PLAYLIST: March 2021

It’s been another long month of lockdown here in the UK, but the end is in sight with lighter evenings and the chance to see more than one friend in public on the horizon. The GIHE team have unearthed some more new music gems for you to listen to on our March Playlist. It’s an eclectic mix of indie anthems, alt-pop gems, intriguing electronics and raucous guitar tunes. 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.

Grandmas House – ‘Small Talk’
This thumping new track from Bristol-based punk trio and GIHE faves Grandmas House speaks for itself. ‘Small Talk’ explores the times when you’ve had to unwillingly engage in idle conversations with strangers at the bar, when all you want to do is sit and have a pint with your friends. (Kate Crudgington)

ARXX – ‘Deep’
The new single from GIHE faves ARXX, ‘Deep’ offers an empowering ode to leaving behind all your anxieties and getting what you want. Propelled by a sweeping, impassioned energy, it interweaves an electro-infused, glitchy sound with the duo’s signature ferocious drive, instantly hitting you with its raw, anthemic rush and gritty, sensual prowess. A swirling slice of rousing power-pop. (Mari Lane)

CLAMM – ‘Liar’
Melbourne punk trio CLAMM are gearing up to release their debut album Beseech Me on 9th April, and single ‘Liar’ is a crash course in what to expect. “The song is about mental health,” the band explain. “It’s about wanting to break through a pattern of thinking that isn’t necessarily positive. It’s about dealing with an internal monologue that isn’t always telling the truth.” Through their thrashing guitars and relentless percussion, the band beat back their doubts on this raucous offering. (KC)

Gender Chores – ‘Night In The Woods’
A slice of fast-paced punk-pop, and inspired by a video game of the same name, ‘Night In The Woods’ reflects on slum landlords and the high costs of living in the city. As the Belfast band ooze a swirling, playful energy, the track builds to an immense whirring cacophony. A raging punk anthem, truly of our times; despite being coated in a buoyant, quirky charm, it’s no less powerful in its explicit enraged message. (ML)

CYNICS – ‘Idiots’
This high energy single from London-based four-piece CYNICS is lifted from their recent EP, restless in comfort. The band will be releasing a second EP in April, so keep your eyes peeled for that. (KC)

Du Blonde and Ezra Furman – ‘I’m Glad That We Broke Up’
Du Blonde joins forces with Ezra Furman on latest track ‘I’m Glad That We Broke Up’ which is an absolute tune released ahead of Du Blonde’s upcoming LP Homecoming, due on 2nd April. “It’s our take on a 60s girl group/glam rock explosion,” Du Blonde explains. “I feel like Ezra and I have been travelling towards a duet for years and we finally got our shit together.” (Tash Walker)

deep tan – ‘camelot’
Taken from their upcoming debut EP, deep tan’s ‘camelot’ is propelled by the majestic whirr of sparse hooks and throbbing beats, building with a quirky hypnotic splendour and fizzing tension. As swooning vocals glide across the angular soundscape, it creates another truly captivating sonic delight from the post-punk trio, leaving you longing for more of their exquisite stirring allure. (ML)

People Club – ‘Take Me Home’
The title track from their upcoming EP which is set for release on 7th May, this single from Berlin-based indie outfit People Club is about the realisation of mortality in old age. It’s an upbeat offering, but it explores the cynicism that often plights the elderly after losing their loved ones and being left alone with their regrets. (KC)

ĠENN – ‘Mackerel’s Funky Mission’
Taken from their upcoming EP Liminal, ‘Mackerel’s Funky Mission’ is the latest single from Brighton-based ĠENN. Propelled by a quirky, playful energy and eccentric, colourful charisma reminiscent of the likes of The Orielles, it races with scuzzy hooks alongside the raw, gritty vocals of front woman Leona. Building to a fuzz-filled, psych-infused cacophony, it showcases all there is to love about ĠENN – a band set on continually developing their compelling sound and enrapturing our ears with their unique fantastical spirit. Liminal, the new EP from ĠENN, is out tomorrow 30th March via Everything Sucks Music. (ML)

45ACIDBABIES – ‘Mommy’s Favourite 1’
Following the success of last year’s ‘3 (Walk With Me)’, ‘Mommy’s Favourite 1’ is the latest single from Dutch band 45 ACIDBABIES. Propelled by a vibrant, playful energy, it races with swirling layers of sound creating an instantly infectious, danceable cacophony. As scuzzy, electro-driven hooks race alongside the soaring sultry power of Sophia De Geus’ vocals, a psychedelic haze ripples, creating an uplifting sonic fusion. (ML)

Boudicca’s Bass Service – ‘Egypt’s Over There’
This is the latest single from Somerset based 19-year-old Georgina Cotteril aka Boudicca’s Bass Service. I love her laid back vocals, trippy synths and the feel-good vibes of this track. Speaking about ‘Egypt’s Over There’, Georgina explains: “This song is about realising you’re doing fine, all things considered…this song brings with it the new growth of spring and provides a resting spot, a much needed escape, amongst the craziness of your mind – and the current world in which we live in.” (KC)

Notelle – ‘Doctor Sign’
Nashville-based, nightmare-pop artist Notelle’s latest single ‘Doctor Sign’ was heavily influenced by the intense, shadowy sounds of Nine Inch Nails. Writing the track was a form of emotional exorcism for Notelle, who gave herself permission to “lean into some unattractive emotions” on this new offering. (KC)

Debby Friday – ‘Runnin’
Vancouver-based audio-visual artist Debby Friday blends intoxicating rap verses, trippy beats and snaking rhythms together on this eccentric anthem about self-expression. Full of commanding rhythms and jagged synths, ‘Runnin’ marks a new musical direction for Friday, moving away from her abrasive earlier work into more sultry, effervescent territory. Dripping with unfazed confidence, Friday’s synth-rap tune smoulders with autonomous vibes. Love, love, love it. (KC)

Loraine James – ‘Simple Stuff’
This is the first single from Loraine James’ new album Reflection, which is set for release on 4th June. ‘Simple Stuff’ is a minimal, cathartic plea for equality and acceptance as a black, queer woman. I love the criss-crossing drums and Loraine’s straightforward vocals on this track. (KC)

Mykki Blanco – ‘Free Ride’
The latest single from queer pioneer and musician/rapper extraordinaire Mykki Blanco, ‘Free Ride’ was written back in 2018 after Blanco had just ended their first long-term relationship. Co-produced by FaltyDL and Hudson Mohawke, it oozes a funk-fuelled uptempo musicality and glistening soulful refrains alongside Blanco’s trademark flowing lyricism. Appearing less brash and perhaps more sentimental in sound than some of their previous offerings, it loses none of their distinctive wit and poignant spirit. The video for “Free Ride” was directed by Hannah Rosselin, produced by DIVISION, watch it here. (ML)

Ci Majr – ‘Guillotine’
This is the latest track from Atlanta-based, emerging non-binary artist Ci Majr. Taken from their upcoming debut EP Side Effects, set for release on 16th April, ‘Guillotine’ is a shimmering pop anthem about cutting off your own ego in order to grow in a new relationship. (KC)

Sofia Kourtesis – ‘La Perla’
One of my absolute favourite songs at the moment! Inspired by the sea and her father (written when he was dying of leukemia), the result is a kaleidoscope of synths and deep house. Kourtesis describes the song as about feelings that can’t be captured with words – ‘La Perla’. (TW)

Gemma Cullingford – ‘Wide Boys’
Known as one half of GIHE faves Sink Ya Teeth, musician and songwriter Gemma Cullingford has now announced the release of her debut album this summer. Taken from the album, ‘Wide Boys’ reflects on the need for us to wake up and take back control from those in power. Driven by a racing energy and interweaving immense hooks, including a fiercely flowing flute solo, it’s an instantly catchy funk-fuelled call to arms for these desperate times. (ML)

Elsa Hewitt – ‘Inhaler’
This new single from London-based, experimental electronic producer & GIHE favourite Elsa Hewitt soothes my tired mind. It’s taken from her upcoming album LUPA, which is set for release via Cargo Records on 30th April. (KC)

Fears – ‘vines’
Another poignant meditation on some of her darkest hours, Dublin-born London-based musician Fears aka Constance Keane penned her latest single ‘vines’ before she experienced a breakdown. Through her tentative beats and soft vocals, Fears taps into her pain and offers listeners a chance empathise and heal alongside her. I’m excited to hear her debut album Oíche when it’s released on 7th May via her own label, TULLE. (KC)

Penelope Trappes – ‘Nervous’
A graceful, evocative soundscape that tentatively traverses the inner thoughts of an anxious woman, this single from Australian-born Brighton-based artist Penelope Trappes is taken from her new album, Penelope Three. Set to be released on 28th May via Houndstooth, the track ripples with a sense of mystery and disquiet, both of which are beautifully reflected in the accompanying video. (KC)

Beckie Margaret – ‘FF’ 
Inspired by the Bob Marley quote “I don’t have that type of richness. My richness is life, forever,” ‘FF’ is the latest single from Essex songwriter Beckie Margaret, released via Cool Thing Records. Her voice melts me every time I hear it, and this lush, atmospheric new offering is no exception. (KC)

Ailbhe Reddy ft. Sacred Animals – ‘City Unfolds’
Dublin alt-folk artist Ailbhe Reddy and producer Darragh Nolan aka Sacred Animals have teamed up for this atmospheric new offering ‘City Unfolds’. Lyrically based on Ailbhe’s own experience of being close to a panic attack in the back of a taxi on her way to play a festival in Barcelona, the pair blend tentative keys and atmospheric beats to work through this heightened state of emotion. (KC)

Shamir – ‘DsharpG’ (Sharon Van Etten cover)
Shamir’s cover of Van Etten’s ‘DsharpG’ is just beautiful and will appear on Epic Ten, a special 10th anniversary edition of Van Etten’s second album, Epic. (TW)

Flock Of Dimes – ‘Hard Way’
Taken from her second solo album Head Of Roses, ‘Hard Way’ is the latest single from Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner aka Flock Of Dimes. Reflecting on the power of the subconscious to hide truths from ourselves, it combines glitchy elements of modulated synths with a lilting musicality and the smooth, emotion-rich splendour of Wasner’s vocals, creating a truly exquisite enchanting soundscape. (ML)

Hanya – ‘Lydia’
Having previously captivated our ears playing for us live on more than one occasion, Brighton band Hanya have now shared a brand new single. Flowing with shimmering hooks and an effervescent, ethereal grace, ‘Lydia’ showcases the stirring emotion of Heather Sheret’s rich, glossy vocals alongside a swirling musicality, creating a beautifully dreamy slice of shoegaze-tinged indie; a soothing soundscape oozing a blissful tranquillity. (ML)

Thallo – ‘Mêl’
This is a lush offering from Welsh songwriter Thallo, sung in her native tongue. Of the track, she explains: “‘Mêl’ which is Welsh for ‘Honey’ is about fearing inevitable heartbreak, but only making a feeble attempt to avoid it and resist temptation.” Check out her latest single ‘The Water’ too. (KC)

Naz & Ella – ‘No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)’
Having just announced a new EP set for release this Spring, Naz & Ella have now shared a poignant new single. Reflecting on the all-too resonant theme of sexual harassment, ‘No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)’ oozes a gritty, grunge-infused aura alongside the duo’s traditional folk-inspired musicality. Tinged with an eerie majesty with shades of grunge pioneers Alice In Chains, it’s a beautifully stirring offering, exuding a subtle, stark power. Find out more in our recent interview with Naz & Ella. (ML)

Ayoni – ‘Unmoved (A Black Woman Truth)’
‘Unmoved (A Black Woman Truth)’ was released last year, but I only heard it for the first time recently. Described as her most vulnerable song to date, the song is about her journey and the struggles she’s endured as a Black woman growing up. In Ayoni’s words “This song is my every uttered whisper and prayer. It is every heartbreak, micro-aggression, breakdown in the bathroom, and every swallowed fit of rage. But most importantly it is every single moment I remembered the walking poems that are my Black sisters, the breathing reasons to continue fighting to forge a path forward. So here I remain unmovable and unmoved.” (TW)

Clever Girls – ‘Stonewall’
“I wrote ‘Stonewall’ about the distribution of emotional labour in relationships and what is often asked of us AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals based on our perceived gender identities,” explains Clever Girls’ front person Diane Jean. “It’s really my own anthem of rebellion – against my own perfectionism and against the constant inner monologue that tells me to adapt to others’ needs and expectations.” I love this track, which is taken from the band’s recent album, Constellations. (KC)

Johanna Samuels – ‘Single File’ (Elliott Smith Cover)
Iconic riot grrrl label Kill Rock Stars turns 30 this year! To celebrate, they’re releasing a string of cover singles under the title Stars Rock Kill (Rock Stars), where several artists from around the world will cover tracks from the label’s expansive back catalogue. This dreamy cover of Elliott Smith’s ‘Single File’ by Johanna Samuels is their latest celebratory offering, full of lush vocals and soft guitars. (KC)

Amy Ellen – ‘This Life’
Dublin-based indie musician Amy Ellen says ‘This Life’ is about “loosing someone who meant something to you, but also appreciating those who come into your life and stick around.” She embraces life’s bittersweet nature via her clear vocals and rich guitar sounds on this single. (KC)

Vox Rea – ‘Dufferin Ave.’
Always a sucker for some silky sax, this latest track ‘Dufferin Ave.’ from Vancouver-based Vox Rea delivers with an abundance of ambience. As we look to warmer and lighter evenings, I’m looking forward to listening to this song glisten out over those hazy nights. (TW)

Nadine – ‘Hair Up’
An aspiring singer & rapper from Sudan who’s currently based in Cairo, Egypt, Nadine wrote this R&B-tinged offering after she spent a week living in sweatpants during quarantine. It’s a chilled tune that celebrates feeling confident in your natural state. (KC)

Interview: Naz & Ella

Having been charming our ears for some time now with their beautifully poignant creations, and having been guests on the radio show back in 2019, alt-folk duo Naz & Ella have now announced a new EP set for release this Spring.

Taken from the new EP, latest single ‘No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)’ reflects on the all-too resonant theme of sexual harassment whilst oozing a gritty, grunge-infused aura alongside the duo’s traditional folk-inspired musicality. Tinged with an eerie majesty with shades of grunge pioneers Alice In Chains, it’s a beautifully stirring offering, exuding a subtle, stark power.

We spoke to Naz and Ella to find out more about the song, their songwriting and inspirations, and what plans they have for the rest of the year…

Hi Naz & Ella, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and what you do?
Hi Get In Her Ears! We are an alt-folk duo from north London and are currently in the process of releasing our second EP. Naz is the lead vocalist and Ella is lead guitarist, but we both sing and play guitar. Our music is sociopolitically focused and we’re currently transitioning from a more acoustic folky sound to something more post-punk and grunge influenced, whilst retaining some of the folk influence. Our sound is like The Cranberries meets Nirvana, with a dash of Simon & Garfunkel.

How did you both initially decide to start creating music together?
Naz: We met in our English class after our teacher made a new seating plan. We were 15 and I was starting a band and asked if Ella wanted to join – she said yes! We played together in a band for a few years but disbanded when everyone went off to uni, but Ella and I stayed in touch and continued making music as a duo. 

We love your gritty, folk-strewn sounds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
We are inspired by all types of music, from traditional English folk to metal, but some of our current influences which have inspired our upcoming EP include The Cranberries, Nirvana, PJ Harvey, The Raveonettes, Marika Hackman and Big Thief.

You’ve just released your poignant new single ‘No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)’. Dealing with themes of sexual harassment and gender-based violence, it seems especially resonant right now. Can you tell us a bit about what inspired you to focus on this theme? 
Naz: It is especially resonant at the moment which is interesting. We’re glad people are talking more about this stuff because these conversations need to be had and we really need to start working together to make the world safer for everyone. In terms of this song specifically, the violation of women’s bodies and that of marginalised genders at the hands of cis-men is so normalised within society that we tend to just brush it under the carpet. I wanted to write something that addressed this bluntly. As a queer woman, I’ve had countless experiences on nights out – and I didn’t even go out much before COVID – where straight men would harass me. Telling them I’ve got a girlfriend made it worse because queer women are both fetishised and seen as a fun challenge or game because we “just haven’t met the right guy yet”, apparently. That’s where the initial inspiration came from for the song.

The powerful sound of the track seems a slight step away from some of your other material –  was this heavier sound intended to fit with the track’s subject matter? 
We’ve been experimenting with our sound for a while now, veering towards a grittier and slightly heavier sound. It was particularly fitting to go with a dark grungy feel for this track as we wanted to convey the intensity of the atmosphere in those situations, whilst through the melody and lyrics we wanted to get across holding onto or taking your power back.

The track is taken from your upcoming EP (DE)HUMANISE – are similarly poignant themes running throughout the collection? 
Absolutely – we have more personal songs about identity and autonomy on the EP: ‘Exotica’, which is a song about the exotification of women of colour, ‘Internalised’ which we released in February about overcoming internalised queerphobia and ‘We Are The Enemy’ which highlights the hypocrisy of speciesism. One of the messages we intend to convey in this EP is that for anyone who feels dehumanised, that they don’t have to tolerate it or participate in their own dehumanisation to comply with social norms.

As you know, we’re extremely dedicated to and in support of creating safe spaces for women and gender non conforming people at gigs. What more do you think can be done to help ensure safe environments and prevent the all-too-common instances of sexual harassment at events? 
The main way to prevent this type of behaviour is education from a young age. We hate to say it as we’d like to think it’s obvious, but unfortunately there are many instances where people don’t realise that their behaviour is threatening or considered sexual harassment or assault. However, this does not absolve people from taking responsibility for their behaviour. Perpetrators of this behaviour are usually men and we need more men willing to call out this behaviour and explain why it’s not okay, especially if it’s one of their own friends. Once this is normalised, perhaps gigs and clubs will be safer.

How have you been connecting with your audience and other musicians during the pandemic?
The main way we’ve been connecting with our audience is through social media. We’re kinda shy when it comes to social media, but we started using Instagram a bit more and recently decided to make use of the ‘Close Stories’ function to connect with people who want to see what we get up to behind the scenes, that we wouldn’t usually share on our main stories – that’s been quite fun! We’ve also been attending online talks and networking with other musicians in chats and groups – it’s been reassuring to hear about other peoples’ experiences during this time and learn from each other.

And has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, throughout these strange times?
Naz: One thing that really inspires me is discovering a song that makes me feel – it’s hard to explain! I’ve discovered so many cool artists over the past year or so – mostly post-punk and goth rock – and that’s really motivated me to push myself creatively. Music documentaries have also inspired us to create music. 
Ella: Setting up our home studio last summer and figuring out how to use Logic was a huge motivator as we had never recorded ourselves before and we really learnt a lot, and it helped having more spare time to do so. I also read a lot of music books, most recently ‘Revenge Of The She Punks by Vivien Goldman and Carrie Brownstein’s autobiography, which really motivates me.

As we’re a new music-focused site, are there any other upcoming artists that you’d recommend we check out?
Naz: So many! Los Angeles-based band Aurat who are darkwave/goth-influenced and sing in Urdu, grunge/pop-punk band Pinkshift from Baltimore, grunge band Passionless Pointless from Berlin and UK-based post-punk band Ghum.
Ella: We created a playlist which we update regularly with new artists we’ve discovered! Some recent additions include Belfast-based politically-minded rock band New Pagans, Leicester “sad punks” Kermes, London Dreamy grunge-pop Gold Baby, and Faultress whose music includes lots of layered harmonies and intricate sounds.

Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for Naz & Ella?
Our EP (DE)HUMANISE is out on 7th May which we’re looking forward to! And we’re hoping to do a few gigs, so we can share the songs in real life. We have one gig booked so far this year which was rescheduled from last year for Colchester Pride on 28th August! A lot of our time is actually going to be spent rehearsing as our setup has totally changed – we have so much to learn with pedals and samples which is both a bit daunting, and also very exciting…

Massive thanks to Naz and Ella for answering our questions!

(DE)HUMANISE, the upcoming EP from Naz & Ella, is out 7th May.

Photo Credit: Poppy Marriott

LISTEN: Naz & Ella – ‘Internalised’

A gentle, sincere lament about the personal affects of internalised homophobia, North London-based duo Naz & Ella have shared their latest single ‘Internalised’. The first track to be taken from their upcoming EP (DE)HUMANISE, the track is a quiet yet candid exploration of the struggles the duo have faced whilst coming to terms with their sexuality and gender identities.

“It was important to us that this song conveyed an emotional journey with a light at the end of the tunnel,” explains Ella. Though the context of ‘Internalised’ is rooted in pain and confusion, the duo treat it tenderly with their blend of dreamy guitars and lush vocal harmonies. Together, they overcome the fears that have manifested after “too many years of hiding in the shade / wrapped in shame” to find peace and pride in their identities. “For the first time in my life / I’m proud to call you mine” the pair sing, providing hope for queer listeners who may still be on their journey to self acceptance.

“Internalised homophobia is a very isolating experience,” Naz explains. “Not only are you hurting yourself, but also those around you whether intentional or not. Whilst we think it’s important to take responsibility for your actions, we wanted to call out how growing up in a cisheteronormative world teaches queer people that there’s something wrong with us. Ultimately, only we can set ourselves free if we’re willing to unlearn that socialisation and push through the pain.” The duo have also explored the experiences they touch on in ‘Internalised’ further in a new podcast which you can listen to here.

Listen to the track below.

Follow Naz & Ella on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Naz & Ella – ‘Freedom’

Inspired by the experience of Rahaf Mohammed – a young Saudi Arabian woman who fled an abusive family and oppressive regime with the hope of making it to Australia – Naz & Ella have shared their latest single. ‘Freedom’. Through tentative guitar picking and a clear lyrical narrative, the duo have created an understated, empowering tune.

“Freedom is a luxury” sing Naz & Ella, something that Rahaf Mohammed must know only too well. After fleeing her Saudi home, she was stopped in Thailand and almost deported back (where she would likely be incarcerated), before she was eventually granted asylum in Canada. Naz & Ella use their music to tell Rahaf’s inspirational story, communicating her feelings of desperation and relief along the way.

Listen to ‘Freedom’ below, and follow Naz & Ella on bandcamp and visit their website for more updates.

The duo have also recorded a podcast to accompany the single, which you can listen to here:

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut