PLAYLIST: Pride 2020

With no marching, no gatherings and no physical prides this year, it’s more important than ever to remember why Pride started. Remember the lengths the LGBTQIA+ communities have come, but more importantly, how far we still have to go. The LGBTQIA+ communities and their allies need to stand strong and united with each other, but especially the black and transgender and gender non-conforming communities.

This period of lockdown has been, and is an incredibly difficult time for everyone, with increasing levels of anxiety, isolation and loneliness. Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline, where I am Co-Chair, has seen a 40% increase in contacts to their services, and a 42% increase in people who are transgender and gender-non conforming getting in touch. People have been reaching out for support all across the LGTBQIA+ communities, from young people feeling the pressures of the closure of schools, to trans people self-isolating within transphobic families, to the elderly – an already isolated group – who felt they may not see a friendly face for a very long time.

The lockdown has had an unimaginable impact on all of us, especially folx from marginalised communities – magnifying any existing situation people may be in from domestic violence to transphobia, biphobia, homophobia but especially loneliness and isolation. Something members of the LGBTQIA+ communities have been battling heavily against for a while now.

What Pride means to everyone within the LGBTQIA+ communities will be different, but as a queer person I stand and I protest for every single one of those people’s rights. For LGBTQIA+ rights, for anti-racism, for black people, for people of colour, for transgender and gender non-conforming people and every intersectionality in-between. We have to learn from our history and we have to work together where we support the human rights of each and every one of us. People should be free to live without fear of judgement or discrimination. People should not have to fear for their lives because of their sexuality, gender identity, race, socio-economic class, disability or religion.

If your pride flag doesn’t include black and brown stripes, it’s outdated. If your pride flag doesn’t include the transgender flag, it’s outdated. So wherever you are, at whatever Pride you are supporting, spread the word and make it known – equality is for everyone, but most importantly, black lives matter, trans lives matter, black trans lives matter.
Tash Walker (Co-Founder of GIHE & Co-Chair of Switchboard)

 

The GIHE grrrls have put together a playlist full of their favourite LGBTQIA+ artists to help celebrate Pride 2020. Read about their choices below and scroll down to the end of the post to listen to the playlist on Spotify

Janelle Monae – ‘Pynk’
A brash celebration of creation. Self love. Sexuality. And p-ssy power! Need I say more. (Tash Walker)

Amaroun – ‘Perish’ 
Amaroun talks about the themes she evokes in her music which consistently touch on her journey of being a black queer woman, overcoming struggles with sexuality, and the importance of emotional honesty in music. In Amaroun’s words, “this track is an autobiographical reintroduction of myself”. It’s one of my faves. (TW)

Foxgluvv – ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’
A sparkling, sultry tune inspired by the 1985 film of the same name, ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ is another example of Foxgluvv’s natural ability to create “hungover pop” tracks that celebrate her queer identity. We’re big fans here at GIHE. (Kate Crudgington)

TABS – ‘Love Like This’
We had the pleasure of having TABS on our radio show back in 2019, where she sang the original of ‘Love Like This’ and we savoured every moment. Whilst signed to major labels (Polydor, BMG) TABS felt misunderstood. As a club promoter of Butch, Please! – an amazing lesbian club night which we love – she connected with butch lesbians all over the world and began the journey of making her EP of the same name. Seeking authenticity, she self-released this EP with the support of her queer community, and we are so glad she did. (TW) 

Lido Pimienta – ‘Eso Que Tu Haces’
When I interviewed Lido Pimienta earlier this year, she described herself as “the grey area” in Colombian culture – “but very gay, very queer, very feminist.” I’ve been captivated by her music and her artistic vision since listening to her second album Miss Colombia, and feel that no-one else makes electronic music sound as warm and meaningful as she does. (KC)

Arlo Parks –  ‘Black Dog’ 
I cannot get enough of Arlo Parks and her mesmerising music, so full of emotion I get lost in every second. Her latest release ‘Black Dog’ is no different, a frank, heartbreaking insight into the the darkness of depression. Mental health awareness within the LGTBQIA+ communities is so important, especially with rising levels of isolation and loneliness. From talking, to supporting, to asking and reaching out for help is so important and totally OK to do. The more we can look out for each other, the more we can encourage and show people that asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness, the more we can combat these rising numbers. (TW)

Brown Belt – ‘Lamplight’
Brown Belt self-described as the non-binary boi band of your dreams, and we couldn’t agree more. I’ve only just come across them with their latest release ‘Lamplight’ a super catchy number, with a rad video to accompany it. Looking forward to hearing more from this trio, certainly ones to watch. (TW)

Personal Best – ‘This Is What We Look Like’
Headliners at one of our last Finsbury gigs, Personal Best perfectly brand themselves as “classic rock for tragic lesbians”. Closing their set for us in December, front person Katie dedicated this track to the queer community. As a sea of buoyant voices joined 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 was overwhelming, and an empowering sense of unity took hold as the crowd danced and sang in solidarity. A perfect anthem for love between anyone and everyone. (Mari Lane)

Bitch Hunt – ‘Spaceman’
Since first meeting at Roller Derby, London based all queer/non-binary band Bitch Hunt formed at First Timers Fest, and have been going from strength to strength ever since. Filled with catchy, scuzzy hooks, a subtle tongue-in-cheek wit and the gritty deadpan vocals of front person Sian, ‘Spaceman’ is an observational and relatable slice of punk-pop. 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. An uplifting raging anthem inspiring us all to take those men down a peg (or four). (ML)

Kermes – ‘Time To Shut Him Up’
Self proclaimed “anxious rock for the gay agenda”, Leicester band Kermes were due to headline for us at The Finsbury in August, and I’m desperately hoping we can get this rescheduled for as soon as it is safe to do so! Addressing issues such as gender dysphoria, sexism and dysfunctional relationships, their infectious emotion-strewn punk-pop oozes a raw, angst-driven energy and scuzzy shimmering power. ‘Time to Shut Him Up’ is taken from Kermes’ 2018 album, We Choose Pretty Names. (ML)

Ms Mohammed – ‘Pandora’
‘Pandora’ and its rolling, rumbling drums – such a tune by Ms Mohammed who we had a total blast with in the Get In Her Ears studio last year. As well as being an artist in her own right, Ms Mohammed founded the Clit Rock movement in 2013 as a way of speaking out against female genital mutilation. As a champion of cross-cultural tolerance and an out queer artist who advocates for LGBTQIA+ rights and visibility, Ms Mohammed is challenging prejudice through her music and we stand by her every step of the way! (TW)

Le Tigre – ‘Hot Topic’
Pioneers of queer culture and ultimate faves, Le Tigre’s ‘Hot Topic’ is a celebratory ode to those who’ve inspired us. Paying homage to some queer feminist champions of the ‘90s and earlier, it’s an empowering and joy-filled protest in the face of adversity. (ML)

Planningtorock – ‘Non Binary Femme’
This track is take from one of my favourite albums of all time, Planningtorock’s Powerhouse. Unarguably paving the way for not only a better understanding of what those words mean, but also leading in acceptance for transgender and gender non-conforming people. Planningtorock and their music, has unquestionably helped me on my own gender identity journey and I’m sure many others. (TW)

Bishi – ‘Who Has Seen the Wind’
Last year as part of the Southbank Centre’s 2019 Meltdown Festival, Kate and I had the privilege of meeting Bishi. An incredibly talented singer, electronic rock-sitarist, producer and performer born in London of Bengali heritage. She is also the co-founder of WITCiH: The Women in Technology Creative Industries Hub, a platform elevating Women & Non-Binary in tech through commissions, performances & panels. (TW)

Blonde Maze – ‘Hold On To Me’
NY based GIHE fave Blonde Maze consistently writes heartfelt shimmering electro-pop reflecting on life and love. Taken from last year’s EP Hold On, ‘Hold On To Me’ is an example of the utterly enchanting euphoric soundscapes Blonde Maze is capable of creating. I listen to Blonde Maze whenever I need to feel calm; I just can’t get enough of the iridescent hooks and blissful, emotion-filled romanticism. The perfect soundtrack if you need to take a break this Pride to stop and refuel before continuing to protest, organise and celebrate. (ML)

Husk – ‘Below The Neck’
“I would never change being trans. I would never change being a trans musician. And the industry should support us. Book us. Play us. Listen to us. We have so much to offer.” A poignant sentiment this Pride from Trans, Non-Binary artist Husk, who combines ’80s synth-pop nostalgia with fresh leftfield pop to create their signature sound. A colourful, high-energy offering, recent single ‘Below The Neck’ is the perfect danceable anthem for any Pride party – though, for now, sadly, dancing around your bedroom/living room to it will have to do. (ML)

Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’
This track was released in 1984 at the beginning of the AIDS crisis by openly gay Bronski Beat, ‘Smalltown Boy’ is a heartbreaking story given an empowering beat. In 2020 it may feel like we have come so far from the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s and 90s but those lost will never be forgotten, and we, the LGBTQIA+ communities still live with the impact today. (TW)

Lady Gaga – ‘Born This Way’
I know I add this Gaga track to our GIHE Pride playlist every year, but it’s such a BANGER and so fun to dance to. She’s always celebrating being the best version of yourself, and for that reason, I can’t leave Gaga out! (KC)

Hercules & Love Affair – ‘Blind’
Taken from their self-titled album released in 2008, the same year I attended London Pride for the first time, this is without a doubt the theme tune to me fully embracing my sexuality, feeling proud of who I was and strong enough to come out happily in all aspects of my life. (TW)

Princess Nokia – ‘Sugar Honey Iced Tea’
Openly queer rapper and all round inspiration, Destiny Nicole Frasqueri – aka Princess Nokia – writes powerful, feminist anthems promoting self love and body positivity. A strong advocate of intersectional feminism, having founded the Smart Girl Club with Milah Libin, a podcast where she discusses healthy living and urban feminism, Princess Nokia offers a hopeful and empowering presence in these times when pushing for change is so important. (ML)

Lotic – ‘Burn A Print’
Born in Houston USA but now a familiar face on the Berlin underground club and electronic music scene, Lotic (aka J’Kerian Morgan) shared her debut album, Power, in 2018. The record showcased her vocal and songwriting abilities for the first time, consolidating her skills into a coherent message about transforming fear in to fierce autonomy. ‘Burn a Print’ continues this narrative, as Lotic explains: “to burn your print into this Earth, because when you go, you need to remind the future bitches that you was here.” (KC)

Mykki Blanco (feat. Devendra Banhart) – ‘You Will Find It’
Queer pioneer and musician/rapper extraordinaire, Mykki Blanco has been an inspiration for the GIHE team for quite some time, and their voice is more poignant now than ever. ‘You Will Find It’, their latest offering, oozes a glistening, soulful splendour as shimmering hooks and swirling atmospherics provide the backdrop for Blanco’s trademark gritty power. Replacing their usual glitchy energy with a soothing aura, they have created a perfect tranquil interlude; an alluring soundscape to immerse yourself in and find blissful cathartic release. (ML)

kate can wait – ‘to be alone with you’
Molly Kate Rodriguez – aka kate can wait – is a collective member of Grimalkin Records, a US-based benefit label and queer artist collective. Rodriguez lives in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico and she crafts dark, haunting folk sounds. She’s not on Spotify, but you can listen to ‘to be alone with you’ via bandcamp. (KC)

Phantómódel – ‘Passing Through’
Another band on Grimalkin Records‘ roster, Phantómódel are a post-punk three-piece who explore the internal struggles of gender dysphoria and body image, systemic oppression and mental health through their dark sounds. Phantómódel describe themselves as a “TRANS GOTH POWERHOUSE of darkness dismantling white supremacy at every turn. We are phantoms of the night, goblins who lurk in the shadows, and demons of chaos and magic, here to enchant everyone we meet.” (KC)

Gordian Stimm – ‘Miscellaneous Body Parts’
The solo project of Maeve Westall of itoldyouiwouldeatyou, Gordian Stimm’s sound is visceral, distorted, yet at times totally dance-able. They remind me a little of early Passion Pit or Crystal Castles, and I recommend listening to their debut album, Your Body In On Itself, released via Amateur Pop earlier this year. (KC)

Perfume Genius – ‘Jason’
Having been a huge fan of Perfume Genius for many years now, it’s been wonderful immersing myself in his poignant latest album, Set My Heart On Fire Immediately. Reflecting on a one night stand he had with a straight man over fifteen years ago, ‘Jason’ resonates with its twinkling musicality, nostalgic lyrical story-telling and the raw emotion of Hadreas’ trademark heartstring-tugging vocals. Throughout changes in his musical style over the years, Perfume Genius never fails to captivate and inspire. (ML)

Antony & The Johnsons – ‘My Lady Story’
A strong advocate for trans rights, feminism and climate action, Anohni (formally of Antony and the Johnsons), is a necessary and powerful voice that we need now more than ever. On identifying as transgender, Anohni once said in an interview with The Guardian: “I was never going to become a beautiful, passable woman, and I was never going to be a man… It’s a quandary. But the trans condition is a beautiful mystery; it’s one of nature’s best ideas. What an incredible impulse, that compels a five-year-old child to tell its parents it isn’t what they think it is. Given just a tiny bit of oxygen, those children can flourish and be such a gift. They give other people licence to explore themselves more deeply, allowing the colours in their own psyche to flourish.” (ML)

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
We’ve played Canadian soul-singer Jackie Shane multiple times on the GIHE radio show, and included her on many a playlist and we’re certainly not stopping now. Jackie was a pioneer for transgender rights in the 60s & 70s, a time when being your true self was not always welcomed, or accepted. (TW)

 

Get In Her Ears: Solidarity & Love 19.03.20

Tash made it into the studio to spin out a full 2 HOUR show of new music and highlights from our playlists. Favourites came from Greentea Peng, Sabiyha, NAVA, Junie & TheHutFriends and Mentrix. Old faves worked their way in from ARXX, Planningtorock, X-Ray Spex and ESG.

Listen back here:

Tracklist
X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage Up Yours!
Greentea Peng – Ghost Town
Millie Turner – Jungle
Fightmilk – I’m Starting To Think You Don’t Even Want To Go To Space
Something Leather – Farewell Fareworse
Sans Soucis – Make One From A Two
Sabiyha – Choorile
NAVA – Hold
Four Tet – Baby
Vulpynes – Silica
Indian Queens – Shoot For Sexy
Junie & The Hut Friends – Boi Cha Cha
Grizzly Coast – Forever
Olivia Dean – Crosswords
Ali – No More Trying
The Parkers – 15 Again
Big Daisy – Go Outside
For Breakfast – Mother
Forever Honey – Christian
Big Joanie – Fall Asleep
Milan Ring – Switch Off ft The Social Experiment
Cyote –  Red
Otta – Small Hours
Mentrix – Nature
Bang Bang Romeo – You & I
Kahlla – 4AM Lullaby
Arlo Parks – Cola
Nayana Iz – How We Do
Planningtorock – Beulah Loves Dancing
Shea Diamond – I Am Her
Arxx – Intervention
ESG – Dance

PLAYLIST: International Women’s Day 2020

Happy International Women’s Day! It’s a day to highlight and bring awareness to the issues facing women around the globe, and it’s also a time to celebrate the women we love too. This year’s theme is #EachforEqual – encouraging all of us to collectively help create a gender equal world: because an equal world is an enabled world.

At Get In Her Ears, we have only one definition of a “woman”, and that is inclusive of ALL women. Inclusivity is at the core of what we do. It’s the reason we started, it’s what drives us, and it’s something we will consistently strive for as long as we exist. To be explicitly clear, we always have and always will stand against transphobia – it is unacceptable. We send our love, support and solidarity to ALL women out there.

We’ve created a playlist of all the wxmen artists that continue to inspire, entertain, and motivate us into action. Take some time to scroll through our choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin – ‘Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves’
An obvious, but essential choice for any IWD Playlist. Annie Lennox & Aretha Franklin are a dream vocal team, and I never get tired of listening to this classic. (Kate Crudgington)

Planningtorock – ‘Beulah Loves Dancing’ 
I’m forever grateful to Tash for introducing me to the lush electronics of Planningtorock. This track is all about their sister, Beulah, and her love of house music. When Planningtorock played this live at their gig at Southbank Centre last year, Beulah was in the audience, and when the two siblings embraced each other after the song, I had a tear in my eye. (KC)

The Julie Ruin – ‘Girls Like Us’
It’s no secret by now that Kathleen Hanna is the woman who has inspired me the most and pretty much the reason we started GIHE, and so it seems only right to include a track of her’s on our playlist celebrating amazing women. And this track from The Julie Ruin is just a perfect ode for womxn of all kinds this IWD. A unifying anthem for all us misfit grrrls, with relatable empowering lyrics such as “… girls like us pick up the hot handles and burn our hands and we get over it”, it never fails to pick me up and leave me feeling ready to face the world. (ML)

Big Joanie – ‘Used To Be Friends’
I think all three of us would firmly place this band on any International Women’s Day Playlist. We could not be more behind everything Big Joanie are about, having seen them countless times over the last year – their headline gig at The Moth Club was an undoubted highlight, this band just keep the good music coming. Their politics and music are inseparable, using their platform to speak to their experiences as a black, queer, punk band and the importance of intersectional feminism, it is a privilege to have had them on our radio show. (TW)

Nova Twins – ‘Bullet’
Consistent GIHE favourites Nova Twins have released their breath-taking new album Who Are The Girls, and this track is lifted from it. It’s a powerful statement against street harassment, and the myth that women are “asking for it” if they dress or act in a certain way. Amy’s lyrics are the ultimate weapon against such insults, making it crystal clear that those who touch without permission are not fucking welcome. (KC)

Jehnny Beth – ‘I’m The Man’
Though Jehnny Beth has said that ‘I’m The Man’ is “a poetic work first and foremost. Its aim is to make you feel, not think”, for me it seems to address the anger and ruthlessness surrounding toxic masculinity and the damaging effects it can have. IWD, I feel, should not only be about celebrating the brilliant women in our lives, but informing our male allies so that they can support their female peers as much as possible, and also be reassured that to be a “man” does not mean having to be aggressive or physically powerful. A poignant and powerful offering from this immense force of womankind, who I cannot wait to see live today at The Roundhouse as part of BBC 6 Music’s Festival (along with other awesome women Kate Tempest, Kim Gordon and more). (ML)

Deux Furieuses – ‘Year Of Rage’
GIHE faves Deux Furieuses last year dropped their immense album My War Is Your War – a collection of poignant, impassioned and all-too-relevant rock anthems. Taken from the album, ‘Year Of Rage’ is a seething offering addressing the #MeToo movement and the anger felt by women everywhere trying to seek justice. Delivering a message of empowerment through the raging riffs and soaring vocals of Ros Cairney and frenzied pummelling beats from Vas Antoniadou, it’s a hugely powerful and distinctly necessary listen this IWD. (ML)

The Joy Formidable – ‘The Last Drop’
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve told people how much I adore The Joy Formidable. I’ve been following them for a decade now, and I am still in awe of their ability to create heavy, magnetic, alternative tracks like this one. (KC)

ARXX – ‘Intervention’
Another playlist, another ARXX track. But we make no apologies about this. ARXX have been faves for a while now, and with their “unapologetically loud”, ferocious raw power, they continue to blow us away with their unrelenting raucous sounds. This track, ‘Intervention’, taken from 2018’s EP Daughters Of Daughters, talks of social injustices, giving a shout out to the LGBT charity Stonewall, exclaiming that “you don’t get to say who we fall in love with”. A perfect, raging anthem for equality. Two of the coolest women we know, ARXX also headlined our IWD gig last year at The Finsbury, and it really was the best way to celebrate. (ML)

Amaroun – ‘Perish’
Previous guest on our radio show Amaroun has recently jumped back into the limelight with several new tracks, inclusive of this one ‘Perish’. I’m loving this next step in Amaroun’s musical journey – the beats, the vocals, the stripped back simplicity, sublime. Drawing from her experiences as a black queer woman, overcoming struggles with sexuality and the importance of emotional honesty in music, these themes stand strong throughout her songs. I can’t, and don’t want to stop listening. (TW)

Nayana Iz – ‘How We Do’
What a tune1 ‘How We Do’ is possibly one of the best debuts I have ever heard. Indian born, London raised Nayana Iz has arrived and she’s taking you with her. Eyes wide open people and get watching. (TW)

Missy Elliott – ‘She’s A Bitch’
One of the coolest, most inspiring women in the business, Missy Elliott delivers the most empowering and entertaining of offerings, just by being her incredible self. Proving that a woman can conquer a previously male-dominated genre, whilst consistently unashamedly oozing self confidence, she never fails to motivate me and put a smile on my face. Showing women that it’s ok to not fit the “feminine” stereotype that the industry so often seems to demand, and just be who you are and wear whatever the f*** you feel comfortable in (whether that’s an inflated bin bag or a scarecrow costume – check out last year’s performance at the VMAs to see this in action), she continues to push boundaries and remains a colossal force of nature. ,(ML)

Nilüfer Yanya – ‘Tears
One of my favourite tracks from Nilüfer Yanya, a slight move away from her guitar heavy tunes, ‘Tears’ released early last year captures and takes you along with its bouncing beats and sad reflective lyrics. It’s been great to watch this artist reach the acclaim she so rightly deserves, with my personal highlight seeing her play at Primavera 2019. It was the definition of sun-drenched guitars. (TW)

Shea Diamond – ‘I Am Her’
As early as transgender singer Shea Diamond can remember, she identified as a girl – and was punished for it. At age 20, she robbed a convenience store at gunpoint – desperate, she says, to fund her gender-affirming surgery. Behind bars (in a male prison), Diamond found her voice as a songwriter, and wrote this track ‘I Am Her’. I wanted to include this track today, not only because I just love its poignant, soulful groove, but because Trans Women are of of course women too and should be celebrated on International Women’s Day (and every day)! (ML)

Lido Pimienta (feat. Li Saumet) – ‘Nada’
Inspired by the birth of her daughter, Canadian-Columbian musician Lido Pimienta has penned this beautiful song ‘Nada’. Taken from her upcoming album Miss Colombia, Pimienta ruminates on the pain women experience – from debilitating period pains to giving birth – and how strong we are despite being unfairly dubbed the “weaker sex”. Watch the accompanying video for the track here(KC)

FKA Twigs – ‘sad day’
The master and the muse; FKA Twigs continues to dazzle my eyes and ears with each new release. This track is taken from her second album, Magdalene, a record which blends vulnerability and raw power in equal measure. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe how much I love the music this woman makes. (KC)

Pumarosa – ‘Lose Control’
I interviewed Pumarosa’s front woman Isabel Munoz-Newsome last year for The Line Of Best Fit (read here), and she said this was her favourite track from their latest album Devastation. She spoke candidly about how she wanted to change the narrative around “love” or “breakup” songs, and her words have stayed with me ever since. This track is a slow-burning banger. (KC)

Arlo Parks – ‘Cola’
Watching Poet, rapper, singer & producer Arlo Parks grow over the last couple of years, receiving the absolutely deserve notoriety and success that an artist of her calibre should has been our pleasure. ‘Cola’ her debut single has kept a solid place on many of my playlists, a tender, confessional and mesmerising track. If you haven’t heard of Arlo Parks yet, go check her out now. You can thank me later. (TW)

Sleater Kinney – ‘Modern Girl’
Having been left completely speechless by seeing total heroes Sleater Kinney live last week, I couldn’t not include a track by this group of inspirational women. Seeing Carrie Brownstein perform this song, with all her infectious charisma and musical magnificence, was a definite highlight. And the lyrics “anger makes me a modern girl” seem particularly poignant this International Women’s Day. (ML)

Amahla – ‘Old Soul’
Hackney-Native Amahla blew us away with this song ‘Old Soul’ at the beginning of 2019 and has just kept getting better. An artist who uses their platform for greater good talking about women’s issues, race and current political climates, has an unquestionable place on our IWD2020 playlist. (TW)

Antony and the Johnsons – ‘My Lady Story’
“My womb’s an ocean full of grief and rage.” I can’t listen to that lyric without my heart breaking a little. A strong advocate for trans rights, feminism and climate action, Anohni (formally of Antony and the Johnsons), is a necessary and powerful voice this International Women’s Day. On identifying as transgender, Anohni once said in an interview with The Guardian: “I was never going to become a beautiful, passable woman, and I was never going to be a man… It’s a quandary. But the trans condition is a beautiful mystery; it’s one of nature’s best ideas. What an incredible impulse, that compels a five-year-old child to tell its parents it isn’t what they think it is. Given just a tiny bit of oxygen, those children can flourish and be such a gift. They give other people licence to explore themselves more deeply, allowing the colours in their own psyche to flourish.” (ML)

Dolly Parton – ‘Here You Come Again’
With the recent release of the Dolly Parton podcast and BBC documentary, I’ll take any chance I can to lap up any more content from this one. Dolly, what a woman. I don’t think I need to say anything more. (TW)

Merry Clayton – ‘Love or Let Me Be Lonely’
I recently watched 20 Feet From Stardom and to my shame learned so much about this amazing woman’s history that I did not know. A long established American soul and gospel singer, she provided backing vocal tracks to so many notable performing artists, the most famous being the Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’. Take her voice out of that and what are you left with? Here’s a shout out to the often forgotten or overlooked backing singers from some of the best hits out there. An established and amazing recording artist in her own right, it’s never too late to get into Merry Clayton. What a voice. (TW)

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
A Get In Her Ears playlist would not be complete without Jackie Shane, I think this track ‘Any Other Way’ has featured on so many of our playlists and radio shows, but for good reason. Kate introduced me to this artist a couple of years ago and I was sold on first listen. Jackie Shane lived her life as a woman in the spotlight, during a time when compassion and acceptance were not always reciprocated to those who identified as trans. A pioneer for trans rights in the 60s, who very much lives on in our memories today. (TW)

Girl Ray – ‘Friend Like That’
GIHE faves Girl Ray have recently released their uplifting second album, Girl, and I cannot get enough. Taken from the album, ‘Friend Like That’ is an ode to friendship flowing with the trio’s colourful energy and funk-filled, pop-inspired hooks. Of the track, the band explain: “This is a friendship anthem. In music, friend love is often overshadowed by romantic love and IT’S JUST WRONG. This one goes out to the mates of the world.” Basically a perfect, shimmering anthem to celebrate all your fantastic female peers this International Women’s Day. (ML)

Shari Vari – ‘New York City’
Since hearing their debut album, Now in 2019, I still cannot get enough of the Hamburg based alt-electro/punk/producers Shari Vari. Now out via Malka Tuti, it’s packed full to the brim of brutalist delights. From ‘Dance Alone’, which takes me back to those dark, freezing, sweaty warehouse raves to this track ‘New York City’ with warped vocals, heavy reverb and cinematic crescendos. One of my albums of 2019, I consider myself still completely hooked. (TW)

Mentrix – ‘Nature’
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. Her extensive travels and multiple influences – from Latin and French Literature, to The Qu’ran and traditional Persian poetry – give her music a diverse and fascinating edge. I can’t wait to hear her album My Enemy, My Love, which is set for release via her own (female-led) record label, House of Strength, on 3rd April. (KC)

Gazelle Twin – ‘Anti-body’
“I’m credibly unknown, and incredibly ok with that” wrote Elizabeth Bernholz – aka Gazelle Twin – in response to a fan who suggested she should be added to the Reading Festival lineup to fill the obvious void of female bands/artists on the bill. Bernholz’s pioneering sound and vision is best experienced elsewhere though, as her avant-garde, haunting electronic soundscapes demand your full attention. This track is lifted from her second album Unflesh, and although Bernholz has said she will never return to this material (having crafted her spectacular third album, Pastoral), I always come back to it when I’m feeling restless. (KC)

PLAYLIST: February 2020

We made it through January everyone! That achievement alone deserves a shiny new playlist. We’ve put together a list of brand new music to help you celebrate. As February is also LGBT History month, we’ve included a few tracks from some of our favourite LGBT artists in the list too. Take some time to scroll through our choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

 

Wilsen – ‘Feeling Fancy’
I cannot get this song from Brooklyn-based trio Wilsen out of my head! It’s a shimmering guitar ode to the softly spoken, celebrating introversion and inherent shyness. It’s taken from their upcoming album Ruiner, which is set for release on 21st February via Dalliance Recordings. (Kate Crudgington)

Bronski Beat – ‘Smalltown Boy’
British synth-pop band Bronski Beat released this classic single in 1984. Whilst on the surface, ‘Smalltown Boy’ is a catchy anthem that easily fills a dance floor, lyrically it tells the story of a young gay man struggling to come to terms with his sexual identity, and his place in the world. (GIHE)

Piney Gir – ‘Puppy Love’
The latest single from the Kansas-born London-based artist, ‘Puppy Love’ reflects on the bittersweet nature of love; both the simple, overpowering desire of first love, and then the ‘black dog’ – a common metaphor for depression and its all consuming nature. Glistening with twinkling hooks and sweeping harmonies, it’s a poignant and infectious offering. Of the track, Piney explains: Everyone feels the darkness sometimes, so I’m singing about it. It’s a thin line between Puppy Love and The Black Dog; both can be all consuming and agonising and at times euphoric, manic even.We cannot wait to catch Piney Gir headline for us on 14th February, at The Finsbury (event info here). She’ll be playing along with Grawlix, Captain Handsome and I Am Her – and all for free! (Mari Lane)

Cold Beat – ‘Prism’
San Francisco band Cold Beat, fronted by Hannah Lew from Grass Widow, have announced details of their forthcoming album Mother, out 28th February via DFA Records, and this is their first single lifted from it. It’s the sort of music I could plug into my ears whilst staring at the fast moving world outside of a train carriage. The world slowly speeding by. (Tash Walker)

Ghum – ‘California’
The new one from total faves Ghum, ‘California’ oozes an eerie, reverb-strewn atmosphere as the distinctive sultry power of Laura Gue Lo’s vocals flow. A grunge-inspired anthem for our times showcasing the unique beguiling allure of this band who just keep getting better. Of the track, Laura explains: “The song talks about a love story that was condemned to end badly. The hope and love that both had at the beginning is represented by the idea of running away to California”. (ML)

Indian Queens – ‘Bubblewrap’ 
A beguiling lament about the state of the planet, London three-piece Indian Queens have shared their latest single, ‘Bubble Wrap’. The track is lifted from their upcoming debut album God Is A Woman, which is set to be released via Cool Thing Records later this year. (KC)

Amaroun – ‘Perish’ 
‘Perish’ is the latest track from previous guest on our radio show Amaroun, and I completely love it. The beats, the vocals, the stripped back simplicity – sublime. Amaroun talks about the themes she evokes in her music which consistently touch on her journey of being a black queer woman, overcoming struggles with sexuality, and the importance of emotional honesty in music. In Amaroun’s words, “this track is an autobiographical reintroduction of myself”. I can’t and don’t want to stop listening. All the latest music from Amaroun will be showcased at the listening party at the CLF cafe Peckham Rye, on 13th Feb. (TW)

ALA.NI – ‘Papa’
I love this latest track from ALA.NI. ‘Papa’ is taken from her recently released self-produced album, ACCA. The whole thing is almost entirely acapella and just beautiful. ALA.NI originally trained as a dancer, but was told that as a person of colour she would never make it as a professional ballerina. Her latest album is a powerful vision of modern womanhood. It’s an unflinching account of pain, anger, sadness, and growth. Check it out now. (TW)

AyOwA – ‘First Frost’
The new single from the Danish duo, ‘First Frost’ is told from the perspective of a couple who have spent their whole life together and are now setting out into the winter to disappear as one. With its swirling synths and the beguiling haunting power of Hannah Schneider’s vocals, it’s a beautiful, shimmering cinematic soundscape. Amoeba, the upcoming debut album from AyOwA, is set for release in September this year. (ML)

JFDR – ‘Shimmer’
This beautiful new track from Icelandic multi-instrumentalist JFDR is about “loving someone who is a bit broken”. It’s lifted from her second album New Dreams, which is set for release on 13th March via White Sun Recording. (KC)

Girl In Red – ‘Kate’s Not Here’
I have no shame admitting I was drawn to Norwegian artist Girl In Red’s new track because a) it has my first name in it, and b) I wear a red coat. It’s lifted from the official film soundtrack for The Turning, directed by Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways, Handmaid’s Tale), which is in UK cinemas now. (KC)

Nuala Honan – ‘Slow Down’
‘Slow Down’ is the first single of 2020 for Bristol-based Nuala Honan and it’s a cracker. Driven by post-punk rawness but with delicate vocals and pounding drums when needed most. It’s a taste of what’s to come from her upcoming second LP, which follows a spell of personal recuperation and sonic evolutions. Loving it. (TW)

Otta – ‘Near Enough A Woman’
I can’t get enough of Otta right now. Their new music is just seeping so perfectly into my ears, it’s what I’ve been craving for so long, but I just didn’t realise. This is one of their latest singles taken from the freshly released debut EP, After It All Blew Over, which is sublime. the perfect combination and concoction of electronic, UK jazz, new soul and RnB. (TW)

Clare Kelly – ‘Less Alone’ 
The tone in Clare Kelly’s voice totally blew me away, so rich and full of emotion, it really sings so beautifully on this song ‘Less Alone’. Describing her sound as “alt-folk mermaid music”, Kelly can firmly consider herself having a new firm fan. Really looking forward to hearing more of where this came from. (TW)

Jackie Shane – ‘Any Other Way’
We’ve played Canadian soul-singer Jackie Shane multiple times on the GIHE radio show, and we’re including her again here because of LGBT History month. Jackie was a pioneer for transgender rights in the 60s & 70s, a time when being your true self was not always welcomed, or accepted. (GIHE)

Pom Pom Squad – ‘Cellophane’ (FKA Twigs cover) 
A stirring, grunge-inspired take on one of 2019’s most popular tracks, this is Brooklyn indie-punks’ Pom Pom Squad’s cover of FKA Twigs’ single ‘Cellophane’. The band have treated Twigs’ material graciously, and frontwoman Mia Berrin’s vocals are as poignant as those on the original recording. (KC)

Half Waif – ‘Ordinary Talk’
The new single from Hudson Valley-based Nandi Rose, aka Half Waif, ‘Ordinary Talk’ is a reflection on coming to accept and find the beauty in being like everyone else. A truly spellbinding slice of poignant alt-pop, it’s filled with captivating glitchy hooks and the raw emotion of Rose’s rich soulful vocals, reminding me of later Radiohead, which is no bad thing. The Caretaker, the new album from Half Waif, is out 27th March via ANTI records. (ML)

Hilary Woods – ‘Tongues Of Wild Boar’ 
A shadowy, captivating exploration of intense discomfort; Sacred Bones signee Hilary Woods has shared this track, lifted from her upcoming album Birthmarks, due on 13th March. Though quiet in terms of volume, Woods’ new single is a fleshy, charged offering that allows her the space to navigate “emotionally charged states” at a pace suited to her. (KC)

Planningtorock – ‘Beulah Loves Dancing’
Planningtorock is one of GIHE’s fave artists, and they’re one of our fave LGBT artists too. LGBT History month feels like the perfect time to give them a spin again. This track is all about their sister, Beulah, and her love of house music. (GIHE)