Track Of The Day: The Motion – ‘Sleep Talk’

Having previously wowed us live at The Finsbury, and with a special acoustic set on our radio show last year, The Motion – a musical project curated by songwriter, engineer and producer Penny Churchill – draws on raw and emotionally-driven lyrics to reflect on their own personal experiences. New single ‘Sleep Talk’ is a slow indie record, using synthetic instrumentals behind soft vocals to add an air of vulnerability that couples with the lyrics perfectly.

Themes of isolation, insomnia and emotional instability expose Churchill’s own raw emotions, which makes it easy for the audience to connect with what they’re saying. The light/dark of the verses and brighter choruses reflect the real-life contrast between happiness and sadness, which are effectively fused together in ‘Sleep Talk’, creating a truly immersive offering. 

Of the track, The Motion explains:

“The track captures the mood of being stuck in a cyclical rut of routine. The verses are slow and sonically dark, whereas the chorus is directly contrasting with a warm, surreal feeling. This makes me feel as though, for a moment, I am elsewhere, somewhere with a more free and organic atmosphere in momentary bliss.”

‘Sleep Talk’ is out now, listen on Soundcloud. And you can catch The Motion live on 5th June at The Underbelly in Hoxton Square, London.

 

Bekky Smart
@bekkymays

Track Of The Day: Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something – ‘Helen is A Reptile’

Having captivated us with the kaleidoscopic sounds of their last EP Someone Else To Blame, as well as completely blowing us away on numerous occasions with their immense live show, Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something have now shared a magnificent new single.

Drawing on the subjects of OCD and suicidal ideation, ‘Helen Is A Reptile’ describes a human lizard hybrid realisation of dark thoughts that can creep through victims’ minds and taunt them when they’re most vulnerable. Written after Jemma had been experiencing days of insomnia, the track is propelled by a primal, whirring energy as immense swirling hooks accompany their raw, impassioned vocals.

A soaring slice of sparkling psych-rock with shades of ‘70s glam, ‘Helen Is A Reptile’ oozes all of Freeman’s trademark hypnotic majesty, creating an other-worldly sonic delight, whilst drawing attention to the extremely pressing issue of mental health.

Featuring Wendy Rae Fowler and Martina Ziewe, and directed by Black Triangle, you can watch the new video for ‘Helen Is A Reptile’ here:

Buy ‘Helen Is A Reptile’ for what you can afford on Bandcamp now. And catch Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something live for the single launch, along with GIHE faves Scrounge and Eyesore and The Jinx, tomorrow 2nd May at The Windmill Brixton.

And, not only is ‘Helen Is A Reptile’ a treat for the ears, but it’s accompanied by an utterly unique, handmade lathe cut vinyl. There are only 55 copies of the vinyl and each one has been individually hand cut by 345 vinyl in Brighton. The covers are all unique and each have a piece of lino flooring from the video set attached. On the other side, there is a unique lino print designed and printed by Jem and numbered by hand in their South London home. They will be available only at the launch party and 10 will be held back for a special silent auction online, the winners to be announced on Friday 3rd May, all proceeds will go to charity Music Support UK – a charity supporting those in any area of the UK music industry suffering from addiction, emotional and mental health issues. All details of how to get involved in the auction below:

  • There are ten 7” singles available to buy online via this blind auction.
  • The ten largest bids submitted to the auction will be the winners.
  • You can only bid once in this auction, but if you’re interested in buying multiple copies please  also say how many you’d like to buy at the price you bid. If your bid ends up in the top 10 we’ll try to accommodate your request for multiple copies, subject to availability.
  • Auction begins at midnight on 2nd May and ends at 23:59 (UK time) the same day. Bids received outside of these times will not be entered into the auction.
  • Send your bid to us in a private message via the JF&TCS Facebook page. All bids received via other means (public comments on fb posts, email, other social media, carrier pigeon) will not be entered into the auction.
  • Bids must be placed in £GBP.
  • JF&TCS will keep the retail price of the single to cover manufacturing costs (£10), plus P&P expenses from each winning bid. The rest of the money bid will be donated to Music Support UK. 
  • All bids placed are binding commitments to pay the price bid for one copy of the 7” single. Please don’t bid more than you’re prepared to pay.
  • Winners will be notified as soon as possible via email after the auction ends. We’ll also send you a PayPal invoice for the amount bid so you can pay for your 7”.
  • The names of the winners will be published by JF&TCS in a FB post as soon as possible after the auction ends, once sales have been finalised (unless you prefer to remain anonymous – please let us know if so). 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

GIHE Celebrates International Women’s Day 2019

As you may be aware, at Get In Her Ears we celebrate wonderful female artists every single day! So, you may feel that there’s no real need for us to remind you on International Women’s Day to recognise them. But, as much as we try, days like today still seem necessary for society to take a minute and recognise not only the achievements of all the fantastic womxn in the world, but also to draw attention to the ongoing injustices and ingrained sexism that still sadly exists in 2019.

So, this International Women’s Day, we’ve put together some of the female/non binary artists that we feel have been pivotal in pushing forward womxn and equality in music over the last year. Read about why each of them inspire us, and listen to the super mega playlist below…

Aretha Franklin – ‘Respect’
I just couldn’t not include Queen Aretha, who the world sadly lost in August last year. She remains one of the most influential artists the world has ever known; a beautiful soul who changed music forever, as well as campaigning for civil rights throughout her life.
(Mari Lane)

Nova Twins – ‘Lose Your Head’
A lesson in cutting loose and walking on the wild side, South East London duo Nova Twins provided us with this mind-melter of a track earlier in the year. Last year, we were lucky enough to have Amy & Georgia come into the Hoxton Radio studio for a chat, and they blew us away playing live for Loud Women at The Lexington too. Their raw, abrasive, genre-defying tunes are consistent favourites here at Get In Her Ears, and I’m sure they’ll bring the noise again at Cro Cro Land next month!
(Kate Crudgington)

Noga Erez – ‘Bad Habits’
Tel Aviv renegade Noga Erez has been a favourite of ours ever since blowing us away with 2017’s Under The Radar. Last year’s ‘Bad Habits’ is a snarling tirade of anger, spoken through gritted teeth, exhibiting an intense defiance in both Erez’s lyrics and her music: “I’m no-one, but who the fuck are you? Huh?” she repeats, as the beats of Ori Rousso – her partner, co-writer, composer & producer – helps it mutate in to a “gritty, truth-seeking alt-pop” anthem – culminating in Erez’s vicious “Fuck you” at the close of the song.
(KC)

Mavi Phoenix – ‘Bite’
We’re massive fans of Austrian artist Mavi Phoenix’s dreamy lo-fi electro offerings, and even bigger fans of all she does to promote LGBTQ+ rights. We were lucky enough to have a chat with her on our radio show last year, listen back here.
(Tash Walker)

Little Simz – ‘Boss’
I’ve been a little late to the Little Simz party, but now I’ve found her, I don’t know what I did without her immense power in my ears. Having released her debut album A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons in 2015 via her own independent label, she has continued to defy genres and receive acclaim over the last few years. And now, with her completely mind-blowing brand new album, Grey Area, she proves once again that she’s an incredible force to be reckoned with, with her ferocious, empowering anthems. She sums it up perfectly in this track: “I’m a boss in a fucking dress.”
(ML)

Pussyliquor – ‘MY BODY.MY CHOICE.’
Bringing their pure, uncensored female rage with a wild, punk-fuelled passion, Pussyliquor’s ‘My Body.My Choice’ gives an urgency to its explicitly important message. Having played for us at The Finsbury last year, they immediately filled the venue with the heaving bodies of an army of moshing fans, their intense riotous power, tongue-in-cheek wit and empowering messages of equality being delivered with a fierce energy and searing, colossal force.
(ML)

The Menstrual Cramps – ‘The Smash’
The Menstrual Cramps pretty much sum up the current state of things with each of their topical, tongue-in-cheek offerings and empowering, feel good vibes. Taken from their incredible album Free Bleedin’, ‘The Smash’ blasts out the all-too-relatable refrain of “It’s time we took back the floor, kick the Tories out the door – we want a revolution”. Oozing an immense, politically-charged force as vocalist Emilia’s genuine, seething passion shines through, The Menstrual Cramps combine activism with musical prowess, providing an essential soundtrack for all womxn right now.
(ML)

Big Joanie – ‘Fall Asleep’
DIY punks Big Joanie released their debut album Sistahs last year, and it’s a mix of the personal and political; coupled with riotous rhythms and a sistah-hood ethos. Recorded at Hermitage Works Studio with producer Margo Broom, and released via Thurston Moore and Eva Prinz’s new label (The Daydream Library Series), Sistahs is a strong debut from a band who have been actively working on and off-stage within London’s DIY scene for years.
(KC)

Alice Bag – ’77’
Taken from last year’s poignant album Blueprint, punk legend Alice Bag brought together a dream team for her single ’77’. Featuring Riot Grrrl queens Kathleen Hanna and Allison Wolfe, plus an appearance in the video from Shirley Manson, it draws inspiration from Dolly Parton’s 1980 proto-feminist workplace comedy ‘9 to 5′, commenting on the gender pay gap that still plagues society. Filled with seething, punk-driven riffs, the women not only rage that “I make 77 cents and it’s not right / It’s bad for women!”, but make the point that “it’s worse if you’re not white”. As Bag poignantly sneers “… don’t pretend that we’re paid equal… You wrote the script / But I’m writing the sequel”, ’77’ is an empowering, inspiring call to arms to unite against the patriarchy and make the changes needed for equality, in the workplace and beyond.
(ML)

Peach Club – ‘Boy In A Band’
I first became aware of Norwich Riot Grrrls Peach Club seeing them support The Tuts at The George Tavern a few years back, and they continued to blow me away headlining for us at The Finsbury last year. With a raw ferocity, thrashing hooks and driving beats, ‘Boy In A Band’ builds with a frenzied energy to a riotous anthem, blasting into the ears with a racing sense of urgency. And rightly so. We need voices like Peach Club’s now more than ever; a voice that gives motivation and inspiration to girls and women to speak out and be heard in order to prevent the damaging actions of certain boys in bands continuing to be swept under the carpet (or even accepted as the norm) within the music industry.
(ML)

Queen Zee – ‘Boy’
Making weirdness into wonderful, inclusive, explosive new tunes, GIHE favourites Queen Zee shared their debut self-titled album last month, and it was every bit as glorious as we’d hoped. Album highlight ‘Boy’ is an anthem for trans-gender rockers and their allies who refuse to be ignored, or oppressed by transphobic or homophobic attitudes. “You can try and bury my head in the sand, but that won’t make the body at the surface a man’s” sings Zee, as manic guitar and heart-pounding drums smash out for just shy of five minutes. A poignant offering that gleefully cuts down any of the forces that attempt to stand in the way of equality.
(KC)

Lizzo – ‘Juice’
Another utterly empowering and ferociously fun offering from GIHE favourite Lizzo, ‘Juice’ is filled with all the refreshing wit and funk-filled grooves that we’ve come to know and love from the Minneapolis artist. With Lizzo’s joyous, body-positive spirit and its immensely infectious, ’80s reminiscent hooks, ‘Juice’ is the ultimate feel-good anthem for women everywhere.
(ML)

Tirzah – ‘Gladly’
Beautifully understated, gently hypnotic and lyrically touching. I cannot get enough of Tirzah right now, and you know what, it’s not just this track, but the whole album Devotion. What can I say… I am hopelessly devoted. Cringe statements aside, please go listen if you haven’t already, your life will be better for it.
(TW)

Gazelle Twin – ‘Hobby Horse’
A unique artist with razor sharp vision and uncompromising creativity; Gazelle Twin (aka Elizabeth Bernholz) combines glitchy beats, menacing samples and an uncanny new costume on her latest album, Pastoral. Gazelle Twin delivers her Pastoral vision through grinning but gritted teeth. Her altruistic style is one that can’t be mimicked – even though she herself is a master at adopting the traits of others, and transforming into a new species of performer who offers brutality and intrigue in equal measure.
(KC)

Pitou – ‘Give Me A Glass’
So gentle, so beautiful, and so delicate. ‘Give Me A Glass’ by Pitou is taken from her EP I Fall Asleep So Fast, released via Mink Records. I think this track is just mesmerising, and it probably helps that it was the first song I listened to after meeting my niece for the first time. So here’s to raising that glass to the new addition in my family!
(TW)

HAVVK – ‘Glass’
Last year, GIHE faves HAVVK (formally HAWK) marked their rebrand with the re-release of their bewitching single ‘Glass’. Originally written in 2015, and released in the run up to the Irish Marriage Equality Referendum, ‘Glass’ addresses themes of conflict and resolution. Oozing an eerie subtle power and magnetising grace, it showcases HAVVK at their most exquisite – doing what they do best; combining activism with their unique musical prowess. And front-woman Julie doesn’t stop there; she has also co-founded SelfMade – a platform to explore DIY music in Ireland through performance, discussion, and art, and last year launched Female Fronted Drawn Together – a project through which she has created a playlist of admirable female bands/musicians and created an illustration to accompany each song.
(ML) 

Courtney Barnett – ‘Nameless, Faceless’
Courtney Barnett is probably my favourite, and most relatable, lyricist. She has a unique ability to tackle everyday life with a perfect wit and raw honesty; that, combined with her woozy vocals and infectious jangly melodies, makes for an utter dream. Taken from last year’s Tell Me How You Really Feel, ‘Nameless, Faceless’ is a refreshingly honest take on male chauvinism; with lyrics inspired by Margaret Atwood – “Men are scared that women will laugh at them, women are scared that men will kill them…” – it perfectly sums up why we still need International Women’s Day.
(ML)

Wolf Alice – ‘Yuk Foo’
Seeing Wolf Alice perform under the sparkling mirror-ball lights at their Alexandra Palace headline gig in 2017; I swooned so hard I thought I might drown in my own heart-shaped tears. And I couldn’t be happier for them winning the 2018 Mercury Prize this year; extremely well deserved from Ellie Rowsell and co., and a promising step in the right direction for female bands and artists at award ceremonies.
(KC)

Dream Nails – ‘Vagina Police’
“Your body is not your own, you are public property…” our favourite Feminist Punk Witches rage in last year’s ‘Vagina Police’. A formidable offering from the band that proved once again just why we need Dream Nails in our lives; a group willing to combine activism and music to form a unifying force against the patriarchy; a group who create sparkling, energy-filled tracks that succeed in inspiring and motivating girls everywhere to get to the front and make our voices heard.
(ML)

Bikini Kill – ‘Rebel Girl’
We don’t need to say how inspirational Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill and the whole Riot Grrrl movement are to us. But what we will say is that we’re are over the moon excited to all be going to see Bikini Kill live this June! Literally dreams can come true…

Listen to our International Women’s Day playlist on Spotify, and catch us for our IWD party tonight at The Finsbury. We’ll be joined by ARXX, The Baby Seals, Scrounge and Rainbow Corp, and will also be raising money for fantastic charity The Outside Project.

PLAYLIST: January 2019

We’re two weeks in to 2019 and whether you’re keeping up with ‘Dry January’, demolishing the leftover Christmas supplies, or simply carrying on like the trooper you are – we’ve put together a list of brand new music to help with all of the above. Take some time to scroll through our words and hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

Big Joanie – ‘New Year’
Recorded at Hermitage Works with Producer Margo Broom and released via The Daydream Library Series (Thurston Moore & Eva Prinz’s label), Big Joanie’s debut album Sistahs is a stellar release from a band who have been actively working on and off-stage within London’s DIY scene for years. ‘New Year’ is the opening track on the record, and I love its focused, quiet yearning to kick-start something. (Kate Crudgington)

Lizzo – Juice 
Another utterly empowering and ferociously fun offering from GIHE favourite Lizzo, ‘Juice’ is filled with all the refreshing wit and funk-filled grooves that we’ve come to know and love from the Minneapolis artist. With Lizzo’s joyous, body-positive spirit and its immensely infectious, ’80s reminiscent hooks, ‘Juice’ is the ultimate feel-good anthem that you need to start your 2019. (Mari Lane)

The Choppy Bumpy Peaches – ‘Darjeeling’
What a musical delight from Luxembourg based The Choppy Bumpy Peaches. ‘Darjeeling”s mesmerising cacophony of instruments and sound, layering gently over each other, all drawn together with Julia Lam’s intriguing vocals. Such a heady and hypnotising sound. This track is taken from their first LP Sgt. Konfuzius & the Flowers of Venus which is out now, go check them out, The Choppy Bumpy Peaches. What a name. (Tash Walker)

Medejin – ‘Untitled 4’
There’s something about Medejin’s music which makes feel completely immersed in their sound, as if I’m in a room with no doors, covered ceiling to floor with speakers pouring out ‘Untitled 4’. A truly immersive dreamwave project from Jenn Taranto & Matthew Cooke. ‘Untitled 4’ is taken from their debut EP Eleni which is out now. I’ve got all my fingers crossed that Medejin will be bringing their Seattle sound to our shores in person soon. (TW)

Foxgluvv – ‘Crush’ (remixed by MOONOVERSUN)
Foxgluvv joined us in the studio as our first guest on the Get In Her Ears’ Radio Show this year, we talked with her about being a DIY artist, her particular slice of ‘hungover pop’ and this remix by Brighton based pop duo MOONOVERSUN. Released near the end of 2018, I cannot get enough of this remix and I urge you all to press play right now. It’s heavy on the electronics, pounding beats and warped vocals – dreamy. (TW)

Kill J – ‘Dead Weight Soldier’
Copenhagen’s Kill J has returned with a revenge fantasy in the form of new single ‘Dead Weight Soldier’. Following her fiercely political release ‘Strange Fruits of The Sea’ in 2018, this is the second track from her forthcoming album Superposition, which is set to be a poignant and unapologetic listen. (KC)

Cheerbleederz – ‘Staying Up Late’
Taken from last year’s EP Faceplant, Cheerbleederz’s latest single ‘Staying Up Late’ is filled with all the twinkling indie-pop melodies and honey-sweet vocals you could ever desire. With its jangly catchy hooks and a fuzzy whirring energy, it fills me with a comforting sense of joy on each listen. It’s also accompanied by a wonderfully animated, and super cute video, which you can watch here(ML)

Argonaut – ‘Girl Talk’
An empowering, punk-pop anthem, with motivational lyrics such as “You rock, you can change the world, you inspire boys and girls, you can do anything!”, Argonaut’s ‘Girl Talk’ is the perfect pick-me-up to kick start the new year. Filled with shimmering hooks and a magnificent punk-rock spirit, it’ll leave you ready to face 2019 with all the immense, buoyant energy that it oozes. As well as getting hold of their brilliant latest EP
The New Argonaut EP, you should also make sure you catch this band live – they completely blew us away playing at our gig at The Finsbury last week! (ML)

Panic Pocket – ‘Mr Big’
Inspired by too many formative Sex And The City marathons, Panic Pocket’s ‘Mr Big’ is an uplifting ditty about desperately wanting your close friend to stop defining herself by her relationship status and focus instead on friendship. Flowing with a twinkling charm and the London duo’s impeccable tongue-in-cheek wit, the track oozes honey-sweet harmonies alongside shimmering melodies and a gritty synth-driven energy. Strewn with memorable SATC quotes, highlighting the importance of friendship, it’s another luscious (and super relatable!) slice of indie-pop. (ML)

Micropixie – ‘New Year’s Day’
Micropixie is a British artist based in San Francisco who has recently found herself on The New York Times Top 10 Playlist for new songs which is amazing. We love this track from Micropixie which moves to its own beat whilst taking “a high-concept approach to offering commentary on a world that is torn by injustice, violence and war, and financial misdoings.” From all of us here at Get In Her Ears a huge well done to Micropixie, she’s definitely someone to watch out for in 2019. (TW)

Tallies – ‘Easy Enough’
Taken from their new self-titled debut album, Tallies’ latest single ‘Easy Enough’ oozes a captivating, dreamy haze as the raw vocals of Sarah Cogan soar alongside a whirring scuzz. With its shoegazey spiralling hooks and luscious emotion-driven energy, it’s impossible not to get sucked into its hypnotic allure and fall instantly in love with the unique, swirling  charm of this Toronto-based band. (ML)

Amaal – ‘Not What I Thought’
I’ve been enjoying this song a lot since I first heard it just over a week ago. ‘Not What I Thought’ comes from Somali-Canadian artist Amaal Nuux who has returned to music following much time spent on her activist work as the Goodwill Ambassador for Somalia Women and Children. Drawing influences from both her personal life experiences and her travels in all her work and music, this is her latest single out released on 10th January. Strong beats, warped samples and emotionally evocative vocals ‘Not What I Thought’ by Amaal earns a firm place on our January 2019 playlist. (TW)

Beckie Margaret – ‘New York’
My absolute favourite! Beckie Margaret released this heart-breaking track at the end of last year, and I’ve not been able to stop listening to it since. Beckie’s resilience in the face of heartbreak is what makes listening to her music so rewarding. Even in her seemingly weakest moments, her powerful, pure vocals provide an aching relief that can be felt all the way from the end of Southend Pier in her hometown, to the lonely shores of the city she sings about. (KC)

David Bowie – ‘Lady Grinning Soul’
It’s been two years since the death of the legendary David Bowie, and whilst it’s easy to lament the gap he’s left in the musical world, it’s much easier to put on his records and celebrate all of the wonderful art he left behind. ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ is taken from Aladdin Sane, one of my favourite Bowie albums. I’ll certainly be spinning it in tribute to the Starman over the next few weeks. (KC)

Live Highlights of 2018

Despite being a pretty scary year in the grand scheme of things, 2018 has actually been exceptionally great for new music. And seeing live music has, as ever, provided a necessary catharsis and enjoyment; forever giving us something to look forward to. 

Having witnessed an uncountable amount of women/non binary folk being awesome on stage this year, it was hard to pick out our highlights … But, from some of our DIY faves, to Fever Ray and Courtney Barnett (and – yes – Indietracks Festival features twice, it’s that great), here are a few events that stood out as particularly special for us… 

Witch Fever Live @ The Finsbury, January:
2018 has been of year of many incredible gigs, not least our own gigs that we’ve been lucky enough to host at The Finsbury. And, whilst I have a massive amount of love and pride in all the gigs we’ve hosted, the year kicked off with a pretty immense one. Manchester’s Witch Fever, who made two six hour coach journeys to be with us, treated us to their frenzied, raucous offerings with an incredible, un-matched power. As front woman Amy’s incredible, snarling energy stole the show, we were all left completely in awe of this band’s formidable intensity. And they weren’t the only amazing band of the night; joining them was the empowering force of The Nyx, the grunge-fuelled energy of ARXX and the gorgeous pop-punk of Militant Girlfriend.
(Mari Lane – Managing Editor/Co-Founder)

Fever Ray @ The Troxy, March:
Fever Ray’s fierce, focused, sold out performance at the Troxy proved she’s an inimitable talent with a vision, generosity, and energy unlike any other. In Fever Ray’s space, no-one is an outsider: everyone is welcome in her warped and wonderful world. Emerging from the lights in her trademark “I heart Swedish girls” t-shirt and bare scalp, from start to finish the sound was flawless. Each lyric, synth sequence and drum beat was more distinct and discernible than the next – if you weren’t there, you definitely missed out.
(Kate Crudgington – Features Editor/Co-Founder)

Petrol Girls @ Shacklewell Arms, April:
Mari and I were so excited to see the brilliant Petrol Girls live for the first time this year, and they did not disappoint. Loud, lethal and life-affirming: their headline show was a raw, frenzied, furious affair. The band packed out the venue with the help of their friends Pretty Pistol and Screaming Toenail (our new favourite band), and played our favourite track ‘Touch Me Again’ with all the ferocity and energy we’d come to expect from this brilliant band of activists.
(Kate Crudgington)

Indian Queens @  Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival, June:
Hackney trio Indian Queens performed to a packed out Purcell Room at The Southbank Centre this year, after being hand-picked by The Cure’s Robert Smith to play his (exceptionally well curated) 2018 Meltdown Festival. The band delivered a mesmeric, sharply executed performance that ended in a well deserved standing ovation. I felt like I’d witnessed something truly special from the Cool Thing Record signees when I left the building, and I look forward to catching them again in 2019.
(Kate Crudgington)

Indietracks Festival (and its sense of community), July:
There is the smell of long past years in the carriage as the rails clackity-clack below you, the signalman waves from the box as you pass, and behind the sidings crammed with moss-windowed rolling stock the natural amphitheatre of the main stage hoves into view.

Indietracks is hidden away but for those in the know its not just the boutique festival quietly winning at line-ups, its home. Not only welcoming and familiar, but full of friendship and love. The diversity of the billing, the cute touches and culture-clash between trains and music will delight newcomers but the community sustained between years – by the festival and railway volunteers, each band, every festival-goer – is something to be really astounded by. At a time when togetherness feels more elusive, but is ever more vital, Indietracks should be both celebrated and cherished for the community its nurtured and welcomes home each summer.
(Sarah Lay – Contributor)

Indietracks Festival (and the diversity of its line-up), July:
With our ongoing disappointment at the lack of diversity on the majority of mainstream festival line-ups this year, I was particularly excited to discover Indietracks – one that refreshingly, consistently, champions DIY bands and artists of all genders and genres. And, I wasn’t to be disappointed; the weekend – set in the idyllic Midland Railway Centre near Ripley in Derbyshire – exceeded all expectations.

Ask me about any of my favourite bands of 2018, and they were probably playing at Indietracks Festival. From an array of glorious indie-pop (Wolf Girl, Colour Me Wednesday, Happy Accidents, Worst Place), Feminist punk (Dream Nails, The Baby Seals, Dream Wife) and all the scuzzy, dreamy sounds in-between (Ghum, Sink Ya Teeth, Sacred Paws, Girl Ray), every single band I saw filled me with an empowering sense of joy and blissful gratitude. And I think all those I saw consisted of female identifying/non binary artists.

So, whilst it still seems to be unusual to attend bigger festivals these days and not encounter ingrained misogyny or disrespect of some kind, Indietracks felt like a different world; a safe, joy-filled world, and one jam-packed with all the best music (plus owls and parrots!).
(Mari Lane)

Qween Kwong @ Rough Trade East, July:
I remember this gig for several reasons. Firstly, because I arrived soaked in sweat and rain from the downpour that briefly broke the overwhelming summer heatwave, and secondly because I was lucky enough to interview Queen Kwong before her set. She was just as cool (and as cutting) as I’d imagined her to be, and her live performance was a visceral, loud, defiant example of her songwriting talent.
(Kate Crudgington)

Wendy Rae Fowler @ The Finsbury, September:
I won’t lie; prior to Wendy Rae Fowler headlining for us at The Finsbury this September I was overwhelmingly excited and a little nervous. I’ve been a huge fan of her work over the years, and to have her play for us stands out for me as a particularly special moment (or 45 minutes) of 2018. Immediately creating a captivating, cinematic atmosphere, she filled the room with a majestic sense of wonder, delivering a soul-grabbing, breath-taking set that I’m truly honoured to have hosted.
(Mari Lane)

Courtney Barnett Live In Berlin, November:
Touring her second album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, Courtney Barnett was a sight to behold this year: quite literally. I looked on with envy when the Deal sisters provided backing vocals for ‘Nameless, Faceless’ at the BBC’s Biggest Weekend Festival. But, fortunately, a trip to Berlin also included seeing Courtney live at the city’s Huxleys Neue Welt venue. Seeing the songs played on a larger scale, contrasting with the more laidback atmosphere of songs taken from her debut and early EPs highlighted Barnett’s brilliance and renewed my appreciation of her songwriting.
(John McGovern – Contributor)

 

 

 

GUEST BLOG: Grapefruit

In a new guest blog feature, Angela from Maidstone-based, alternative band Grapefruit writes about what it means to take claim of being women in the music industry.

Sometimes I have mixed feelings about describing Grapefruit as a “female fronted band”. As someone who thinks of gender as a needless and suffocating concept, it can feel like we’re highlighting something irrelevant.

But, we can’t escape the fact that the music we create is intrinsically tied to and is product of our identities. And when that identity is female or femme or non-binary, I do think it’s important to highlight in an industry that continues to be dominated by cis-male identities.

You might not be fazed that our band is female-fronted but some young girl interested in the music magazines in the men’s section of the newsagents might be. Growing up I certainly clung to female-fronted bands; Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine was an idol; my girlfriend and our lead guitarist first picked up a guitar and spent hours learning and mastering it so she could play music like Kate Nash, PJ Harvey and Siouxsie Sioux did.

The point is that whilst inspiring female talent certainly exists in the industry, we’re still often the only female-featuring band on the setlist. We still have to assure some sound engineers that we know how to set up our own mic-stands, and have had to shrug it off when they make sex jokes whilst we’re focusing on getting the levels right. We still look at each other confused when we are compared to a bunch of (talented) bands we sound nothing alike except for that rare female voice.

Until it’s not so rare to see a woman in a band at your local pub, we’ll continue to proudly announce our female-ness and to get excited when we get to play alongside other female, femme, and non-binary musicians. It is our responsibility to make ourselves a space and to fill it to the point of overflow; your ownership of your identity and musical mastery is an important “fuck-you” to the “music has gotten too girly” types (thanks for the words of wisdom, Bono).

 

A massive thank you to Grapefruit for this piece. Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Track Of The Day: The Motion – ‘Hollow’

Born and raised on the Isle Of Wight, Penny Churchill – aka The Motion – now creates their unique, emotionally driven alt-pop in South London, having studied at Goldsmiths and decided to stay in the area, drawn to its rich culture and like-minded people. A non-binary, genderqueer project, The Motion recently debuted their live show at The Gladstone Arms, before being a wonderful guest on our very own show on Hoxton Radio, and charming us all live at The Finsbury.

Now, The Motion has finally shared their dreamy debut single. Exploring post-breakup feelings and sensibilities, ‘Hollow’ flows with a shimmering soundscape as Penny’s rich, sumptuous vocals soar. Amongst swirling layers of instrumentation, an emotion-strewn haze builds to a powerful swell of glitchy whirring hooks, creating a colourful slice of psychedelic electro-pop. Combined with a raw, heartfelt lyricism, Churchill treats our ears to a glistening fusion sounds, showcasing their unique songwriting talent, marking themselves out as a definite one to watch.

Of the track, Penny expands: “‘Hollow’ is a song about exploring the mind set and feelings of space and emptiness surrounding a break up. The lyrics flip between narrating and then being in the moment, kind of like zooming in on specific moments and unpacking them.

Watch the brand new lyric video for ‘Hollow’ here:

Catch The Motion live at the following dates:

5th January: The Water Rats with Dead or Alive, London
5th February: The Finsbury Pub with Stop Look Listen, London

Mari Lane
@marimindles