PLAYLIST: September 2020

It’s been another testing month, filled with more government Covid-19 “rule” changes and unwanted opinions on social media, but we’re determined to keep our spirits up by listening to some of our favourite women and non-binary artists. September’s GIHE playlist is filled with an eclectic mix of alt-pop gems, frenzied guitar anthems, indie tunes and alternative new 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 the page.

 

Noga Erez – ‘You So Done’
An emotionally charged offering from a resilient and uncompromising artist, Noga Erez’s latest single is accompanied by a stunning set of visuals directed by Indy Hait. The Tel Aviv based artist delves deep into the memories left behind by a toxic relationship, making this her most personal release to date. She’s yet to share something that we don’t collectively adore here at GIHE, so expect to see her name on all future playlists! (Kate Crudgington)

Eilis Frawley – ‘Stats’
The poignant new single from GIHE fave Eilis Frawley, ‘Stats’ offers a completely unique soundscape from the classically trained percussionist. Kicking off with an arresting drumroll, it quickly picks up the pace moving into bold, Krautrock-infused spoken word, as the lyrics see Frawley recite hard-hitting stats, highlighting the everyday injustices facing women today. Tackling issues such as period poverty, FGM, domestic violence and other vital issues, it’s a beautifully striking and necessary listen. A poignant protest song that you can dance to. ‘Stats’ is out now via faves Reckless Yes. (Mari Lane)

Æ Mak feat. Seba Safe – ‘i dance in the kitchen’
Embracing production duties for the first time on her new EP, how to: make a kitsch pop song to show the world, Æ MAK – aka Aoife McCann – made this record during the Covid-19 lockdown period with “100% childsplay and solo belly laughs”. This single in particular showcases her delightfully carefree, vibrant attitude when it comes to letting go of performance qualms and focusing on making music that makes you feel good. (KC)

HANYA – ‘Texas’
The latest single from Brighton’s Hanya, ‘Texas’ is propelled by a dreamy haze, as it flows with twinkling hooks and the soaring, effervescent vocals of front person Heather Sheret. With shades of the lush surf-pop of Real Estate or Best Coast, it’s a shimmering slice of exquisite indie-pop oozing a blissful tranquility and spellbinding ethereal splendour. The perfect soundtrack to soothe these post-summer blues. Of the track, the band explain: “‘Texas’ was entirely written and recorded during lockdown, experimenting with working remotely as a group. The track explores the startings of a relationship – the head-over-heels uncertainty, the self-doubt and the desire to know each other entirely.” (ML)

Daniela Andrade – ‘Puddles’
A definite September highlight for me comes from Honduran-Canadian producer and musician Daniela Andrade. The track is called ‘Puddles’, it’s self-produced and it has been reverberating around my head since I first heard it. If you don’t start swaying when you hear this, something is wrong. This track was announced alongside details of her new EP, Nothing Much Has Changed, I Don’t Feel The Same, which is out on 30th September via Crooked Lid. (Tash Walker)

Komang – ‘DEWI’ 
I cannot get this song out of my head! It’s excellent. It comes from Melbourne artist Komang and is her debut release, endorsed by a mentorship with the amazing Sui Zhen. Komang is a multidisciplinary producer, performer and vocalist who blends soul-based groove and echoes of traditional Gamelan to create vibrant electronic RnB described as “neo-soul meets Balinese mystic power”. This track is lifted from her forthcoming EP Mythologies, which is set to be released later this year. There’s only one way to listen to this song and that’s very loudly with your eyes closed. TURN UP THAT DIAL. (TW)

Nina Cobham – ‘Solar’ (Bipolar Sunshine Remix)
I love this remix by Bipolar Sunshine of Nina Cobham’s ‘Solar’, it’s so goddamn sultry. Makes me hold onto those dreamy summers of years gone by… (TW)

Seraphina Simone – ‘Hollywood $$$’
The latest release from one of my faves Seraphina Simone, a song shining the spotlight on the glitzy, gritty, ghastly Hollywood. In her words, “’Hollywood $$$’ is about the Lynchian, fame-obsessive undercurrents of tinsel town, with its sirens, starlets, leeches & letches. It’s about that world of smoke and mirrors – where nothing and no one is really as it seems, and the world of celebrity – where we deify or demonise people into these superhumans or arch villains. Kim Gordon mentions ‘tarantula LA glamour’ in Girl In A Band, and that sums it up perfectly I think – the predatory darkness under the glitz.” Amazing description, I defy you to not think of Mulholland Drive or even Selling Sunset (for my sins) when you press play on this. (TW)

ZAND – ‘Slut Money’
A defiant, savage pop tune that celebrates self-autonomy, body positivity and sexuality, self-described “ugly pop” star ZAND takes aim at slut shamers on their latest single. They deftly defy the haters on ‘Slut Money’ through a combination of gritty beats, sweet vocals and candid rap verses. (KC)

Leikeli47 – ‘Zoom’
I’m ashamed to say I’m extremely late to the Leikel47 party, but I’m so glad I’ve now discovered the gritty, brutal wit of the bandana-clad Virginia born rapper. Following 2018’s epic album Acrylic, last month she shared ‘Zoom’. Holding nothing back, ‘Zoom’ showcases Leikel47’s swagger and tenacity with its glitchy beats, catchy hooks and lyrical wit, with references to ‘90s boy bands and her roots in the DMV area: “I ain’t the type of bitch to do a lot of barking/ And only thing I need validated is my parking/ I’m from the back street boy, where it’s very rare to link/ And if you using the wrong note/ We’ll put yo ass n sync…” I just can’t get enough of it. And if you too are new to the joy of Leikel47, I strongly suggest checking out singles ‘Girl Blunt’ and ‘Money’. (ML)

Tolü Makay – ‘Don’t Let Go’
An understated, beautifully soothing listen, Nigerian-born, Ireland-based artist Tolü Makay gently reassures her listeners to let go of their fears through her smooth vocals, tender lyricism and jazz inspired instrumentation on this reassuring track. (KC)

SUSU – ‘Work Song’
New York based SUSU have shared this epic guitar tune that powerfully demonstrates the deep civil unrest that’s simmering beneath the Covid-19 pandemic in the USA. The band explain: “This song is for US – the disenfranchised, black, brown, minority, middle class, poor, trans, gay, and subjugated communities stepping down off the auction block, breaking the stranglehold; saying: ‘If a house gets in my way, you know I’ll burn it down.’ As Nina Simone once said, ‘An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times’.” (KC)

MOURN – ‘Men’
A rallying cry against toxic masculinity and street harassment, Barcelona-based MOURN’s latest single is lifted from their upcoming album Self Worth, which is set for release on 30th October via Captured Tracks. The song is an honest, cathartic purge of the distrust and anger many women suppress on a daily basis when they’re intimidated in public spaces. (KC)

Francis Of Delirium – ‘Equality Song’
Funded by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Equality to celebrate 100 years of women’s right to vote, Francis Of Delirium’s vocalist & guitarist Jana Bahrich penned this poignant track in the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. It’s a powerful, necessary dismantling of the ingrained sexism and toxic masculinity that permeates society. (Just a heads up: there’s mention of rape/sexual assault) (KC)

Fightmilk – ‘If You Had A Sister’
The latest single from faves Fightmilk, ‘If You Had A Sister’ may be more sombre in tone than previous releases, as it oozes a swirling melancholy and heartfelt lyricism, but it loses none of the band’s trademark emo-tinged indie-pop goodness. Propelled by the gritty, raw emotion of front person Lily’s yearning vocals alongside scuzzy hooks and perfectly interwoven musical layers, it offers a shimmering reflection on life and loss. The band expand: “ … if there was ever a time for songs you can do ominous slow dancing to, it’s 2020.” ‘If You Had A Sister’ is out now via Reckless Yes. (ML)

Ailbhe Reddy – ‘Looking Happy’
Dublin’s Ailbhe Reddy has transformed the crushing sadness that comes with seeing your ex “enjoying” their life on social media without you, into a buoyant alt-folk gem. Lifted from her upcoming debut album Personal History, which is set for release on 2nd October, the track taps into the feelings of inadequacy we all experience when the FOMO unexpectedly hits us while scrolling through our ex’s newsfeed. (KC)

First Frontier – ‘Take Cover’
Having been creating music together since last year, South London duo Helena Poole (who has previously played for us at The Finsbury in her other band Macadamia Sluts) and Paul Stafford – aka First Frontier – pride themselves on choosing hope over fear and play over fight. Focusing on what we can control and devote positive energy to, debut single ‘Take Cover’ is propelled by scuzzy hooks and thrashing beats, creating a catchy slice of fuzzed-out garage rock, tinged with dark ‘80s nu-wave vibes and swirling harmonies. (ML)

Nadine Shah – ‘Ladies For Babies (Goats For Love)’
In the wake of another irritating tirade from “that” man-punk-band of the moment, I just wanted to take this opportunity to declare my love for Nadine Shah. Having released her immense latest album Kitchen Sink earlier this year, she completely blew me away when playing the BBC 6Music festival in March; one of the most immersive live performances I’ve ever witnessed, it’s simply impossible not to become utterly captivated by her unique charisma and the subtle, gritty power of her vocal delivery. I’d pay whatever it took to take her on tour with me… (ML)

Vanessa Richardson – ‘Spider’
This track is right up my experimental music street. It comes from Toronto/Montreal based Vanessa Richardson who is an experimental singer, songwriter and producer. I’ve listened to it non-stop since I heard it first, I love the loops, the deep vocals, the feverish percussion, it really creates this wonderfully dark intoxicating sound. Sublime. (TW)

Masma Dream World – ‘Theta’
This is the lead track from the upcoming album by Masma Dream World, the solo recording project of multi-disciplinary artist Devi Mambouka. Of the track, she explains: “From age 0-7, the human brain is in ‘theta,’ a state during which our minds can be programmed to believe anything. I became quickly aware of that programming growing up in the African country of Gabon, where, despite its Matriarchal roots, young girls are groomed to be wives and mothers only — there are no other options.” Mambouka wanted to create an anthem for these young girls, which developed into the otherworldly trip-hop song ‘Theta,’ driven by a deep sub-bass and kick drum. The lyrics, which are heard both forward and in reverse, translate to: “We are girls from central Africa. We are Gabomas!” Gaboma refers to a young hip Gabonese girl. As with the rest of her debut album, the music is designed specifically to awaken one’s power source from within, and it set for release on 25th September via Northern Spy. Incredible. (TW)

LibraLibra – ‘Listerine’
A step away from the usual high energy riotous cacophonies of the Brighton band’s previous releases, ‘Listerine’ reflects on lingering painful memories. Showcasing the incredible soaring splendour and versatility of front woman Beth Cannon’s vocals with an almost operatic force, the track oozes a glistening soulful majesty, creating a striking cinematic soundscape. With blissful twinkling keys providing the backdrop to Beth’s vocals, it’s filled with poignant, reflective lyricism as a raw, emotion-strewn power builds to a magnificent, immense anthem of self-realisation. ‘Listerine’ is taken from LibraLibra’s new EP, Hail Mary, out now. (ML)

Balraj Singh Samrai, Pandit G Gavsborg, Farah Amad Khan, Shanique Marie, Tunde Adekoya, Vikaash – ‘I should have hugged you tighter when we last met (Oh What A Joy)’
This piece was made in June of this year with the help from Opera North’s artist development programme, Resonance: The Lockdown Edition. Combining  music and spoken word to document life  during the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on  communities of colour, Samrai initially produced an instrumental which tabla player Vikaahsh Sankadecha added South Asian percussion rhythms to. Equiknoxx member Gavsborg then penned a poem for the track, and Farah Ahmad Khan added her own spoken word contribution. The accompanying video is so powerful and was made by the Rainbow Collective, go check it out and raise the profile of this track. This is documentary art at its best. (TW)

 

Track Of The Day: Noga Erez – ‘You So Done’

A resilient, emotionally charged offering from a defiant and uncompromising artist, Noga Erez has shared her new single ‘You So Done’ via City Slang. Accompanied by a stunning set of visuals directed by Indy Hait, the Tel Aviv based artist delves deep in to the memories left behind by a toxic relationship, making this her most personal release to date.

“At some point, exactly one year ago, I started flashing back to one of the darkest times in my life,” Erez explains. “I was young, incredibly confused and lonely. There was a moment during this period where I was actually so weak, insecure and in need of love that I was not able to step out of what I know now to be an emotionally abusive relationship.” Erez’s recognition may strike a chord with many listeners who have endured this kind of emotional isolation, and she wants them to know they are not alone and that there is always a way out.

Erez has channelled her fears, frustrations and un-nerving flashbacks into ‘You So Done’, which despite its context, radiates artistic confidence. Far removed from the joviality of previous lockdown inspired single ‘NO News On TV’, Erez’s distinctive sound has evolved further on this new single. “What a joke, what a joke you made me / What’s a Queen to a Joker, tell me” she taunts over spacious beats and warped electronics, her calm delivery belying any resentment she feels about her experiences.

Erez’s patience and willingness to explore her memories in the track and the accompanying video are what make both so impressive. Her third collaboration with Tel Aviv-based director Indy Hait, the visuals for ‘You’re So Done’ felt risky to Erez in the beginning. “Usually, I have an idea or I work with a director on an idea together. I decided to let [Hait] do his thing. He offered up an idea that included a robot and I immediately hated it. I was just not able to imagine how it wouldn’t come off as a science fiction video and felt it wasn’t my style. But after talking and tearing the idea apart, I realised that this is a truly meaningful character.

The robot in this video is actually not the violent character. Its job was to portray the act of violence through transferring the moves from an unseen character and helping them come alive visually. The video uses muscle memory as the ‘engine’ to that violent dance act, and muscle memory is something that fascinates me. Eventually this video is far from being science fiction, it is my most personal video to date.”

Watch the video for ‘You’re So Done’ below and follow Noga Erez on bandcamp, Facebook & Spotify for more updates

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Noga Erez – ‘NO News on TV’

A deceptively simple, buoyant exploration of how it might feel to disconnect from reality; Noga Erez has shared her latest single, ‘NO News on TV’. Erez penned the track during the covid-19 pandemic with her partner Ori Rousso, whilst continuing to work on her second album which is set for release later this year.

Polished production, catchy beats, and relatable lyrics combine to make ‘NO News on TV’ one of Erez’s most memorable tracks to date. She completed it without the usual distraction of emails, news and phone calls; and was therefore able to imagine a world with no access to “politics, money, grit, racism or violence.”

“I don’t wanna look at my phone anymore” she muses in the track’s opening line, fatigued by the constant flow of bad news. But rather than encouraging listeners to switch off from the world, Erez highlights that this apathy is an unhealthy privilege, and one that many communities do not have.

The Tel-Aviv based artist articulates why it’s so crucial not to turn away when we see injustice: “As I write these words people in America and all over the world are fighting for justice for the black community. It’s tragic and saddening that in this day and age we still have to deal with racism. But this fight is so extremely important, not just for the black community in the US but for any person who suffers from oppression and mistreatment.”

“I call this song ‘a children’s song for adults’ because it shows a naive, Utopian reflection of reality. I just needed to have a song like that. An escape song. [But] this isn’t time for escaping, it’s a time for confronting. Singing about how ‘everybody’s free’ right now is such an incredible dissonance for me. It says exactly what it needs to say: not everyone is free. Actually most of us aren’t, but some of us are literally, physically not free. And that has to change fast.”

Erez explores these themes in the beautifully shot video that accompanies the track, featuring an exquisitely decorated mansion and a devious bear playing drums. She elaborates on her characterisation and the visual metaphors she used: “I wanted to play a character that is very different from how I see myself, and the feeling of boredom playing a big part in a subconscious way throughout the video. The bear here is an intruder, a threat coming from the outside world and messing up the Utopia, and also salvaging the character from the underwhelming feeling of having no worries or trouble. Once she gets friendly and intimate with the intruder she instantly realises the outside world is too scary, too intense and she decides to get rid of it and go back to closing herself off from anything outside her beautiful, perfect boredom.”

Check out the video for ‘NO News on TV’ below and follow Noga Erez on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Noga Erez (feat. ROUSSO) – ‘Views’ (Kids Against The Machine Vol. 1)

Stripped back, poignant, and just as stylish as the original rendition; Noga Erez has shared an alternative version of her most recent single, ‘Views’. With ‘(Kids Against The Machine Vol. 1)’ added to the title, Erez and her partner & collaborator Ori Rousso perform a flawless rendition of the track, accompanied by the vibrant sounds of a six-piece band.

After a string of stand-alone releases over the last two years (‘Bad Habits’, ‘Cash Out’, ‘Chin Chin’), ‘Views’ is the first single lifted from Erez’s highly anticipated second album, which is set for release via City Slang later this year. The Tel-Aviv musician’s clear vocals glide over slick beats and pop hooks to create an infectiously powerful anti-fakeness anthem, and this new rendition is equally as affecting.

There’s obvious chemistry between Erez, Rousso, and the talented musicians they perform with in the track’s accompanying video, showcasing Erez & Rousso’s natural talents as performers. ‘Views (Kids Against The Machine Vol. 1)’ is the first of several stripped-back tracks that Erez will be sharing throughout the year, and we can’t wait to hear more of these unexpected gems.

Watch the video for ‘Views’ (Kids Against The Machine Vol. 1) below, and follow Noga Erez on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut