New Track: Hand Habits – ‘Something Wrong’

Something Wrong’ is the new single by Hand Habits, taken from their upcoming mini-album Sugar The Bruise, set for release in June. Hand Habits is the project of Meg Duffy, an American musician and guitarist who has played as a studio musician on records by the likes of The War on Drugs, Weyes Blood and Perfume Genius.

It’s not often a song captivates me as much as ‘Something Wrong’ did on first listen, taking me on a journey with its charming sounds and interesting textured soundscape. The track starts with a huge drum sound with an ’80s style reverb and acapella vocals. As a huge fan of acapella, this was the perfect way to instantly immerse the listener, complementing the dark and edgy melody.

The track soon erupts into a warm folky chorus complete with acoustic guitar, dreamy harmonies and gentle vocals, juxtaposed with the very different feel of the verse. In the second verse, a robotic vocal harmony enters, giving it a once more different feel – something slightly unsettling, yet deeply satisfying. 

Building into a more dramatic third, the buzzing synth gives it an enchanting sense of urgency. The repetition of “is there something wrong with that” is an earworm of a melody that gets in your head. Despite the lyrical sparseness, it has an intimacy that draws you in, making you contemplate life. 

The songs on the album were all inspired by a songwriting class that Duffy taught in summer 2021 and were semi-improvised – surrendering to and trusting in whatever sounds and words emerged in the session. On the track, which was co-produced by Luke Temple with additional production, engineering and arranging from Jeremy Harris, Duffy created something which, in their own words, “turned out nothing like I’d imagined it would.”

‘Something Wrong’ is a carefully crafted track, oozing an exquisite stirring depth; setting the bar high for the rest of the album, and I can’t wait to hear it. 

Sugar The Bruise, the upcoming mini album from Hand Habits, is set for release on 16th June via Fat Possum.

Ella Patenall

Photo Credit:  Ivanna Baranova 

Video Premiere: Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something – ‘Huge’

Having received acclaim from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, Mojo Magazine and even comedian Stewart Lee, and now just being announced as longlisted for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition, London psych rockers Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something have shared a poignant new video.

Chanelling the mindset of a child with ADHD, trying to make sense of a locked down world, ‘Huge’ is propelled by a chaotic energy, rippling with fizzing hooks as the swirling power of Jemma’s truly distinctive vocals soars. Building with a sparkling psychedelic allure to an immense, colourful cacophony, it showcases the raw emotive majesty that this innovative artist is able to create. An epic, frenzied anthem oozing a stirring visceral drive that’ll captivate on first listen. Of the track, Jemma explains:

The song is a dysregulated nervous system being forced to try and think, the world demanding an answer for questions too big for any brain to manage. I want to be non verbal, it’s Huge, I don’t really want to have to talk about it.

‘Huge’ is accompanied by a charming stop-motion video, hand-crafted by Jemma themselves, and perfectly depicting the meanings behind the song. Of the video, they explain:

I liked shifting the focus from the broad, dark themes of ‘Huge’ into a tiny, intricate, melodrama that was remote, introverted and distant from reality. A world apart, an escapist, lofi reality. Tiny moments of joy, a still space in a world made of forever moving parts”

Watch the brand new video for ‘Huge’, for the first time, here:

Mari Lane

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

Five Favourites: Jen Cloher

Having been a big fan of Australian artist Jen Cloher for a number of years now, I was excited to hear that they’re set to release a new album next month. Our first taster from the album, latest single ‘Mana Takatāpui‘ offers a blissful celebration of the indigenous Polynesian people of Aotearoa, New Zealand, the Māori LGBTQ+ community. Showcasing Jen’s trademark luscious soothing vocals alongside a shimmering musicality, it builds with an uplifting energy to a truly joyous unifying anthem.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of Jen Cloher’s upcoming album, we caught up with them to ask about the music that has inspired them the most. So, read about their five favourite ever albums, and check out the beautifully empowering video for single ‘Mana Takatāpui below…

PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
There’s an incredible in-depth podcast (in 2 parts) with the legendary music critic Ann Powers where she covers every PJ Harvey album, collaboration and movie soundtrack with the loving attention to detail that an artist of PJ’s magnitude deserves. I came away realising 3 things – that To Bring You My Love is my favourite of her albums (and that’s a tough call), that PJ paved the way for the incredible influence women have on guitar rock music today and that Ann Powers brings the kind of intelligence and reflection we all dream music critics would bring to our work. Go checkout this Bandsplain podcast episode, it’s a treat.

Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator)
The first time I saw Gillian Welch and David Rawlings play was at a club in Melbourne. I went in with high expectations as I’d fallen in love with the songs on the album in a way where they feel like they’re yours and you hope the artist doesn’t ruin them for you! Lols. I needn’t have worried. David Rawlings’ guitar playing alone floored me. For the first time in my life I felt an inkling of what it might have been like to watch Jimi Hendrix play live – guitar and human as one. This album is simple – two acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies and great songs. It’s a masterpiece.

The Doors – LA Woman
The Doors were my first teen band crush. I ‘discovered’ Jim Morrison when I was 13 and spent the next three years listening to and reading anything Doors related that I could get my hands on. I even had a life size Jim Morrison poster above my bed – the topless one with the beads and leather pants. Was Jim Morrison one of the few that could pull off leather pants? All teen obsessions aside (it’s weird falling in love with a dead person), The Doors wrote some classic blues rock jams. ‘Riders On The Storm’, ‘Light My Fire’ and ‘Break On Through’ still stand up as classics today.

Aretha Franklin – Lady Soul
This is one of the albums I remember most as a child. My Mum was a mega fan of the great women Soul and Blues singers. From Billie Holiday to Sarah Vaughan, to Ella Fitzgerald, there were always powerful voices floating up from the turntable in our lounge room. ‘Chain of Fools’, ‘Respect’ and ‘Natural Woman’ reimagined by Aretha Franklin still stand as the penultimate versions of these classics.

Te Kaahu O Rangi – s/t
Te Kaahu is the waiata Māori project of pop artist Theia who is based in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Theia grew up speaking and writing songs in her native tongue Te reo Māori and collaborated with me on my new album. We wrote a song together called ‘He Toka-Tu-Moana’ – which means to stand strong like a rock in the ocean. Her debut Te Kaahu album (2022) is a beautiful combination of traditional Māori songs with indie folk pop leanings. She pulls it off effortlessly.

Massive thanks to Jen for sharing their Five Favourites with us!

I Am The River, The River Is Me, the upcoming new album from Jen Cloher, is set for release on 3rd March via Milk! Records / Marathon Artists. Watch the beautiful video for latest single ‘Mana Takatāpui‘ here:

Photo Credit: Marcelle Bradbeer

GIHE: Ones To Watch 2023

2022 saw its fair share of highs, and lows…but if there was one positive to take away, it’s the immense amount of incredible new music that’s been released, and the hope of even more sublime offerings from some wonderful new bands in 2023.

So, following our Tracks Of 2022, Albums and EPS of 2022 and Personal Highlights 2022 features, we’re now sharing our ‘Ones To Watch’ for 2023 – Just a few of the amazing bands and artists who have impressed us throughout 2022, and that we predict will be reaching ears far and wide next year. Have a read of our choices, and make sure you give them all a follow to keep track of their unmissable achievements over the next twelve months.


Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something
Although Jemma Freeman is certainly no newcomer to the music scene, having released their acclaimed debut album, Oh Really, What’s That Then? back in 2019, and previously played with swirling indie-pop collective Landshapes as well as featuring in Wendy Rae Fowler’s band, I feel like over the last twelve months, they have really found their stride. With the release of their new album Miffed via Trapped Animal Records, they’ve showcased their ability to create immense, kaleidescopic soundscapes perfectly, garnering support from the likes of Mojo Magazine, plus airplay from Radio X’s John Kennedy, BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Amazing Radio’s Charlie Ashcroft along the way. And they remain one of the most impressive live acts I’ve ever seen; we were lucky enough to have them headline for us back in October, and their utterly unique hypnotic majesty and psychedelic allure blew me away, just as it had done the first time I saw them live back in 2018. 
(Mari Lane: Co-Founder & Managing Editor)

Watching Madeline Johnston aka Midwife perform to a sold out crowd at Cafe Oto for her debut London show last year felt like a privileged form of voyeurism. Fans were granted permission to enter the New Mexico-based musician’s dream-like, melancholy world, in which introverted tendencies and unrequited yearnings blur and clash with the urgent desire to find connection and understanding. Musing into her telephone mic with her soft vocals, it felt like Midwife was in dialogue with an unknown person at the end of the line, the distance between the two entities simultaneously expanded and minimised as she sang into the receiver, in front of a room of silent strangers. I was deeply moved by her music and I’ve been thinking about the gig ever since. You can read my full live review here, and make sure you check out Midwife’s most recent album Luminol too. It is absolute Gloomy Girl Heaven
(Kate Crudgington: Co-Founder & Features Editor)

I’m ashamed to say I was a bit late to the Hypsoline party this year, but thankfully – due to Currls suggesting they play with them at their EP launch last month – I can now say I’m a fully fledged super fan of the Brighton band. In the run up to the gig, I was pretty much totally addicted to the fuzzy, sparkling allure of their debut single ‘Space Babe’, and afterwards I realised there was even more to love about them than I’d previously anticipated. It was a true joy to witness the twinkling, swirling energy and scuzzy charm of each of their eclectic, but equally catchy, offerings. And I can’t wait for them to continue to surprise and captivate me (and the rest of the world) throughout 2023. (ML)

Alien Chicks
Mari booked Brixton-based post punk trio Alien Chicks as one of the support bands for our faves Bad Sidekick for our final GIHE gig of 2022, and their sound knocked the hangover right out of my skeleton. Not only were they totally in sync with each other, relentlessly smashing out their angst-ridden anthems, their guitarist & vocalist was also playing with a broken hand, which is punk af. I can’t wait to hear more from them this year. Grab a ticket to their biggest headline show to date yet at The Lexington in April here. It will be worth every single penny. (KC)

I’ve made no secret of my huge love of London-based duo Joni and Karsten – aka Fräulein – since first being introduced to them in 2020 by Hanni from ARXX, and so it’s been really wonderful over the last twelve months to see them go from strength to strength, and get some of the widespread acclaim that they truly deserve. As well as the release of their debut EP A Small Taste, they’ve wowed us live at two of our GIHE events with their utterly unique and fiercely powerful live set. The duo have also shared stages with the likes of The Mysterines, Thee Quasi and deep tan, and – with acclaim from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and Fred Perry Subculture – it’s been fantastic to see the positive reception they’ve received and the number of new fans they’ve gained. And this year’s already looking promising with a support slot with none other than total legends Big Joanie booked for 11th January at The Garage, and – I’ve been assured – new music on the very near horizon… 2023 is going to be the year of Fräulein, and I could not be happier for this immensely talented, consistently dedicated, truly innovative (and just plain lovely) duo. (ML)

Chuck SJ
Chuck SJ is a huge part of the London DIY punk community and their commitment to their art and activism is something that deeply impresses all of the GIHE team. They released their epic punk album, Resist Recharge Revolt at the end of last year, and it’s a riotous, eclectic manifesto of political and personal rebellion, spotlighting Chuck’s immense talent as a songwriter and a producer. I’ve yet to see them perform live, but that’s something I’m hoping to change in 2023! Listen to their album via bandcamp here. (KC)

Another band I’ve been a bit late to the party with, but am so incredibly grateful to have discovered over the last few months. Stepping in as main support for Currls at their EP launch last month fairly last minute, Cambridgeshire based Collars have become my new heroes. Having released their debut album Clyde in 2022, they’ve received plenty of acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing, and have been wowing crowds across the country with their totally mind-blowing live set. As Kane simultaneously pummels the drums whilst blasting out whirring hooks on guitar, Dan exudes a captivating charisma as her powerful vocals soar (sometimes with the help of a megaphone) – it’s no understatement to say it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more from them this year… (ML)

Tash and I caught enigmatic artist CIL when she supported t l k at The Jago in Dalston at the end of March last year. She’s a composer, poet and producer who manipulates sound via a motion-controlled synthesizer. Watching her gracefully move her hands around the altruistic equipment was hypnotising, as was listening to her deeply calm, soothing voice. Definitely check her out, her performance is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed before. (KC)

So, even if you may be feeling apprehensive about 2023, at least there’ll be some fantastic music to accompany it! Massive thanks to all who supported GIHE throughout 2022, it really means the world. And huge thanks too to all the amazing bands and artists who’ve soundtracked it, and who will continue to soundtrack 2023!