Tracks Of The Year 2018

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. 

So, it was pretty hard to pick our 20 favourite tunes. But, from poignant punk to captivating pop-noir, here they are… 

Alice Bag – ’77’
Taken from this year’s poignant album Blueprint, punk legend Alice Bag brought together a dream team for her single ’77’. Featuring Riot Grrrl queens Kathleen Hanna and Allison Wolfe, plus an appearance in the video from Shirley Manson, it draws inspiration from Dolly Parton’s 1980 proto-feminist workplace comedy ‘9 to 5′, commenting on the gender pay gap that still plagues society. Filled with seething, punk-driven riffs, the women not only rage that “I make 77 cents and it’s not right / It’s bad for women!”, but make the point that “it’s worse if you’re not white”. As Bag poignantly sneers “… don’t pretend that we’re paid equal… You wrote the script / But I’m writing the sequel”, ’77’ is an empowering, inspiring call to arms to unite against the patriarchy and make the changes needed for equality, in the workplace and beyond.
(Mari Lane – Managing Editor/Co-Founder)

Nova Twins – ‘Lose Your Head’
A lesson in cutting loose and walking on the wild side, South East London duo Nova Twins provided us with this mind-melter of a track earlier in the year. We were lucky enough to have Amy & Georgia come into the Hoxton Radio studio for a chat, and they blew us away playing live for Loud Women at The Lexington too. Their raw, abrasive, genre-defying tunes are consistent favourites here at Get In Her Ears, and I’m sure they’ll bring the noise again in 2019.
(Kate Crudgington – Features Editor/Co-Founder)

Skating Polly – ‘Camelot’
Blasting into the eardrums with intense, pulsating basslines and the impassioned screech of Kelli Mayo, ‘Camelot’ is a seething, grunge-fuelled anthem. Oozing a thrashing power, it perfectly tears apart the misogynistic nature of American frat-boy culture with an empowering energy. This year Skating Polly released new album The Make It All Show, blew us away once again with their immense live show (with faves The Menstrual Cramps supporting), and generally proved themselves to be one of the most exciting young bands around.
(ML)

Brix And The Extricated – ‘Sleazebag’
Taken from their epic, genre-defying latest album, Brix And The Extricated’s ‘Sleazebag’ revives a classic punk energy and seething passion whilst marking Smith-Start out as an artist willing to move with the times and develop her sound. Confronting all those sleazebags in the industry that we’re unfortunately so familiar with, this track instantly grabs you with its immense, ferocious power. With swirling guitars and spiky bass, alongside Smith-Start’s distinctive soaring drawl, it’s a refreshing and riotous offering proving that Brix & The Extricated are well and truly back, and cannot be missed.
(ML)

Bad Sidekick – ‘I Ain’t Sick’
A fistful of brooding indie noise: London trio Bad Sidekick released their debut self-titled EP this year, and the snarling ‘I Ain’t Sick’ is my favourite track on the record. Vocalist Cooper (who also plays guitar in The Menstrual Cramps) is a powerhouse with her enviably cool lyrical intonation, and she’s supported by a cacophony of guitar noises and heart-thumping beats on this track.
(KC)

The Menstrual Cramps – ‘The Smash’
The Menstrual Cramps have pretty much summed up 2018 with each of their topical, tongue-in-cheek offerings and provided the perfect antidote to all that’s gone on with their empowering, feel good vibes. Taken from their incredible album Free Bleedin’, ‘The Smash’ in particular couldn’t have come at a better time. With the all-too-relatable refrain of “It’s time we took back the floor, kick the Tories out the door – we want a revolution”, it oozes an immense, politically-charged force as vocalist Emilia’s genuine, seething passion shines through. Combining activism with musical prowess, The Menstrual Cramps continue to reminds us all why we need bands like this now more than ever.
(ML)

Pink Kink – ‘You’
Although it wasn’t released as a single, this live recording from Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios showcases Pink Kink at their absolute best. A stunning mix of Warpaint style lo-fi indie, Sonic Youth switch-ups in tempo, ‘You’ is drenched in emotion, full of fired passions and stunning musicality. A band whose career was cut far, far too short for the kind of ridiculous reasons that have been an increasingly common occurrence in 2018’s dark days
(John McGovern – Contributor)

Soccer Mommy – ‘Your Dog’
I adore this song from Nashville’s Soccer Mommy, taken from her debut album Clean. Her trademark “soft anger” is executed so wonderfully, you barely notice you’re dropping expletives left, right and centre throughout the track. Written as an antidote to the feeling of being “paralyzed in a relationship to the point where you feel like you are a pawn in someone else’s world”, ‘Your Dog’ is a brilliant bite back from this talented artist.
(KC)

Snail Mail – ‘Pristine’
Laconic, bruised, wistful and sparkling – all while dealing with pop’s most frequent fixation: unrequited love – ‘Pristine’ is a brilliant introduction to the indie-pop stylings of Lindsay Jordan. If there’s been a better lyric than “It just feels like the same party every weekend, doesn’t it?” this year, then I haven’t heard it.
(JM)

Dott – ‘Like A Girl’
Activism and garage-pop collided in anthemic style on Dott’s single ‘Like A Girl’. The Galway-based band released the song ahead of Ireland’s vote to Repeal the 8th Amendment on May 25th – which resulted in the historic outcome of giving Irish women legal access to full reproductive health services, including abortion. The song features a guest appearance from Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz on guitar, and the accompanying video features members from Galway Pro Choice, Galway Parents for Choice, and Galway Roller Derby, as well as footage of recent marches for Women’s Rights in Galway.
(KC)

Wolf Girl – ‘Toast For Dinner’
Having captivated us with their sunny charm live at Indietracks Festival this year, Wolf Girl are fast becoming a firm favourite. Flowing with an infectious jangly scuzz and twinkling uplifting harmonies, ‘Toast for Dinner’ is an exquisite slice of perfect indie-pop. Propelled by a driving, vibrant energy and Healey’s luscious vocals – and with thoroughly relatable lyrics like “toast for dinner again, I’m trying to tie up loose ends” – it’s a total delight for the ears, as is the band’s latest album Every Now And Then.
(ML)

Pip Blom – ‘Come Home’
Unusually glum, but no less lively, this track marked the peak of a fantastic run of singles from the Dutch post-punk fourpiece. Its repetitive riff makes it unforgettable, rhythms make it sound like something that belongs more at a club than a gig, whilst Blom’s voice is just the right side of deadpan. Now signed to Heavenly, 2019 promises great things for PB.
(JM)

Suggested Friends – ‘Motherfucking Tree’
Although I think technically their self-titled album came out officially last year, throughout the entirety of 2018, I can safely say that Suggested Friends have been one of my most-listened to, and most thoroughly loved, bands. This track in particular showcases their perfect, immensely infectious ‘tweemo’ punk-pop to a tee. Filled with racing, catchy hooks and luscious harmonies, Faith Taylor’s witty charm and exquisite vocals (as well as spot on lyrics like “thought you had a halo, but it was just the glare from the backlight of your iPhone”) fill me with pure joy on each listen.

(ML)

Ah! Kosmos – ‘Wide'(feat. Özgür Yılmaz)
Atmospheric guitar, captivating percussion and hypnotic vocals melt together on this track from Ah! Kosmos. It’s taken from her second album Beautiful Swamp, and it sweeps me up in to a rapture every time I hear it. Her live performance supporting Zola Jesus at Omeara this year was an absolute knockout, and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to in 2019.
(KC)

Kill J – ‘Strange Fruits Of The Water’
This stunning single from Kill J tackles issues of immigration and racism, with a subtle nod to Billie Holiday’s  iconic track ‘Strange Fruit’ (1939). Taken from her album Superposition, Kill J explains: “’Strange Fruits Of The Water’ is a protest song about boarders, walls, barbed wire fences, and people trying to survive on small boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While some people dream of just surviving their journey across the boarders, others dream of wealth and power at the expense of others”.
(KC)

Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Lay It Down’
I’ve been hooked on Black Gold Buffalo’s mesmerising, pop-noir sounds all year, so I was thrilled to have them headline our first GIHEs night at Notting Hill Arts Club in August. ‘Lay It Down’ is taken from the band’s debut self-titled album (which I recommend you listen to) and it’s a well-crafted, smoldering gem that revolves around confronting feelings of anxiety.
(KC)

LIINES – ‘Shallow’
Having been labelled one of our ‘Ones To Watch 2018‘, Manchester trio LIINES certainly proved us right. Throughout the year, they’ve gone from strength to strength – releasing their debut album Stop-Start in May, receiving acclaim from the likes of John Kennedy and Steve Lamacq and just now announcing a support slot with Sleaford Mods for 2019. Oozing an immense, thrashing energy and the raw, commanding vocals of Zoe McVeigh, single ‘Shallow’ is filled with the band’s trademark dark, brooding power – an intense blast of perfect post-punk with shades of the likes of Savages of Sleater Kinney.
(ML)

Zola Jesus – ‘Bound’
Intriguing electro-industrial artist Zola Jesus had me spellbound from the moment I heard the hypnotic, off-kilter, heavy bouncing synths on ‘Bound’. Her penetrating vocals ring out across a demanding soundscape, and her blending of industrial and classical elements makes this track sound like a tortured but tentative hymn. Seeing her perform it live at Omeara was truly breath-taking too.
(KC)

Noga Erez – ‘Bad Habits’
Noga Erez had 2018’s shortcomings in her interrogative spotlight this year after releasing her incredible track ‘Bad Habits’. It’s a snarling tirade of anger spoken through gritted teeth, written from “a place where one feels they’ve lost all direction and meaning”. Gritty, defiant, and viciously executed – I love this track and can’t wait to hear more from the Tel Aviv renegade in 2019.
(KC)

Miss Eaves – ‘Push For The Bush’
Having previously fallen in love with Miss Eaves‘ fun-filled, empowering anthems ‘Thunder Thighs’ and ‘Hump Day’, ‘Bush For The Push’ offered another vibrant celebration of self love from Miss Eaves. With her trademark disco-punk energy, reminiscent of queen Peaches, it’s a liberating and wonderfully entertaining call to be free to have the bush you want – “It’s your body, so have a little fun…”
(ML)

Listen to our ‘Tracks Of 2018’ playlist here, and stay tuned for more of our 2018 highlights, and Ones To Watch for next year…

PLAYLIST: October 2018

The dark winter nights are creeping in, but our brand new October playlist is filled with bright, vibrant new sounds from a range of unusual and inspiring new artists. If our selections are anything to go by, the October 5th is THE date to release a record, and we’re excited to share our track selections with you. Take some time to scroll through our words and hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

Health (feat. Soccer Mommy) – ‘Mass Grave’
I’m obsessed with this new track from L.A. noise rockers HEALTH, which features the divine vocals of Soccer Mommy. Produced by Corin Roddick (Purity Ring), ‘Mass Grave’ is a haunting fusion of alarming synths, apathetic vocals and spaced out percussion. (Kate Crudgington)

Kill J – ‘Strange Fruits of the Sea’
Kill J’s latest offering tackles issues of immigration and racism, with a subtle nod to Billie Holiday’s  iconic ‘Strange Fruit’ (1939). Speaking about the track, Kill J explains: “It’s a protest song about boarders, walls, barbed wire fences, and people trying to survive on small boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While some people dream of just surviving their journey across the boarders, others dream of wealth and power at the expense of others”. I’m a big fan of Kill J’s defiance, which she explores through hypnotising electronics. ‘Strange Fruits of the Sea’ is taken from her upcoming album Superposition, released 5th October via Nettwerk. (KC)

Pip Blom – ‘Come Home’
Catchy AF, ‘Come Home’is the latest single from Amsterdam favourites of mine Pip Blom, taken from their upcoming EP Paycheck which is out on 5th October. I had the pleasure of seeing these guys support The Breeders earlier in the year at the Roundhouse, an abundance of energy and an abundance of hair. Catch them if you can, they’re playing all over the UK this November including The Lexington on the 22nd. (Tash Walker)

Big Joanie – ‘Fall Asleep’
‘Fall Asleep’ is the latest single from Get In Her Ears faves Big Joanie, I only heard this for this first time a week or so ago but it’s firmly got into my head.  They’ve recently announced their debut album Sistahs is going to be released this November by The Daydream Library Series, and I can’t wait to hear the record in full! (TW)

Gold Baby – ‘What Party?
Having charmed us with their with their twinkling charisma and catchy offerings live at The Finsbury, East London’s Gold Baby have now shared new single ‘What Party?’. Reflecting on self-induced boundaries and the limits we often place on ourselves, ‘What Party?’ is propelled by a scuzzy, sparkling energy. Catch Gold Baby live at The Shacklewell Arms on 5th October. (Mari Lane)

Mammoth Penguins – ‘When I Was Your Age’
Having finally been lucky enough to catch Cambridge-based Mammoth Penguins supporting Adult Mom at The Shacklewell Arms last week, my love of their 2015 album Hide and Seek has been freshly revived, and I once again cannot stop listening to it. Fronted by Emma (also known for playing bass for GIHE faves Suggested Friends, and being part of the wonderful Indietracks Festival team), live the band ooze an utterly infectious, shimmering energy, with a highlight being the highly relatable (and seemingly appropriate – it’s Emma’s birthday) ‘When I Was Your Age’. Reflecting on the common pressures of growing up and habits of people to constantly compare themselves to each other, it’s a twinkling slice of impassioned indie-pop, fitting perfectly into the band’s collection of dreamy, scuzzy, emotion-filled delights. A totally uplifting set that stands me in good stead for crying the night away (in a good way) to the lush sounds of Adult Mom. (ML)

Chorusgirl – ‘No Goodbye’
Following 2015’s wonderful self-titled debut, GIHE faves Chorusgirl have now announced their long-awaited new album Shimmer And Spin, and we couldn’t be happier for them. Taken from the album, new single ‘No Goodbye’ is filled with jangly hooks and sunny uplifting beats, despite perhaps a lingering dark undercurrent. As Silvi’s distinctive, lush vocals soar throughout, effervescent harmonies and impressive driving riffs flow, creating Chorusgirl’s utterly unique, shimmering sounds. Another truly dreamy slice of sparkling garage-pop, ‘No Goodbye’ proves that it’s impossible to listen to Chorusgirl and not feel instantly better. Shimmer And Spin, the upcoming new album from Chorusgirl, is out 16th November via Reckless Yes. (ML)

Praa – ‘Y’
This new single from Praa was released at the end of September, and it’s all about questioning our human connection with virtual relationships maintained via our screens. I think it’s a beautiful example of modern neo-soul. Thank you Praa. (TW)

Hazel Iris – ‘A Prince’
‘A Prince’ by classically trained Hazel Iris, is a totally enchanting piece of music, loaded with emotion and fusing classical, indie folk, and a bit of jazz. Her debut album Nine Sisters is due out on 26th October and she’ll be performing at St Batholomew-the-Great in Smithfield’s on the same date, which will no doubt be a mesmerising show. The track’s not up on Spotify just yet, but you can listen to it below (TW)

Ah! Kosmos – ‘June’
Taken from her new album Beautiful Swamp (due 5th October via Compost Records), ‘June’ is another example of Ah! Kosmos’ stunning ability to create powerful, rapturous soundscapes. Born in Istanbul and now based in Berlin, Ah! Kosmos (aka Başak Günak) is a sound designer, producer and multi-instrumentalist – and I can’t wait to review her new record for the website this week. (KC)

Aisha Badru – ‘Splintered’
Following the lush, enveloping sound of previous single ‘Bridges’, New York’s Aisha Badru returns to charm our ears with a sparkling new offering. A call for people to take control of their lives‘Splintered’ flows with the beautiful, sweeping splendour of Badru’s delicately emotion-strewn vocals. Oozing a majestic grace, alongside twinkling melodies and a soaring musicality, it’s filled with a raw emotion that’ll send shivers down the spine on first listen. Pendulum, the latest album from Aisha Badru, is out now. (ML)

Varley – ‘Lonely Were The Days’
Reflecting on the ever-growing demands of today’s society from the effects of social media and the pressure this puts on a whole generation to “be something”, ‘Lonely Were The Days’ is an instantly infectious slice of dreamy alt-pop from Berlin-based Varley. As pulsating beats propel the track alongside the shimmering splendour of front woman Claire-Ann’s vocals, a captivating soundscape is created, leaving you no choice but to bask in its glorious, glistening glow. Catch Varley playing for us live at Notting Hill Arts Club on 1st December alongside Alyss, Elsa Hewitt and Temples Of Youth! (ML)

Art School Girlfriend – ‘Distance (Blank)’
Art School Girlfriend is the moniker of producer & multi-instrumentalist Polly Mackey. Her latest single ‘Distance’ is taken from her recent EP Into The Blue Hour, which was influenced by her move from London to the seaside town of Margate. I love her calm vocals and subtle, yet grand use of synthesizers on this track. She makes being “in over [your] head” sound so, so appealing. (KC)

TAYNE – ‘Sacrifice’
This TAYNE track dropped in to my inbox in January, and it’s been swirling around my head ever since. I’ve also been singing the lyrics incorrectly for the last nine months (the chorus is “I want hope”, not “I want her” as I initially thought) – but I’m not going to let a blip like that stop me from praising this synth-laden, noise-pop gem. TAYNE are celebrating the release of their debut album Breathe at The Old Blue Last on Thursday 4th October (with support from Birthmarks & Volkova Sisters). It’s a free gig, and you can pick up a copy of the clear magenta vinyl (which features ‘Sacrifice’) on the night, ahead of its official release on 2nd November. Us Get In Her Ears girls will all be there, so we’ll see you at the bar! (RSVP here). (KC)

Track Of The Day: Pip Blom – ‘Come Home’

Having recently supported none other than legends The Breeders on their recent tour and received plenty of acclaim from the likes of BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 1, Dutch artist Pip Blom is back with another slice of infectious garage pop.

Flowing with scuzzy, discordant hooks and Blom’s trademark seductively lethargic vocals, ‘Come Home’ maintains the catchy, jangly spirit of earlier releases but with an added gritty edge. With a fuzz-filled energy and slick lo-fi melodies, this new single is further proof that Pip Blom deserves every bit of success she’s been receiving so far, marking her out once again as a firm favourite here at Get In Her Ears.

 

‘Come Home’ is taken from Pip Blom’s upcoming EP Paycheck, out 5th October via Nice Swan Records. Catch the band live on their extensive UK tour:

14th November – Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
15th November – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
16th November – Think Tank? Underground, Newcastle
17th November – The Night and Day Café, Manchester
19th November – The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
20th November – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
21st November – The Prince Albert, Brighton
22nd November – The Lexington, London
24th November – The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool
25th November – Whelan’s (upstairs), Dublin
26th November – The Cookie, Leicester
27th November – The Boileroom, Guildford

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: Pip Blom – ‘School’

Following last year’s EP Are We There Yet?, Amsterdam-based Pip Blom has now shared the second single from her recent AA-side 7”.

Released alongside single ‘Babies Are A Lie’, ‘School’ is filled with all the scuzzy, whirring hooks and seductively lethargic vocals we have come to know and love from the young Dutch artist. A ‘90s-infused slice of infectious garage rock, Blom’s latest offering showcases her slick, lo-fi melodies and raw songwriting skills perfectly, marking her out as a definite one to watch in 2018.

‘School’ / ‘Babies Are A Lie’, the new AA-side 7” from Pip Blom, is out now on Nice Swan Records. Get your hands on it here. Catch Pip live in the UK:

29th Nov – Peer Hat, Manchester
30th Nov – The Shacklewell Arms, London
1st Dec – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton