GIHE: Ones To Watch 2021

Whilst 2021 may not be looking too promising in the grand scheme of things at the moment, the array of amazing new music to look forward to is giving us some hope. So many fantastic bands and artists over the last year have been getting us through the nightmare of 2020, and here we’ve selected just a few who’ve made a particularly lasting impression, and who we’re hoping to hear a lot more from over the next twelve months.

Following our Tracks, Albums and Highlights of 2020, here’s our Ones To Watch in 2021…

deep tan
With acclaim from the likes of The Quietus, NME, So Young and BBC 6Music already under their belts, Hackney based trio deep tan have been enchanting our ears this year with their immersive, hypnotic splendour. First capturing our attention with the swirling grace of 2019’s ‘Air’, they continued to cast their majestic spell over us with this year’s ‘deepfake’ – a poignant comment on the worryingly sexist ways the strange internet phenomenon is used in society. Fusing together the cold-wave side of post-punk with their trademark eerily captivating allure and illustrious, swooning French and English vocals, deep tan have already shown their knack for creating utterly bewitching, sonically complex, soundscapes. I expect their dreamy, effervescent charm to continue drawing in more listeners throughout 2021.
Listen to deep tan on Spotify or bandcamp now. 
(Mari Lane: Co-Founder/Managing Editor)

CMAT
I have The Irish Jam radio show to thank for introducing me to CMAT! The pop sensation released some stellar singles throughout 2020, including ‘Another Day (KFC)’ – a bop about crying your drunken heart out in a chicken shop – and ‘I Wanna Be a Cowboy, Baby!’ – a witty, melancholic anthem about struggling with urban isolation. I interviewed her via Zoom earlier this year and she was just a joy to chat with (read the full thing here.) Even though things still look shaky for the music industry in 2021, I reckon CMAT will release more singles that manage to hit the nail on the head, and I hope that she’ll continue to be a stand-up comedian via her Twitter and Instagram accounts too.
Listen to CMAT on Spotify or bandcamp now. 
(Kate Crudgington: Co-Founder/Features Editor)

Amaroun
Having already caught the attention of BBC 6Music and BBC Introducing, Jay Brown – aka Amaroun – spent the first part of 2020 releasing a new single each month. With each single touching on a different theme surrounding life as a queer woman, she has had us hooked on her scintillating alt-pop. From the poignant, swirling power of ‘Rise’ to the gentle romanticism and playful wit of love song ‘Scarlet’, and the grimey groove of latest single ‘Highest Head’ (a collaboration with Jung Mergs), Amaroun never fails to impress with her unique creations – in equal parts soulful and gritty. I can’t get enough of her stirring, effervescent power, and I’m excited to hear what she has in store for us in 2021.
Listen to Amaroun on Spotify or bandcamp now. (ML)

Divide and Dissolve
Formed of Takiaya Reed and Sylvie Nehill, Divide and Dissolve create eerie, thunderous instrumentals designed to rouse their listener’s state of awareness into questioning what it means to be truly free. I was thrilled to see the duo were back releasing new music this year and that their new album Gas Lit – the follow up to 2018’s Abomination – will be released in January 2021. With their dense and intriguing sounds, Divide and Dissolve are instrumental activists who seek to disrupt toxic white supremacy, reclaim indigenous rights and invite others to join their fight. Their elegant, doomy battle cries will be the perfect soundtrack to 2021.
Listen to Divide and Dissolve on Spotify or bandcamp now.
(KC)

Nuha Ruby Ra
With her diverse range of influences, background in art and satire, and the unique style of both her fashion choices and music videos, Nuha Ruby Ra feels at once a familiar composite of acts from the darker end of alt-pop, and something completely fresh. With two singles released earlier this year, Ra has recently dropped what looks to be a breakthrough. ‘Sparky’ is a tale of escapades in a post-punk, dark synth-pop style, the track is her first release on her new label, Brace Yourself Records, and is taken from the forthcoming EP, How to Move. Ra has been a burgeoning, if slightly less prominent artist for sometime, having appeared on stage with a number of indie favourites, including Warmduscher, but the spotlight seems to suit her perfectly. With her latest release having got radio airplay almost from the minute it was released, and a string of tour dates already planned for live return, don’t be surprised to see Nuha Ruby Ra’s name up in lights in 2021.
Listen to Nuha Ruby Ra on Spotify or bandcamp now.
(John McGovern: Contributor)

KIN
Having first charmed our ears when they played their second ever gig for us at The Finsbury back in January 2019, London trio KIN are already receiving plenty of acclaim for their euphoric alt-pop sounds. As evidenced by receiving over 70,000 streams on Spotify for recent bewitching single ‘Sharing Light’ (and nearly that many for other singles ‘L.O.V.E’ and ‘Wander & Lost’), they seem to be quickly rising to success; their alluring majesty providing a soothingly cathartic listen for fans of all genres. Consisting of Grace, Ritu and Adam, KIN have already completely stolen our hearts, both with their exquisite celestial soundscapes and their unwavering dedication to consistently championing fellow females in the industry. I cannot wait to hear more from them in 2021, and I’m quite sure I’m not alone in my excitement!
Listen to Kin on Spotify now.
(ML)

ZAND
Self-proclaimed “ugly pop” star ZAND creates delightfully wicked tunes that take down slut-shamers and whorephobes, whilst revelling in the joyful feeling of not fitting the mould. The Blackpool-based artist has cultivated a defiant sound and image for themselves, mixing their sweet vocals with savage rap verses laid across warped and wonderful electronics. They’ve got a lot to say and I’m looking forward to hearing more from them in 2021.
Listen to Zand on Spotify now.(KC)

King Hannah
Although I did feature King Hannah as One To Watch last year too, I think it’s completely necessary to include them again. Not only does 2020 not really count anyway, but I think it’s fair to say that, with the immediate success of their recently released debut EP Tell Me Your Mind And I’ll Tell You Mine and signing to City Slang Records (also home to Noga Erez, Lampchop and Laura Gibson), King Hannah are now on the cusp of something very, very exciting… I first fell in love with the Liverpool band (thanks to our writer, John!) on hearing their debut single ‘Crème Brûlée’ (which now has over 60,000 streams on Spotify) back in 2019 – its sweeping, ethereal power and majestic musicality completely casting me under its spell on first listen. And now the entirety of the EP remains utterly compelling; with shades of the likes of War On Drugs propelled by the unique melancholic splendour of Hannah Merrick’s vocals, it’s an emotion strewn listen, oozing a stirring, bewitching allure.
Listen to King Hannah on Spotify or bandcamp now. (ML)

CIRCE
London-based dark-pop artist CIRCE had me under her spell from the moment I read that her track ‘Ten Girls’ was inspired by Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Her debut EP She’s Made Of Saints is a majestic blend of her bittersweet vocals, cinematic electronics, her feminist awakenings and obsession with the dark side of LA glamour, epitomised by tracks like ‘Dancer’ on which she explores the dangerous allure of Californian cult The Source Family. She’s crafted this mysterious, David Lynch inspired image that fits her sound perfectly too.
Listen to Circe on Spotify or bandcamp now.
(KC)

Ailbhe Reddy
Ireland-based artist Ailbhe Reddy made her debut appearance on the indie circuit in 2016. However, it was 2018’s beautifully poignant single ‘Shame’ which introduced me to Reddy’s sharp songwriting. Having completed the checklist of performing at various UK festivals, Ailbhe Reddy was poised to make the leap across the pond with a slot at SXSW festival before 2020 pressed pause on the live music industry. Despite the setback, Ailbhe Reddy provided the soundtrack of my lockdown 2.0 with her debut album Personal History. An introspective snapshot of everyday emotional turmoils, coupled with a polished production, Personal History is Ailbhe Reddy’s armour to march back into the live music scene in 2021.
Listen to Ailbhe Reddy on Spotify or bandcamp now.
(Nicky Lee-Delisle: Contributor)

New Pagans
Another Irish Jam find! Belfast-based New Pagans’ debut EP Glacial Erratic is an impressive collection of urgent, considered, intensely catchy songs that challenge the norms surrounding relationships, history and gender roles. The band take the best elements of post-punk, grunge and indie rock and transform them into beautifully melodic noise, and this is epitomised on ‘Yellow Room’, the single they released shortly after their EP. They’re currently working on a full length record, so fingers crossed they’ll be able to share that with us in 2021.
Listen to New Pagans on Spotify or bandcamp now.
(KC)

Fräulein
Having only come across Fräulein earlier this year, through seeing them perform a stripped back ‘live’ set for Hanni from ARXX’s Coming Out Staying In festival back in April, I’m already a big fan of the duo’s raw, visceral sound. Oozing a captivating dark energy, this year’s singles ‘Drag Behind’ and ‘Mary’ are propelled by the gritty power of Joni’s raw sweeping vocals, as abrasive, grunge-infused hooks steadily build an increasing tension with the help of Karsten’s immense beats. With shades of the mysterious allure of underrated ’90s band Slint, Fräulein offer a unique, spellbinding majesty. A new favourite, in ‘normal’ times, I’d be booking Fräulein for a gig with us at The Finsbury as soon as possible, but for now I will have to settle for listening to ‘Drag Behind’ on repeat, and dreaming of the day I can witness their dark energy live in a room full of sweaty fans.
Listen to Fräulein on bandcamp now. (ML) 

Get In Her Ears: Ones To Watch 2020 (16.01.20)

At the fresh new time of 7-9pm, Tash served up a strong playlist of GIHE’s ‘Ones to Watch’ for 2020. Highlights include: Hinako Omori, Pongo, Greentea Peng, Hurtling, LibraLibra and Jemma Freeman & the Cosmic Something.

Listen back here:

Tracklist
Garbage – I Think I’m Paranoid
Pongo – Canto
Greentea Peng – Sane
Sea Change – Stepping Out
Peaness – Kaizen
The Big Moon – Barcelona
Summer Camp – Women in Love
PVA – Divine Intervention
Nayana Iz – how we do
Gold Baby – Philadelphia
ARXX – Moments At A Time
Tamesis – Cosmic Heat
Big Joanie – Fall Asleep
Laulia – Outcast Kids
Yacht – Blue on Blue
Ella Winter – Burnt
Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something – Helen Is A Reptile
LibraLibra – Loverboy
Hinako Omori – Bank Of Inner Criticisms
Otta – Small Hours
Lucy Gooch – Calm Down
FKA Twigs – Cellophane
Tasha Angela – Undescribable Feeling
Hurtling – Summer
Lauren Alex Hooper – Clarity
Texas – Drawing Crazy Patterns

GIHE Ones To Watch 2020

Whilst 2020 may be looking pretty grim in the grand scheme of things at the moment, the array of amazing new music to look forward to is giving us hope… 

We’ve been introduced to so many fantastic bands and artists over the last year, but here we’ve selected just a few who’ve made a particularly lasting impression. Here’s our Ones To Watch 2020. Have a read and listen to the updated playlist on Spotify

LibraLibra
Having completely blown us away at our last gig at The Finsbury this month, and with an appearance on our radio show back in 2018, we’ve been massive fans of LibraLibra for a while now. With their immense dance-punk creations, the band ooze a unique dazzling magnetism, creating the colossal cacophony and overwhelming tribal power of tracks such as ‘Loverboy’ and ‘Tongues’. They’re truly unlike any other band I’ve come across, and with new releases on the way, I predict a big 2020 for the Brighton band.
(Mari Lane: Co-Founder/Managing Editor)

Sea Change
Norwegian electronic artist Sea Change (aka Ellen Sunde), sounds like she could be the introverted distant relation of Fever Ray. Her recent album Inside, is an impressive collection of instinctive, immensely enjoyable soundscapes that could fill busy dance floors, or soundtrack private moments of introspection in a dimly lit bedroom. I’m a big fan, and I’m hoping to catch her live in 2020.
(Kate Crudgington: Co-Founder/Features Editor)

Gold Baby
With a 2019 filled with line-up changes and a new sound, Gold Baby have charmed us on numerous occasions with their beautiful live set, and treated us to acoustic renditions of some of their songs on the radio show. Now, with a confirmed sparkly new line up, front woman Siân has been busy writing new material – offering some of the most dreamy, emotion-strewn creations you’ll ever hear, all held together with spellbinding, crystalline vocals. With a new single set for release in January, I can’t wait to hear more from the London-based trio in 2020.
(ML)

King Hannah
‘Crème Brûlée’, the debut single from Liverpool-based Hannah Merrick – aka King Hannah -, completely cast me under its spell on first listen, and has been one of my most repeatedly played earworms of 2019. With a sweeping, ethereal power and longing, impassioned vocals that flow with a majestic musicality, it’s just utterly compelling; a stunning introduction to the band who I hope to hear a lot more from in 2020. Although they’re just one single down, with already over 5000 streams on Spotify and a sound as captivating and original as this, I have a feeling that they’ll be enchanting many more ears over the next year.
(ML)

ARXX
Brighton power-duo ARXX have been on the GIHE radar for a while, and each time I see them play live, I’m blown away by their raucous guitar tunes and witty on-stage observations. Their headline show at The Finsbury for GIHE on International Women’s Day this year cemented to me that Hannah & Clara are a formidable, and incredibly funny pair of musicians who deserve to be propelled into bigger spotlights in 2020.
(KC)

Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something
Having released their debut album Oh Really, What’s That Then? earlier this year, via Trapped Animal Records, Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something have previously wowed us with the charismatic energy of their live show, and are swiftly becoming one of the most exciting bands on the London circuit. With their unique, soaring vocals and swirling, twinkling hooks, they create truly infectious slices of colourful psychedelia. Already counting Radio X’s John Kennedy as a fan, I predict that the distinct, vibrant sound of JFATC will be heard and loved by many more in 2020.
(ML)

Hurtling
With the release of their debut album Future From Here in October this year, Hurtling have already received acclaim from the likes of The Guardian and Louder Than War, and – on listening to their sun-drenched whirring hooks and sparkling psychedelic haze – it’s easy to see why. Fronted by Jen Macro (also of My Bloody Valentine), the band create fuzz-filled noise-pop anthems with an understated grit and sonic majesty. I can’t wait to catch Hurtling live for us at The Finsbury on 10th January, and to see where else 2020 takes them!
(ML)

Thanks to all the bands and artists who’ve got us through 2019, we can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year. In the meantime, have a listen to all our highlights from the last twelve months, and our Ones To Watch for 2020 in our mega playlist here:

 

Mari Lane / @marimindles
Kate Crudgington / @kcbobcut 

Ones To Watch 2019

Despite being a pretty scary year in the grand scheme of things, 2018 has actually been exceptionally great for new music. Our ears have been filled with sonic delights of all genres, providing necessary catharsis and enjoyment. 

And we predict even more exceptionally epic sounds reaching ears far and wide in 2019. Here’s just some of the bands and artists we predict we’ll be hearing a lot more from in the coming year… 

Ghum
Having played for us at The Finsbury not once, but twice, as well as being guests on our radio show, London band Ghum have become firm favourites over the last couple of years. Now, having teamed up with Everything Sucks Records, and wowed crowds supporting the likes of Dream Wife, as well as delivering an utterly spellbinding set at Indietracks Festival in the summer, it seems certain that they’re headed for more greatness in 2019. This year’s ‘I’m The Storm’/’Undone’ completely bewitched us with the band’s immersive, sweeping dark pop, and we cannot wait to be cast under the spell of their majestic gothic power once more.
(Mari Lane – Managing Editor/Co-Founder)

Witch Fever
I saw Witch Fever live for the first time headlining our January GIHE gig at The Finsbury, and I’ve been hooked on the Manchester punks’ visceral music ever since. I was so impressed by their collective effort to dominate the space; whether that was through knockout percussion, manic guitar riffs, or by front-woman Amy breaking the fourth wall and prowling into the crowd. When I caught them again at The Lock Tavern for We Can Do It Records, I was right at the front witnessing their fearless, riotous glory all over again. If you haven’t seen them yet, I urge you to do so this year!
(Kate Crudgington – Features Editor/Co-Founder)

LIINES
After they had such an amazing year in 2018 we have to recommend keeping an eye on LIINES. Theyve already announced a huge run of dates supporting Sleaford Mods, and some headline dates for early summer too but the news is far from done. After so many years of making music its one of those years-in-the-making-overnight-successes as finally the post-punk trio are starting to be rightfully recognised for their huge, driving post-punk sound. An underground band about to break big? We think so.
(Sarah Lay – Contributor)

Scrounge
Since first witnessing South London duo Scrounge live for us in the summer, I’ve been struggling to put into words just how impressive I find the power of their immense, genre-blending post punk. Their live show is truly breathtaking, unlike anything else I’ve seen or heard, and the swirling grit of this year’s ‘Etch’ – propelled by Luke’s thrashing beats, Lucy’s colossal vocals and an epic sense of urgency – marked them out as definite ones to watch in 2019.
(ML)

Ah! Kosmos
Ah! Kosmos performed a stunning one-woman-show (in an equally stunning sequin blazer) when I saw her support Zola Jesus at Omeara in November. The Istanbul-born artist gave a masterclass in how to perform electronic music solo, and her latest album Beautiful Swamp has been spinning on my turntable since its release. If you’re in to alternative electronic music, you have to check her out.
(KC)

ARXX
Having blown us away with their immense, seething energy when playing for us live at The Finsbury a couple of times throughout 2018, as well as playing incredible support slots with bands such as Dream Wife, this year Brighton duo ARXX released their truly fantastic EP Daughters Of Daughters. Put together as a tribute to the music that vocalist Hannah Pidduck was brought up on by her mother, it draws on an eclectic range of influences, and a variety of subject matter. I just cannot get enough of this band’s riotous, punk-infused power and gritty energy, and predict big things happening for them in 2019.
(ML)

Big Joanie
DIY punks Big Joanie released their debut album Sistahs this 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. They deserve all of the praise and recognition they’ve received so far, and I’m looking forward to catching them live over the next 12 months.
(KC)

Dream Nails
With GIHE being massive supporters from the start, we’ll also be keeping our ears on patriarchy-smashing post punk witches Dream Nails in 2019. Their set at Indietracks was one of our favourites in 2018 and we’re hoping they get to make a full length release this year. Rightful heirs to the punk crown – not just in sound, but in ethos, as they do important things musically and in activism.
(SL)

Sit Down
We’ve been massive fans of Brighton duo, Katie Oldham and Greg Burns – aka Sit Down – for a while now; the intensity of their thrashing garage-punk sounds completely blowing us away on each listen, and their sheer dedication to their craft (Katie even makes all their stage outfits) marking them out instantly from other bands. This year saw the duo release their explosive debut EP Cheap Luxe, and – as well as playing live for us at The Finsbury once again – they received much acclaim from a wider audience, including an epic set on the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds festivals. I think you’d be a fool not to see the incredible success that the noisiest power duo around are headed for.
(ML)