FIVE FAVOURITES: Sunflower Thieves

Combining charming vocal harmonies and soft guitars to create their delicate pop-folk sounds, Leeds duo Sunflower Thieves write tunes inspired by personal narratives and nostalgia. Their musical creations have blossomed out of a sixteen year friendship between band members Amy and Lily, and their upcoming single ‘Don’t Mind The Weather’ is a warm reflection on staying grounded and safe within the relationships with the people you trust.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Amy and Lily to ask them about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have inspired their song-writing techniques. Check out their choices below and scroll down to watch Sunflower Thieves’ lyric video for ‘Don’t Mind The Weather’ at the end of this post.

1. Sylvan Esso – What Now
Lily: Since I was first introduced to Sylvan Esso with their song ‘Hey Mami’, I just completely fell in love. Amelia’s gorgeously beautiful vocal alongside Nick’s impossibly catchy production is just the perfect mix to leap around your bedroom or just lie on the floor and weep. When this album came out I was absolutely obsessed and it’s all I wanted to listen to for a really long time. I remember every time that me and my best friend got in the car to go anywhere we’d blast it out on the country roads and just scream along without a care in the world.

I think the main thing I gained from listening to them was the reassurance that having a soft vocal does not mean that you can’t sing. At the time when we started singing together I felt very self conscious about my voice because I wasn’t/will never be a belter! But as I grew up and started listening to more and more music I realised that that wasn’t the be all and end all.

2. MUNA – Saves The World
Amy: I first came across MUNA through one of my Uni lecturers. I don’t think he would have predicted what an impact they would have on me. Lyrics are a big thing for me and there aren’t many people who cut straight through to your feelings like MUNA. It’s hard to choose between this album and About U, but Saves The World came along during my time at Uni and for me, it’s attached to a lot of my personal growth, new experiences and wonderful friends found during that time. I can’t wait to be back in a room with my friends, dancing to this album and celebrating loving each other and being exactly who we all are.

3. Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger in the Alps
This is our joint choice and always our reference for writing inspiration, production inspiration and general wonderful human being inspiration. We couldn’t tell you how many times we’ve been working on a song and one of us has said “you know in ‘Scott Street’ where she does this…we could try that!” We’d never heard anyone say things the way she says them before and when we first heard ‘Motion Sickness’, it was an instant “yes please.” Phoebe has helped us find our sound, inspired us to write the kind of music we want to write and we definitely aspire to achieve the kind of poetic realism her lyrics hold. In this album, Phoebe helped Sunflower Thieves’ writing grow and she hasn’t disappointed since.

4. Darwin Deez – Songs For Imaginative People
Lily: It was hard to choose which Darwin Deez album to pick! I think I know every word to every song he’s ever released. However, I reckon this album has really influenced the lyrics I write. The word play in his song-writing is something I strive for and all his outer-space metaphors excite me, I just love how geeky he is! I feel like we’d get on. I first heard of him because a friend at school recommended his song ‘Radar Detector’ and that was it, I was hooked. My favourite song on this album is ‘Alice’, it’s the song that plays automatically every time I plug my phone into the car stereo and I don’t hate it! I just love how honest and real he is, in a weird and wonderful way.

5. Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles
Amy: My ultimate go-to running/driving album (drumsssss + Springsteen vibes). I first saw Sam Fender play live at The Bodega in Nottingham in 2018 and have followed his journey since – I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about an artist’s debut album. I listened to nothing else for weeks after the release – my friends and housemates at the time can attest for that! I have Geordie family, so I guess that’s why I feel at home with his music.
It’s so refreshing to hear an artist address real, difficult subjects with such intimacy and fragility. This album makes me feel angry, powerful, vulnerable and uplifted. And probably most importantly for me, the lyrical content of this album makes me want to write songs.

Thanks to Amy & Lily for sharing their favourites with us!

Watch the lyric video for Sunflower Thieves’ new single ‘Don’t Mind The Weather’ below.

Follow Sunflower Thieves on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo Credit: Alice Ashley

#ThrowbackThursday: GIHE w/ Charlotte Carpenter (02.11.17)

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown in the UK, we’re unable to make it into the Hoxton Radio studio to broadcast our weekly live new music show from 7-9pm. Instead, we’re sharing previous GIHE radio show recordings as #ThrowbackThursday sessions, so you can still enjoy 2 hours of new music tunes & chats with some of our favourite artists each week.

Today, we’ve picked our November 2017 show with songwriter and Babywoman Records founder Charlotte Carpenter. Tash & Kate spoke to her about her EP Shelter, her gig at St Pancras Old Church, producing and releasing music independently, taking up skateboarding again and her on-going love for Courtney Barnett and Avril Lavigne. She also played stripped back versions of two of her tracks on air.

Listen back to the show below:

Tracklist
Nina Simone – I Put A Spell On You
Kllo – Dissolve
Miya Folick – Give It To Me
Skye Wallace – Scarlet Fever
Ailbhe Reddy – The Tube
PINS – Bad Thing
Kid Cupid – Easy
King Henry & Rhye – Moment
Nova Twins – Thelma & Louise
syrra – I Can Be Mean
REWS – Your Tears
The Franklys – Keeper
Just Because – All I Knew
Pale Honey – Get These Things Out Of My Head
**Charlotte Carpenter – Interview & Live Session**
Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best
BERRIES – Wild Vow
LAD – Dancefloor
Shania Twain – Man! I Feel Like A Woman!

LISTEN: Hari Debi – ‘Bang’

A slow-burning guitar anthem that celebrates the power of female sexuality, London rockers Hari Debi have shared their latest single ‘Bang’. Accompanied by a smoking set of monochrome visuals featuring vocalist Maddy Jones cutting loose and enjoying herself in front of the lens, the track is a riff heavy ode to female desire that simmers with riotous passion.

Formed of Maddy, Mark Docherty (guitar), Jack Hall (bass) and Luis Bezzi (drums), Hari Debi take inspiration from The Kills, Saint Agnes and Dead Weather to create their bold rock and roll sounds. They released their first EP Loose Thread in 2020 and are planning to share a second EP later this year, with ‘Bang’ being the first taste of what’s to come.

“Musically the song is a metaphor for passion,” the four piece explain about the track. “It burns fast and frantic, then evens out into a slow riff before reigniting to an explosive conclusion.” Through Mark’s killer riffs and Maddy’s fervent vocals, the band celebrate the confidence and autonomy that comes with a healthy sexual appetite, even though women often experience sexist double standards when they choose to embrace their own.

Watch the video for ‘Bang’ below.

Follow Hari Debi on Spotify, Instagram &  Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Debby Friday – ‘Runnin’

Intoxicating rap verses and trippy beats blend together to form an eccentric anthem about self-expression on ‘Runnin’, the latest single from Nigerian-born, Vancouver-based audio-visual artist Debby Friday. Full of commanding rhythms and jagged synths, the track marks a new musical direction for Friday, moving away from her abrasive earlier work into more sultry, effervescent territory.

“This new record is about pure expression. I don’t feel like I need to exorcise anything from myself anymore,” Friday explains. “I wanted to to push myself in different directions and see what would happen and I think I accomplished what I set out to do. ‘Runnin’ is a cheeky song that has Debby Friday themes present, but now I’m having so much more fun.” Dripping with unfazed confidence and snaking rhythms, Friday’s synth-rap tune smoulders with autonomous vibes.

The track is accompanied by a colourful new video, co-directed by Friday and Ryan Ermacora. Inspired by the tinting techniques in early cinema and filmed near Hope in British Columbia, the kaleidoscopic visuals show Friday strutting towards the camera, her image splitting and blurring before the lens as her movements effortlessly match her lyrical flow.

Watch the video for ‘Runnin’ below.

Follow Debby Friday on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Photo credit: Laura Baldwinson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut