GIHE: Albums & EPs Of 2021

After sharing our Tracks of 2021 last week, the GIHE team want to shine a light on some of the brilliant Albums & EPs that have been released during the last 12 months. These records kept us dancing around our bedrooms/living rooms/home offices, miming underneath our face-masks and distracted us momentarily from the uncertain world we’re currently all living in.

So, in alphabetical order, here are our top Albums & EPs of 2021 (with some honorable mentions at the end…)

ALBUMS

Adult Mom – Driver
Consistently my most listened-to artist over the last couple of years, Adult Mom aka Stevie Knipe creates the most beautifully heartfelt music. Although I had thought it would be hard to follow the perfect relatable emotion of their debut Momentary Lapse Of Happily, and 2018’s Soft Spots, this year’s Driver does not disappoint. With the lilting musicality and raw emotive splendour of each track, the album has been in my ears on literally a daily basis since it came out in March; I have sought comfort in the luscious depth of Knipe’s vocals and found myself fully immersed in the album’s twinkling grace. I’m sending extra love to Stevie at the moment, as they were diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and are currently having to undergo treatment. I can’t wait to hear more gorgeous music from them when they’re ready. (Mari Lane – Co-Founder)

Blonde Maze – Something Familiar
I’m honestly not sure how I would have got through the last two years without the sound of Blonde Maze in my ears daily. Even before her debut album Something Familiar came out in Autumn, I had been completely addicted to her utterly dreamy creations – ever since she’d been a guest on our radio show about five years ago. To have a full LP filled with her exquisite soundscapes has been just what I’ve needed recently. Bathing the ears in shimmering ripples of dreamy reflection, each luscious track is a perfect cathartic tonic. My album of the year – it’s been the beautifully calming and delicately uplifting soundtrack I’ve so needed. (ML)

Divide & Dissolve – Gas Lit
Released via Invada Records in January, instrumental activists Divide and Dissolve’s second album Gas Lit continues their sonic mission to erode the foundations of colonialism and white supremacy. Produced by Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the record is an aural purging of injustice, fuelled by the diversity of Takiaya Reed’s doom-ridden saxophone sounds and Sylvie Nehill’s phenomenal percussion. It flows with a unique gargantuan grace that unsettles and soothes my cells every time I hear it. I had the pleasure of interviewing Takiaya about the album earlier this year too, which you can read here.
(Kate Crudgington – Co-Founder)

Du Blonde – Homecoming
With Homecoming, Du Blonde gave us the DIY stadium rock record we didn’t know we needed. After becoming disillusioned with the music industry, they wrote, recorded and produced this album of swaggering, empowering anthems for outcasts. A bag of contradictions, it’s both silly and serious, wonderfully weird yet radio friendly. A powerful record, I love the way Homecoming embraces self-destruction and self-love. It has a proper punk energy and inspires you to get shit done on your own terms – after you’ve had a dance, of course.
(Victoria Conway – Contributor)

Fears – Oíche
An intuitive artist who has transformed her darkest moments into graceful electronic soundscapes, Fears aka Constance Keane shared her poignant debut album Oíche (meaning “night” in Irish) in May. Released via her own label TULLE, the Irish-born, London-based musician balances her intense ruminations on trauma alongside delicate synth loops and tentative beats to shine a light on a personal metamorphosis. Much like the coarse fabric she used to create her altruistic dress on the album’s artwork, Fears allows her lived experiences to take up space and permeate this record, which swells with unflinching honesty and elegance. Oíche is a collection of shadowy lullabies that span five years of emotional territory, and the result is a truly immersive and enlightening body of work. (KC)

Fightmilk – Contender
Following 2018’s Not With That Attitude, this year total faves Fightmilk released their second album Contender via Reckless Yes, and it was everything I could have hoped for. With new bassist Healey and a perhaps more ambitious musicality than previous releases, this year’s album marks a maturing in sound for the band, whilst maintaining their trademark anthemic power-pop energy. Filled with the perfect balance of jangling melodies, an endearing, refreshingly honest lyricism and shades of a raw tongue-in-cheek wit, the album covers themes from space travel and capitalism, to love, heartbreak and self-loathing, all the while oozing a raw emotion and the band’s distinctive, quirky charisma. With all the scuzzy musicality and shimmering energy we’ve come to know and love, Contender showcases a band that are continuously refining their sound and, in the process, consistently continuing to win my heart.
(ML)

Gazelle Twin & NYX – Deep England
Inspired by the tracks that formed Gazelle Twin aka Elizabeth Bernholz’s 2018 album Pastoral, Deep England is a dark fable that serves as a warning to listeners not to get swept up in national apathy. Whilst Bernholz’s unique vision of Britain’s past was brought vividly to life on her original record, with the support of the NYX drone choir her vitriol is able to take its fullest, most nerve-shredding form. Together, they present their altruistic vision of Britain in its “post-truth” sphere, embroidering a new tapestry of sound for these jarring and uncertain times. Deep England is a phenomenal artistic accomplishment; a shadowy, graceful collection of sounds that radiate with unease – truly unlike anything you’ve heard before. (KC)

LINGUA IGNOTA – SINNER GET READY
“And all that I’ve learned / is everything burns” laments Lingua Ignota aka Kristin Hayter on ‘Pennsylvania Furnace’, the fourth track on SINNER GET READY – an apt sentiment for a record that blazes with a unique orchestral agony. Released via Sargent House, Hayter’s fourth full length offering is an emotional exorcism inspired by the severe brand of Christianity in rural Pennsylvania where she currently lives. Its strictness permeates her vision to the core, with her sensational vocals remaining the lifeblood of SINNER GET READY. She uses her voice to devastating effect, harrowing up the soul with her effortless ability to switch from a soft, divine cry to a cord-ripping, desperate plea. A stunning record that I’ve returned to many times this year. (KC)

Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is an outstanding album, ambitious and sprawling while maintaining the punchy immediacy of expression synonymous with Little Simz’ earlier work. She confidently glides between styles, from epic Scott Walker-style arrangements to afrobeat grooves, which form mere backdrops to the artist’s lyrical acrobatics. Simz enumerates the anxieties, troubles and triumphs of her life and career throughout the album’s 19 tracks – this album already has an undeniably classic quality. It is a singular expansion of the possibilities of hip-hop, of pop music more generally, and an unrepentantly fantastic album of Baroque ambition and fabulous execution. (Lloyd Bolton – Contributor)

Lunar Vacation – Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp
The latest album from Atlanta-based Lunar Vacation, Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp oozes a shimmering allure throughout. As each track treats the ears to whirring hooks and a sparkling musicality, I just fall more in love with Grace Repasky’s honey-sweet crystalline vocals on each listen. Floating seamlessly with an ethereal splendour, a stirring melancholy ripples on a seemingly serene surface, creating a perfectly dreamy collection. With shades of Alvvays or Best Coast, Lunar Vacation have fast become one of my most favourite bands of 2021. (ML)

New Pagans – The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All
An intuitive rumination on the personal and the political, New Pagans’ debut album The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All is a gritty, deeply poetic consideration of inequality and social injustice. Released via Big Scary Monsters, the Belfast band’s first full length record dives into the paraphernalia surrounding religion, romance and women’s pain, and resurfaces having transformed these tired archetypes into aural talismans of strength and defiance. I’m such a big fan of everything they’ve released so far and I’m hoping to hear these songs live at some point in 2022. (KC)

Noga Erez – KIDS
The GIHE team collectively adore Tel-Aviv producer & pop renegade Noga Erez’s second album, KIDS. It’s a stylish, swaggering collection of songs that explore personal growth, morality and what it means to disconnect and reconnect with the world around you. Erez has worked closely alongside her collaborative & life partner Ori Rousso to create a razor sharp, intensely catchy record that proves she’s got the musical mileage she sings of. Through her witty lyrics, slick production and commanding beats, she blazes a unique musical trail that pulses with authentic energy, spotlighting her talent as a producer, vocalist, MC and performer. What a star. (KC)

Nova Twins Presents: Voices For The Unheard
Driven by their desire to spotlight the work of underrepresented artists of colour in the heavy music scene, Nova Twins aka Amy Love and Georgia South put together this blistering collection of alternative anthems with the help of Dr Martens to showcase this eclectic range of talent. Featuring tracks by Big Joanie, Khx05, Loathe, Oxymorrons & LutSickPuppy, the record is a fun, furious blur of noise from a group of artists who have been galvanized by their individual experiences of discrimination, but who are now united in their attempts to create the music they wish they had heard growing up. A proper gem of a record that’s introduced me to some brilliant artists this year. (KC)

pink suits – political child
Having completely blown us away with their riotous, seething energy at our first gig at The Shacklewell Arms earlier this month, queer Margate duo pink suits released their debut album political child, in the Spring. With just drums, a guitar and the riotous force of their voices, Lennie and Ray offer an inclusive feminist rebellion to bring about radical change – with each powerful track on the collection, they deliver a seething, all-too-poignant social commentary on the increasingly terrifying state of the UK right now. Throughout political child, pink suits offer a perfect riotous catharsis; an immense formidable force, coated in a rousing cacophony. The duo have provided an utterly necessary soundtrack for these times; a rallying cry to make our voices heard and fight for an upheaval of a neoliberal society. (ML)

Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
Each time I’ve tried to write about Wolf Alice’s third album, Blue Weekend, I’ve fallen short of the words to describe how profoundly comforting I find it. Emotional, but with a few grunge ragers thrown in there too – plus a lyric that everyone should adopt as a mantra “I am what I am and I’m good at it / and you don’t like me? Well that isn’t fucking relevant” – Ellie Rowsell’s magnificent, elastic vocals and poignant lyrics effortlessly stretch across the record. I listened to Blue Weekend twice a day for over a month, discovering something new every time I let its cinematic sounds wash over me. Pure musical escapism that’s rooted in real fucking feelings. Properly sublime stuff. (KC)

EPs

Ailsa Tully – Holy Isle
Long term favourite of GIHE, Welsh artist Ailsa Tully released her EP in Autumn this year. Offering four exquisite slices of stirring folk-strewn indie, Holy Isle showcases Tully’s ability to reflect on feelings of vulnerability and loss with a gently uplifting, sparkling grace. As the collection flows with a shimmering, stripped-back musicality, the juxtaposition of Tully’s crystalline, honey-sweet vocals and the gentle lilting melodies creates a delicate, captivating majesty. As the beautifully rippling instrumentation glistens with a heartfelt splendour, I can’t help but become utterly immersed in the raw emotion and poignant, resplendent charm of Holy Isle in its entirety. (ML)

Aisha Badru – The Way Back Home
Having previously charmed our ears with the soothing sounds of last year’s ‘Soil’s Daughter’ and 2018’s poignant debut album Pendulum, singer-songwriter Aisha Badru released her EP The Way Back Home earlier this month. Flowing with twinkling, folk-inspired hooks alongside Badru’s rich, soulful vocals, each track oozes an immersive, heartfelt emotion. With a gentle, lilting energy and shimmering grace, a sweeping majestic splendour soars throughout this beautifully stirring collection as it soothes the mind with its gently uplifting allure. (ML)

Bitch Hunt – Shapeshifter
Having formed at First Timers Fest in 2017, London based non-binary band Bitch Hunt have since played live for us and been lovely guests on our show on Soho Radio. This year they released their debut EP Shapeshifter, via Reckless Yes. A shimmering collection of five lo-fi, yet heartfelt, offerings, it reflects on themes ranging from nostalgia and relationships, to gender and identity, delivered with a wonderfully scuzzy musicality and twinkling energy. Treating us to their effervescent, stirring brand of unique punk-pop, Bitch Hunt have crafted a collection that is beautifully poignant, whilst offering a welcome glimmer of optimism and solidarity. (ML)

BLAB – Word of Mouth
Formed of three previously released singles and a brand new track, Southend-based BLAB‘s debut EP is the sound of a songwriter fully embracing their own choices and leaning into the raw power of each moment. Released via Cool Thing Records, BLAB aka Frances Murray combines direct lyrics with infectious guitar riffs to push past personal and political frustrations, providing her listeners with sharply observed judgements on both. (KC)

Deep Tan – Creeping Speedwells
With acclaim from the likes of NME, So Young and BBC 6Music, Hackney-based trio deep tan have been favourites here at GIHE for some time now, and we’ve been very much enjoying their debut EP Creeping Speedwells, which was released this summer. Propelled by glitchy beats and whirring, twinkling hooks, each track captivates the ears with the trio’s compelling seductive allure. Flowing with fuzzed-out shades of ’90s trip-hop, whilst maintaining a unique sparkling edge and gently haunting majesty, the whole collection offers a spellbinding, rousing splendour that’ll immerse you in its dark, psychedelic haze. (ML)

Hilary Woods – Feral Hymns
I saw the title of this EP, listened to 30 seconds of it and downloaded it IMMEDIATELY. Released via Sacred Bones, Feral Hymns by Irish multi-instrumentalist Hilary Woods captures a relatable sense of gloom across five instrumentals that she worked on with collaborator Lasse Marhaug. Woods describes her ambiguous sounds as “A collection of hymns set at dusk…Unspoken bonds, primal pain, cyclical patterns, unsent love letters.” I find her melancholy, fleshy sounds intensely moving and I can’t wait to hear the new full length record she’s currently working on. (KC)

Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business – He Earns Enough
Featuring members of Trash Kit, F*Choir and Bamboo, Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business are a six-piece choral punk ensemble who released their debut EP in October. A poignant collection covering themes such as the struggles of living in a patriarchal, capitalist society and the fears women and gender minority people face when walking home alone, He Earns Enough showcases the soaring, harmonious power of voices coming together in unity. With each track propelled by an anthemic, mystical energy, the collection offers a simple, yet stirring, message, oozing a sweeping, celestial splendour that’ll bewitch the listener instantly with its eerily enchanting allure. (ML)

M(h)aol – Gender Studies
I was blown away by the power of Irish post punks M(h)aol when I saw them perform their debut EP live at The Shacklewell Arms in November. The brooding, shadowy sounds on Gender Studies vehemently reject outdated attitudes and social constraints concerning gender, identity and equality. It’s a vital, much needed antidote to toxic patriarchal standards, providing listeners with a cathartic exhale of fury and freedom. (KC)

TOKKY HORROR – I Found The Answers And Now I Want More
GIHE writer Jay Mitra penned a great review of dance-punk trio TOKKY HORROR’s debut EP earlier this year, branding it “a cyber goth masterpiece that hits you as hard as MDMA” – and they’re not wrong. Packed full of manic electronics and pounding beats, I Found The Answers And Now I Want More is a whirlwind of EDM energy that’s impossible to sit still to. (KC)

Honourable Mentions

Alex Loveless – Phone Keys & Wallet (EP)
Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams
BISHI –Let My Country Awake
CHERYM – Hey Tori (EP)
Elodie Gervaise – Syzergy (EP)
Elsa Hewitt – LUPA
Grace Petrie – Connectivity
Halsey –If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power
Maria Uzor – Innocence and Worldliness (EP)
Me Rex – Megabear
Naoko Sakata – Dancing Spirits
Nun Habit – Hedge Fun (EP)
Okay Kaya – The Incompatible
Penelope Trappes – Penelope Three
SPELLLING – The Turning Wheel
Tirzah – Colourgrade
YAY MARIA – OYEZ
WILLOW – Lately I Feel Everything

PLAYLIST: October 2021

The GIHE team have unearthed more new music gems for you to listen to on our October Playlist! There’s an eclectic mix of indie anthems, gritty guitar tunes, alt-pop tracks & immersive electronic sounds. 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.

Boy Harsher – ‘Tower’
It’s almost Halloween (aka Goth Christmas) so this shadowy electronic tune is a great way to kick off our October Playlist. Boy Harsher are fully leaning in to their cinematic tendencies on ‘Tower’ which is taken from their upcoming album The Runner. Set for release on 21st January, the record will be a “musical counterpart” to an accompanying short film written, produced & directed by the talented duo. (Kate Crudgington)

Brimheim – ‘poison fizzing on a tongue’
The recent single from Danish alt-pop artist Brimheim, ‘poison fizzing on a tongue’ oozes a glitchy, ethereal splendour. With its soaring, other-wordly allure, it reminds me of the dark majesty of Massive Attack, which is no bad thing! Brimheim releases her debut album Can’t Help Myself Into A Different Shape in January next year. (Mari Lane)

deep tan – ‘Tamu’s Yiffing Refuge’
Following the recent release of their stirring, and utterly unique EP creeping speedwells, East London trio deep tan return with a special one-off single, taken from the label Speedy Wunderground’s new compilation. As strangely kinky as the name would suggest, ‘tamu’s yiffing refuge’ is an explicit tale of furry hedonism. Maintaining all the immersive, seductive allure that we’ve come to know and love from the band, this latest offering oozes an added dark, psychedelic haze and frenzied post-punk drive reminiscent of the likes of legends The Slits. A truly mystical, compelling soundscape that’ll peculiarly entice you into its swirling, fur-filled cacophony. (ML)

New Pagans – ‘Find Fault With Me’
I am thrilled that Belfast’s New Pagans are BACK with this brilliant new single after the release of their debut album, The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots And All earlier this year. Vocalist Lyndsey McDougall says this track is about “checking in with each other and recognising when someone around you needs support.” (KC)

Death Valley Girls – ‘It’s All Really Kind Of Amazing’
A stand alone single from LA dystopian punk band Death Valley Girls, ‘It’s All Really Kind Of Amazing‘ offers a swift glimpse of positivity. As the raw, impassioned splendour of Bonnie Bloomgarden’s vocals soar 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 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 mystically captivating retreat for the ears and mind. (ML)

Laura Lee & The Jettes – ‘Craigslist Boy’
I have drummer Eilis Frawley to thank for introducing me to this BANGER from German-based band Laura Lee & The Jettes. Eilis provides the beats for this playful anthem about vocalist Laura Lee’s experience of being pursued romantically by random men on the German version of eBay. Its relatability will make you laugh and eye roll in equal measure. Check out the accompanying video here. (KC)

Wet Leg – ‘Wet Dream’
Like everyone else with ears, I am OBSESSED with Isle of Wight duo Wet Leg. I caught them at their debut London show at Omeara last week and it was a JOY to listen to their infectious indie anthems. They also walked on stage to ‘Concerning Hobbits’ from The Lord Of The Rings soundtrack, which is an iconic move in itself. (KC)

Queen Cult – ‘Show & Tell’
The latest single from Cheshire band Queen Cult, ‘Show & Tell’ builds with a gritty, swirling energy to an empowered call to arms. I just can’t get enough of its relentless, searing force. (ML)

Nghtfall – ‘Evil Eye’
Following the heartfelt release of ‘I’ll Be Fine’ earlier this year, Toronto based non-binary artist Bradley Milosevic-Hill aka Nghtfall has recently shared ‘Evil Eye’. A sweeping slice of catchy anthemic pop, it oozes swirling feelings of anticipation and desire, creating a twinkling, emotion-strewn ballad. (ML)

girlhouse – ‘boundary issues’
I love this latest track from indie artist girlhouse, taken from her recent EP which is aptly titled, the second EP, quite simply lovely stuff. (Tash Walker)

HAVVK – ‘Halfway Out’
Taken from total faves HAVVK’s epic new album Levelling, stirring single ‘Halfway Out’ oozes an ethereal splendour as the haunting, celestial power of Julie’s vocals immerses the listener instantly. The whole album intertwines this captivating, twinkling majesty with a grunge-tinged grit throughout, and I can’t stop listening to it. I had the pleasure of chatting to front person Julie about the album and more last week – have a read of the interview here. (ML)

Sprints – ‘Modern Job’
I first heard Dublin’s Sprints on The Irish Jam radio show and I’m super grateful to them for the introduction. ‘Modern Job’, which is also the title track on the band’s upcoming EP (due on 11th March) is a scathing “critique of modern existence” and “an exploration of growing up queer” according to vocalist Karla Chubb. I can’t wait to hear the record in full. (KC)

Nova Twins – ‘Antagonist’
GIHE faves Nova Twins have shared this MASSIVE anthem about believing in yourself, full of their trademark lethal riffs and powerhouse vocals. (KC)

Tiger Mimic – ‘Silence Of The Night’
Propelled by an eerie energy, ‘Silence Of The Night’ reflects on the grim reality that women have to navigate on a daily basis. As the rich, sleek vocals of front woman Jess soar with a soulful power, it builds with a stirring tension to an impassioned statement of intent. A poignant call for justice and accountability at a time when we so desperately need it. You can catch the band live at The Victoria in Dalston on 9th December. (ML)

Sister Lucy – ‘Big Kid’
The second single from her upcoming EP Big Girl Pants, Sister Lucy aka Abi Sinclair’s single ‘Big Kid’ is a lush, grunge-tinged reflection on growth and womanhood. She’ll be playing a gig at The Shacklewell Arms on the 10th November to celebrate the EP’s release. (KC)

Elodie Gervaise – ‘Free Babe’
I am so into this song! All its mixed beats, intricate synths and electronics, it’s such a visually evocative track, you can just imagine the light show watching this being performed live. French-Australian artist, Elodie Gervaise’s new EP, Syzygy – which just feels oh so good to say – is out now. (TW)

Errunhrd – ‘Ruminate (Meditate)’
Niagra Falls based artist Errunhrd has penned this buoyant new track which shifts away from her previously more melancholic sounds. ‘Ruminate (Meditate)’ is taken from her debut album You Can Be You, I Can Be Me, which is set for release on 19th November. (KC)

Blonde Maze – ‘One House’
The latest single from New York artist Blonde Maze, ‘One House’ revolves around the comfort of finding a home in someone, especially after a long time of feeling misplaced. Oozing a blissful, soulful splendour, it flows with an utterly dreamy allure as Amanda’s soothing vocals ripple alongside twinkling electro hooks. Lately, as I’ve been going through a bit of a tough time, I’ve had this pretty much on a loop, and its sweeping euphoric energy helps to calm my mind instantly. Thank you Blonde Maze for another perfectly cathartic creation. And I’m SO excited that Blonde Maze’s debut album Something Familiar is set for release next week, 3rd November – haven’t looked forward to an album this much for a long time! (ML)

Mai – ‘Control’
An evocative electronic gem that urges listeners to surrender to the inevitability of change, I love Essex-based musician & vocalist Mai’s has debut single ‘Control’. Released via Cool Thing Records, the track is a collaboration between Mai aka Rosie Gulliver of Petty Phase, and songwriter and producer Liam Watkins from A Cause In Distress. (KC)

BISHI ft. Nikesh Shukla – ‘Language Is an Ocean’
Multi-instrumentalist and GIHE fave BISHI released her third album Let My Country Awake earlier this month, which this single is taken from. The record explores dual identities and urges listeners to lean into compassion and empathy in a chaotic and disconnected world. (KC)

Desire Marea – ‘You Think I’m Horny’ (Planningtorock’s ‘Planningtobehorny’ Version)
Tash & I are still on a high after seeing Planningtorock at Scala earlier this month, so when their remix of Desire Marea’s track ‘You Think I’m Horny’ dropped into my inbox I knew it was going straight on to our playlist! A great collaboration from two fantastic, unique artists. (KC)

AZADI.mp3 – ‘NAZAR’
I’ve been listening to the We Are Lady Parts playlist on Spotify recently and the algorithms led me to AZADI.mp3 – aka Juliette Motamed who plays drummer Ayesha in the hit Channel 4 show. She has a great set of electronic tunes that I’ve been listening to ever since. (KC)

Atna – ‘Smile’
“Why why why why why” …give me bizarre warped repetitive vocals from German avant-pop duo Atna ANY DAY. (TW)

Little Simz – ‘Speed’
Little Simz has done it again, latest album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (in my case it’s always) is a total, immense masterpiece. ‘Speed’ is my favourite track on the album, in the same vein as previous faves ‘Boss’ and ‘Offence’, it’s propelled by a gritty, driving energy and Simz’s spot on lyricism, with a touch of orchestral grandeur. The perfect motivational anthem I’ve needed lately to get me through the day. (ML)

Kay Young ft. JNR WILLIAMS – ‘I’ve Got You’
‘I’ve Got You’ by London based artist, rapper and producer Kay Young featuring JNR Williams is such a feel good song! It’s taken from her EP This Here Feels Good, released via Play It Again Sam. (TW)

Duval Timothy ft. Lil Silva & Melanie Faye – ‘Fall Again’
I am totally obsessed and in love with this song. Rhythmic piano to start, before it slowly layers and builds with hazy, gentle vocals sweeping over the top. Such a dreamy sonic soundscape that feels so good in my ears. (TW)

Anna Vincent – ‘Naxos’
Having previously charmed us fronting indie-pop outfit Heavy Heart, and as a touring member of Happyness, after two decades making music London based Anna Vincent has now launched her first solo venture. With her debut album, Under The Glass (out today on Max Bloom of Yuck’s new label Ultimate Blends), she has recently been charming our ears with a number of shimmering singles, like the beautifully heartfelt ‘Naxos’. Exuding a spellbinding majestic grace alongside the stirring heartfelt emotion of Anna’s exquisite sparkling vocals, each track offers a truly blissful, captivating soundscape. (ML)

CMAT -‘No More Virgos’
Born from her desire to “marry her love of 80’s Italo disco with her hatred of Virgos,” Irish pop sensation CMAT’s playful new tune is a wry nod to her compulsive romantic decisions. “My mental health is banking on my chastity / and you’re bad for me” she jests over buoyant melodies, gently resisting the urge to circle back and repeat the same pattern of behaviour in her previous relationships. I’m so excited to hear CMAT’s debut album, If My Wife New I’d Be Dead, which is set for release via AWAL Recordings on 25th February 2022 (KC)

 

LISTEN: GIHE debut Soho Radio show with Noga Erez 05.05.21

After 6 years of presenting on Hoxton Radio, the GIHE team are thrilled to announce that we’ve moved over to the NYC & Culture channel on Soho Radio! For our debut show, we played a mix of iconic feminist punk anthems and new music tunes from some of our favourite women and non-binary artists.

Tel Aviv-based pop renegade Noga Erez also spoke to us about her brilliant second album KIDS, working alongside her creative & life partner Ori, and we circled back on some of the interesting things she said the first time we met her back in 2019.

Listen below:

Tracklist
Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
Noname – Blaxploitation
PÁULA, POVOA & JERGE – Primavera
Sans Soucis – I’m On
ARXX – DEEP
Grandmas House – Always Happy
Shy Girl – Tasty
Catherine Moan – Fools (Depeche Mode Cover)
Currls – Let Down
SOPHIE – BIPP (Autechre Mx)
Tiece – Nowhere Now Here (Tiiva Remix)
Nun Habit – Righteous Jerk
Bitch Hunt – Eau Claire
Noga Erez – VIEWS
Noga Erez – You So Done
**Noga Erez Interview**
Fousheé – Deep End
Tirzah – Send Me
Fears – Fabric
Beckie Margaret – FF
Mykki Blanco – Free Ride
New Pagans – Yellow Room
Fightmilk – Overbite
pink suits – Fake Great Britain
Thigh High – Because The Night (Patti Smith Cover)
Naz and Ella – No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)
X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage, Up Yours!

ALBUM: New Pagans – ‘The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All’

An intuitive rumination on the personal and the political, New Pagans‘ debut album The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All is a gritty, deeply poetic consideration of inequality and social injustice. Released via Big Scary Monsters, the Belfast band’s first full length record dives into the paraphernalia surrounding religion, romance and women’s pain, and resurfaces having transformed these tired archetypes into aural talismans of strength and defiance.

Formed of Claire Miskimmin, Cahir O’Doherty, Conor McAuley and Lyndsey McDougall, New Pagans blend elements of post-punk, grunge and pop to explore internal & external conflict in their music. On their 2020 debut EP Glacial Erratic, the band crafted six abrasive, yet melodic tracks that have formed the foundation for their first full length record. With the addition of five new songs, The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All is a sharper, fully fleshed out vision that sees the band’s scathing, yet sensitive approach to song-writing flourish with defiant flair.

“The demand for perfection is disturbing,” sings vocalist Lyndsey on opener ‘It’s Darker’. Based on a real life confrontation she had at a party with an aggressive male musician, the track will strike a chord with anyone who has had their opinion publicly devalued. “Everyone’s looking and I’m upset” she reveals, working through the unsettling feeling of being spoken down to via relentless riffs and commanding percussion.

Informed by overheard conversations on a Belfast bus, ‘Charlie Has The Face Of a Saint’ flows with a stream-of-consciousness narrative. Throwaway phrases like “I’m doing my part” or “You’re easy to have when you’re down on your knees” float above the loud/quiet verse/chorus structure, with the conflicting voices unable to provide answers, they simply exist in the ether. The spiralling ‘I Could Die’ follows, with its manic riffs and urgent vocals, before the powerful ‘Bloody Soil’ breaks through. It feels like the soundtrack to a social uprising, with its intense riffs and chant-able chorus.

A tribute to the sister of artists William Butler and Jack Butler Yeats, ‘Lily Yeats’ is an aural confidence boost to the song’s protagonist, and to the women who need encouragement to step out of their brother’s shadows. “My daughter needs to know that she can do the same,” sings Lyndsey over erratic riffs and pummelling beats, before dual male/female vocals drive home the message that it’s everyone’s responsibility to amplify the volume of women’s stories.

Lyndsey’s sharp focus on weaving her own stories of pain, self-autonomy and motherhood with other historic female narratives is the lyrical lifeblood of the album. She allows her own joy, grief and frustration to run parallel to others, with the band’s driving rhythms creating a musical space for the resilience and strength of these women’s histories to shine through. Singles ‘Harbour’ and ‘Yellow Room’ epitomise this.

On ‘Harbour’, Lyndsey celebrates the joy and the struggle of her own pregnancy, while on ‘Yellow Room’ she unravels the conversations around women’s mental health and the lack of support that new mothers often receive. Inspired by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s semi-autobiographical short-story The Yellow Wallpaper, ‘Yellow Room’ is a racing, urgent exploration of female isolation. Through the medium of Gilmans’ text, the band traverse these underlying doubts via crystalline vocals and charged, powerful riffs, challenging and updating the narrative around women’s mental health.

A humble, shimmering ode to the perseverance that’s needed to keep a long-term relationship going, the band’s treatment of love and its many faults on ‘Admire’ is far more romantic than any Valentine’s bouquet. “Let’s preserve our old ways / let’s preserve them always” sings Lyndsey, her voice floating above atmospheric guitars and swirling bass lines. The song builds to a cacophony of shoegaze noise, removing all sense of doubt about remaining faithful to your partner.

On ‘Ode To None’, the band rip up more outdated traditions of conventional storytelling, declaring “We’re the new pagans / dedicated to nurture”, while on the aspirational ‘Natural Beauty’, Lyndsey dismantles what it means to be an ambitious artist. It serves as a reminder to take your art seriously and to have confidence in your abilities, which is wonderfully expressed in the empowering sentiment: “It’s in her destiny to be better than you.”

A riotous, refreshing call for accountability and a take down of sexist double standards, ‘Christian Boys’ seethes with righteous fury against the unfair judgement of women who are involved with hypocritical men. Based on the experiences of Lyndsey’s friend – who had been having an affair with a Christian leader in Northern Ireland before his marriage to a virgin bride – The urgency in the repeated lyric “Christian boys are the worst I know / Christian girls should take it slow” exposes the hypocrisy underscoring the track’s narrative, calling out those who blame others for their own mistakes. It’s a powerful and necessary statement to close the record with.

On The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All, New Pagans uproot musical genres, challenge stunted narratives around social history, gender and relationships and manage to cultivate a powerful sonic resilience against them. It’s a hugely refreshing and impressive album that deserves all of the praise it’s received so far.

Order your copy of The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All here.

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Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut