Track Of The Day: All Cats Are Beautiful – ‘Heartbeats’

Having fallen completely in love with London duo Elena and Kyle – aka all cats are beautiful (ACAB) – upon listening to last year’s album the things we made, with this love only growing further when they delivered their ‘sad dance tunes’ for us live at The Shacklewell Arms in February, we’re super happy to hear they’ve now released a beautiful new single.

With their rendition of The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats‘, acab offer a truly enchanting dreamscape. Flowing with delicate, twinkling hooks alongside the duo’s luscious harmonies, it’s a stripped back, yet instantly immersive, version of the original, oozing a lilting, blissful energy and captivating, heartfelt emotion. Maintaining all the infectious electro scuzz of the original, whilst adding the duo’s own unique resplendent grace and spellbinding allure, it builds with a whirring splendour to a vibrant, danceable anthem shimmering with a swirling, soothing charm.

Of the decision to release the track, the duo explain:

It was conceived and recorded in just one day in January this year while we were preparing to go on tour, and is the third in our ongoing covers series (previously featuring works by Arthur Russell and Daniel Johnston). We wanted to tap in to our usual nostalgic vibe by covering a song very much more in the public consciousness, and at the same time showcase how our glitchy modern production can add a new shiny element to this beautifully written piece of pop history.” 

‘Heartbeats’ features backing vocals by actor/singer Jola Jassy. Listen here:

the things we made, the beautiful album from all cats are beautiful, is out now via Moshi Moshi Records.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Five Favourites: Sprout

Having received acclaim for previous singles ‘(I’m Just) Getting By‘ and ‘Settled (Here In My Heart)‘, Burnley artist Meg Grooters – aka Sprout – is now set to release their debut EP tomorrow, 15th June. Flowing with lilting melodies, honey-sweet vocals and an uplifting colourful allure, Sprout’s offerings ooze a subtle reflection on life’s anxieties with a soothing, jazz-infused musicality and soulful splendour.

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 their debut EP, we caught up with Sprout to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have inspired them the most. Read about their choices below:

h hunt- playing piano for dad
I heard this album for the first time as I was graduating from university, but it only became a soundtrack of my everyday at the start of the pandemic in 2020. I played at least a song from it almost every day that year. I think back on when I’d be having my one cycle a day around the park nearby, not being sure if the world was going to make it, and somehow still feeling really comforted by this album. It really soothed my anxieties at the time and gave me a space to feel all of the contrasting, messy feelings that came with both the fear and stillness of the start of the pandemic. I love so much hearing his fingers hitting the keys, him talking to himself, or the pauses to figure out what he’s playing whilst he’s playing it. It’s so intimately recorded – it was done in one take, and originally made as a Christmas gift for his Dad. I really like how it highlights the things that would typically be viewed as ‘mistakes’ in music recording, and makes them earnest and heartfelt. This album really made me want to create music in that way too. I’m guessing it wasn’t intentional but I think it’s probably the most beautiful representation of uncertainty I’ve ever heard; and not to be too dramatic, but I love it to death.

Joni Mitchell- Blue
I mean, it’s a very famous album for a reason! Picking just one Joni album was a pain but it wasn’t really possible for me to talk about her and not talk about the first album to ever metaphorically tear my heart out of my chest and leave it on the floor. A lot of my favourite albums stem from the music my mum brought me up on and my memories of being a kid, and Joni is up there as being one of the most influential on my music making. When I was 16, my mum got all of her old vinyls down and gave me this album, along with a bunch of others (Kate Bush, Billie Holiday, loads of good ones, well done mum). I put this on first as I started to revise. I remember being alone in my room, putting the books down and listening to the whole thing back to back, just lying there. I don’t think I’d ever listened to lyrics so intently before and I still listen to it every break-up and have a cathartic weep. I love it more so for the fact that the first time I heard it was on the same record my mum had listened to it as a teen/twenty something too. That’s generational sad-medicine passed on! Joni is a master of poetry and beautiful singing and songwriting and this album depicts that entirely and that’s that really.

Eliza – A Real Romantic
I love this album so much – it’s so hot, and I feel like I heard this album for the first time and finally felt like an adult. When this album came out I couldn’t believed this was the same Eliza Doolittle pop queen from my high school years and that’s in part what I love about it so much. Hearing the transformation of who she was then when with a major label, to now – making these RnB smokey demos – is really cool and refreshing. It also lyrically comes with an ethos of re-invention, and self-invention, that I can really subscribe to. The songs are all dead groovy and the production is yummy and I just like singing along to it and having a solo bop in my room. It doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard, it’s not trying to be something new for the sake of being something new, and instead is just really nice and easy to listen to. I love how spacious it feels as an album, and I love how it takes its time. It feels really focused on pleasure and love and escapism, and it makes me want to have a bubble bath and light lots of candles and order three desserts and wear lots of silk, and that’s fun!

Sidney Bechet – Les Années Bechet
When it comes down to it, I’m just a child from the ’90s heavily influenced and somewhat indoctrinated from the many problematic 2000s romantic movie tropes of love and coming of age. Put that on top of my passion for the golden era musicals, and at the core of me is a big cheeseball who wants to be a bit cringe and romanticise their life. So, if you’re gonna do it, I’d say do it to this album. It’s a timeless classic and has seen me through many a sombre night walking home, and many an introspective bus journey. Life looks a bit nicer when you’re listening to this album and listening to it is like having a warm, long-lasting hug for the ears. Aside from that, Sidney Bechet is an outrageously brilliant clarinettist and soprano sax player, and sometimes you just don’t need to look any further than the best work of the legends. I love music for the way it relates to memories and its ability to transport you to a different time and place in your life, and nothing sparks up nostalgia quite like this one. Even the smallest encounter with a stranger could feel romantic after listening to this, and why shouldn’t the mundane moments in life get to feel a bit more lovely too?

Harry Nilsson – The Point!
This album is an experience! So fun, full of wonder, and better listened to with the film (at least first time round). A friend at university showed this to me in my second year when I was having a particularly difficult day and I instantly fell in love with the story, the imagery and the music. It follows the story of a boy called Oblio, who is the only round-headed person in a village where everyone and everything must have a point. It’s all very cute and endearing and metaphorical, and the sort of thing I would’ve loved as a child and find myself recommending to people a lot. When I’m particularly low, I can put this on and things are always a bit lighter afterwards. The music and orchestration is really playful and bouncy and it reminds of all the wacky kids shows that were knocking around when I was younger. It’s simply adorable, with a beautiful tale of finding the acceptance of feeling and being different to others. Very tender.

Massive thanks to Sprout for sharing their Five Favourites with us! Listen to their latest single ‘Come Back (To What Can Be)’ below:

The debut self-titled EP from Sprout is set for release tomorrow, 15th June, via sevenfoursevensix.

Photo Credit: Marieke Macklon

Track Of The Day: Cheerbleederz – ‘Nail Biters’

With their new track ‘Nail Biters‘, London trio Cheerbleederz have released an anxiety anthem that perfectly captures what it’s like having an internal monologue hell bent on torturing you.

The song feels simply constructed. It’s got a steady rhythm, lively guitar and backing vocals that weave around each other beneath the lead lines. Its complexity creeps in as the track goes on until it echoes the anxiety at its core; whilst the vocals begin softly, the lyrics describe anxiety that persistently nags at you and – while it lingers in the back of your mind as you go about your day – it never goes away. While the lead vocal puts the general pressure into words, the backing vocals reflect the teasing voices behind the scenes that induce the undue stress.

As anxiety finally takes over, the song ramps up into a panic. The lyrics stay the same, but everything gets louder, with the lead vocals becoming sharper and more emotive – you can feel the distress as it all finally becomes overwhelming. The repeated line “no worries if not” as the energy builds really captures the way anxiety makes you feel. It’s desperate to not take up space, not to burden anyone, not to cause any unnecessary problems. It’s insistent that there are no worries when the song as a whole is, in fact, about all-consuming worry.

‘Nail Biters’ encapsulates what anxiety feels like, in a fun way – a way that makes you feel seen. It’s reassuring to know that there are other people out there who overthink, and a gift to know that some of them are so talented that they can boil the awful experience down into a two-and-a-half minute indie-pop banger.

Cheerbleederz are set to release their upcoming debut album, even in jest, this summer via Alcopop! Records.

Kirstie Summers
@Actually Kurt


Photo Credit: Rich Mandell

LIVE: Lunar Vacation @ Moth Club, 11.05.2022

Having been completely addicted to last year’s debut album from Lunar Vacation – listening to it pretty much non-stop for the last six months – I was excited to finally see the Atlanta-based band live at Moth Club last Wednesday.

The night opens with the shimmering, uplifting grace of German band Roller Derby, and – as they treat the crowd to a mesmerising cover from their “favourite UK band”, I shimmy along to ‘Friday, I’m In Love’, and come to the realisation that I may have just discovered my new favourite band.

After introducing themselves – explaining that they had to get the ‘Chunnel’ to come over to the UK – Lunar Vacation begin their set with the blissful tones of ‘Peddler’, instantly captivating the crowd of adoring fans, as an endearing sense of excitement and joy radiates throughout the sparkling interior of Moth Club. Following the jangly musicality and swirling surf-pop energy of ‘The Basement’, Lunar Vacation ask “someone they met earlier today” to join them on stage – and so we’re introduced to Ella, a mega fan who seems to have learnt ‘Unlucky’ note-for-note and seems completely at ease joining the band on guitar for the entirety of the track’s twinkling romanticism.

Discussing the title of their album, Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp, front person Grace explains that it is indeed a true fact – despite being a fruit, figs are not vegan, due to the amount of dead wasps you may accidentally come across when eating them. So, no more figs for me… Continuing to charm the crowd with both insightful knowledge and a dreamy musicality, the band ease into ‘Where Is Everyone?’ and ‘Mold’, flowing into each song with their trademark lilting hooks and stirring, sparkling emotion.

As Grace’s luscious crystalline vocals ripple alongside the cinematic instrumentation, I notice someone in the crowd literally do a little jump for joy… And it’s poignant just what a truly joyous atmosphere has been created. The front couple of rows are pretty much entirely made up of smiling femmes and queers; all swaying along, beaming, singing along to each and every word of Lunar Vacation’s glistening offerings. The kind of euphoric sense of unity I hope to create at the gigs I host for Get In Her Ears.

Following the gentle ethereal splendour of ‘No Offerings’, guitarist Maggie continues the endearing witty banter, revealing that Grace has always wished she was British, and was hoping that Alex Turner may have made an appearance tonight…

As the sweeping, mystical allure of tracks such as ‘Anna’ and ‘Gears’ floats through the venue with an exquisite heartfelt charm, I remain utterly immersed in Lunar Vacation’s knack for perfectly fusing together a beautiful, stirring melancholy with an uplifting, rapturous energy.

As the set draws to a close, the disappointment doesn’t last long as the band sneakily reappear a moment later to treat us to a little encore and – as the whimsical majesty of ‘Swimming’ glides into our ears – I’m left feeling utterly elated. Any worries or stresses I may have had on arriving at Moth Club tonight have floated away on the truly dreamy, radiant grace and heartwarming sense of unity that Lunar Vacation have created.


Mari Lane
@marimindles