FIVE FAVOURITES: Grace Savage

Grace Savage is a four-time UK beat-box champion turned electro-pop artist. With her ability to produce catchy beats and write witty relatable lyrical content, her live shows are an impressive spectacle; and her performance at Loud Women Festival last year made a mark in our musical memory. She’s set to release her new EP Cracks on 17th May and will pre-empt the launch with a headline show at Bermondsey Social Club on 15th May (tickets available here).

We caught up with Grace to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you listen to her single ‘Snowflake’ at the end of this post.

Amy Winehouse – Frank
I heard this album for the first time when I was 14, hanging out in my friend’s bedroom. I instantly fell in love and knew this woman was something special. The tone of her voice, the sensitivity and intelligence of the lyrics, the infectious melodies..I didn’t know much about music technically at the time, but I just felt the soul of this album to my core and I still listen to it today as much as I did back then.

I learned the song ‘Fuck Me Pumps’ on the guitar and it was the first song I ever sang in front of another human being. It was a producer who’d seen me beatbox in a talent competition, and then invited me to her studio; she asked me to sing something for her and I was absolutely terrified. I sang Amy’s song and she must’ve seen something in me because we then worked together as a songwriting partnership for four years. So this album will always have a special place in my heart.

P!nk – Can’t Take Me Home
I cannot even begin to explain the level of obsession I had with P!nk as a young girl. Posters on the bedroom wall, dyed my hair pink at 13, got my tongue pierced at 15, my email address for most of my teenage years was pink_b!tch@hotmail.com – it was a LOT. She was this bad ass lady with bright pink hair and so much attitude and I just wanted to be everything she was. She was a great role model for me as a young girl who didn’t fit in with the ”girly girls” and this album (although when I listen to it now sounds SO dated) was a big part of my teenage years. I’ve followed her career ever since and I’m seeing her live for the first time this summer….I think I might explode with nostalgia and happiness.

Nirvana – Nevermind
This album inspired me to learn the guitar. I went through the classic “grunge girl” stage for about a year (black nails, big nose ring, nirvana hoodies, eye liner, really bad skate boarding) and it was all heavily influenced by this album and Kurt Cobain’s genius. I was always such a hip hop head/r&b and pop music girl, but something about Nirvana really got me. The guitar riffs, the husky tone of his voice, the weird lyrics and the “don’t give a f***” attitude of the whole band was really refreshing against the shiny manufactured pop bands I was exposed to in the 90’s and early 00’s. This album introduced me to a different kind of music and really let me indulge my emo side.

Ms Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
Ahhh it was so close between Lauryn and Missy Elliot because both had a huge impact on me growing up, but seeing as this is about ALBUMS and not ARTISTS… I had to choose this one. I remember I was about 14/15 and my mate said he bought this album and didn’t like it so he gave it to me to try. I’m so glad he did, because BOOYYY it is ICONIC! I fell in love with her voice watching Sister Act and I fell in love with this album the moment I heard it. Triple threat: singer, rapper, writer. There were really no other artists around like her at the time and her voice is unparalleled in my opinion. I still can’t think of anyone who sings, writes and raps as fluently and excellently as she does. She is one of a kind. I saw her perform the 20 year anniversary of this album in London last year and it was a beautiful experience.

BANKS – Goddess
This is the only “modern” album on my list but no less impactful and meaningful to my life. This is my break up album. I must have listened to it and cried to it and ran to it and danced to it and slept to it and then cried some more to it almost every day for about a year. When it came out, the production was like nothing I’d ever heard before and her lyrics and tone were so unique and dark and sexy, I was immediately like “WOAH” who is this girl? I’ve seen her live a few times now and she never fails to disappoint. ‘Waiting Game’ and ‘Brain’ still continue to be some of my favourite songs in existence – the slow driving kick drum, the long builds throughout the whole song, the deep driving synths and the tribal feel to her vocals drenched in reverb. Beaut. Thanks for getting me over the worst break up of my life. I owe you one BANKS!

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

VIDEO PREMIERE: Medicine Boy – ‘Bottom Of The Blue’

Berlin-based duo Medicine Boy have shared new visuals for their single ‘Bottom Of The Blue’ and were delighted to be premiering it here on GIHEs. Formed of André Leo and Lucy Kruger, the pair released their latest album Lower via Fuzz Club at the beginning of October, and are currently touring the UK before moving on to play a host of EU shows.

We caught up with Lucy to talk about her ‘Five Favourites’ – five artists or albums that have influenced her songwriting technique. Check out her responses below, and make sure you watch the brand new video for ‘Bottom Of The Blue’ too!

I have never been someone who has been able to approach music/writing with a particular style or reference in mind. Things sort of fall out of me or they don’t. I like the idea that listening to something obsessively means somehow embodying it. There is a small (or not so small) shift in the way you think/feel/listen that will inevitably come through in the things you create. These are five albums that found me at certain pivotal points in my life – both musically and personally.

1. Joni Mitchell – Blue
I was sixteen the first time I heard Joni Mitchell. Or at least the first time I really listened to her. It was evening and I was lying on my bed and it felt like she was in my room with me. I was overwhelmed by the intimacy, the feeling of companionship. The kind of music that hurts you and holds you. And heals you. This record has scored most of my adult life and so every listen gets a little fuller. It is home and a constant reminder to remain honest.

2. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
I fell in love with Kate Bush when I was very little. Her music excited me. I found her strange and intriguing. She seemed to be full of magic. As if she was an angel or a fairy or
something. She remains that presence in my life. So wild and full of feeling. She makes me want to dance and weep. She makes me feel braver about experimenting with expression.

3. Nirvana – In Utero
I suppose this was the first time music served a truly cathartic purpose for me. A vessel for deeply uncomfortable fifteen year old feelings. To be able to find and create beauty in the disconcerting and disturbing. This has always stuck with me. Music that allows you to feel seen, in all of your states. Particularly those that you are expected to keep more private.

4. Lark – Razbliuto
Lark is a South African alternative electronic band fronted by Inge Beckmann. I discovered them when I was in University and became a little obsessed. I would have done so had they not been South African but it was extremely meaningful to have something so inspiring so close to home. Their music is dark and driving and full of beauty. Melancholic, glitchy and gothic. I fell in love before seeing them live. And then I saw them live and was completely bewitched. Inge has an incredible presence. There is a force and freedom that is intoxicating. She is a punk and a poet.

5. Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator)
This is an anchor of mine. There is a weight and a warmth in it that makes me feel safe and open and alive. It is stripped and essential and so very steady. The songs seem to fall out of Gillian and Dave and into each other. The last track is 14 minutes long and I am so grateful for all those seconds.

Medicine Boys UK Tour Dates 2018
23/11 – London (UK) – The Waiting Room
24/11 – Cardiff (UK) – The Moon
25/11 – Bristol (UK) – The Lanes

Order your copy of Lower here.
Follow Medicine Boys on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: Valentine’s Day 2018

Look, we know Valentine’s Day will never top Galentine’s Day, but we might as well hijack this awful date and try and use it as an excuse to get another cracking playlist set up for your listening pleasure. Whether you want to celebrate romantic love, sisterly love, brotherly love, other-worldly love – or just stay in with a bottle of whatever and seduce yourself – we reckon this playlist has you covered….

Best Coast – ‘Crazy For You’ 
When Paul and I first started going out, I was living in Dorset and he was living in London, so we were sort of pen-pals for a while – sending each other mixtapes and little drawings (his were much better than mine, obvs). One weekend when I was missing him a lot, I received a package with a copy of Best Coast’s Crazy For You album enclosed. The title track has been one of ‘our songs’ ever since. An upbeat, summery tale of naive romanticism and all-consuming love. (Mari Lane)

Wolf Alice – ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’
“I’d like to get to know you, I’d like to take you out…” My heart beats so hard when I hear the opening line of this glorious tune from Wolf Alice. The sweet, reluctant lyrics and gentle synth sounds make having feelings for someone sound like the most tender and precious thing in the world – even if they scare you half to death when the track stops playing. (Kate Crudgington)

Kill J – ‘You Have Another Lover’
An anti-valentine ode to love and betrayal from Danish faves of mine Kill J. Equal parts heavenly and haunting, ‘You Have Another Lover’ layers and loops, so unsettling and so suffocating. This was actually where my favourite phrase to date “so chill I can’t even” derives from. (Tash Walker)

FKA Twigs – ‘Good To Love’
I heard FKA Twigs’ debut album LP1 for the first time after a painful break-up a few years ago, and I was captivated by her musical explorations of lust and heartbreak. I always return to the album when I feel lost or rejected, but stand alone single ‘Good To Love’ is another soft, calming tonic for the moments when my heart starts second-guessing itself. (KC)

Le Tigre – ‘Eau D’bedroom Dancing’
Taken from one of my favourite albums of all time, this uncharacteristic ballad of Le Tigre’s is a simple, lo-fi proclamation of love. Maintaining the stripped back nature of Hanna’s solo Julie Ruin project, it showcases a subtle fragility to her vocals; one which is often hidden behind her powerful persona. And, with lyrics like “The world’s a mess and you’re my only cure”, it seems to sum up the feelings of longing and vulnerability that can come with being in love, however independent we may normally be. (ML)

Courtney Barnett – ‘Lance Jr’
The excellent lyricist Courtney Barnett delivers some of my favourite lines in this track ‘Lance Jr’, where she casually sings about masturbating to a guy’s songs followed by “Doesn’t mean I like you man/It just helps me get to sleep…” Legit. We’ve got to look after ourselves people, and what a difference a good night’s sleep makes. (TW)

Alvvays – ‘Archie, Marry Me’ 
This song from my fave Canadian band just always puts a smile on my face. Paul and I have spent many an evening, or car journey, singing this to each other. It just makes me feel all fuzzy and warm inside. (ML)

Nirvana – ‘Love Buzz’
Originally sung by Dutch rock band Shocking Blue, Nirvana released this as their debut single back in 1988. It’s one of my favourite songs, and I still feel a glorious buzz whenever I spin it. (KC)

Joan Jett – ‘Crimson & Clover’
If you’re not singing this classic in to the face of the one you love on karaoke by the end of the day, you’ve failed Valentine’s Day 2018. (KC)

Blondie – ‘One Way or Another’
Co-written by Debbie Harry, this track is actually about an ex of hers who took things too far and started stalking her… I think it’s good to know what’s out there guys, this is still a tale of love, albeit obsessive creepy love. (TW)

Deep Throat Choir – ‘Baby’
I’ve seen Deep Throat Choir live a number of times, and each time it’s been a simply euphoric experience watching the exceptional power of these women uniting their voices to summon a force that is truly awe-inspiring. This exquisitely beautiful cover of the Donnie and Joe Emmerson ’70s classic just gets me every time. (And, don’t tell anyone, but if I ever get married I’d like Deep Throat Choir to come and sing this at the wedding, please). (ML)

Joni Mitchell – ‘A Case Of You’ 
If you can listen to this song without tears in your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I ever will be. The heartbreakingly poetic lyrics, the stripped back instrumentation, the soaring, subtle power of Joni’s incredible vocal range; it’s just a devastatingly perfect love song. (ML)