LISTEN: For Breakfast – ‘Mother’

A cacophony of melodic, jazzy, post-punk inspired sound; North London six-piece For Breakfast have shared their latest single, ‘Mother’. Released via DIY label Glasshouse Records, the track is lifted from the band’s debut EP Songs In the Key of O, which is set for release later this year.

Formed of Will Eckersley (drums), Joe Thompson (guitar), Sam Birkett (bass/backing vocals), Omar Zaghouani (guitar), Gail Tasker (flute), and Maya Harrison (vocals/keys), For Breakfast create spacious, alternative soundscapes. ‘Mother’ is a shining example of this; with its caressing vocals, psych-infused guitars, and manic breakdown at the close of the track. The song is inspired by “adolescent anxiety in the family home”.

The band will be celebrating the release of their new track at their headline show at The Windmill, Brixton on 19th March (event details here), so make sure you head down if you like what you’ve heard. Listen to ‘Mother’ below, and follow For Breakfast on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Leggett

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

EP: New Pagans – ‘Glacial Erratic’

Filled with urgent, considered, intensely catchy songs that challenge the norms surrounding relationships, history, and gender; New Pagans‘ debut EP Glacial Erratic is a powerful blend of alternative sounds. The Belfast band take the best elements of post-punk, grunge, and indie rock and transform them in to abrasive, yet melodic noise.

Formed of Claire Miskimmin, Cahir O’Doherty, Conor McAuley, and Lyndsey McDougall, the band have cut their teeth playing in different outfits over the years (Girls Names, Rupture Dogs, Fighting With Wire, Jetplane Landing). Together under the New Pagans moniker, they sound louder and more confident, creating a sonic space to explore issues of frustration, defiance, and resolution.

“The demand for perfection is disturbing” sings vocalist Lyndsey on opening track ‘It’s Darker’, with it’s relentless riffs and commanding percussion. The track is based on a real life confrontation Lyndsey had at a party with an aggressive male musician. The song will strike a chord with any woman who has had to defend her right to have her own opinion, and the subsequent anger that comes with feeling humiliated and devalued for it. “Everyone’s looking and I’m upset” she reveals in a moment of raw honesty, working through the unsettling feeling of being challenged in an environment that’s supposed to be fun.

‘Charlie Has The Face Of a Saint’ is informed by conversations overheard on a Belfast bus. Throwaway phrases like “I’m doing my part”, or “You’re easy to have when you’re down on your knees” float above the loud/quiet verse/chorus structure, acting like a stream-of-consciousness narrative. These conflicting voices don’t provide answers, they simply exist in the ether. The spiralling ‘I Could Die’ follows, with its manic riffs and urgent vocals, before the powerful ‘Bloody Soil’ breaks through. It feels like the soundtrack to an uprising, with its intense riffs and chant-able chorus.

‘Admire’ is a humble, shimmering ode to the perseverance that’s needed to keep a long-term relationship going. Proof that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (even if you’ve daydreamed about it), New Pagans’ treatment of love and its many faults is far more romantic than any Valentine’s card or bouquet. “Let’s preserve our old ways / lets’s preserve them always” Lyndsey sings, as the song builds to a cathartic cacophony of shoegaze noise, removing all sense of doubt about why you chose to stay faithful. It’s a beautifully relatable listen.

Closing track ‘Lily Yeats’ is a tribute to the sister of artists William Butler and Jack Butler Yeats. It smolders with quiet fury, acting as an aural confidence boost to the woman it’s named after, and to all the future Lily Yeats who need help stepping out from their brother’s shadows. “My daughter needs to know that she can do the same” sings Lyndsey, over erratic riffs and pummelling beats, before dual male/female vocals arrive later in the track, driving home the message that it’s everyone’s responsibility to amplify the sound of women’s stories.

New Pagans’ ability to tap into uneasy topics and turn them into empowering, memorable tracks is what makes Glacial Erratic such a an enjoyable and poignant listen. Their confident delivery, genre-blending sounds, and relatable lyrics are well worth your listening time.

New Pagans EP Glacial Erratic is released on 6th March.
Follow the band on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Deaf Surf – ‘SOFA’

Exasperation and frustration fuel ‘SOFA’, the debut single from Brighton-based band Deaf Surf. Released via Slingshot Records, the strung-out, angst-ridden track is an apathetic yawn in the face of those who repeat, or preach their travelling stories to clearly uninterested listeners.

Recorded & produced by Boe Weaver at Studio Humbug on the Isle of Wight, ‘SOFA’ marks the one year anniversary of Deaf Surf’s formation, coming together in 2019 after breaking away from other bands on the Brighton scene. French front woman Manon’s raw vocals glide over the band’s post-punk infused riffs, providing a much needed disruption to the narrative she laments about.

‘SOFA’ is a necessary listen for those who need to drown out unwanted background noise and focus on starting an adventure of their own. Listen to the track below, and follow Deaf Surf on Facebook & Bandcamp for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Get In Her Ears @ Notting Hill Arts Club w/ ESYA 30.11.19

Get In Her Ears returned to Notting Hill Arts Club to host another evening of alternative music, headlined by the multi-talented ESYA (Ayse Hassan of Savages/Kite Base/180 db). South London duo Scrounge shared the bill, as we as spoken word artist & drummer Eilis Frawley.

The task of opening the night fell to Berlin-based Eilis, who delivered her unique cacophony of live drums, electronic elements and spoken-word lyrics with captivating precision. Performing singles ‘Strangers’ and ‘Illusions’ (both championed by Radio X’s John Kennedy, who was in attendance), her one woman show felt all the more powerful, as many of her songs are informed by feminist beliefs that align perfectly with GIHE.

Scrounge took to the stage next to perform their savage post-punk noise. Lucy & Luke’s live sets are always a raw, urgent affair; and we felt every beat of tracks ‘Badoom’ and ‘Purpose’. The duo released their EP Ideal, earlier this year, and it’s barely left our ears since. They’re firm favourites of GIHE, and their heavy guitar riffs and knockout drumming sat perfectly between Eilis & ESYA’s sets.

  

Headlining the night and performing her last London show of 2019, ESYA hypnotized us with her dark, brooding electronics. Filled with buzzing synth textures, direct vocals and pummeling beats; her songs flesh out the absurdities of our relationships and interactions with each other. Set highlights included ‘Nothing’, ‘Everything’, and brand new single ‘Blue Orchid’, lifted from her recent EP, Absurdity of ATCG (II) – Emergent Form. She multi-tasks triggering synths, performing  vocals, and plucking bass strings throughout the set, and she’s met with deserved cheers and applause at the end of the show.

Huge thanks to the sound engineer and staff at Notting Hill Arts Club.

Follow the bands on Facebook for more updates: ESYA, Scrounge, Eilis Frawley.

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Five Favourites: Deux Furieuses

Having previously wowed us with their truly immense live show at The Finsbury a couple of years back, duo Ros Cairney and Vas Antoniadou – aka Deux Furieuses  – have been going from strength to strength with their powerful offerings.

Now, with the release of their poignant new album My War Is Your War, they continue to blow our minds with their explosive post-punk and stirring raw emotion.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. We caught up with Ros from the band, who has shared her “Five Favourites” – five tracks that particularly resonate with her and Vas. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch the new video for ‘Let Them Burn’ at the end of this post.

PJ Harvey – ‘All and Everyone’
This makes me feel ill. I first listened to the album lying in a hospital bed which was a mistake. The track alternates heart-stoppingly between urgent and woozy sections as she plays with time, life and death. When the drums come in with a dull thud they sound stilted, then soon stop to leave the build up of chiming autoharp chords which introduce the voice with the words “Death was everywhere, In the air, And in the sounds, Coming off the mounds, Of Bolton’s Ridge..”. The vocals echo with a sense of place and history. Verse 2 is propelled along by churning chords until the rhythm slows and the song just lets go into the most sublime free fall with “As we advance in the sun, As we advancing every man, As we advancing in the sun”.  After the last line “Sing death to all and everyone” the track descends into a repetitive outro with long trombone notes conveying an out of tune malaise. I didn’t think PJ Harvey could improve on Dry until I heard Let England Shake. I had always loved PJ Harvey the actual band, that first trio with her distorted guitar riffs locking into that fantastic rhythm section, rather than her songwriting or her ‘solo’ albums. Vas and I saw them many times and are honoured to have worked with drummer Rob Ellis on both our albums. But on Let England Shake, Polly Harvey surpassed all her previous work.

Bert Jansch – ‘January Man’
I first heard Bert Jansch on an old battered copy of 1965 album Don’t Bother Me, borrowed from my aunt Aine Carey who actually taught me to play guitar. I loved his voice and the track ‘Ring a Ding Bird’ with its mesmerising major to minor and back to major key mood shifts. But this is my favourite Bert Jansch song for the combination of his voice and guitar playing on this fantastic song written by Dave Goulder. “And the January man comes round again in woollen coat and boots of leather, To take another turn and walk along the icy road he knows so well, The January man is here for starting each and every year, Along the road for ever”.

Joni Mitchell – ‘Amelia’
I took a year off university in Glasgow to work as a houseparent in a ‘free school’ near Dumfries and would take off into the countryside on a bike. It was summer and I loved to sit under a tree in a field and listen to Hejira, Joni Mitchell’s electric guitar road album endlessly on headphones. I loved the words and guitar on ‘Amelia’, skies streaked with vapour trails that look like “the hexagram of the heavens, the strings of my guitar… The drone of flying engines is a song so wild and blue, It scrambles time and seasons if it gets through to you… I dreamed of 747s over geometric farms”. The song progresses without a chorus, powered by her finger picked electric chords with sonic textures and a line at the end of each verse addressed to Amelia Earhart, another solo traveller with a dream to fly. I was considering moving to London to pursue music but then stayed on in Glasgow for a few years until I realised it was now or never. When I finally moved I met Vas. 

The Beatles – ‘A Day In The Life’
It was tough to choose between ‘A Day in the Life’ and ‘Gimme Some Truth’ by John Lennon solo, which is the only cover we have ever played live and is so relevant to now. But ‘A Day in the Life’ won through. Wafting in with atmospheric guitar and piano which reminds me of PJ Harvey, the dead pan vocals intone the almost callous words. On verse 2, thunderous rolling drum fills propel the track along without playing a beat. “He blew his mind out in a car… A crowd of people stood and stared… Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords”. This experimental track has a violent cruelty about it which is lightened by Paul McCartney’s middle section which ends with “And I went into a dream…” before returning to John Lennon’s evocative wailing “Aaaahs”. ‘A Day In the Life’ evokes for me an indifferent England sleepwalking into catastrophe which resonates even today.

Kate Bush – ‘Sat in Your Lap’
This is the track Vas and I put on to remind ourselves that we have a very long way to go and should possibly just give up. In fact all of these tracks do this. But you have to keep going if you are driven to communicate with music like we are. With its thunderous drums and absolutely insane vocals, this is a masterpiece. The words have a great rhythm to them. “Some say that knowledge is something sat in your lap, Some say that knowledge is something that you never have.” It comes to a thunderous and operatic end which I can hear us trying to emulate in some of our songs. Is this rock? Who cares. We don’t make music to fit your genres! These artists inspire and challenge us and brought us together with their music.

Massive thanks to Ros for sharing her Five Favourites with us! 

My War Is Your War, the new album from Deux Furieuses, is out now. Watch the searing video for latest single ‘Let Them Burn’, here:

Catch Deux Furieuses live at the following dates:

2nd November – Blossoms, Stockport
5th November – Banshee, Edinburgh

 

Photo Credit: Dan Donovan

EP: Foxcunt – ‘A Visit From Foxcunt’

Who wouldn’t want a visit from Foxcunt? Fuelled by a shared love of “cider, art and dismantling state oppression”, which are, in my book anyway, ingredients for a top night, their latest album is riotous, shout-along political punk, as outspoken as their deliciously swear-y name suggests.

The band take shots at the patriarchy, post-Brexit Britain and the stress and monotony of life today. Current single ‘Anxiety Dream’ is a clear standout. Its crunchy guitars have a nervous, post-punk energy, intensified by the lyrics, which list the worries from an anxious brain. Meanwhile, ‘Competition’, with its homage to punk classic – Jilted John’s ‘Jilted John’, asks why, if life isn’t supposed to be a competition, “why are you always trying to win?”

Feminist-anthem-in-the-making, ‘Make Her Smaller’, could become the first dancefloor-filler to rail against gaslighting, coercion and emotional abuse. But while its post-punk brilliance and poppy harmonies will have you raising your fist in the air, ‘Rip Yr Fucking Cock Off’ is angrier, feistier and calls for direct action. It could start a movement, or a fight. Depending on the amount of Strongbow you’ve consumed.

Their ode to post-Brexit Britain, ‘BSE’, asks us to consider whether we’re as ‘great’ as we think, recalling the days of so-called Mad Cow Disease. A duet with alternating shouts of “Creutzfeldt!” and “Jakob!”, it channels a kinda wayward Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood.

In addition to the musical nods, the band wear their influences on their (album) sleeve, too. With artwork seemingly inspired by sloganeering feminist artist, Barbara Kruger, the band’s passions are everywhere.

Ultimately, A Visit From Foxcunt is an angry, joyous and empowering experience. But, while the band are blistering on record, I can’t help but think their energy will translate even better live. Next time they play ‘round my way, they’re definitely getting a visit from me!

 

A Visit From Foxcunt is out today, available on Bandcamp and Spotify. You can catch Foxcunt live at our monthly Finsbury night on 13th December!

Vic Conway

Photo Credit: Micky Strickson

Track Of The Day: Salad – ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’

Having been going their separate ways for nearly twenty years, in 2017 ’90s band Salad were offered a festival date and soon reformed to start recording new material. Now, they’re set to release a long-awaited new album next month and have shared the first taste of what we can expect from it.

Exposing what we are sticking in the sand, and shoving under the carpet, ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’ is propelled by a gritty, post-punk energy and whirring scuzz as catchy hooks and tongue-in-cheek deadpan vocals build to a jangly fusion of sounds. A unique, euphonic delight, this new single sees Salad return to fine form, proving they’re still capable of pushing boundaries with a distinct, vibrant spirit.

The idea for ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’ came to founder member and guitarist Paul Kennedy in a rush of inspiration one day as he popped out to buy a cheap T-shirt: “I worry about child labour / But I needed a T-shirt  / Put it in a paper bag / You can recycle that later.” 

The Salad Way, the upcoming album, is out 30th August on Three Bean Records. Salad will be playing at Starshaped Festival:

31st August – Manchester, O2 Ritz
7th September – Newcastle, O2 Academy
14th September – Birmingham, O2 Institute
21st September – London, O2 Forum Kentish Town

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Tim Topple