Track Of The Day: French For Rabbits – ‘The Outsider’

In a luscious third single, New Zealand’s ethereal dream-pop outfit French For Rabbits share ‘The Outsider’, a haunting track stirring in anticipation of the band’s upcoming record, set for release next month. 

Delving further into the delicate world French For Rabbits have created with their poignant album title track ‘The Overflow’, ‘The Outsider’ is a shimmering slice of folk-strewn indie. As Brooke Singer’s impassioned vocals greet the ears with an immersive hushed splendour, she sings her truth in a way that feels like a raw secret. 

Whilst heavenly keys and synths coat the track’s bed, space is created for Singer’s gentle nuancing through inner turmoil – “If I could let go, would I fit in? Would I be what they want without all my inhibitions?”. Singer ponders solitude’s comfort and her struggles in a social setting as she reveals “pushing myself, but I’m faking”. As anxious feelings ruminate, minimal percussion trails across the soundscape of ‘The Outsider’ and pulls the track’s dreamy mix forward with motivation. 

Finally, in a captivating sonic eruption, the track breaks in catharsis as instruments evolve and ‘The Outsider’ comes to a grand finale. French For Rabbits have hosted a multidimensional take about being the ghost in the room wrapped in the sounds of indie, folk and even a hint of emo. Developing such a blissful soundscape in ‘The Outsider’, French For Rabbits have set the stage for The Overflow to be a truly calming escape.


The Overflow, the upcoming album from French For Rabbits, is set for release on 12th November via Reckless Yes (UK) and AAA Records (Australia/New Zealand).

Jill Goyeau
@jillybxxn

Photo Credit: Lily Paris West

Track Of The Day: Death Valley Girls – ‘It’s All Really Kind Of Amazing’

Following scuzzy recent single ‘Sanitarium Blues’ and the re-release of their immense album Street Venom, LA ‘dystopian punk’ band (and GIHE faves) Death Valley Girls return with a surprisingly uplifting treat for our ears.

Stand alone single ‘It’s All Really Kind Of Amazing‘ offers a swift glimpse of positivity as twinkling, psychedelic keys chime alongside the gritty twang of guitar. As the raw, impassioned splendour of Bonnie Bloomgarden’s vocals soars throughout, it seems to be slightly less doom-laden in tone than previous offerings, but is no less stirring. Oozing a shimmering, trippy allure and swirling, vibrant energy reminiscent of The Kinks’ ‘Sunny Afternoon’, ‘It’s All Really Kind Of Amazing’ immerses the listener in its glistening euphoric haze, reminding us to relish those rare moments of beauty that can keep us going through challenging times. A truly majestic sonic escape from the frequent struggles of reality; a mystically captivating retreat for the ears and mind.

Of the track, Bloomgarden explains:

Being in a body, experiencing reality as a human, is endlessly challenging. There’s so much darkness, suffering, sorrow, and division, it’s hard to get past. Sometimes, and often for too long, I just stay in the darkness, forgetting there’s anything else. And then sometimes, my guides remind me to look around, sometimes, just look around, at this Earth, at its infinite beauty and intricacy, and simplicity, and sometimes I can feel it, that it’s all really kind of amazing.” 

‘It’s All Really Kind Of Amazing’ is accompanied by a beautifully hallucinogenic video, created by Bradley Hale. Have a watch now:

‘It’s All Really Kind Of Amazing’ is out now via Suicide Squeeze.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: The Little Ghost/Kelsey Hart

FIRST LISTEN: CRISP&CLASSY – ‘XTRA CRISPY’

Feminist LGBTQIA+ electro-pop duo CRISP&CLASSY (aka producer Kat Knix and singer-songwriter Plushy) pride themselves on bringing sexual liberation and self-acceptance to the UK pop scene. Now, having captured our attention earlier this year with vibrant singles, ‘Basic’ and ‘Boom Bay’, and with acclaim from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson, they’re excited to be releasing their debut album, XTRA CRISPY.

Fusing together an eclectic palette of genres to create something wonderfully uplifting, the collection interweaves funk-fuelled Raggeton beats and synth-driven soundscapes, as sensuous vocals offer an empowering lyricism. So, put on XTRA CRISPY, turn it up, and lose yourself in its blissful, sassy splendour and sparkling, soulful drive.

To celebrate the album’s release, Kat and Plushy have written a few words about what to expect from XTRA CRISPY…

Wanting to release an album with a selection of our best songs has always been a hot burning wish of ours, ever since CRISP&CLASSY came out of our womb. It’s been a big dream to create a body of work that was conceptual and had a sexually liberating message. Alongside our single ‘Boom Bay’, our new album carries seven more tracks that will tickle your senses and make you feel thirsty for more! 

The XTRA CRISPY album is here to celebrate duality and the battle between being sassy or emotional, being punk or pop, being sexy or needy. This album is a gender and genre bending experience. 

With a delicious mix between New York House synths, Reggaeton beats and sassy bass lines, C&C is serving you Fried Futuristic Electric guitars and Luxury Alien Spit in a glass by the beach! XTRA CRISPY takes the sexiness of Kali Uchis and Blood Orange, and pours it over the nerve of Mykki Blanco, Peaches and Prince.

This album is a combination of coping with the pandemic through creativity and tunes that we have been baking in the oven for over four years. Above staying true to the CRISP&CLASSY sound, we wanted to talk about the things that we were going through on a personal level. 

Having a lot of time on his hands, Plushy would be on dating apps like Grindr a lot during lockdown… Therefore, tracks like ‘My Nudes!’ talk about different obscure dating apps related experiences and are here to make you dance, but also encourage you to claim and own your virtual property and your sexuality, alongside tracks like ‘Thursty’. Kat Knix, on the other hand, missed being ‘skin to skin’ with someone and the hope of it leading to something more… So, ‘Spoon’ was born simply out of sexual frustration, along with Kat’s lack of romance and cuddles.

We also love writing about taking charge of your own sexuality; celebrating your sex drive by bringing equality and body positivity to bed with your lover. ‘SML4U’ expresses the frustration of a younger Kat feeling the pressure to shave before sex, in fear of being rejected for being ‘too hairy’ and not ‘feminine enough’.

We also love collaborating with fellow creatives and are lucky to have some special guests on the album. The incredible Jadeya is doing us the honour by embellishing ‘Thursty’ with her demanding and honest lyrics. Her bars are incredible and they add that juicy flavour we’ve always wanted to have on our songs. MEMA. is another talented guest on the album, who is also an incredible guitarist. We owe her a lot for joining us in developing the XTRA CRISPY sound. You can hear MEMA.’s electric guitar riffs on tracks like ‘Infatuated’ and ‘Spoon’. MEMA. helped us achieve that nostalgic and slightly cinematic ’90s sound we’ve always wanted to incorporate in our music.

We hope that XTRA CRISPY will uplift the listener to stand their ground and unapologetically be themselves EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK! Escape with us to the CRISP&CLASSY World; a safe haven, where you can be yourself and let your hair down. It’s always summer in the C&C World and here we always have a reason to celebrate ourselves and party hard. Once you’re in, you’ll never want to leave.

Massive thanks to Kat and Plushy for talking to us about XTRA CRISPY! Listen to the full album, for the first time, here:

To celebrate the release of XTRA CRISPY, CRISP&CLASSY will be playing a special launch gig at The Waiting Room next Tuesday 19th October. Tickets available here.

LIVE: Cherym / Brand New Friend @ Paper Dress Vintage, 06.10.2021

Only my second time at a gig since the ‘Big C’ and my first north of the river, venturing to Hackney from the depths of South London proved to be most definitely worth it, once safely ensconced in the ever-kitsch, Twin Peaksy vibes of Paper Dress Vintage. 

After sampling some local pale ale downstairs, my ears were treated to the uplifting, punk-pop energy of the night’s co-headliners Brand New Friend. Announcing “we’re gonna do a rock show!” they soon kick off with an infectious jubilant charisma into the lilting, impassioned emotion of ‘She Always Comes Up Smiling’. Expressing thanks for all who’ve made it out, as well as Simba on sound and their van saviour Steve-o, the band’s endearing modesty and gratitude just makes them all the more loveable as they assure us that if we don’t like what we hear, they’ll “keep it off the second album…” 

In a beautiful kind of symmetry the band’s last gig “before ‘rona” was also with Cherym, so – as we’re left hoping there’s not another world catastrophe after tonight – they dedicate the next song to their pals as their glistening vocal harmonies and swirling hooks ooze a joyous, scuzzy energy; a comforting hug in sonic form. 

Honoured to be treated to the new, first song that Lauren’s written (it’s s good ‘un) and a taster of the new album in the form of ‘Lucky’, amongst the fizzing melodies of older favourites such as ‘I Was An Astronaut’ and ‘Girl’, and heartfelt odes to grandparents past (“… this is the part of the set where we’re at Glastonbury and it starts raining and the crowd fuckin’ erupt!”), the entirety of Brand New Friend’s set exudes a wonderfully life-affirming charm. Interweaving a raw, nostalgic emotion with a refreshing euphoric zest, it’s simply impossible not to sing and bop along to their incessantly catchy offerings and become utterly immersed in their shimmering, buoyant energy. 

And the euphoria doesn’t end there. As Derry trio Cherym take to the stage in their matching sports jerseys, they blast into the swirling driving force of ‘She’s Enough Going On’. Immediately capturing our attention with their unique blend of anthemic, honey-sweet punk-pop mixed with a gritty riotous power, I’m filled with a teenage excitement (a rare feeling for someone who’s not been a teenager for many years) to be seeing this refreshing new band – one all too deserving of the acclaim they’ve received so far from the likes of NME and Radio X’s John Kennedy. 

Continuing with the fuzzing, catchy hooks of 2019 single ‘Abigail’, and the jangling tongue-in-cheek wit and driving beats of 2018’s ‘Pretty Boys’ (dedicated to Brand New Friend’s da), each offering blasts out from the trio with a vibrant spirit and colourful, charismatic musicality; sticking in your ears instantly. Encouraging some crowd participation for personal fave, ‘Listening To My Head’, Cherym showcase their ability to create instant singalong anthems. With an uplifting, empowering energy, frenzied hooks accompany Hannah Richardson’s luscious angst-driven vocals; a sunny slice of witty lyrical storytelling (it’s inspired by the Netflix series Dirty John) combining a fierce sense of rage with a bubbling, sugar-coated nostalgia. 

Alongside the exuberant energy of songs like this and the fiery spirit of ‘Weird Ones’, drummer Alannagh Doherty takes a moment of calm to introduce the exquisite harmonies of ‘Gone Girl’, sharing with us that the track addresses domestic abuse; assuring us that we’re in a safe space here. A stirring and all-too-resonant message right now, and one that I’m grateful that bands such as Cherym are addressing openly and with such passion. 

Resuming a sizzling energy with the scuzzy, noughties-indie-reminiscent hooks of instant earworm ‘Kisses On My Cards’ and the buoyant beats of heartfelt celebration of queer love ‘We’re Just Friends’, Hannah, Alannagh and Nyree then draw the set to a close with the buzzing, elevating joy of ‘Take It Back’. A master class in pure, perfect punk-pop. 

And what a superb way for the trio to celebrate their new debut EP Hey Tori (one of my albums of the year for sure). Seeing both these Northern Irish bands has left me with a smile on my face and a spring in my step; desperate to hop across the pond to see more. 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Y-Control Photography