The Great Escape 2023: Photos & Highlights

We were back at The Great Escape Festival running around Brighton catching some of our favourite female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ artists in new music last weekend! Spread across multiple venues in the city, the festival showcased an eclectic line-up of talent, and our Features Editor Kate Crudgington and official photographer Jon Mo were there to capture some of the highlights of the prolific three day event.

Of course, clashes, queues and timing issues meant we inevitably missed some artists – including Lambrini Girls, Brimheim, Cristale, Grove and Jessica Winter – but we did catch a glimpse of Courtney Love standing outside of Chalk on the first day of the festival, so that kind of made up for it? Read on to find out more about the shows we did manage to catch…

 

Alt-Pop is thriving via Sans Soucis, ARXX, Seraphina Simone and SPIDER

Alt-pop comes in many genre-blending guises and we saw it flourish in the form of four very different artists at the festival: Sans Soucis, ARXX, Seraphina Simone and SPIDER.

Catching Sans Soucis‘ set upstairs at Patterns on the seafront was a superb way to kick off our Great Escape experience. Having been fans of the Congolese-Italian songwriter and producer since they released their debut album, On Time For Her, back in 2021, it was a joy to watch them thrive on stage in spite of the technical difficulties that delayed the start of their set. Opening with the infectious warmth of ‘I’m On’, Sans Soucis filled the room with their lush vocals and genre-blending, glitchy-yet-melodic sounds.

We’re running out of ways to articulate how talented Hanni and Clara aka ARXX are. Playing their biggest hometown show to date at The Beach stage, the Brighton duo blasted their energetic blend of alt-pop and rock right across the pebbles. Their between-song banter is equally as entertaining as the rest of their performance. Whether they’re having their “Dua Lipa moment” on ‘God Knows’, getting the crowd to chant along to the anthemic ‘Ride Or Die’, or explaining that the youthful crowd on their recent tour with Yungblud didn’t know who Cher was – ARXX are masters of their comedic and musical craft. Having been long time supporters of this dynamic duo here at GIHE (they’ve headlined our gigs and been guests on our radio show) our hearts were swelling with pride as we watched them shine under the spotlight.

Providing something totally different, London-based songwriter Seraphina Simone delivered her bittersweet musings on love, obsession and growth to attentive fans in Patterns’ basement. Performing songs from her melancholy-tinged EP, Milk Teeth, Seraphina’s sounds shimmered across the venue, aided by drummer Sophie Galpin’s tentative beats. (Self Esteem fans will recognise both musicians, as they’re part of Rebecca Lucy Taylor’s touring band).

A real highlight of the weekend was watching Irish alt-pop polymath SPIDER openly enjoy storming around the stage at The Green Door Store. Playfully taunting the “industry guys at the back” to move forward and dance along to her high energy alt-pop anthems, the songwriter and producer delivered anti-birthday anthems like ‘I’M FINE! I’M GOOD! I’M PERFECT!’, the brooding ‘GROWING INTO IT’ and the defiant grit of ‘AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL’ with vibrant and infectious attitude. Passionate about instigating change as a young black woman making genre-blending music, SPIDER’s charisma shone through between her tracks as she spoke about not letting the industry or the voices on the internet diminish her successes. She was a joy to interview on our Soho Radio for our Great Escape Special show (listen back here) and we look forward to seeing what she does next.

The Future is here in the form of HotWax

Rumour has it that these three teens from Hastings were one of the reasons that Hole’s Courtney Love was in town. Together, Lola, Tallulah and Alfie aka HotWax are a captivating blur of energy on stage, delivering their heavy grunge riffs with impressive and authentic flair. We caught up with them for a chat before their headline set at The Lexington in London back in April (read here), but their packed set at The Beach stage excelled that performance. Highlights included their visceral new anthem about the contraceptive implant ‘Rip It Out’, the riotous ‘Treasure’, and the title track of their upcoming debut EP, ‘A Thousand Times’.

CLT DRP are a live force to be reckoned with

It was one-in-one-out when we arrived at The Black Lion to catch CLT DRP (pronounced ‘clit drip’) on Thursday night, but we managed to squeeze into the venue just in time to catch their set – and WHAT. A. SET. Blending punk vocals with idiosyncratic guitar FX and truly phenomenal drumming, Annie, Scott and Daphne commanded their enthusiastic crowd from the moment the first bead of sweat hit the floor. The Brighton trio played four sets in one day across town, but there was no hint of fatigue as they tenaciously ripped through tracks from their debut album, Without The Eyes, and finished with a knockout rendition of their latest single ‘Now Boy. It feels cliché to say it, but CLT DRP truly are a band that need to be seen live to be fully appreciated. Totally unique.

The Houndstooth 10 year anniversary showcase at St Mary’s Church was stunning

Arriving just in time to see Penelope Trappes disappear in a puff of smoke behind her keyboard at St Mary’s Church, we stayed in the ornate venue to watch sets from Icelandic songwriter JFDR and electronic artist Hinako Omori. All three musicians have released albums via the Houndstooth label, which boasts an eclectic and impressive roster.

JFDR‘s clear vocals, altruistic lyrics and tender instrumentation effortlessly filled the arches of the church. Sharing stories and musings between her tracks ‘Life Man’ and ‘The Orchid’, both of which are lifted from her recent album Museum, the musician was full of gratitude to be in Brighton playing to such an attentive congregation of listeners.

Hinako Omori‘s set followed and it was truly majestic. Heavily inspired by the physiological effects that sound frequencies have on the body and the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku (“forest-bathing”), Omori’s music seeks to understand and enhance the human condition in intricate and invigorating ways. Playing continuously for thirty minutes, the London-based musician delivered a combination of sounds from her debut album, a journey…, and her warm, expansive synths and soft, lilting vocals transported listeners into a state of calming bliss.

Guitar music is alive and well in the form of Whitelands, Coach Party, Human Interest & ĠENN

Whenever we read an article that claims “guitar music is dead” or that “guitar bands are a dying breed”, we roll our eyes and move on. Trust us when we say that it is alive and well, because we saw proof of it across The Great Escape lineup (including HotWax who we mentioned earlier)

We caught a glimpse of London-based shoegazers Whitelands at the packed Paganini Ballroom. Their hazy, melancholic guitar tones shimmered across the room, with latest single ‘Setting Sun’ proving to be a set highlight.

Isle Of Wight four-piece Coach Party played three sets across the weekend, bringing their grunge-infused cacophonies to a full crowd in the Komedia basement. The band ripped through their set, which included tracks ‘Micro Aggression’ and latest single ‘All I Wanna Do Is Hate’.

London post punks Human Interest poured their sweat and blood (literally) into a knockout set at Revenge. The four-piece delivered swaggering anthems like ‘Cool Cats’ and ‘Mixing Paint’ with impressive confidence, relishing the applause that the crowd granted them after each track.

We enjoyed the instinctive, brooding sounds of Brighton-based, Maltese band ĠENN so much, that we went to see them perform twice! The chemistry between band members Janelle, Sofia, Leanne and Leona was magnetic, as were Leona’s distinctive and powerful vocals. The band were also joined on stage by John Newton (vocalist and drummer of knockout duo JOHN) for a visceral duet during each of their shows at The Old Ship Courtyard and Zahara.

Problem Patterns are everything

Whether it’s Bev storming out into the crowd to shout in your face, Alanah staring you down with her intense glare from the stage, Ciara’s incredible bass face, or drummer Beth politely telling you to “fuck off” if you’re “homophobic, sexist, transphobic or racist” from behind her kit, there’s so much to love about Problem Patterns‘ live show.

Performing upstairs at the Prince Albert pub, the chemistry between the Belfast Riot Grrrls was a total joy to behold. Smashing through politically driven anthems like ‘TERFs Out’, ‘Who Do We Not Save?’ and ‘Y.A.W (Yes All Women)’, the four-piece switched between instruments and shared vocal duties throughout the set, not once losing the incredible momentum they’d built. Members of Fraulein, ARXX and The Oozes were all in the crowd beaming up at the grrrls as they thrashed their way through a knockout show.

We cannot wait for Problem Patterns to return to London to headline for us at the Sebright Arms on 17th November. Grab your tickets here.

We recommend you get tickets to see FLOSSING live ASAP

New York-based musicians Heather Elle and James Maclay aka FLOSSING were the final band we caught at the festival, and we were deeply impressed by their smouldering, angst-ridden sounds. Through their blend of pulverizing bass lines, experimental electronics and eclectic, heavy beats, the duo explore themes of self-acceptance, sexuality and the duplicitous nature of love and attraction. Heather – who has previously played in Bodega and The Wants – is truly mesmeric on stage. A disciplined yet expressive performer, their vocals buzzed around and resonated within the walls of the dark venue Chalk, especially during tracks like ‘Switch’. We didn’t get any pics unfortunately, so you definitely need to catch the band live next time they’re in the UK to witness it yourself!

 

Words: Kate Crudgington / @KCBobCut
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophotography

GUIDE & PLAYLIST: The Great Escape Festival 2023

Event: The Great Escape

Where: Brighton (various venues)

When: Thursday 10th – Saturday 13th May 2023

Ticket Info:
Full Weekend ticket: £105 / 2 Day ticket: £80.00 / Day ticket: between £40-55 (ticket link here)

General Info:
We’re excited to be heading back to The Great Escape Festival to tread Brighton’s pebbled beach and trek around the city trying to catch some of the best female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ new music talent! Spread across three days, the festival aims to showcase an eclectic array of artists to excited fans and music industry members. There’s also conferences and other music events running alongside the main festival.

In the lead up to Brighton, there’s a series of showcases in Glasgow and Dublin for The Road To The Great Escape. They will run from the 6th-9th May. Full info here.

Running parallel to the main festival is The Alternative Escape! Check out the venues that are getting involved and the full line-up for it here.

The Late Escape will also kick in once everything else is in full swing. It will feature after hours sets from dance and electronic artists at a number of Brighton venues on Friday May 12th and Saturday May 13th. More info here.

Who’s Playing: Full line-up & timetable here

GIHE favourites ARXX, Brimheim, Problem Patterns, Human Interest, Seraphina Simone and CLT DRP will all be singing by the seaside over the long weekend, but we’re excited to discover some brand new artists too. Below is a list of acts we’re keen to catch at the festival.

You can get to know them better by listening to our accompanying Spotify Playlist at the end of this feature, or you can listen back to our Soho Radio x Great Escape special show with SPIDER here.

Who GIHE recommend you catch:
Whitelands, Brimheim, Problem Patterns, Phoebe Go, JFDR, Cristale, ARXX, Girls Of The Internet, Alice Low, Blondshell, DEBBY FRIDAY, Witch Fever, CLT DRP, Coach Party, SPIDER, SPRINTS, Alice Longyu Gao, Gena Rose Bruce, Cumgirl8, Nuha Ruby Rah, Seraphina Simone, cumgirl8, CATBEAR, Trout, Lambrini Girls, Berry Galazka, GROVE, PVA, Delilah Holliday, Moonchild Sanelly, Mandy Indianna, Jessica Winter, PVA, Maeve, NikNak, King Hannah, The Oozes, FLOSSING, Heartworms, RUTI, Bobbi Lu, Amrit Kaur, King Isis, Baque Luar, Alien Chicks, GENN, Projector, Helen Ganya, Rauchen, O., LUCI, Gen & The Degenerates, NEY LIQA, Sans Soucis, October & The Eyes, Hinako Omori, Penelope Trappes, Jessie Marcella, Marysia Osu, CIEL, Dull, English Teacher, Flip Top Head, Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers, Mindy Meng Wang & Tim Shiel, Boyish, HANYA, HotWax, Human Interest, Lime Garden, Nice Biscuit, The Big Moon, The Last Dinner Party.

Download the official Great Escape app for the full schedule & line-up

For more information visit The Great Escape’s official website

Check out our Great Escape Festival Playlist below!

LISTEN: GIHE on Soho Radio: Great Escape Festival Special with SPIDER (01.05.23)

Tash and Kate were back on Soho Radio’s airwaves for a special show dedicated to women and non-binary artists who are playing at The Great Escape Festival this year! The pair enthused about the eclectic mix of artists on the line-up, and played tracks by Alice Longyu Gao, Witch Fever, JFDR, Brimheim, Seraphina Simone, Cristale, Delilah Holliday, HotWax, Coach Party, Problem Patterns, ARXX, Debby Friday, CLT DRP and more! Mari offered some of her suggestions too, including Whitelands, Lambrini Girls, Human Interest, King Hannah and Pool Kids.

Kate and Tash were also joined in the studio by alt-pop artist SPIDER. The Dublin-born, now London-based musician spoke about the inspirations behind her latest EP, HELL OR HIGH WATER, her anticipations for her hometown performance at Academy 2 in Dublin for Road To Great Escape on 8th May, and for her show at Green Door Store in Brighton as part of The Great Escape Festival on 11th May. She also spoke about the challenges she has faced as a young, female artist of colour sharing her music on the internet, and how it’s made her more determined to make her mark in alternative music scenes.

Listen back to the radio show below:

 

Grab your tickets for this year’s Great Escape Festival here

We’ll be back on Soho Radio on Monday 29 May at 12pm!

Tracklist
Arlo Parks – Weightless
JFDR – Life Man
CIEL – Baby Don’t You Know
Whitelands – Setting Sun
HotWax – A Thousand Times
Coach Party – Micro Aggression
Alice Longyu Gao – Come 2 Brazil
Moonchild Sanelly, Sad Night Dynamite – Demon
Cristale – Morgan
Seraphina Simone – Milk Teeth
Ruti – Luh Luh Love
Delilah Holliday, Baxter Dury – White Coats
Human Interest – Cool Cats
Hinako Omori – Spaceship Lament
CLT DRP – New Boy
DEBBY FRIDAY – Good Luck
SPIDER – GROWING INTO IT
**Interview with SPIDER**
Charlotte Plank – Lost Boys
ARXX – Ride Or Die
Pool Kids – That’s Physics, Baby
Phoebe Go – We Don’t Talk
King Hannah – Creme Brulee
Maeve – Hounds
Sans Soucis – Merchants
Witch Fever – At The Core
Problem Patterns – Who Do We Not Save
Lambrini Girls – Lads Lads Lads
Brimheim – This Week’s Laundry
Jessica Winter ft. Lynks – Clutter

PLAYLIST: April 2023

The Get In Her Ears team have put together another eclectic mix of indie & alternative anthems, industrial soundscapes, alt-pop and electronic tunes for your listening pleasure. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you press play on the playlist at the end of this post.

Follow GIHE on Spotify to hear all of our previous playlists too.

 

Whitelands – ‘Setting Sun’
I’m really into London band Whitelands at the moment! Formed of Etienne, Jagun, Vanessa and Michael, I just love their scuzzy, shoegaze-infused soundscapes, and ‘Setting Sun’ showcases their ability to create the stuff of truly captivating sonic dreams. They’ll be playing in Brighton at The Great Escape Festival in May, so make sure you catch them if you’re lucky enough to be going! (Mari Lane)

Hypsoline – ‘With You Gone’
Having completely fallen in love with Hypsoline when they played for us, supporting Currls back in December, I’m now super excited that they’ll be returning to charm us again – for their first ever London headline show – on 19th May at The Shacklewell Arms. Support comes from The Ethical Debating Society and Rom Coms. Grab your tickets here. (ML)

Circe – ‘Riot Of Sunlight’
GIHE favourite Circe has shared her new single ‘Riot Of Sunlight’, which is taken from her upcoming EP, Drawing Wings From The Light, set for release on 19th July. Inspired by her love for Jez Butterworth and Mark Rylance’s critically acclaimed play Jerusalem, it’s a commanding, delightfully disorientating blend of dizzying synths and seraphic vocals, all delivered with her distinctive and vivid charm.
(Kate Crudgington)

Twin Rains – ‘You’re The Only One’
This apocalyptic reflection on love from Toronto-based Twin Rains is the first piece of new material from the duo since 2021. Full of intoxicating riffs and smooth vocals, it’s a potent blend of dream pop and psych rock with an electronic edge, and I can’t stop listening to it. (KC)

Draag – ‘Demonbird’
LA electro-shoegazers Draag release their debut album Dark Fire Heresy today (28th April), and this swirling sonic headrush is lifted from it. Speaking about the track, frontperson Jessica Huang explains: “‘Demonbird’ was a major breakthrough in my personal journey unpacking spiritual abuse in my past. Becoming the Demonbird character in the video was a way for me to find some sort of justice for the women who were silenced and discarded in the purity culture of my particular religious upbringing…It’s a relief that it doesn’t have the same power over me anymore.” Draag’s new record is well worth your attention. Listen to it here. (KC)

Fraulein – ‘Brand New’
GIHE faves Fraulein are back with this aptly titled new single, taken from their upcoming EP, Pedestal, which is set for release on 30th June. Speaking about the track, Joni and Karsten explain: ‘Brand New’ is the closing track on the EP, and it’s essentially the conclusion to the more negative emotions explored on the first half (‘Pet’, ‘Three’). It’s about trying to start fresh, leaving all that behind, and just feeling free to be yourself, even though it’s frightening and you feel so vulnerable when you do it.” We can’t wait to hear their new record in full. Pre-order your copy on limited edition cassette here. (KC)

Ezra Williams – ‘Bleed’
Cork-based songwriter Ezra Williams is set to release their debut album, Supernumeraries, on 18th June via AWAL, and this track ‘Bleed’ is the first single lifted from the record. It’s a hazy, melancholic tune that explores the artist’s feelings of disconnection and isolation in relationships. We’re big fans of Williams’ indie pop sounds here at GIHE and I’m looking forward to hearing Supernumeraries in full. (KC)

O Hell – ‘It Heals So Quick’
Following on from their previous singles ‘pixel‘ and ‘I Watch The Women‘ – which made our Tracks Of The Year list in 2022 – Brighton-based artist and producer Lucy Sheehan aka O Hell has shared their latest offering, ‘It Heals So Quick’. Underscored by their desire to explore the duality of past and present, and the inner processes of emotional relapse and recovery, O Hell delivers their extrapolations on sexuality, ritual and sacrifice with compelling and gritty conviction. (KC)

Alien Chicks – ‘Candlestick Maker’
Mari & I were part of the sold out crowd at The Lexington watching Alien Chicks play their biggest headline show to date earlier this month, and they were absolutely electric. The Brixton-based trio, formed of Martha, Stefan and Joe, smashed through a setlist of their potent punk-inspired anthems, including this track ‘Candlestick Maker’. We’ve been obsessed with them since they played a GIHE gig for us at The Shacklewell Arms in December last year, and that’s why we named them as ‘Ones To Watch’ at the end of 2022. Go and see the band play live at The 100 Club in November this year. It’s the perfect venue to hear and see what they’re all about. Grab a ticket now. (KC)

CLT DRP – ‘New Boy’
Brighton Feminist Electro-Punks CLT DRP’s latest single is a visceral, incendiary anthem exploring the conflicting thoughts in the aftermath of a breakup. Released via Gallows’ label Venn Records, who the band have recently singed to, ‘New Boy’ is a rush of potent emotion, from it’s candid opening line about barely affording therapy, to its various cathartic, noisy breakdowns. The track is lifted from CLT DRP’s upcoming album, which is set for release later this year. (KC)

jellyskin – ‘Bringer Of Brine’
I love this new banger from Leeds-based duo jellyskin. Taken from their upcoming debut album, In Brine, which is set for release on 9th June via Wrong Speed Records, the pair combine their eccentric ideas with throbbing percussion and commanding electronics to create their techno-inspired, industrial sounds. (KC)

Calva Louise – ‘Feast Is Over’
Having been a big fan of international band Calva Louise’s fierce, sparkling energy for some time now (and even witnessing their luminous charm live across the pond in New York last year), I was excited to hear that they’ll be releasing a new EP soon. Over The Threshold will not only offer an insight into how the band’s distinctive sound has developed with a heavier, cathartic metal-infused rage, but will also be accompanied by the release of a third person video game produced by Stratera Games. An innovative move from Jess Allanic and co, inspired by her own love of Sci Fi and fantasy, which is also evident in the accompanying graphic novel the band created alongside their 2019 album Rhinoceros. Ahead of the EP’s release, the band have shared a fiercely riotous new single, ‘Feast Is Over’ – reflecting on overcoming the challenges of life, it’s an immense, raging call to arms. (ML)

Dream Phone – ‘Bad Girls’
Having been completely blown away by Oxford duo Dream Phone when they played live for us supporting Me Rex last month, I was thrilled to hear they’ll be releasing their debut EP in May. Lead single ‘Bad Girls’ offers a joyous ode to Buffy and Faith (from the best TV show ever, Buffy The Vampire Slayer), celebrating friendship and discovering your “bad side” as Jenny Bell and Hannah Watts’ sparkling charisma and vibrant energy shine through. Showcasing the duo’s ability to combine quirky voice augmentation with infectious, synth-driven glitch-pop soundscapes, it harks back to the innovative layering and sampling of Kathleen Hanna’s solo Julie Ruin record; oozing a euphoric riot grrrl inspired drive, whilst maintaining Dream Phone’s trademark playful allure. The self-titled debut EP from Dream Phone is set for release on 19th May via Divine Schism. (ML)

Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something – ‘Huge’
The latest single from London psych rockers Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something, ‘Huge’ channels the mindset of a child with ADHD. Rippling with fizzing hooks as the swirling power of Jemma’s truly distinctive vocals soars, it builds with a sparkling psychedelic allure to an immense, colourful cacophony. Showcasing the raw emotive majesty that this innovative artist is able to create, ‘Huge’ offers an epic, frenzied anthem. (ML)

Tokky Horror – ‘Toilet’
It was a total pleasure to chat to producer Zee back in March about Tokky Horror’s upcoming EP, KAPPACORE, which is set for release on 12th May via Venn Records. Lead single ‘Toilet’ is a blend of drum & bass beats, manic riffs and surprisingly vulnerable lyrics, inspired by Zee’s own experiences of finding their feet within activist scenes in music and queer spaces. Alongside dual vocalists Mollie Rush and Ava Akira, Zee will be bringing the riotous Tokky Horror show to Blondies in East London on 18th May. Full tour dates and interview here. (KC)

Duck – ‘Happy Back’
The new single from GIHE faves, Duck, ‘Happy Back’ offers an anthem for anyone awkward and self-deprecating who needs a bit of love. A wonderfully fizzing cacophony, propelled by whirring hooks and a scuzz filled goodness, it’s the first release from the band’s upcoming third album and was recorded at Make Noise Studios in Sheffield with engineer/co-producer Tom Henthorn. (ML)

Hand Habits – ‘Something Wrong’
The latest single from Hand Habits – one of my most listened to artists at the moment, and someone who’s collaborated with legends like Perfume Genius – ‘Something Wrong’ is an utterly captivating offering. Propelled by a majestic dark energy, an utterly dreamy soundscape is created; instantly immersing the listener in its haunting, emotion-strewn grace. Sugar The Bruise, the upcoming mini album from Hand Habits, is set for release in June. (ML)

Hazel Mills – ‘Enclosure’
‘Enclosure’ is the first single to be lifted from Bristol-based multi-instrumentalist Hazel Mills’ upcoming EP, The Embrace, which is set for release on the 19th of May. A beautiful blend of lilting synths, altruistic beats and evocative vocals, Mills has created a gentle hypnotising soundscape that feels more affecting each time it’s listened to. (KC)

Mere Child – ‘Not Good Enough’
Written, recorded and produced in her “poorly soundproofed kitchen/conservatory”, independent artist Aimee Herbert aka Mere Child’s latest single is a tender, atmospheric ode to persevering in the face of adversity. A poignant reflection on a difficult time, ‘Don’t Let Me Go’ shimmers with its melodic guitars, earnest lyrics and Herbert’s soft, clear vocals, which provide a lullaby-like comfort. (KC)

Prima Hera – ‘Michigan’
Described as “a classic tale of unrequited love, strewn across the highways of middle America,” this is the latest single from Sheffield-based musician Prima Hera. Full of her lush vocals, yearning lyrics and sultry reverb-drenched piano, ‘Michigan’ is a rumination on an unbalanced romantic relationship, filtered through Prima Hera’s seductive melancholy-pop lens. (KC)

Midwife & Vyva Melinkolya – ‘Miss America’
‘Miss America’ is another heavy-yet-heavenly collaboration from GIHE fave Midwife and new fave Vyva Melinkolya. This single is lifted from the duo’s upcoming 5-song album, Orbweaving, which will be released on 12th May via The Flenser. The record is described as “a web like structure – a gauze of sorrow and visceral connective thread” that combines their experiences of hopelessness, calling on a higher power, being alone, and the sublime horror of the natural world. I can’t wait to hear it. (KC)

HUSSY – ‘Blew’
This is the title track on South London-based musician Sophie Ellison aka HUSSY’s latest EP, which she released earlier this month. On Blew, she extrapolates on her inner thoughts and existential crises, whilst looking outward to the wider social contexts of why she feels the way that she does. Ellison delivers these ruminations over atmospheric, grungy guitar sounds and via her clear, brooding vocals. (KC)

The White Roses – ‘This Town’
On their brand new single, Yorkshire-based indie rock four piece The White Roses try to capture “the difficulty of what it’s like to be a young person growing up in a small town.” Full of urgent riffs and direct lyrics, the band try to work through feelings of anxiety and apathy about being left behind, whilst ignoring the “small talk” and trying to make something of themselves. (KC)

Alex Lahey – ‘They Wouldn’t Let Me In’
The latest single from Australian artist Alex Lahey, ‘They Wouldn’t Let Me In’ reflects on the isolation felt during her teenage years, as a queer person growing up. Inspired by the Netflix series Heartstopper, it oozes a comforting, heartfelt catharsis as Lahey puts into words those tough moments many queer teens experience as they try to adapt to a seemingly non-inclusive world: “I spent a lot of time thinking about my own experiences growing up as a queer teenager, being excluded from conventional romantic rites of passage, feeling like I couldn’t relate to anyone around me.” The Answer Is Always Yes, the upcoming album from Alex Lahey, is set for release on 19th May via Liberation. (ML)

Pool Kids – ‘That’s Physics, Baby’
The latest single from Florida band Pool Kids, ‘That’s Physics, Baby’ harks back to the beloved emo-strewn sounds of the early noughties. With acclaim from noughties royalty Paramore’s Hayley Williams, I just love its fizzing energy, swirling impassioned drive and catchy hooks. Pool Kids have just released their self titled second album via cult label Big Scary Monsters, and you can catch them live at The Sebright Arms on 10th May. (ML)

Heart Shaped – ‘Felt’
Following on from her previous release ‘No Contact’, Houston-born, Belfast-based songwriter Heart Shaped has provided her listeners with another cinematic slice of dream pop on ‘Felt’. Inspired by the self-deception that can underpin some romantic relationships, it’s an effervescent, uplifting offering full of soothing vocals, hazy guitar sounds and tender lyrics. (KC)

Sorry Girls – ‘Prettier Things’
Montreal duo Heather Foster Kirkpatrick and Dylan Konrad Obront aka Sorry Girls are set to release their new album in June, and continue to charm our ears with their lilting heartfelt offerings. Reflecting on being honest with yourself, ‘Prettier Things’ oozes a glistening splendour as Heather’s crystalline sugar-sweet vocals ripple with a stirring emotion throughout. A truly blissful soundscape, luring the listener in with an immersive twinkling grace. (ML)

Fern Veh – ‘Galaxies’
Fern Veh are a Leeds-based solo-project-turned-five-piece band headed by Ada Fae Gilfoyle, who create sounds that flow in an dreampop-indie-post-rock vein. They’re currently working on their debut album, and this track ‘Galaxies’ is the first single from the record. Described as “an intimate and atmospheric love song”, it’s a gentle, dreamy tune. (KC)

Divide and Dissolve – ‘Blood Quantum’
I’ve been following doom instrumentalists Divide and Dissolve since they released their second album, Abomination, back in 2018, so I was thrilled earlier this month when the duo announced that they’ll be releasing their fourth album, Systemic, on 30th June via Invada Records. This single ‘Blood Quantum’ is the first taste of what’s to come. “This music is an acknowledgement of the dispossession that occurs due to colonial violence,” explains Saxophonist and guitarist Takiaya Reed. Takiaya also credits the duo’s 2021 album, Gas Lit, for laying the foundation for their new sounds: “Because of what was built with Gas Lit, Systemic is able to express itself.” I can’t wait to hear it. Watch the striking accompanying video for ‘Blood Quantum’ here. (KC)