Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Personal Best, 10.01.20

Following a host of amazing bands playing for us throughout 2019, including Screaming Toenail, Salad, GENN, Chorusgirl, Witching Waves and CLT DRP, we were back at The Finsbury on Friday for our first gig of the year, with another dream of a line-up, for a jam-packed night of the best live music.

Kicking things off is the dreamily delightful ‘heartland rock’ of newly formed Athabaska. Alternating between the impassioned, crystalline vocals of Faith Taylor (Suggested Friends) and the delicate emotion of those of bassist Roxy, they treat us to a heart-warming shimmering folk-strewn musicality and luscious sweeping harmonies.

Next up Nun Habit deliver their fuzzy, infectious garage pop with a unique, quirky energy. With shades of the jangly synth-driven soul of the likes of Young Fathers, whether guitarist Gregory or bassist Kate is leading the vocals, they ooze a vibrant spirit and immersive, sparkling charisma.

One of my ‘Ones To Watch’ for 2020, London trio Hurtling are third band of the night. With their sun-drenched whirring hooks and the swirling subtle power of Jen Macro’s (My Bloody Valentine) distinctive effervescent vocals, they deliver their fuzz-filled noise-pop anthems with a captivating, psychedelic haze.

I’ve been keen to see headliners Personal Best for a while now, and they definitely don’t disappoint. With a joyous punk-rock energy, their “classic rock for tragic lesbians” fills the venue with adoring fans as immense, frenetic riffs are blasted out alongside pure pop harmonies and a sparkling energy. Drawing the night to a memorable close, front person Katie Gatt dedicates their set closer to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joins in with “I wanna kiss you in the street, where everyone can see… ’cause this is what we look like”, the poignancy of the lyrics in these uncertain times is overwhelming, and an empowering sense of unity takes hold as the crowd heaves with bodies dancing and singing in solidarity. A really special end to what’s been a night filled with the most life-affirming vibes.

Massive thanks to the four incredible bands who played for us on Friday, and to all who came down and completely packed out the venue! Be sure to join us next month on 14th February, with Piney Gir, Grawl!x, Captain Handsome and I Am Her.

 

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

 

FIVE FAVOURITES: Leggy

Having recently shared stages with The Spook School, Personal Best and Pile, angular punks Leggy  have been functioning at full speed. Formed of Véronique (lead vocals/guitar), Kerstin Bladh (bass) and Chris (drummer), the band released their album ‘Let Me Know Your Moon’ via Sheer Luck Records this year, as well as playing a run of shows at SXSW and completing a successful US tour.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Véronique & Chris to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out their choices below, and make sure you listen to Leggy’s track ‘Taffy’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Eisley – Marvelous Things
Veronique: Discovering this EP while watching some type of late night Subterranean MTV channel changed my life. I remember it was right before Christmas 2013, and I put this on my Christmas list and my cool Dad, who loves music, got it for me. The vocal melody in Marvelous Things is true art and hearing it the first time ran shivers down my spine! It’s so simple and yet so unique, brilliant and dark . Also, discovering this band which was being led by young womxn, MY AGE (13!!!!) was inspiring. I felt like I could picture myself doing it too. Some of the first tabs I ever learned were super early Eisley songs . I named this EP because it was the first one I discovered, but I delved deep into the back catalogue after that, and all of it was highly influential in my first several years of songwriting.

2. Kesha – Cannibal
Veronique: This album was the anthem of my 21st year. I have so many fun feelings associated with it. I also have a lot of depressing memories tied to it (21, amiright??) The album is amazing – the lyrics were extremely relatable to me at that point in my life, and still continue to be relevant. Kesha is a damn boss bitch. I love pop music and simple but super dope beats, and I especially think it can be super beautiful when a rock band incorporates that sound a bit. I have certainly been influenced by her songwriting style.

I’m also 10000% over “music people” or “punks” or “intellectuals” hating on pop stars. I know it hasn’t been the case recently (thank you LIZZO, Carly Rae, Lana Del Rey) but Kesha was underrated in her first years. Fight me.

3. Joanna Newsom – Milk Eyed Mender
Veronique: Milk Eyed Mender made me feel knock kneed and tongue tied. The fact that she was singing in such a bare bones and peculiar way felt like complete anarchy to me. It kinda felt like she had declared “anything goes” – you didn’t have to be the standard to make music. That mindset totally inspired me to start writing a bunch of weirdo songs when I was in high school. Some of them evolved and eventually made it onto our first two EPs. Her whimsical and narrative heavy style of lyrics (similar to Eisley’s in this way) was really wonderful for someone like me, who was obsessed with fantasy at the time and spent a good deal of my waking day dreaming about random mystical shit (Lord of The Rings, anyone?) Also, Joanna Newsom was definitely a crush of mine before I knew what it meant. That’s just a bonus though.

4. Mika Miko – C.Y.S.L.A.B.F
Chris: True concrete floor dance party anthems. Big rowdy punk heavy hitters with a relentlessly dancey rhythm section, shout along until your out of breath. It has on point bopping guitar, and swing from the chandeliers energy. Still slams in 2019. Remember getting this the day my suburban record shop got it in stock and it’s been on rotation ever since. Soundtrack to a lot of fun times and long late drives. Wall to wall banging fun with undeniable hooks. Fuckin sick. KRS classic imo. Not sure if this has been long enough of a review so I’d also like to add The Blow’s “Paper Television” to this favorite album. Similar reasons I guess, same kinda era etc. Way different but y’know both are influential, make me happy and totally rock!

5. Best Coast – Crazy For You
Chris: Front to back contemporary classic. Every song is a hit. Love everything about it. The guitars and vocals and lyrics and drums and videos and everything. One time like years ago, my roommate and I were tripping in different parts of our place down on 12th Street and when I went to her room to see what was up, she was wearing shades, drinking a cocktail, blasting this record and lounging on her bed under a heat lamp because it was like 4am in the dead of winter. This album is like that y’know, a warm sunny day in summer, or a stoned heat lamp on a cold winter night, whatever you need it to be. Still really heavy hitting emotionally though, not just all fun in the sun. But also yeah. Just great. Love this album!

Thanks to Véronique and Chris for sharing their favourites with us. Follow Leggy on Facebook for more updates.

Get In Her Ears w/ ARXX, 20.06.19

Kate, Mari & Tash were back in the studio this week with plenty of fresh new music from the likes of ANNAVR, Friedberg, Personal Best, Scrounge, CRONICLE & Witching Waves.

Hannah & Clara from ARXX joined them for an exclusive live acoustic session and a chat about their upcoming festival appearances.

Listen back:

ALBUM: Personal Best – ‘What You At’

The tagline (yep, it’s got a tagline!) of Personal Best’s second album, What You At, is “classic rock for tragic lesbians”. And I can’t think of a greater summary. It’s sweet and spiky, sad and uplifting. And it’s going to soundtrack a lot of break-ups.

Opener ‘Just Friends’ sets the tone. It starts out like a torch song – all acoustic guitar and raw emotion – but soon engulfs into crunchy rock riffs. The album has sadder, slower moments, like ‘Near To The Wildheart’ and closer ‘Salute’, but with front-person Katie Gatt’s powerful voice and lyrics, it remains an angry, empowering record.

Standout ‘Radio’ is a proper stomper, as is the single, ‘Baby’. When Gatt sings “I’m getting better”, backed by frenetic, punky guitars and pure pop harmonies, you really believe her. The album’s penultimate song, ‘One More Thing’, brings the record to a silly, splashy crescendo, which begs to be turned up to 11, Spinal Tap-style. I can almost picture the band playing it live, doing that classic rock, duelling guitars thing, and having an awesome time doing it.

It makes me so happy to see Personal Best stomping all over a traditionally male genre with their tongue firmly in their cheeks. As far as break-up albums go, What You At isn’t about feeling sorry for yourself. It’s the equivalent of a messy night out with the people you love. It’s sticky dancefloors and Strongbow; it’s crying on your best friend’s shoulder and putting the world to rights on the nightbus home.

A perfect fusion of wit, honest emotion and luscious harmonies, What You At will leave you elevated and ready to take on the world, break-up or no break-up.

What You At is out now via Sheer Luck Records/Dovetown Records. Order here.

Vic Conway

Photo Credit: Jennifer Doveton