GIHE: Tracks Of 2020

It feels strange to be celebrating anything in 2020, but the GIHE team want to shine a light on some of the brilliant music that’s been released against the odds during the last 12 months. If you or your band managed to release some music this year – congratulations! You should be super proud. If you didn’t manage to write anything new this year though, we fully understand and we’ll still be here to sing your praises when you feel ready to write again.

Following our album round-up yesterday, today we share our ‘top tracks’ of 2020. As you can tell, we haven’t held back, as there’s just been so much amazing music released this year that we felt deserved a mention. So, read about our forty two favourite songs of the year (told you we weren’t holding back!), and then hit play on our mammoth, and super eclectic, playlist at the end of this post….

HAWXX – ‘Deadlands’
Having previously blown us away with their immense live show, heavy rockers HAWXX this year released their epic four track debut Deadlands. And the immense title track has been on heavy rotation around my ears since first hearing it back in May. With an explosive frenzied energy propelling raging hooks and the seething vocals of front woman Anna Papadimitriou, it’s an utterly compelling whirlwind; a fantastically fierce accompaniment to the chaos of 2020.
(Mari Lane: Co-Founder/Managing Editor) 

Vulpynes – ‘Sister’
Having been majorly disappointed when we had to cancel our April gig at The Finsbury that Dublin duo Vulpynes were set to headline, it came as some consolation that they released a perfectly riotous EP Us Against Them later in the year. Taken from the EP, ‘Sister’ is a powerful ode to ‘pseudo sisterhood’. Propelled by Molly’s raw, impassioned vocals, it oozes an immense sense of urgency amid a seething eerie underlying force. With swirling, reverb-strewn hooks and pounding primal beats, it’s a fantastically fierce, empowered slice of ferocious rock magnificence.
(ML)

Guitar Gabby/The Txlips – ‘The Dead Pool’
With a mission to change the narrative in which the music industry showcases women, Atlanta based Guitar Gabby and The Txlips partner with Girls Rock Camps internationally and nationally to bring classes about home recording, equipment set up, copyright law and more to young girls. Taken from their explosive album Prison Of Life, ‘The Dead Pool’ is filled with scuzzed out riffs as Gabriella Logan’s seething growl soars. Oozing a gritty emotion, it’s a ferocious, empowering anthem; a completely necessary angst-driven offering for these strange times.
(ML)

Problem Patterns – ‘Sell By Date’
Taken from The Fight Is Not Over – a collaborative record with songs from Strange New Places, Gender Chores and Sister Ghost, in addition to Problem Patterns – ‘Sell By Date’ is a perfectly raging anthem rallying against societal gender norms and the pressures and expectations put on women of a certain age to have children (something I relate to HARD). Propelled by an empowering seething energy, it’s a frenzied fist-clencher that leaves me longing to witness it in all its live glory. The Fight Is Not Over addresses the need to continue pushing for more inclusive and diverse spaces and was recorded by Rocky O’Reilly to raise money for  The 343, an Artist-Focused, Feminist-led, Queer Arts Space in East Belfast. Read our interview with the four bands and find out more about the project here.
(ML)

New Pagans – ‘Yellow Room’
I love it when my feminist literature and new music worlds collide! Inspired by the semi-autobiographical short-story The Yellow Wallpaper by American author Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Belfast-based New Pagans’ penned ‘Yellow Room’ to highlight the need for a specialised parent-and-baby mental health unit in Northern Ireland. Through the medium of Gilmans’ text, the band explore the isolation faced by new mothers, with Lyndsey McDougall’s urgent vocals leading the way. I loved listening to the band’s EP Glacial Erratic earlier this year too and I can’t wait to hear more from them in 2021.
(Kate Crudgington: Co-Founder/Features Editor)

LIINES – ‘Sorry’
Having received acclaim from the likes of Sleaford Mods, John Kennedy and BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, as well as blowing us away headlining for us at The Finsbury, Manchester trio LIINES consistently impress with their distinctive, raw post-punk. Oozing the band’s trademark dark, brooding power, ‘Sorry’ builds with deep, intense bass lines, the gritty, commanding growl of vocalist Zoe McVeigh and Leila O’Sullivan’s consistent pummelling beats. Propelled by a thrashing sense of urgency, it’ll captivate the ears with its punk-fuelled bewitching allure.
‘Sorry’ is out now (with B side ‘On and On’) via Reckless Yes.
(ML)

Tiger Mimic – ‘Where The Fire Used To Be’
Disappointed that we had to cancel what would have been their debut gig for us in April, we were glad to hear Tiger Mimic’s new releases this year. Propelled by a driving energy, ‘Where The Fire Used To Be’ blasts out racing riffs alongside the soaring splendour of front woman Jess’ striking vocals. Building to an immense climax, it offers a sense of hope in these seemingly hopeless times, reassuring us that “the whole world will start over in the spring”.
(ML)

Bitch Hunt – ‘Spaceman’
Since forming at First Timers Fest, London based all queer/non-binary band Bitch Hunt have been going from strength to strength; last October impressing us at GIHE us with their immense live set at The Finsbury. Taken from a split cassette that they released with fellow faves adults earlier this year, ‘Spaceman’ is an observational and relatable slice of punk-pop. With Bitch Hunt’s trademark impassioned energy and swirling harmonies, it’s a spot-on reflection on the sickening arrogance of all those cis male ‘splainers and ‘spreaders we so often have to endure in our day to day lives.
(ML)

Porridge Radio – ‘7 Seconds’
In a year where so much went wrong, watching the unstoppable rise of Porridge Radio felt so right. With ‘7 Seconds’ the band moved away from the guitar-heavy sound of their Mercury-nominated album, Every Bad, towards alternative ’80s synths. The result is reassuringly nostalgic, like it’s jumped from the soundtrack of a badass John Hughes film; melancholic, but still upbeat and unbelievably catchy.I’m in love with front-person and songwriter Dana Margolin’s voice. Bold and strong, but vulnerable too, they sing of wasting, waiting and rising above it all. Against the backdrop of a rather tedious few months, ‘7 Seconds’ feels hopeful and exciting. When it comes on the radio, as it frequently has, I feel a little jolt of electricity run through my veins. And it’s a jolt that’s wired straight to my heart, mind… and my feet. The song – and the band – are something very special, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
(Vic Conway: Contributor)

CMAT – ‘I Wanna Be a Cowboy, Baby!’
“Always the cowboy, never the cow / I hate the way my life turned out” might just be the lyric of 2020, provided by Irish pop sensation CMAT. “[The song is] based around a VINE that was really popular from a couple of years ago of a load of guys drinking cans outside in a playground saying “I wanna be a cowboy baby!,” CMAT explained when we spoke to her about the single in September. The popstar has a talent for taking obscure scenarios and molding them into intensely relatable, catchy pop tunes and ‘I Wanna Be a Cowboy, Baby!’ is a charming slice of  Americana-tinged pop that laments the struggles of urban isolation.
(KC)

Kynsy – ‘Cold Blue Light’
Based on her own experience of being at a New Years Eve party watching a man spout racist remarks, Dublin-based multi-instrumentalist Kynsy’s single ‘Cold Blue Light’ is a dark synth-pop gem that oozes with defiant attitude. I love her genre-blending sounds and I’m excited to hear more from her in 2021.
(KC)

Jessica Winter – ‘Sad Music’
This is the title track from Queen of sad bangers Jessica Winter’s debut EP, and it’s an electro-pop gem. Inspired by the need to relieve heartbreak through the medium of music, Winter effortlessly blends elements of electronica, pop, R&B and industrial music to create her intensely dance-able sounds. I pranced around my bedroom miming to ‘Sad Music’ for most of Lockdown 1.0.
(KC)

Husk – ‘Heal With Time’
One of our favourite discoveries of 2020, Manchester-based trans non-binary artist HUSK creates uptempo pop gems. Released in the summer, ‘Heal With Time’ oozes a celebratory sound juxtaposed with a poignant, reflective lyricism. Propelled by ’80s-inspired glistening hooks and synth-soaked uplifting summer vibes, it’s a vibrant, danceable anthem, shimmering with a sparkling empowering energy.
(ML)

Kadija Kamara – ‘Best Moves’
Even in uncertain times, London-based songwriter Kadija Kamara remains focused on her ‘Best Moves’. On this single, she calmly reminds listeners to own their “magic” and recognise the value of their own work, reassuring them with her warm beats, grooving bass lines and smooth vocals. With a sound best described as “alt-soul” which combines her love of ’60s and ’70s analogue sounds, Kadija’s passion for nostalgia permeates her musical output.
(KC)

Evil House Party – ‘Wicked’
An intoxicating blend of hazy vocals and sultry synths, Evil House Party’s debut single smoulders with the intensity of a hot summer night fuelled by Bonnie & Clyde-esque musings. ‘Wicked’ is a “bittersweet revenge pop anthem” that seduces listeners with its yearning vocals and heady beats.
(KC)

CIRCE – ‘Ten Girls’
London based dark-pop artist Circe is inspired by the films of David Lynch, the brutality of Margaret Atwood’s fiction, the soundtrack to Stranger Things and Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo & JulietThis single ‘Ten Girls’  takes its title from a quote from The Handmaid’s Tale. Of the track, Circe explains: “[Atwood’s novel] is a poetic but disturbing view of women living in a dystopian oppressive world. This chimes with my own fractured generation of cancel culture, swipes of sex, and revenge porn.” I’m obsessed with Circe’s debut EP She’s Made Of Saints, which is full of sweeping, cinematic gems.
(KC)

Notelle – ‘Bugs’
I love the industrial-tinged production and wispy vocals on Nashville-based “nightmare-pop” artist Notelle’s single ‘Bugs’. She wrote this song after a break-up when she felt like part of her ex was still invading her body and it’s an intoxicating, feverish effort to rid herself of this unwanted sensation.|
(KC)

Noga Erez – ‘You So Done’
A resilient, emotionally charged offering from an uncompromising artist, Noga Erez’s single ‘You So Done’ delves deep into the memories left behind by a toxic relationship. Far removed from the joviality of her lockdown inspired single ‘NO News On TV’, Erez channelled her fears, frustrations and un-nerving flashbacks into this track, which radiates with artistic confidence. Accompanied by a stunning set of visuals directed by Indy Hait, also featuring her musical partner Ori Rousso, the Tel Aviv-based artist continues to blow us away with her mesmerising musical accomplishments.
(KC)

Eilis Frawley – ‘Stats’
Taken from her incredible EP Adult Life, Eilis Frawley’s ‘Stats’ is one of the most stunning and necessary listens of 2020. Offering a completely unique soundscape from the classically trained percussionist, it combines arresting drum-beats with Krautrock-infused spoken word, as the lyrics see Frawley recite hard-hitting stats, highlighting the everyday injustices facing women today. Tackling issues such as period poverty, FGM, domestic violence and other vital issues, it’s a beautifully striking and necessary listen. A poignant protest song that you can dance to. Adult Life is out now via Reckless Yes.  
(ML)

Princess Nokia – ‘Sugar Honey Iced Tea (S.H.I.T)’
Openly queer rapper and all round inspiration, Destiny Nicole Frasqueri – aka Princess Nokia – writes powerful, feminist anthems promoting self love and raging against the patriarchy. Fusing together infectious beats and a powerful, angst-driven energy, along with her trademark tongue-in-cheek wit, with ‘S.H.I.T’ Princess Nokia once again offers an empowering and playful presence in these times when pushing for change is so important.
(ML)

Æ Mak feat. Seba Safe – ‘i dance in the kitchen’
Joyfully schooling listeners how to make uplifting kitsch-pop tunes under the strangest of circumstances, Irish artist Æ MAK’s single ‘i dance in the kitchen’ was made with “100% childsplay and solo belly laughs.” Featuring the vocals of fellow Irish artist Seba Safe, the track is lifted from her EP how to: make a kitsch pop song to show the world, which she produced from home during Lockdown 1.0. I loved bopping around my bedroom to this record and of course, dancing in the kitchen to it too.
(KC)

Lido Pimienta – ‘Eso Que Tu Haces’
No-one else makes electronic music sound as warm and meaningful as Colombian-born, Toronto-based artist Lido Pimienta does. This track ‘Eso Que Tu Haces’ (translated roughly as ‘That Thing You Do’) is one of many triumphant singles lifted from Pimienta’s Grammy-nominated album Miss Colombia, which is a vivid celebration and criticism of her Colombian heritage. I have spent many an hour marvelling at the artwork on this record and singing along to my baby pink vinyl, despite knowing only three words in Spanish.
(KC)

Eckoes – ‘The Light’
Having dazzled us playing live at The Finsbury a few years back, London-based Eckoes consistently creates beautiful, soothing soundscapes. Filled with strobing synths and shimmering guitars, ‘The Light’ showcases the truly spellbinding power of Eckoes’ soaring vocals, as it lulls the listener into a cathartic sense of hypnosis with its alluring grace. A truly captivating offering from an artist on the rise.
(ML) 

Serena Isioma – ‘King’
Chicago-based musician Serena Isioma’s single ‘King’ is full of seductive beats and brooding bass lines. It’s a shimmering reflection on the problematic friendships 20-year old Isioma has found themselves in. “’King’ is about remembering your worth,” the songwriter explains. Isioma’s latest EP The Leo Sun Sets is every bit as poignant and dreamy as this single.
(KC)

Despicable Zee – ‘We Won’t Stop’ (Tiiva Remix)
A captivating, left-field electronic exploration of dual heritage, motherhood and self-autonomy, Oxford-based drummer and producer Despicable Zee (aka Zahra Haji Fath Ali Tehrani) released her third EP Atigheh in 2019. This year, with the help of an eclectic mix of collaborators, Zee shared a remix of the recording titled Atigheh Reimagined, which opened with this track by Tiiva. Keeping the hypnotic qualities of the original, Tiiva’s treatment of  ‘We Won’t Stop’ fuses smooth, breathy vocals together with dense yet ambient beats. I can’t recommend listening to this EP enough, it also features collaborations with Tiece, Planningtorock and Young Knives.
(KC)

MJ Guider – ‘FM Secure’
Lifted from her album Sour Cherry Bell, MJ Guider’s shadowy single ‘FM Secure’ is permeated by murky industrial sounds and atmospheric, beguiling vocals. Based in New Orleans, MJ Guider (aka Melissa Guion) blends elements of shoegaze, gothic pop and industrial sounds to create her hypnotic music. On Sour Cherry Bell, Guider explored power dynamics and the notion of “lost and found” and these musings extended to ‘FM Secure’, its ominous glow intensifying with each listen.
(KC)

Two Tribes – ‘Cruel Sensuality’
Full of commanding beats, jagged synths and soaring vocals, Two Tribes‘ single ‘Cruel Sensuality’ is a cathartic oscillation between emotional resilience and the unexpected apathy that comes with the ending of a relationship. Taken from their upcoming EP, which is set for release in 2021, the London-based trio blend vivid electronic textures with jolting rhythms to create an anthemic new sound. This is a grade A BANGER.
(KC)

Kelly Lee Owens – ‘L.I.N.E’
I could have picked any track from Kelly Lee Owens’ second album, Inner Song, having listened to it on repeat so often that it’s become like listening to one continuous ambient epic.  ‘L.I.N.E.’ stands out, as the most deeply emotional song on the album, and because it gives some exposure to Owens’ vocals, also a central feature of  ‘Luminous Spaces’, her collaboration with Jon Hopkins, and one of my favourites from last year .  It’s also a reflection of how much more electronic music I’ve listened to lately (other notable acts from the last 18 months have included Peggy Gou, Bicep, and HAAi).  It could be that I’ve missed the old days of being out and about, at venues packed with bodies, light and sound – but I also think there’s something valuable in the (often) unspoken emotion of electronic music at a time when connections between us all have been strained.  Given the domestic nature of much of recent times, and paraphrasing a Jarvis Cocker single from 2020, I’ve been listening to House Music all year long.
(John McGovern: Contributor)

Grawl!x – ‘Epicene’
Having headlined the last gig we held at The Finsbury before the world changed forever, Grawl!x creates euphoric cinematic soundscapes filled with twinkling electronic hooks and spellbinding harmonies. Characterised by Maria’s distinctive impassioned vocals and a poignant stirring emotion, each offering from the Derby-based artist is utterly captivating.
‘Epicene’ is taken from Grawl!x’s album Peeps, out now via Reckless Yes.
(ML)

Penelope Trappes – ‘Eel Drip’
A goose bump inducing electronic soundscape, ‘Eel Drip’ is the title track from London-based, Australian-born artist Penelope Trappes’ most recent EP. It’s a dark, delicate rumination on accepting the inevitability that our lives will all be touched by death at some point. Through her arpeggiated electronics and beguiling vocals, Trappes extrapolates on these themes and invites her listeners to experience the comfort and the catharsis that comes with this acceptance.
(KC)

Mentrix – ‘Walk’
Born in Iran but now based in Berlin, Mentrix (aka Samar Rad) blends her experiences of eastern and western culture along with traditional Sufi instrumentation to create her beguiling, bold soundscapes. ‘Walk’ is full of captivating vocals, atmospheric electronics and commanding percussion. It’s taken from her debut album, My Enemy, My Love, which is a powerful exploration of female resilience, independence and what happens when women are caught between two cultures, each filled with their own flaws and freedoms. It’s a stunning record and this track is a definite highlight.
(KC)

Blonde Maze – ‘Not All Flowers Bloom’
Having been a huge fan of New York artist and previous guest on our radio show Blonde Maze for a long while now, it was wonderful to hear her new releases this year. Reflecting on the realisation that even though something is beautiful, it may not last forever, ‘Not All Flowers Bloom’ is a truly euphoric slice of electro-pop. A perfect example of Blonde Maze’s knack for creating exquisite soundscapes. I could listen to everything she creates on a loop forever; it’s just so completely calming and blissfully cathartic.
(ML)

CATBEAR – ‘Girl Crush’
A dreamy electro-pop rumination about wanting a friendship to develop into something more romantic, London-based queer duo CATBEAR’s single ‘Girl Crush’ was written during Lockdown 1.0. Recorded and produced in Zoe  Konez’s home studio in Brixton, the single is a completely DIY affair, with Sarah Smith laying down her vocals in her spare room wardrobe. The pair playfully ponder the “could-have-beens and what ifs” when it comes to thinking about that certain someone. Their charming pop creations were a welcome distraction for those caught up in a crush during unusual times.
(KC)

Ellis – ‘Fall Apart’
Released in early January, Canada’s alt-indie angel Ellis released this swirling single. Dawning at a time of blissful ignorance during a quiet moment before the storm to come, Ellis couldn’t have anticipated the level of comfort ‘Fall Apart’ would bring to her listeners in 2020. With dreamy, personal moments illustrated so softly, Ellis’ peaceful scenes of whispers under sheets served as a euphoric escape that also acknowledged hardship through self-awareness. Both humility and hesitation are felt through Ellis’ symbolism of what it means to accidentally fall apart. Her delicate depictions and flustered lyrics are realities felt by so many. Hushed vocals and warm guitar tones embody the closeness and tenderness that ‘Fall Apart’ illuminates. A nostalgic essence is met with a small amount of weariness that captivates the complexity and fear of being unconditionally seen by another, even on our worst days. In an uncertain time it has served as a utopian narrative of relatability and release. Ellis’ ‘Fall Apart’ is a therapeutic moment that exists in a cloudy sky, gloomy, but kissed by the sun.
(Jill Goyeau: Contributor)

Talking Violet – ‘Indigo’
Canadian band Talking Violet’s first single in two years,  ‘Indigo’ offers an ethereal dreamscape oozing a shimmering haze and immersive shoegaze-tinged hooks. Flowing with the Cocteau Twins-esque vocals of front woman Jill Goyeau, and swooping other-worldly melodies, it’s an utter sonic delight. A truly immersive listen that’ll leave you longing for more. (Jill also happens to be an excellent writer for us at GIHE!)
(ML)

ARXX – ‘Call Me Crazy’
Following the release of last year’s EP Wrong Girl Honey, and 2018’s debut Daughters Of Daughters, total faves ARXX this year returned to our ears with ‘Call Me Crazy’. Whilst it may be a bit of a change in tone for the Brighton duo, it loses none of the emotion-strewn power we’ve come to know and love. Showcasing Hanni and Clara’s more reflective side, it offers a heartfelt offering reflecting on mental health struggles, at a time when this topic is more resonant than ever before. Whilst dealing with an affecting subject, however, ARXX manage to create a truly uplifting and instantly catchy empowering anthem.
(ML)

Emma Kupa – ‘Nawlins’
Already a big fan of her band Mammoth Penguins, I’m no less in love with Emma Kupa’s solo material. Taken from this year’s beautiful album It Will Come Easier, ‘Nawlins’ flows with lilting, folk-strewn melodies and Kupa’s distinctive raw vocals. Filled with a heartfelt lyrical storytelling and euphoric uptempo musicality, it builds with glistening hooks to a stirring slice of perfect indie-pop. It Will Come Easier is out now via Fika Recordings.
(ML)

Captain Handsome – ‘Halloween’
Taken from Captain Handsome’s debut EP I Am Not An Animal, ‘Halloween’ flows with silky-smooth vocals and a twinkling, stripped-back musicality. With its delicate lo-fi scuzz and tongue-in-cheek relatable lyricism (“It was halloween, I was 24, I had a bad time on the bathroom floor”), it’s a sensitive, yet not sentimental, effervescent offering. Captain Handsome is the solo project of Lily from Fightmilk, and her EP I Am Not An Animal was released in January via Reckless Yes.
(ML)

Finish Flag – ‘Garden’
Having first fallen in love with Finish Flag when they played for us live at The Finsbury last summer, this year their album Swimming Pools has provided a lot of comfort. Taken from the album, ‘Garden’ flows with twinkling hooks and luscious harmonies, creating a dreamy slice of lo-fi indie-pop. Another band who I’ve sought soothing catharsis in throughout 2020, I bought Finish Flag’s beautiful pink vinyl on bandcamp day a couple of months ago, and I recommend you do the same.
(ML)

Gold Baby – ‘Versaille’
Having been following Gold Baby for some time now, last year front woman Siân Alex joined forces with Sara Kleppe and Scott Hislop to form the band as we know them today. And it’s been wonderful to see them go from strength to strength. Recent single ‘Versailles’ showcases all there is to love about them. With shimmering guitars and swooning melodies flowing alongside Siân’s luscious, crystalline vocals, it oozes a stirring heartfelt emotion. A beautifully rich slice of melancholy dream-pop.
(ML)

LibraLibra – Listerine
Brighton-based LibraLibra have been firm favourites of GIHE for a couple of years, never ceasing to impress. And this year they released their phenomenal debut EP Hail Mary. Taken from the EP, ‘Listerine’ is a step away from the usual high energy riotous cacophonies of previous releases. Showcasing the incredible soaring splendour and versatility of front woman Beth Cannon’s vocals with an almost operatic force, it builds to a magnificent, immense anthem of self-realisation.
Hail Mary is available on bandcamp now.
(ML)

Beckie Margaret – ‘God’
Essex-based songwriter Beckie Margaret has a flawless voice and a talent for writing beautifully bruising lyrics, something that her single ‘God’ showcases perfectly. I’m not ashamed to say I shed a tear when I first listened to this track, which is a cinematic reflection on unreciprocated love. Margaret releases through Cool Thing Records, who are a collective of people who absolutely love the music they’re making and promoting. It’s always a good day when an email about one of their artists appears at the top of my GIHE inbox.
(KC)

Massive thanks to all the artists and bands creating wonderful tunes this year! Keep an eye out for our Ones To Watch for next year, and listen to our Tracks Of 2020 playlist now:

PLAYLIST: July 2020

Our July playlist is filled with some dream-pop gems, alternative electronic sounds and the usual dose of indie & rock guitar tunes. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

 

Bitch Falcon – ‘Gaslight’
Dublin trio Bitch Falcon are probably going to block me if I keep tagging them on social media talking about how much I love this latest single. ‘Gaslight’ is a stirring reflection on the way we perceive other people’s truths, full of seething bass lines, savage guitar licks, crashing percussion and Fitzpatrick’s powerful yet melodic vocals. (Kate Crudgington)

LibraLibra – ‘Lonely Girl’
Following their immense last single ‘Juicy Lucy’, GIHE faves LibraLibra have now shared the next single taken from their upcoming new EP. Propelled by a gritty, swirling energy ‘Lonely Girl’ combines a whirring ‘80s-infused electro groove with the band’s trademark thunderous beats and frenzied hooks, as front woman Beth Cannon’s vocals soar with a magnetising power. With a tongue-in-cheek wit and seething, riotous drive, it’s another genre-defying anthem from the Brighton band. Hail Mary, the upcoming debut EP from LibraLibra, is set for release on 14th August. (Mari Lane)

The C33s – ‘Harpurhey Hostility’
The latest single from Manchester trio The C33s, ‘Harpurhey Hostility’ is a reflection on an area of the band’s hometown named “the worst place in England” by Manchester Evening News back in 2007. Propelled by a frenzied punk-infused drive, the track is filled with gritty surf-rock riffs and the raw impassioned power of drummer Judy Jones’ vocals, as it builds to with an instantly infectious raucous energy. (ML)

Wife Patrol – ‘Let’s Hang Out’
Set to release their debut album Too Prickly For This World on 4th September, Indiana-based Wife Patrol explore everything from power structures, toxic culture, friendship and bad weather in their music. ‘Let’s Hang Out’ is their debut single, and it’s filled with punchy beats and catchy riffs. (KC)

Abbie Ozard – TV Kween
“Hopefully this song will make people feel a little less alone when they’re feeling super insecure” says Manchester-based songwriter Abbie Ozard. ‘TV Kween’ is full of dream-pop tinged guitars and feel-good vibes, despite the track being based around feelings of insecurity. (KC)

Highnoon – ‘Lens’
Philadelphia indie-rock outfit Highnoon – fronted by Kennedy Freeman – create dream-pop, alt-rock inspired sounds. The band will be releasing their 2019 record Semi Sweet on cassette for the first time on 31st July via Oof Records, and 10% of all tape purchases will go towards Vamos Juntos — a community-led, Latinx immigrant organization in South Philadelphia fighting for human rights as workers, parents, youth, and immigrants. You can pre-order the tape here. (KC)

All Things Blue – ‘Dicking Around’
The latest single from L.A’s All Things Blue, ‘Dicking Around’ offers a swirling, dreamy soundscape, oozing a twinkling sense of calm. Soaked in immersive layers of psychedelic hooks and whirring electronics, providing the backdrop for India Coombs’ luscious majestic vocals, it’s the perfect accompaniment for a socially distanced sunbathe on a summer’s day. Get Bit, the debut album from All Things Blue, is out 23rd October. (ML)

Show Boy – ‘Turn It On’
Inspired by the spark of excitement that comes with meeting a new friend or starting a new relationship, ‘Turn It On’ is propelled by a jangly groove and vibrant sunny energy. With shimmering keys and Jovis’ distinctive impassioned vocals, this latest offering showcases his knack for creating perfectly catchy slices of colourful pop. Following his debut release last year, and with acclaim from the likes of Tom Robinson, ‘Turn It On’ is taken from Show Boy’s upcoming EP, Ishtar Lion. (ML)

Gymnast – ‘Ghost’
Based between Manchester and Rotherdam, Cathy Wilcock and Chris Lyon – aka Gymnast – create super dreamy slices of dark electro pop. With glitchy synth hooks and and a soaring majestic energy, ‘Ghost’ reflects on feelings of transition and the concept of liminality. I just can’t get enough of its swirling, captivating splendour. ‘Ghost’ is taken from Gymnast’s latest album Experiments In The Revival Of Organisms, which is out now. (ML)

Notelle – ‘Bugs’ 
Nashville-based “nightmare-pop” artist Notelle has shared her latest single ‘Bugs’, and I love its industrial-tinged production and her wispy vocals. Notelle wrote this song after a break-up when she felt like part of her ex was still invading her body in some way. She will be donating all proceeds from streaming revenues from the first two months of the single to support the Black Live Matters x Police Defund Movement. (KC)

Amaroun – ‘Scarlet’
Following the poignant power of last single ‘Rise’, GIHE fave Amaroun has now shared the latest in a string of singles that she’s releasing each month of 2020. With each single so far touching on a different theme surrounding life as a queer woman, ‘Scarlet’ is a love song, reflecting on Jay’s “obsession” with red-heads and the story of how her and her partner met. With a sunny, danceable groove and glistening energy, ‘Scarlet’ is an instantly uplifting slice of alt-pop. Amaroun will be ‘taking over’ our Instagram next Wednesday 29th July at 7pm – make sure you tune in! (ML)

grouptherapy – ‘Raise It Up!’
LA-based grouptherapy’s latest single is so, so catchy! Vocalist Jadagrace explains: “’Raise It Up!’ is a not so subtle reminder to know your worth and require your coin! We’re leaving undervaluing yourself in the last decade. You’re that bitch and you deserve more.” We back that statement 100%. (KC)

Tokky Horror – ‘Girlracer’
The new project from ex-Queen Zee vocalist Zee Davine, Tokky Horror’s debut single is a wild blend of drum & bass beats, dance music rhythms and punk-infused energy. Of the track, the band explain: “Girlracer’s unashamed appreciation of fast cars and loud music is a tongue-in-cheek to every boy who thinks they’re better than us.” (KC)

REWS – ‘Today We’re Warriors’
A defiant guitar tune designed to empower and motivate listeners into action, REWS latest single mixes heavy riffs and catchy melodies to help spark the fires of personal revolution. Lifted from the band’s upcoming second album Warriors, which is set for release on 7th August via Marshall Records, the track is accompanied by two music videos, an official video that shows front-woman Shauna running through the wilderness, and a fan video directed by GIHE photographer Jon Mo. The fan video also features one of the GIHE grrrls (spoiler: it’s me/Kate). You can watch both here. (KC)

Gender Chores – ‘Territory’
A reflection on the predatory nature of men in the music industry, ‘Territory’ is the latest single from Belfast’s Gender Chores. Driven by jangly punk-infused energy, and with a seething rage coated in sugar-sweet vocals (“Fuck you and your second chance!”), it’s one of four immense anthems taken from The Fight Is Not Over, a collaborative record with songs from Problem Patterns, Strange New Places and Sister Ghost. In addition to Gender Chores, it’s an impassioned collection of live songs from each of the bands, encapsulating an empowering and uplifting energy, addressing the need to continue pushing for more inclusive and diverse spaces. The Fight Is Not Over was recorded by Rocky O’Reilly and is raising money for The 343, an Artist-Focused, Feminist-led, Queer Arts Space in East Belfast. Read our interview with the four bands and find out more about the project here. (ML)

Cat SFX -‘Doom Generation’
Buzzing bass lines and direct lyrics dominate Cat SFX’s debut single. Of the track, Cat explains: “‘Doom Generation’ is a commentary on my personal experiences of mental health issues, big pharmaceutical companies and their ‘cures’, the massive pressure that’s put on my generation by social media and a reality TV culture that dislocates us from our feelings.” (KC)

Ganser – ‘Emergency Equipment & Exits’
Chicago-based Ganser are set to release their new album, Just Look at That Sky, via Felte Records on 31st July and this single features on the record. Alicia from the band explains: “The song and video are both about feeling estranged from reality and choosing nothing over too much – the floor drops out, and you only have yourself to deal with.” Watch the accompanying video here. (KC)

Mieko Shimizu – ‘Lazy Light’
The latest single from Japanese, London-based artist Mieko Shimizu, ‘Lazy Light’ flows with luscious chilled vibes and the distinctive honey sweet vocals of Shimizu. As an other-worldly effervescent soundscape is created, it oozes a comforting warm glow, reminiscent of something that could be found on the Twin Peaks soundtrack. The perfect accompaniment for hazy summer days. I Bloom, the latest album from Mieko Shimizu, is out now. (ML)

PLAYLIST: May 2020

At Get In Her Ears, we’re still sharing all the new music we can in order to distract you from the day-to-day reality of lockdown life. Our May playlist is filled with some electronic stunners, a couple of grunge-infused ragers, and the occasional tentative jazzy tune. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

Jessica Winter – ‘Sad Music’ 
This latest single from Jessica Winter hits your ears with its full force of pop beats, electronica and snappy synths. At a time like this, I’m loving the unifying lyrics and pulsing vibes of this track, which tells you upfront to lean into the expression music gives you, as Winter explains: “This song was born out of a particularly bad day and how music was a saviour at that time”. Jessica Winters’ debut EP will be released on 22nd May. (Tash Walker)

Beckie Margaret – ‘God’
Released via Cool Thing Records, Beckie Margaret’s latest single is a truly beautiful reflection on what it feels like to be caught in the grasp of a love that’s not reciprocated. I reviewed the track for The Line Of Best Fit, so if you want to read 200 words on how emotional she makes me, you can click here. (Kate Crudgington)

Temples Of Youth – ‘Suburbia’
The new single from GIHE faves, Temples Of Youth, ‘Suburbia’ is another truly majestic offering from the Winchester duo. An utterly dreamy soundscape oozing a twinkling emotion and mystical allure, as heaving synths are interwoven with fuzzed out hooks, whilst the beautifully rich vocals of Jo Carson soar. (Mari Lane)

Tora – ‘Call Your Name’
This is the second release from new R&B artist Tora. ‘Call Your Name’ focuses on confronting the conflicting unbalanced power dynamics that she sees in the world, a truly empowering call to arms that will get you moving whilst raging. Love it. (TW)

Allegra Krieger – ‘Rot’ 
‘Rot’ is the latest release from Brooklyn based Allegra Krieger, aptly named for a song about toxic apathy, originally inspired by the climate crisis. Kriege says it’s a tale of “someone who has assimilated into a culture of wanting and taking without reparation,” which mirrors the human arrogances exposed by the COVID-19 crisis. I love the grunge rock tone to this single. (TW)

Tired Lion – ‘Waterbed’
When I grow up, I want to be a guitar-wielding, chain-smoking Nun – just like Tired Lion’s front-woman Sophie Hopes in the accompanying video to this track. ‘Waterbed’ is a grunge-infused goodbye to the past, and a bold leap into the band’s future sound. (KC)

Diet Cig – ‘Who Are You?’
Flowing with Alex Luciano’s luscious honey-sweet vocals, infectious jangly melodies and all the twinkling energy you could ever need, ‘Who Are You?’ is a delectably catchy slice of dreamy indie-pop from Diet Cig. Juxtaposing an emotion-strewn lilting charm and subtle gritty angst, it’s a shimmering, sunny delight; perfectly uplifting isolation listening. Diet Cig’s new album, Do You Wonder About Me? is out now. (ML)

MOURN – ‘Call You Back’
An edgy, relatable exploration of the anxieties around answering the phone; MOURN’s latest single is an instantly gratifying, cathartic guitar tune. Released via Captured Tracks, the Catalan-based trio are adept at tapping into universal insecurities, providing a personal angle, and deconstructing them through indie guitar hooks and direct vocals. (KC)

Ganser – ‘Lucky’
Ganser’s music has garnered comparisons to 90s noise-makers Fugazi, Shellac, and Sonic Youth. Their jolting rhythms, confrontational vocals, and manic riffs fuse together to create defiant, jarring tunes; and new single ‘Lucky’ is a sturdy example of this. (KC)

Scrounge – ‘Etch’ 
Not a new song, but a darn good one. ‘Etch’ by Scrounge got me through one of my lowest moments during this lockdown. The infectious drums, catchy chorus and memories of seeing them live dragged me out of my cloud and reminded me of the importance of music in dealing with life’s challenges. Thank you Scrounge – I owe you. x (TW)

Alice Bag – ‘Spark’
The new single from prolific punk legend Alice Bag, ‘Spark’ is propelled by gritty hooks and a punk-fuelled frenzied energy, as the raw power of Bag’s vocals rage with a passion, asserting “Hell no, I’m not dimming my spark!” An uplifting burst of empowering strength in the face of adversity; a wonderfully vibrant and super catchy celebration of queer culture and the joy that comes with being able to express your true self. (ML)

Stef Fi – ‘Nowhere’
Lifted from her debut EP, Girlhood, Stef Fi’S single ‘Nowhere’ is a lo-fi dose of grunge-infused punk. The quiet, uncertain lyrics of the verses contrast well with the distorted riffs and defiant words in the chorus. Best known as the vocalist & guitarist of black feminist punk band Big Joanie, Stef Fi’s (aka Stephanie Phillips) debut shows “sketches of a girl” resisting hate, and trying to find hope in the harshest of realities. (KC)

Gulls – ‘Shame Shame Shame’
Propelled by thrashing beats and a driving, riotous force, ‘Shame Shame Shame’ could not have come to our ears at a better time. A spot on social commentary, rallying against fascists and the insidious alt-right, it oozes a frenzied impassioned energy that we need now more than ever, asserting that we will not tolerate intolerance. A perfect slice of angst-driven punk; a truly necessary listen right now. Gulls were also due to be playing for us tonight at The Finsbury – we really hope to be able to book in the Brighton band again in the future. (ML)

Peaness – ‘Kaizen’
Another band I was supposed to be seeing live this week, at The Lexington on Wednesday, I had been super excited about catching the sunny, jangly melodies and sparkling uptempo energy of Manchester/Chester trio Peaness. Oozing their trademark ‘Pea-positivity’, ‘Kaizen’ is the perfect antidote to these strange and scary times. If you’d like to help venues like The Lexington keep afloat while so many events are being cancelled right now, find out more about The Music Trust’s #SaveOurVenues campaign here.  (ML)

Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something – ‘Keytar’ (I Was Busy)
Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something were due to be headlining for us tonight (Fri 8th May)at The Finsbury, and – as with all the gigs we’ve had to cancel recently – we’re super gutted that it’s had to be postponed. They have wowed us with their magnificent charisma and immense psych-infused offerings live before, and it would have been such an honour to have them return, this time at the top of the bill. (ML)

CLT DRP – ‘Like Father’ (Sit Down Remix)
Having previously completely blown us away with their live set at The Finsbury, Brighton trio  CLT DRP have now returned to blast into our ears with a seething new offering. A magnificent, whirring electro-punk cacophony that addresses the complexities of family ties, ‘Like Father’ is driven by a swirling, impassioned energy, oozing a poignant breathtaking force, showcased perfectly in this immense frenetic remix by fellow Brighton faves Sit Down.(ML)

Notelle – ‘Alive’
Self-described as “nightmare pop”, Nashville-based Notelle blends hushed vocals, warped beats, and seething synth textures to create her claustrophobic sounds. Based on her own experiences of toxic relationships and gas-lighting, ‘Alive’ is Notelle’s most personal release to date. (KC)

Stainwasher – ‘Chems’
Swedish artist Stainwasher is not one to shy away from darker states of emotion. With ‘Chems’, she’s crafted another dark, alluring lullaby that broods with bittersweet anxiety. (KC)

Lorana – ‘Am I’ 
‘Am I?’ is the latest single from self-produced artist Lorana, who sings about her love for music and questions if this love is too big. Her upcoming EP, Here In Between, was written after leaving her small Belgian hometown of Alken for the big London city. In order to reflect this lyrical narrative into her sonic identity, she recorded samples both at home and in London, which are woven throughout all the songs. ‘Am I?’ is a truly touching and beautiful offering, which is a pleasure to listen to as the vocals and samples pour in and out of your ears. (TW)

GEISTE – ‘Moonchild’ 
‘Moonchild’ is the fourth single leading up to GEISTE’s debut EP, Utopia, released on 22nd May. This is a track that hits you with its fullest force. It’s such a an empowering listen, building and building with the tribal drums and feverish samples before colliding into the chorus. ‘Moonchild’ is about not feeling like you fit with people and finding your crowd of misfits, stronger and wilder people that are not defeated by life – which is certainly relatable right now. (TW)

Anna Leone – ‘Wondering’ (TW)
‘Wondering’ is the first release from Anna Leone in two years, and it was definitely worth the wait. Slow and intense, she draws you into her world with such raw emotion, that you’re left feeling as though you’ve had a personal invitation into her thoughts.

Speaking about the new track, Anna says: “I’ve been going back and forth recently trying to decide whether I should start releasing new songs. My music is very much about isolation and being disconnected, and I’ve been kind of questioning if that‘s the energy I should put out into the world right now. I think ultimately though, the songs are also about healing, and I can only hope that that’s what people take away from them. I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety for a long time and this album is sort of the culmination of all those feelings. I still can’t listen to it all the way through without crying, which is painful but also a good thing, I think. It feels cathartic.” It’s so important that we hear music like this right now, remembering it’s ok to not be ok, but more importantly that we are not alone.

Listen to, and follow, the full playlist here:

Track Of The Day: Notelle – ‘Alive’

A dark, dense, atmospheric exploration of hysteria; Nashville-based artist Notelle has shared her latest single, ‘Alive’. Self-described as “nightmare pop”, Notelle blends hushed vocals, warped beats, and seething synth textures to create her claustrophobic new sounds.

Inspired by the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Billie Eilish, Notelle cherry picks elements of industrial, pop, and electronic music in order to create her own tracks. “Leave me here to sit in this darkness / and I’ll be just fine” she muses on ‘Alive’, over unnerving beats and interlacing electronics, before the manic, crashing percussion of the track’s outro acts as a cathartic, aural purge. Based on her own experiences of toxic relationships and gas-lighting, ‘Alive’ is Notelle’s most personal release to date.

She explains the premise of the track further: “There’s a point in hysteria where you begin to feel electrified. When you love someone who is pushing you to the brink of insanity, it has a way of making you feel more than you’ve ever felt prior. You experience every emotion, all at once, in such an alarming way, and I wanted to explore that in this track.”

“I’ve been in a situation before where someone was questioning my own perception of reality, telling me that my understanding of what was going on wasn’t accurate – lying to me, gaslighting me. It pushed me to an emotional breaking point that was totally new. It felt like I had shot-up adrenaline, and it was startling and liberating at the same time. Straddling the line between total madness and invigorating emotional depth, I realized that this was unbelievably toxic, yet I had never felt more alive.”

Listen to Notelle’s new track below, and follow her on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: @thederricklipschitz

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut