Introducing Interview: Helga

What better way to jump into Spring, than getting to know Swedish artist Helga, who’s told us about the reasons for going solo, her latest EP Nebulous and a new favourite sweet treat she’s discovered called bananinha!

Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about how Helga started?
Thank you! Back in late 2016 I decided to go solo after having played in a rock band and an indie folk duo. It just felt natural to go solo, I enjoy working alone and I am more effective this way. Also, I think it was a time when I was starting to explore the dark side of my heart and mind. It felt very exciting.

You are described as an artist, activist and songwriter- do you feel you identify more strongly with one particular creative arm, or do all these aspects of your life influence the other?
I wouldn’t call myself an activist. I just have strong opinions about things sometimes. I’m just a human being who happens to create stuff, write songs. Writings songs is one of the best things in the world.

Can you tell us a bit about where you are from in Sweden? Is there a strong music community over there?
I’m from the region of Dalarna. There is indeed a strong folk music tradition here that I hope we can preserve. I appreciate it very much.

We’re loving your single ‘In The Wilderness’, which we’ve played on the radio show – in it you reflect on the state of the natural world from the perspective of someone that spends their life close to nature. Can you expand on this for us?
I’m glad you’re enjoying the song. I wrote it when I was hanging out by myself in the forest nearby. It was just so tranquil and peaceful there. It moved me, so I thought I should write a song about this forest. I wish it knew that I wrote a song for it. I love writing songs about nature, sometimes it’s even easier than writing songs about people. All my music doesn’t have to have a message. Sometimes I just want to feel the music, the melodies. That’s enough. Sometimes there are no words to be said. You just sit there in silence and feel things.

‘In the Wilderness’ features on your recently released EP Nebulous. We’re totally mesmerised by the reverb heavy, drawl of this EP and its dark, damp forest music. How did you go about creating this record?
You’re too kind. Thank you. I played and recorded some of the guitars and vocals here in Sweden, while the rest was recorded in a land far away called Brazil! They have this candy that you should try called “bananinha”. You will like it if you’re a banana fan. I hope you’ll find some in the UK. Anyway, the musicians I worked with were beyond amazing, I can’t thank them enough. I’m not a drummer nor a bassist, but I have a decent idea on how these instruments work, and obviously that helps a lot when producing your own music. Luan is such a groovy bassist. Pedro is also a groovy drummer, even if he can do furious blast beats as well. Luiz is a groovy guitarist, who also happened to be good at producing and mixing. These are versatile and groovy musicians! I loved our team work.

What’s 2019 got in store for Helga?
Hopefully being crazy on stage! There are some exciting things happening, some that I’ll probably talk about later. I’m working on new music as well. Liking it a lot so far, some really cool sounds we’ve managed to create! I need to shut up. I won’t say more… Let’s see how it all goes!

Have you got any plans to tour over the next couple of months?
Maaaaaybe!

Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
I haven’t been listening to music much these past few years, especially not the new ones. But in the beginning of 2017 I stumbled upon this American artist while reading stuff on a Swedish digital music magazine called HYMN. I listened to one song and it impressed me, so I listened to more of her stuff. Really enjoyed it. The artist is called Haley Heynderickx.

 

Nebulous, the latest EP from Helga, is out now.

Track Of The Day: Ida Wenøe – ‘Another Kind Of Love’

‘Another Kind of Love’ is the new single by Danish Music Award nominee Ida Wenøe. She is a singer-songwriter blending spectral folk sounds with Nordic Noir, conjuring up a surreal landscape where the inner ghosts sing haunting tales of love and loss.  

The song has a simple arrangement with finger-plucked guitar, subtle harmonies and percussion. Its magic is in Wenøe’s clear cut voice, as sharp as a diamond, which to my ears is an instrument in itself, carrying the music with it. The harmonies and dreamy guitar pick up pace as she sings, complementing the song but not overpowering it.

“I have given all I had just to fall” – the loneliness is articulated and resolved as the song unfolds and the memories are left behind. Wenøe’s voice soars with emotion at the turning point, as echoing vocals reverberate on the contrast between hate and love; “I hate to hate, I’d rather wait on love.

Which will we choose…? Trust me, this captivating song will have you in tears by the end. Tears of love, tears of joy; tears at the sheer beauty of it. 

The Things We Don’t Know Yet, the upcoming album from Ida Wenøe, is out 12th April via Integrity Records. 

Fi Ni Aicead
@gotnomoniker

Get In Her Ears w/ Bengi Unsal 14.03.19

Tash and Kate were back in the Hoxton Radio studio this week with all the new music, including tracks from Stainwasher, Dwen, Mammoth Penguins and Annavr.

They were joined in the studio by the Southbank Centre’s Senior Contemporary Music Programmer Bengi Unsal, who talked about their upcoming Meltdown festival, her re-branding of Friday Tonic and their success with Concrete Lates.

Listen back:

@getinherears
@maudeandtrevor
@KCBobcut

Premiere: Imi – ‘Margins’

Having received acclaim from BBC Introducing and BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, and supporting the likes of Let’s Eat Grandma and Ghostpoet, Leeds-based artist Imi is set to release her atmospheric new EP this month.

Taken from the EP, new single ‘Margins’ offers a dark, ethereal soundscape. Propelled by pulsating beats, the sweeping splendour of Imi’s powerful vocals soars alongside glitchy electronic hooks, creating an utterly bewitching creation. With shades of the likes of the sparkling alt-pop of Goldfrapp, it oozes a haunting grandeur that’ll send shivers down the spine on first listen. Of the track, Imi explains:

Margins’ explores the peak of my frustrations, offering a mocking account of my past constraints, but over time my thoughts on this have evolved. While my ambition for change hasn’t faltered, my perspective has matured in a way that is more accepting and is able to find happiness in the everyday.”

Listen to ‘Margins’, for the first time, here:

 

Lines, the upcoming EP from Imi, is out 15th March.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Portia Hunt

 

GUEST BLOG: Grimalkin Records

Get In Her Ears is all about supporting, collaborating, and communicating with other womxen and non-binary people in the DIY music scene. So, when Nancy Kells from the USA got in touch to tell us about her work as Facilitator of Grimalkin Records, we wanted to know more! Along with ten other members, Nancy works to support and release music by womxn from all walks of life.

Together, Nancy & Elizabeth Owens put the following blog together to explain more about their work at Grimalkin. Read what they have to say below and follow Grimalkin Records on Bandcamp to keep track of all the music they’re releasing! 

 

Grimalkin Records originally started out as Friends For Equality after the November 2016 US election and passing of Brexit in the UK. What began as a small benefit compilation project between two friends has now evolved into Grimalkin Records, a benefit label and queer artist collective. Currently, we are ten members strong, scattered between Richmond and Hampton Roads, VA, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, PA, Springfield, MO, and Baltimore, MD. All of us are queer women, trans men, non-binary, gender non-conforming, or agender folx.

Our primary mission is to support queer people—especially queer artists of color— and encourage people to get more involved in their local communities, and we aim to get there by strengthening the bridge between music and activism.

Specifically, we:

  • Release limited edition cassette tapes and lathe cuts to fundraise for various local organizations and individuals
  • Organize benefit shows and release parties
  • Create zines and merch items to spread our messages and augment our fundraising efforts
  • Support each other artistically and emotionally as individuals and friends

We are not genre-centered and all genres of music are encouraged for submissions (yay, we love music!). While most of our releases are benefit releases intended to raise money for a non-profit or community organization of the artist’s choice, releases can also support the artist/band or any other individuals who are in need of financial support. You don’t have to be a “member” of (or “signed to”) the label to release with us, either. We dig flexibility and run on an independent, case-by-case basis.

For example, last year we did a co-release with Madison Turner and her label Close by Air. We made a small batch of cassettes for her latest album, A Comprehensive Guide to Burning Out, with the full album on side A and a live recording of a Grimalkin benefit show set on side B. She chose donate all proceeds from this release to support Health Brigade, a free local clinic providing service for marginalized and oppressed folks in Virginia.

We passionately feel that music, art, and collaboration provide vital fuel in the work of healing and restoring justice. We also believe that real change happens from the ground up, and so have a strong focus on helping people on an individual level and through grassroots support of local organizations who have already been doing important (and often unseen) social justice and civil rights work.

Logistically, everyone in the collective pitches in when they can with a variety of things in whatever ways they feel they can; whether that means helping other individual members or the label as a whole, it’s all part of the same body. There’s no pressure on how much anyone does–people do what they can when they have time for it. You can learn more specifically about everyone in Grimalkin and check out their projects here.

We have big dreams, and eventually plan to be able to pay artists and musicians stipends to help with releases and shows and provide cassette packages for musicians to promote and sell on their own platforms.

We are always looking for more folks to join our family and are especially in need of people who thrive on promotional/outreach work and social media (if anyone’s interested *hint hint*)! We are also always looking for more community organizations, artists, collectives, and labels to collaborate with and are always open to new ideas.

If you think you’re a good fit for our collective or would like to put out a release with us, please email grimalkinrecords@gmail.com.

We have several exciting releases and collaborations lined up for 2019 and we hope you’ll check us out and keep coming back. The best way to stay in touch is by following us on social media and subscribing to our email list. We also have a website in progress for more general info.

Keep up to date with Grimalkin Records
Website
Facebook
Instagram 
Twitter 

PREMIERE: Aunt Margaux – ‘Saint Frances’

If you’re aware of a sinking feeling and in need of some melodic reassurance, Aunt Margaux‘s new single ‘Saint Frances’ will be a welcome tonic. The Canterbury-based songwriter will release the track on 14th March via Easter Island Records.

A gentle exploration of conflicted love, on ‘Saint Frances’ Aunt Margaux combines delicate harmonies and buoyant rhythms to provide a sense of emotional escapism. She enlistied the help of a full backing band on this release, but the vulnerability of her songwriting is still maintained, characterized her style and first EP Trust Your Body.

Listen to ‘Saint Frances’ below and follow Aunt Margaux on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: The Coathangers – ‘The Devil You Know’

Let’s face it, the human mind is a complex thing. It can be difficult to have more than one thing going on, and half of the time you don’t even know what’s happening up there… Some things just can’t co-exist. Expelling this rule in a fantastically riotous half-hour are The Coathangers with their seventh album, The Devil You Know.

Pre-released single, ’Bimbo’, is the infectiously upbeat opener. Completely innocently, the track opens with a straight bassline, with quintessentially on beat, twinkling top notes of a keyboard. This is later ripped apart and kicked into overdrive with raucous thrashes of fuzzy guitar and a semi-sung chorus. The rest of the album follows suit with an angst-infused collective of fiery ditties, ‘5 Farms’ and ‘Crimson Telephone’.

Then I have an epiphany. This ain’t no ordinary album. This lot have an agenda. Political and social commentary bursts through the foundations of the album like a balloon on a cactus. This is most evident in the fourth and seventh tracks, ‘Hey Buddy’ and ‘F the NRA’. In ‘Hey Buddy’ a guttural and hoarse voice croaks through the song laced with simple yet powerful twangs of guitar, proving less is more as they growl “Hey buddy are you looking at me? You call me a faggot and you call me a sleaze”. ‘F The NRA’ does just what it says on the tin; a poignant, impassioned plea against gun violence, propelled by a gritty, punk-driven energy. 

The album winds to a close with quieter and melancholy, but nonetheless badass, tracks ‘Last Call’ and ‘Lithium’. Both include a gentle and heavily reverberated vocal resonating the sound of Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval. The guitars sound like they’re crying. And now I’m crying.

The Devil You Know takes you from wanting to go out, make some noise and paint the town red, to staying in bed and never getting up again. And we love every second of its racing thirty minutes. 

The Devil You Know is out now via Suicide Squeeze. Catch The Coathangers live on their upcoming tour:

24th April – The Latest Music Bar, Brighton
25th April – Studio 9294, London
27th April – The Cookie, Leicester
28th April – SWG Poetry Club, Glasgow
29th April – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
30th April – Arts Club (Loft), Liverpool
1st May – The Key Club, Leeds

Megan Berridge
@noisygal_