitar sounds cut through dissonant hooks and
dripping attitude. Roll on LSC!

Wye Oak – Civilian
Okay, I know Wye Oak has released plenty of stunning music since ‘Civilian’ but this song
gives me such intense nostalgia for my early days in London trying to find some foothold in
music. I love how it constantly rumbles forward from a place of reflection to one of intense
movement and presence.

Maria Kelly – Small Talk
My friend and label-buddy. This woman’s voice has a special place in my soul.

Amaroun – Made a Fire
This is just wonderfully dreamy, infectious alt-pop. But there’s nothing throw-away about it – the depth and tone of her voice takes her music from catchy to deeply resonant.

Super Organism – Everybody Wants to be Famous
When I first heard this song, I decided immediately that it would probably be the soundtrack
to my summer. That was back in January, so we’re nearly there.

Berries – Faults
I saw these guys last summer at Head for the Hills and was totally floored. Since then, their music has been there for me when I need to not give a fuck. Thanks Berries!

Rews – Shine
This band are an absolute power-house and deserve all the attention they’re getting right
now. I’m told they must be seen live to be believed, so they are top of my LSC bucket list!

Gaffatape Sandy – Beehive
Probably my favourite new discovery from the LSC line-up! Energetic garage punk with
interweaving lead vocals. For nights when pre-drinks turns into a perfectly messy house
party.

PLAYLIST: April 2018

Another month, another brand new playlist brimming with fresh music! We’ve been (gladly) overwhelmed by the amount of brilliant new sounds bursting in to our ears this April, and we wanted to share our favourites with you here. Whether you’re in to the idustrial/electronic beats of Zola Jesus, the anti-fascist punk glory of Dream Nails, or if you’re breaking in to “mumble rap” with Tierra Whack…there’s something here for your listening pleasure. Scroll down to the playlist below & enjoy! 

 

Zola Jesus – ‘Bound’ 
Artist & Producer Zola Jesus has shared an eclectic set of new tracks & remixes on Okovi: Additions, and ‘Bound’ is one of many sonic treats on this project. This release follows her 2017 critically acclaimed album Okovi (via Sacred Bones Records), and features remixes by a diverse cast of artists including; Johnny Jewel, Katie Gately, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Joanne Pollock. I’ve had this track on repeat since I first heard it in March, and I’m happy to stay ‘Bound’ by Zola Jesus’ sounds. Read our review of the album here(Kate Crudgington)

Wendy Rae Fowler – ‘Svengali’ 
Having previously worked alongside the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Mark Lanegan and UNKLE, American artist Wendy Rae Fowler has now released her new solo album, Warped. Taken from the album is the utterly bewitching ‘Svengali’. Filled with sweeping layers of sound and the cinematic grace of Wendy’s vocals, it’s a truly captivating creation. Read our review of Warped here(Mari Lane)

Rhye – ‘Please’
I was lucky enough to get tickets to see Rhye perform in London this week, back in our ears after a four year hiatus.  What a treat. When they played this track I felt like I was melting into Heaven’s floor (apt), so incredibly gentle, sensual and intimate. I can never get enough of the gender-fluid vocals of Mike Milosh, now more so than ever. (Tash Walker)

Girls Names – ’25’
Taken from their upcoming new album, Belfast’s Girls Names’ new single ’25’ is a brooding, shoegaze-reminiscent sonic delight. Filled with sweeping, reverb strewn layers of synth-heavy sound and the dark, swooning vocals of Cathal Cully, it oozes a twinkling, ethereal haze alongside eerie undertones. An intensely captivating offering, it’ll have you hooked on first listen, and desperate to hear the album in full. Stains On Silence, the new album, is out 15th June. (ML)

Henry Green – ‘Another Light’ 
I recently reviewed Henry Green’s debut album Shift, and I felt like every track was a helpful reminder to inhale, exhale, and try to exist in the moment. His gentle electronics and intuitive lyrics have helped me to slow down (whilst still moving at full speed) this month, and I’d recommend him to anyone that needs a ‘Shift’ in perspective. (KC)

Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Magnets’
Keziah Stillwell’s vocals blaze in full glory on the mesmerising ‘Magnets’, which is a swirling fusion of bass, guitar & electronics that prove Black Gold Buffalo have a knack for writing atmospheric dark-pop songs. Their debut album is released today via their own label Buff Rekkids, and we’ve been swooning over it ever since. Read our review here(KC)

Lamb – ‘Gabriel’
I was recently reminded of Lamb after we put together our alternative Best of British playlist this week. Gabriel is a solid blast from my past taken from their album What Sound released back in 2001, which was my soundtrack of that summer.  Listening to Rhodes’ distinctive and emotive vocals wavering over the top of a medley of string samples and gentle beats, this song marks the beginning of my love for electronic music. 15 going on 16 and very sexually confused. All the feelings, all the emotions and all the hormones in the world. (TW)

Maria Kelly – ‘Small Talk’
Filled with smooth, celestial vocals and folk-tinged melodies, Irish artist Maria Kelly’s ‘Small Talk’ is a majestic, emotion-strewn offering. Written during a storm blackout in her hometown, the song parallels the nature of a storm with her own feelings of social anxiety. Double A-side ‘Small Talk’/’Dark Places’ is out 27th April via Veta Records. (ML)

Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’
Since I saw her live at The Islington pub a few months ago, Fenne Lily’s sad but sublime music has played on my mind (as has her sharp wit and dry sense of humour). ‘On Hold’ is the title-track from her debut album (released today), and it makes my spirits sink and soar whenever I listen to it. The accompanying video is a charming ode to small acts of kindness too. (KC)

Courtney Barnett – ‘Never Tear Us Apart (Rehearsal Room Recording)’
A beautiful stripped back cover of INXS’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by Courtney Barnett. I love this simple recording of her performance, finding myself completely entranced by our Aussie fav. This song was released for an Apple commercial in support of marriage equality – here here. (TW)

Sit Down – ‘Honeysucker’
Oh. My. Word. There’s no force on earth that could make you sit still or indeed Sit Down to the sound of this Brighton duo (pictured above). The pair released their knockout debut EP Cheap Luxe at the end of March, and ‘Honeysucker’ is my go-to track. Filthy, furious, and sweet as hell. Read the full review here(KC)

Queen Zee – ‘Victim Age’
It was Transgender Day of Visibility on 31st of March (thanks to Tash for informing me), so it feels apt to support Queen Zee and all that she and her band mates stand for. They’ve been taking down trolls and tearing up stages across the country with their live shows, and I can’t wait to see them again at their sold out Sebright Arms show on April 26th. Long live Queen Zee! (KC)

Dream Nails – ‘Vagina Police’
“Your body is not your own, you are public property…” Dream Nails front-woman Janey rages in the refrain of our favourite Feminist Punk Witches’ ‘Vagina Police’. Oozing the poignant message that women are not allowed to have control over their own bodies, it races with the band’s trademark punk-fuelled energy and the riotous power of Janey’s seething, impassioned vocals. Another formidable offering that proves once again why we need Dream Nails in our lives, and makes us even more excited to see them live at The Finsbury for GIHE on 13th April! (ML)

Tierra Whack – ‘Mumbo Jumbo’
A twisted reflection of mumble rap and hip-hop, I cannot get this song out of my head and I especially love the ambiguity around what she’s saying, making it so much easier for me to join in.  Quietly. Mumbo Jumbo came out last year but I was recently introduced to her in the wake of her outstanding performance at SXSW. Soooo godamnnnn gooood. Need I say more? (TW)

BARQ – ‘Sassy Mouth’ 
One half of their new double A-side, Dublin band BARQ’s ‘Sassy Mouth’ is inspired by the courage and resilience of Ireland’s Repeal The 8th movement and the perils of online debate. Oozing the soaring power of front-woman Jess Kav’s soulful vocals alongside immense funk-fuelled beats, it’s a powerful, and empowering, call to arms. (ML)