Track Of The Day: Ex-Vöid – ‘Churchyard’

A catchy, jaded slice of garage-pop inspired by an unusual past-time, UK power-pop punks Ex-Vöid have shared their latest single ‘Churchyard’. Taken from their debut album Bigger Than Before, which is set for release on 25th March via Prefect Records/Rough Trade, the track is a buoyant blend of melodic guitars, soft dual vocals and frustrated lyrics.

Formed by ex-Joanna Gruesome vocalists Lan McArdle and Owen Williams, along with Laurie Foster (bass) and Jonny Coddington (drums), Ex-Vöid are inspired by the sounds of The Byrds, Big Star and Teenage Fanclub. Whilst on the surface their music is infectiously upbeat, the band retain a sardonic, strung out wit through their lyrics, with ‘Churchyard’ being a prime example of this blend.

“I wrote ‘Churchyard’ when I was like 24 and living in Brighton,” guitarist Owen Williams explains. “My friend and I were unemployed and we used to spend a lot of time drinking cans of lager and taking legal highs in a pet graveyard. It was boring so at the end we sing ‘I get so bored’ over and over etc.”

This humourous apathy underscores the band’s debut record, Bigger Than Before. The album was recorded in just over an hour in a studio in Hackney, with minimal overdubs and no breaks. Bassist Laurie Foster was reported to have “kept on playing even though his belt came loose and his trousers fell down” – if that’s not incentive to listen, what is?

Listen to ‘Churchyard’ below.

Follow Ex-Vöid on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter & Facebook

Photo Credit: Max Warren

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: January 2022

New year, new playlist! The Get In Her Ears team have put together an eclectic mix of indie anthems, guitar tunes, alt-pop tracks & immersive electronic sounds for your listening pleasure. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of this post.

Follow GIHE on Spotify to hear all of our previous playlists too.

Ronnie Spector – ‘She Talks To Rainbows’
Hearing news of Ronnie Spector’s passing last week hit hard. A truly innovative musical icon, she inspired generations of women in music, whilst The Ronnettes were one of the first ‘girl groups’ to receive worldwide acclaim. Sadly also famous for being a survivor of serious physical and psychological abuse from her husband of six years, producer Phil Spector, I think it’s important we remember Ronnie for the incredible musical gifts she’s left us with. I just love the sparkling, soulful splendour and whimsical grace of this lesser known beauty, ‘She Talks To Rainbows’. (Mari Lane)

Girl Ray – ‘Murder on the Dance Floor’
Girl Ray’s cover of this 2001 classic by Sophie Ellis-Bextor… Need. I. Say. More. (Tash Walker)

Bas Jan – ‘Sex Cult’
The latest single from London experimental collective Bas Jan (founded by Serafina Steer and featuring members of Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business and Jarv Is), ‘Sex Cult’ offers a glistening cacophony propelled by a quirky energy and captivating allure. Reflecting on society’s attitude towards polygamy, it radiates a celestial joy as crystalline voices come together in unity to create something quite euphoric. Baby You Know, the new album from Bas Jan, is out 28th January via Lost Map Records. (ML)

ML Buch – ‘I’m a Girl You can Hold IRL’
This song is taken from Danish electro-pop musician ML Buch’s album Skinned which came out in 2020, but I spent a lot of the winter break listening to it so thought I’d share it with you all in 2022. I love its futuristic techno electro tones and all the FEELINGS. (TW)

SEA CHANGE – ‘Is There Anybody There’
Created during a time of intense loneliness during the middle of lockdown, this atmospheric offering from Norwegian producer Sea Change gives me goosebumps. Blossoming from a place of empathy, it’s one of many evocative tunes that feature on her upcoming album, Mutual Dreaming, which is set for release on 11th February via Shapes Recordings. (Kate Crudgington)

Brimheim – ‘This Week’s Laundry’
A stirring, intricately observed guitar tune about trying to cultivate a “normal” routine during a time of deep vulnerability, I love this single from Danish alt-pop artist Brimheim. Taken from her upcoming album, can’t hate myself into a different shape, which is set for release on 28th January via W.A.S Entertainment, the track flows with her tender vocals and confessional lyrics, which chime with relatable melancholy. I had the pleasure of interviewing Brimheim about her new record and her love for Queen Avril Lavigne earlier this month. Read our chat here. (KC)

Midwife – ‘2020’
This is a gloomy (but great) track about the year we’d all rather forget: 2020. Taken from Midwife aka Madeline Johnston’s third album Luminol, which was written & produced during quarantine last year, ‘2020’ is her cover of The Offspring’s 1997 track ‘Gone Away’, which I didn’t know until the person who recommended Midwife to me sent me a link to the original song. I know she’s been around a while, but I’m newly obsessed with this track & her album.  (KC)

Wu-Lu – ‘Times’
My new obsession, I recently came across South London multi-instrumentalist and producer Wu-Lu courtesy of Mary-Anne Hobbs on BBC 6Music. Creating a wonderfully eclectic smorgasbord of immense sounds, I just love how Wu-Lu manages to fuse together dark, Deftones-esque punk with a gritty, hip-hop inspired edge. I cannot stop listening to this track right now, which features drums by Black Midi’s Morgan Simpson. (ML)

Pearly – ‘Silver Behind The Mirror’
An agitated, sultry dose of cinematic heavy rock, I’m a big fan of this single by Ohio-based trio Pearly. Taken from their upcoming album Silver of The Mirror, which is set for release on 11th February via Eto Ano Recordings, the track is a smouldering slice of “stoner rock” that heaves with heady desire. (KC)

SASAMI – ‘Say It’
This industrial-tinged “rage dance anthem” from SASAMI is 100% a bit of me. Taken from her upcoming album Squeeze, which is set for release on 25th February via Domino, SASAMI explains: “I feel like when I hear this song I see a hot femme with a mystical flamethrower engulfed in emotional blue flames throwing elbows alone in an industrial dance club in outer space.” Mate, same. (KC)

HALINA RICE – ‘Sunken Suns’
What do I love more than dreamy songs full of feelings? The answer is obscure electronica! My latest listen comes from London-based artist Halina Rice, as part of a new project where she is embarking on creating new worlds in her music. Of this track Halina explains, “I wanted to create something dark and strange and emotive. The track emerged after days spent generating sounds through synths and noise generators. I put a mass of effects on the sampled vocals and they seemed to develop a life of their own – like a half-heard transmission from another world.” LOVE IT. (TW)

Gemini Aaliyah – ‘Moonrise’
Leeds-based artist Gemini Aaliyah says her single ‘Moonrise’ is the beginning of her “fucked up fairy tale where the ghetto meets the goth girl,” and that’s something I’d like to openly support. She channels her angst through yearning vocals and brooding beats, finding solace in the idea of re-birth and reinvention through her lyrics. Gemini Aaliyah will be playing at Drown U Out Festival at Leeds University Union on 19th February, alongside two of my other favourites Ho99o9 and Bob Vylan. (KC)

Queen Cult – ‘Calm’
Following acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing for their debut single ‘Shindigger’ and support for their resonant latest single ‘A Song About Consent’, Queen Cult’s latest single ‘Calm’ flows with luscious, heartfelt vocals before building to a sweeping, fiercely impassioned proclamation to stand up to the patriarchy. Once again showcasing the Cheshire band’s knack for creating epic pop-rock anthems with a poignant sense of intent, ‘Calm’ cements Queen Cult’s place as definite ones to watch in 2022. The debut EP from Queen Cult is set for release on 28th January. (ML)

Peaness – ‘How I’m Feeling’
Having just announced the release of their debut album, Chester trio Peaness have shared a new taster of what’s to come from the LP. Propelled by uplifting, jangling hooks, latest single ‘How I’m Feeling’ reflects on the feelings of self-loathing and melancholy that can come from being stuck in an unfulfilling job and offers a glistening sense of hope that, with a bit of determination, you can make a positive change. I just can’t get enough of Peaness’ glossy, honey-sweet sounds and sunny, playful energy. World Full Of Worry, the debut album from Peaness, is set for release on 6th May. (ML)

SPRINTS – ‘Little Fix’
Another absolute banger from Dublin four-piece Sprints. Taken from their upcoming EP A Modern Job, which is set for release on 11th March via Nice Swan Records, ‘Little Fix’ is full of powerhouse vocals, crashing drums and racing riffs. The track is inspired by vocalist Karla Chubb’s experience of imposter syndrome, as she explains: “plagued by insecurities, imposter syndrome and gender stereotypes, ‘Little Fix’ is the culmination of all my fears – the, sometimes self-applied pressure that as a woman in music, I can’t just be good, I have to be great.” Even with these anxieties, Karla and her bandmates have created a candid, intensely cathartic offering with this track. (KC)

Worse Off – ‘You Belong Here’
I love this track by excellently named New York pop punk duo Worse Off. They sent me their EP You Win Some, You Lose…A Lot, in December last year and I was headbanging away to their tunes at my desk. Definitely check them out, their EP is up on bandcamp and Spotify. (KC)

Tits Up – ‘Macho Bullshit’
Having released their debut EP Greatest Tits, at the beginning of the month, Liverpool band Tits Up are ready to blast into your lives with their immense riot grrrl inspired energy and unapologetic honesty raging against the patriarchal society in which we live. Fuelled by a frenzied punk spirit, ‘Macho Bullshit’ hits you with its riotous, angst-driven force, offering an empowering statement of intent. (ML)

Bitch – ‘You’re The Man’
Set to release her debut album next month, queer electro-pop artist Bitch prides herself on being “like Joni Mitchell set to a click track… It’s neon pink, in your face, ready to hex you with its brilliance.” Latest single ‘You’re The Man’ exudes a driving, gritty energy as sizzling synths race alongside dense drum-machine beats, creating an empowering reflection on letting go of negative forces and reclaiming your inner voice. Bitch’s perfectly named debut album Bitchcraft is set for release on 4th February via legendary label Kill Rock Stars. (ML)

Combo Chimbita – ‘Yo Me Lo Merezco’
The title of this warm, joyful track from New York-based Latinx quartet Combo Chimbita roughly translates as “I deserve it”. The track and accompanying video are a celebration of self-love, spot-lighting prominent queer and trans performance artists, including Teresa Karolina who stars in the visuals. ‘Yo Me Lo Merezco’ is taken from Combo Chimbita’s upcoming album, IRE, which is set for release on 28th January via ANTI. (KC)

Flamango Bay – ‘LA’
The latest single from San Francisco trio Flamango Bay, ‘LA’ reflects on the band’s recent move to the city. Propelled by sunny, jangling melodies, it’s a dreamy slice of indie-pop that glistens with an irresistible, effervescent charm. The Fool, the upcoming debut EP from Flamango Bay, is set for release on 13th May via 0800-Moshi-Moshi. (ML)

Babeheaven – ‘Don’t Wake Me
This band never disappoint. ‘Don’t Wake Me’ is Babeheaven’s latest gently soothing release. Just lovely. (TW)

KEYAH/BLU – ‘Til Bliss’
This is the latest single by South London rapper KEYAH/BLU who I would encourage you all to go and check out if you aren’t familiar with already. (TW)

Skylu – ‘Foreign Concept’
A tune for the stolen hours, this is the debut single from Skylu, whose voice you may recognise from Bamboo Smoke. (TW)

Lucy Barton – ‘Starlight’
The latest single from singer-songwriter Lucy Barton, ‘Starlight’ offers a sparkling reflection on gaining awareness of our self-crippling subconscious thoughts. With a subtle immersive power, the track speaks of breaking free from this internal narration, allowing us to discover the beauty that exists in life. I’m a big fan of Barton’s soaring, glitchy musicality and emotion-strewn honey-sweet vocals, and can’t wait to hear more from her. (ML)

Carmel Smickersgill – ‘Questioning’
The latest single from modern classical artist Carmel Smickersgill, ‘Questioning’ offers a truly captivating and uniquely intriguing soundscape. Mentored by acclaimed musician Anna Meredith, Smickersgill prides herself on creating immersive ‘outsider pop’, and I just love this track’s whirring grace and celestial, ethereal energy, reminiscent of GIHE fave Jenny Hval. Smickersgill is releasing her debut EP in April. (ML)

Novaa – ‘You Can F With Me’
‘You Can F With Me’ by Berlin based alt-pop singer-songwriter Novaa is taken from her forthcoming album due in early 2022. This is a song about the things that people asked and told her as a victim of sexual abuse and rape. Love and solidarity to anyone who relates to that track and remember that the best thing you can ever do for anyone who has been a victim, is to listen, be kind and give them space and support to heal. (TW)

Zannie – ‘Mechanical Bull’
This is the latest single from New York-based songwriter Zannie, who’s recently signed to iconic riot grrrl label Kill Rock Stars. They remind me a little bit of Phoebe Bridgers on this track and I’m excited to hear more from them this year. (KC)

LIVE: Cherym / Brand New Friend @ Paper Dress Vintage, 06.10.2021

Only my second time at a gig since the ‘Big C’ and my first north of the river, venturing to Hackney from the depths of South London proved to be most definitely worth it, once safely ensconced in the ever-kitsch, Twin Peaksy vibes of Paper Dress Vintage. 

After sampling some local pale ale downstairs, my ears were treated to the uplifting, punk-pop energy of the night’s co-headliners Brand New Friend. Announcing “we’re gonna do a rock show!” they soon kick off with an infectious jubilant charisma into the lilting, impassioned emotion of ‘She Always Comes Up Smiling’. Expressing thanks for all who’ve made it out, as well as Simba on sound and their van saviour Steve-o, the band’s endearing modesty and gratitude just makes them all the more loveable as they assure us that if we don’t like what we hear, they’ll “keep it off the second album…” 

In a beautiful kind of symmetry the band’s last gig “before ‘rona” was also with Cherym, so – as we’re left hoping there’s not another world catastrophe after tonight – they dedicate the next song to their pals as their glistening vocal harmonies and swirling hooks ooze a joyous, scuzzy energy; a comforting hug in sonic form. 

Honoured to be treated to the new, first song that Lauren’s written (it’s s good ‘un) and a taster of the new album in the form of ‘Lucky’, amongst the fizzing melodies of older favourites such as ‘I Was An Astronaut’ and ‘Girl’, and heartfelt odes to grandparents past (“… this is the part of the set where we’re at Glastonbury and it starts raining and the crowd fuckin’ erupt!”), the entirety of Brand New Friend’s set exudes a wonderfully life-affirming charm. Interweaving a raw, nostalgic emotion with a refreshing euphoric zest, it’s simply impossible not to sing and bop along to their incessantly catchy offerings and become utterly immersed in their shimmering, buoyant energy. 

And the euphoria doesn’t end there. As Derry trio Cherym take to the stage in their matching sports jerseys, they blast into the swirling driving force of ‘She’s Enough Going On’. Immediately capturing our attention with their unique blend of anthemic, honey-sweet punk-pop mixed with a gritty riotous power, I’m filled with a teenage excitement (a rare feeling for someone who’s not been a teenager for many years) to be seeing this refreshing new band – one all too deserving of the acclaim they’ve received so far from the likes of NME and Radio X’s John Kennedy. 

Continuing with the fuzzing, catchy hooks of 2019 single ‘Abigail’, and the jangling tongue-in-cheek wit and driving beats of 2018’s ‘Pretty Boys’ (dedicated to Brand New Friend’s da), each offering blasts out from the trio with a vibrant spirit and colourful, charismatic musicality; sticking in your ears instantly. Encouraging some crowd participation for personal fave, ‘Listening To My Head’, Cherym showcase their ability to create instant singalong anthems. With an uplifting, empowering energy, frenzied hooks accompany Hannah Richardson’s luscious angst-driven vocals; a sunny slice of witty lyrical storytelling (it’s inspired by the Netflix series Dirty John) combining a fierce sense of rage with a bubbling, sugar-coated nostalgia. 

Alongside the exuberant energy of songs like this and the fiery spirit of ‘Weird Ones’, drummer Alannagh Doherty takes a moment of calm to introduce the exquisite harmonies of ‘Gone Girl’, sharing with us that the track addresses domestic abuse; assuring us that we’re in a safe space here. A stirring and all-too-resonant message right now, and one that I’m grateful that bands such as Cherym are addressing openly and with such passion. 

Resuming a sizzling energy with the scuzzy, noughties-indie-reminiscent hooks of instant earworm ‘Kisses On My Cards’ and the buoyant beats of heartfelt celebration of queer love ‘We’re Just Friends’, Hannah, Alannagh and Nyree then draw the set to a close with the buzzing, elevating joy of ‘Take It Back’. A master class in pure, perfect punk-pop. 

And what a superb way for the trio to celebrate their new debut EP Hey Tori (one of my albums of the year for sure). Seeing both these Northern Irish bands has left me with a smile on my face and a spring in my step; desperate to hop across the pond to see more. 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Y-Control Photography

Introducing Interview: Eddie Packard

Following their debut single ‘Microplastics‘ back in 2018, South London based artist Eddie Packard released their latest offering ‘CGI‘ this spring. A electro-inspired pop-punk soundscape reflecting on how the fantasy world of video games is so much more appealing than mundane reality, it’s an uplifting slice of escapism flowing with a lilting emotion.

We caught up with Eddie to find out more about the track, their inspirations and the industry at the moment… Have a read!

Hi Eddie, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Eddie Packard and I’m an independent artist from South East London. I love writing songs, it’s my passion. Writing down lyrics onto paper (or more often a notepad application on my computer) really resonates with me in ways I can’t explain. 

What initially inspired you to start creating music?
It was May/June 2012 and I was listening to ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift while watching the music video. Something clicked in my preadolescent brain. All the instrumentation and songwriting really just ignited something within me. I then swiftly (haha, get it?) told my parents I would like a guitar. They were very impressed by my enthusiasm and so my mum and I went out to my local guitar shop and I was bought a lovely guitar. I then learnt a whole bunch of chords and I loved the way they sounded when put together. It wasn’t until a few years later though that I actually realised this is what I want to do as a career and started constructing songs.

You’ve recently released your vibrant single ‘CGI’ – can you tell us a bit about this? Is it focused on any particular themes?
‘CGI’ is a whimsical pop-rock song that is inspired by the concept of escapism which can be defined as “the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy...”  It really reminds me of the song I talked about earlier (‘Love Story’) thinking about it now, as they are both quite whimsical sounding and both have elements of escapism (‘Love Story’ was inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, my song ‘CGI’ is inspired by daydreaming and video games). I really wanted the listener to feel like they’re immersed in a different world when they are listening to the song, so I had this idea of implementing a lot of ambient atmospheric sounds, like rain for example, and I think it works really well.

We love your colourful alt-pop sounds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
As you might have guessed – Miss Taylor Alison Swift is the main one! But also Katy Perry and Marina Diamandis. Katy Perry in particular is a huge inspiration to me – her hugely commercially successful album Teenage Dream really blew my mind when it came out. Songs like ‘Firework’ I remember singing at the top of my lungs while skiing down snowy Italian mountains on a school ski trip and really connecting with the message of the song. But also that ‘California Gurls’ music video! I honestly did not understand the appeal of a California girl… Daisy Dukes? Cool I guess? But the music video is one of my most favourite things in this world. The way she holds her hand out while singing “you could travel the world, but nothing comes close” really strikes a chord with me. Katy Perry had a very religious upbringing and I did as well going to Catholic schools nearly all my life. I always felt this horrible feeling of social exclusion and being left out. I remember leaving my catholic confirmation group and crying to one of my friends’ mother because I just felt so unwanted by my fellow peers. I feel connected to her in this way.

How do you feel the music industry is for new artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I would say that it is quite good at the moment due to the power of social media. I think the power dynamic between record label corporations and artists was a little one sided fifteen years ago and artists probably needed a record label. But now you have completely independent successful musicians who don’t care about signing a record contract. However, for me, I would love to sign a record deal – I’ve been dreaming of it for years now.

Has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, throughout these strange times? 
I’ve been looking inwards since graduating from school and have been realising that I have a lot of shame based around my own character. I’m not a very masculine guy and I’ve always felt so much pressure to not be feminine. I’ve realised that shame is blocking me from achieving my own happiness. There’s an American show called Queer Eye that has really been a source of happiness and comfort for me; seeing five LGBT guys who are all so confident and portrayed in a good light, and not negatively as a joke, has really helped with my confidence. 

Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for Eddie Packard?
I want to keep releasing music and make a name for myself. I have big dreams and I’m not going to stop until I make them come true!

Massive thanks to Eddie for answering our questions! Watch the video for their single ‘CGI’ here: