Get In Her Ears w/ Celeste Bell 05.12.19

This week, Kate and Mari played some of their favourite new music from the likes of MAITA, Eilis Frawley, Small Man Society, Kate Stapley, LibraLibra and HEZEN.

They were joined in the studio by Celeste Bell, who spoke about her Mother Poly Styrene‘s legacy, and the upcoming documentary film she’s been working on, ‘Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché’.

Find out more about the film and how to donate to its Patreon Crowdfund here.

Listen back to the show here:

X Ray Spex – ‘Oh Bondage, Up Yours’
MAITA – ‘Can’t Blame A Kid’
Mango – ‘Demons’
King Hannah – ‘Creme Brulee’
Hezen – ‘Whole’
Fassine – ‘Limbs’
Eilis Frawley – ‘Strangers’
Calva Louise – ‘Adelante’
Small Man Society – ‘Songs I Write’
Calista Kazuko – ‘Benzo Belle’
Jaguary Jonze – ‘Kill Me With Your Love’
IVEY – ‘Scream’
LibraLibra – ‘Loverboy’
Toni&Mash – ‘I Want It’
X Ray Spex – ‘I Am A Cliche’
Zola Jesus – ‘Bound’
Foxcunt – ‘Merry Christmas, Fuck The Patriarchy’
Kate Stapley – ‘Hermit’
Peggy Sue – ‘White Christmas’
Suggested Friends – ‘Cygnets’
Tinx – ‘Wait & See’
Frazey Ford – ‘The Kids Are Having None Of It’
Alanis Morissette – ‘Hand In My Pocket’


ALBUM: Bishop Briggs – ‘Champion’

“I hope you like it. And if you don’t, please don’t tell me. I’m far too sensitive to hear that” jests Bishop Briggs about her single ‘Jekyl & Hide’, lifted from her sophomore album Champion. Whilst she’s speaking about a specific track, her sentiment is one that can easily be applied to her new record, which explores her strength and vulnerability as an artist, and as a woman, across ten vibrant tracks.

Her 2018 debut album, Church of Scars, was featured in the Top 10 on the Billboard Album Chart in the same year. Following up that success can be tricky, but Briggs has kept things simple on Champion, focusing on emotive lyrics and catchy beats to get her message of self-empowerment across.

The brief, confessional ‘I Still Love You’ acknowledges the fight between the heart and the head. Briggs’ struggle to let it go is explored through gentle piano sounds and slow atmospheric percussion. ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’ follows, with its buoyant beats and Briggs’ defiant vocals breaking through in the chorus. Briggs sets a solitary scene in the opening verse to eponymous track ‘Champion’ – “alone in my car / I’m in a parking lot” – but she offsets this with an empowering chorus of extended vocals and foot-stomping beats.

Disappointment and heartache permeate ‘Tattooed On My Heart’, as Briggs laments about a relationship full of fake promises and lacking in closure. It’s a relatable listen filled with more of her clear vocals, supported by a backing choir which makes the song an unexpectedly uplifting listen. The melancholy ‘Someone Else’ follows, with Briggs expressing a desire for space and solitude over tentative piano.

Co-written with K. Flay and produced by Joel Little, ‘Jekyll & Hide’ (incorrectly spelled for a reason) coins a new dating phrase – “Are you Jekyll & Hide-ing me?” – as a way to describe the chaotic feeling of dating someone who appears to be two-faced. It’s followed by the revealing ‘Lonely’, which flows in the same vulnerable vein as previous track ‘Someone Else’.

On ‘Wild’ Briggs finds solace in running full pelt in to the unknown, her voice races across layers of sharp beats and powerful backing vocals. The funky ‘My Shine’ spotlight’s Briggs’ breakthrough in the aftermath of a relationship that dimmed her light and dulled her confidence. ‘I Tried’ closes the record, a demo that documents the exhaustion and the relief of leaving behind someone who drained you of your energy and efforts.

Acknowledging the many ways in which a woman can be strong, even when tangled up in a bad romantic relationship seems to be Briggs forte. At times times repetitive, but always relatable; Champion is an uplifting record fueled by the desire to overcome the forces that hold us down.

Listen to Champion on Spotify below. Follow Bishop Briggs on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Soft Punch – ‘Conflict’

Scandinavian pop duo Soft Punch have shared their second single ‘Conflict’, and it’s an upbeat alt-pop gem that explores romantic relationships and their numerous difficulties.

Released via Diamond Club and produced and mixed by Andrew Baardsen (Sassy 009), ‘Conflict’ is a polished pop tune, blending punchy percussion and energetic synth textures.

Speaking about the track, the duo explain: “‘Conflict’ tells a story of the frustration and suffering in a relationship that isn’t going anywhere. The fear of conflict is so present that even though you want to, you can’t really find the courage to speak your mind, and face the conflict”.

With their catchy choruses and uptempo sounds, Soft Punch provide some pop respite from these relatable issues. Listen to ‘Conflict’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

WATCH: Butcher & the Florist – ‘Ordinary Love’

A gritty, electro-pop offering; ‘Ordinary Love’ is the debut single from newcomers Butcher & the Florist. Comprised of Kendel Lester and Jody Miller, the Chicago-based pair began performing under their new moniker in 2018 after simultaneously deciding to branch out from their rock roots

Their new single ‘Ordinary Love’ was produced by Taylor Franklyn and Matthew Dougherty, and the accompanying music video was shot by powerhouse
production company, Exhibit 91. The visuals and sounds are reminiscent of Lady Gaga’s work on her 2013 Artpop – but with a DIY edge.

Butcher & the Florist will share their next release in April, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, watch the video for ‘Ordinary Love’ below and follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

LISTEN: Marty – ‘Fame’

A poppy lament about the desire to be in the spotlight, Nottingham newcomers Marty have shared their new single ‘Fame’. After working as solo artists, the trio came together to create their uplifting brand of girl power pop just over a year ago.

Influenced by the likes of McFly, Fleetwood Mac, Tori Kelly, JP Cooper and Busted, Marty have performed live at the B&K Riverside Festival stage and The Maze twice. They’ve also supported artists such as You Want Fox and Rob Green.

Listen to ‘Fame’ below and follow Marty on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

FIVE FAVOURITES: Lily & Madeleine

American sister duo Lily & Madeleine are set to release their new album Canterbury Girls on 22nd February via New West. It was recorded in Nashville and produced by the team behind Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk. Their record takes its name from Canterbury Park, located in the sisters hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. Despite the album’s poppy veneer, the record boasts some of Lily & Madeline’s most intense lyrics to date – all written or co-written by the sisters – exploring relationships, power imbalances, and the weight of expectation.

We asked Lily & Madeleine to name their “Five Favourites” – five artists or albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out their choices below, and make sure you watch their new video for ‘Analog Love’ at the end of this post!

1. Charlotte Day Wilson – Stone Woman 
Madeleine: I started listening to Charlotte Day Wilson this past summer at the suggestion of a boy I had a crush on. Feeling swept up in the giddy anticipation of a summer fling, I immediately fell in love with her music and listened all summer long. Her voice is like velvet and her songs are so mellow and warm, perfect on a summer evening. She could really sing over any backing beat and I’d love it, but I always go back to my favorite song on the record ‘Funeral’ because it’s so cathartic to sing along to.

2. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
Madeleine: This is my #1 album of 2018 and will forever be a favorite because the songs are so fun yet poignant. Produced by the amazing Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk, who we worked with on Canterbury Girls, this record just makes you wanna sing along and cry at the same time. I wasn’t familiar with Kacey until this record and I think Golden Hour changed how I see country music to be more of a spectrum of influences. My favorite song is the first track ‘Slow Burn’. The imagery in that song makes me feel like I’m driving through the country without a real destination, just a sense of freedom and serenity.

3. Solange – A Seat at the Table
Madeleine: This record by Solange is honestly pure artistry. It has catchy hooks and emotional interludes, all wrapped into a soulful pop package. Every song tells a story about being a woman, being black in America, being an artist. I feel like I can see into Solange’s mind with this record and I relate as a young female artist. As Beyonce’s sister, you’d think that Solange might have a difficult time finding her own voice, yet this record is so unique from anything else. I hope she continues to make music this powerful. It inspires me to have a voice in this industry and sing about things that matter to me, like owning your power as a woman.

4. The Killers – Hot Fuss
Lily: Hot Fuss was the first record put out by the Killers in 2004, and although I was only 7 years old when it debuted, it became one of the defining records of my adolescence. The production of the songs is in-your-face with loud bass lines, fast drums, and interesting synths. But to me, the songwriting is the best part of this album. Songs like ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ and ‘Andy You’re A Star’ unfold themselves in such an unexpected and theatrical way, it reminds me of Queen and Muse mixed together. The Killers have released a ton of awesome and popular songs since 2007, but I think Hot Fuss will always remain my favorite record of theirs: it’s got everything an angsty midwestern teenager needs!

5. JoJo – The High Road
Lily: I had some of my best car sing-along moments driving around in my sister’s rickety 1986 Mercedes and listening to this album by JoJo. The High Road was her sophomore album, and in my opinion it’s one of the best pop/R&B crossover albums there is. JoJo has absolutely amazing vocal performances all over this album and I think the production of it, with steady beats and subtle synths, is surprisingly timeless! Madge and I used to yell along to the title track and her hit ‘Too Little Too Late’ while we drove around running errands, never hitting the notes but having a great time trying! The only unfortunate thing about this album is that it’s not on Spotify!! JoJo released a remake of the album pretty recently but us die hard fans need to hear the original. Help me out, Spotify!

Thanks to Lily & Madeleine for sharing their favourites! Pre-order their new album Canterbury Girls here. Follow the girls on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington