FIVE FAVOURITES: Bonnie Trash

Finding comfort and catharsis in the darker spheres of life, Canadian-Italian twin siblings Emmalia and Sarafina Bortolon-Vettor create music inspired by everything from Italian folklore to the gloom of post-punk. Performing under their moniker Bonnie Trash, the duo have recently released their deliciously droney debut album, Malocchio, which translates as “hex” or “curse”. Inspired by the stories that their grandma Nonna Maria handed down to them as children, their record is a potent and commanding blend of metal, shoegaze and gothic rock, released via aptly named label, Hand Drawn Dracula.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Bonnie Trash to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have inspired their song-writing techniques. Check out Emma & Sara’s choices below and listen to their new album, Malocchio, here.

1. The Smashing Pumpkins – Gish
Sara: When I was a teenager, around 13 or 14 years old, I was emotional as all hell and needed to release my sadness, my anger – it’s like all of a sudden I was finally feeling everything all at once. I was just beginning my journey into 1990s grunge like Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Alanis Morisette. Then I heard, ‘I Am One’ by The Smashing Pumpkins and it blew my mind. It was loud, heavy, and had hints of heavy metal. That drum opening drew me right in and I became an instant fan of Jimmy Chamberlin. At the time, I was solely playing the drums. I didn’t even think about singing until I was around 16. As I listened to Gish on repeat for a few years, it didn’t take long until Billy Corgan’s lyrics and voice seeped into my bloodstream, and inspired me to sing and write. There are truly painful, sad, and quiet moments on this album, and they are almost always followed by dramatically explosive arrangements. I instantly fell in love.

2. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Darklands
Sara: This album is a post-punk gem. It’s gorgeous. Those smooth, noisy, yet soft grooves that make you want to slow-bop along to it all – it’s pure bliss. There’s a sensitive nature to this record, and it bleeds out through the vocals and lyrics, backed up by pop-sensibilities. The drums hit hard and are super robotic, as the guitars float on top. Darklands sparked my love for drum machines and electronic percussion. And the lyrics? They’re macabre, sad, dark, and at times joyous: “And I awake from dreams, to a scary world of screams.” Combining these contrasting lyrical themes are beautifully-haunting. What’s so cool about this record is that it’s got this overall bubblegum pop sound. Darklands continues to inspire my love for electronic drums, writing pop-structured songs, and singing about dark subject-matter in a (sometimes) joyous way.

3. Godspeed You, Black Emperor – Yanqui U.X.O 
Emma: I encountered this album after a hard drive swap with my bandmates/friends about 10 years ago. I religiously listened to my iPod on shuffle to hear how songs were related to each other. ‘Motherfucker = Redeemer’ came on and my world was transformed. It slowly repeated and grew in intensity, yet gave so much sonic space for emptiness to shine. This album forever changed my guitar playing. It made me want to expand on noise and texture while keeping everything I wrote simple enough to be repeated, droned, and transforming. I changed the way I use a slide and it made me pick up a bow. Yanqui U.X.O is the soundtrack of major horror and disaster, telling a story of how deep our formations of capitalist structures eventually funnel into the corporate hands of bomb making and war-feeding. It tells the tale of how the little things really do add up.

4. Nine Inch Nails – And All that Could Have Been
Emma: This is more of a recent discovery and a moment of excitement in re-igniting a creative spark. I’m not normally into listening to live albums but this one is exceptional– the 2000 Fragility 2.0 tour that took the world by storm. In this sonic capture, you can hear every instrument in its live element embodying the heaviness of each song with even more depth; you can feel everything vibrate and sense the sweat. This was the first time in a long time where I picked up my guitar and played to each song, pretending to be part of the band. ‘Wish’ hits me the hardest on this album because you can hear an entire audience singing, “Wish there was something real, wish there was something true / Wish there was something real in this world for you.” And in this time, I cannot help but wonder how many of us are reciting these very same lyrics.

5. Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures 
Emma & Sara: The feeling, “Is that it? Is there more?” is a ghost that haunts humanity. Don’t pretend it isn’t. Even the most joyous person asks this question from time to time. Unknown Pleasures in it’s most turmoiled, poetic existence, illuminates the truths behind our being. It adds some sort of comfort despite the demise and perhaps, in this struggle, we find ourselves again. Let there be disorder, lose control, fuck your day of the lords, and fall into the interzone. This chaos is the beauty of existence and with it comes hope, a monster to have faith in. There is more. You are more. Make your fate. Unknown Pleasures is a classic because it allows you to pick your personal scabs and come out transformed. It has inspired our love for the macabre, sorrowful, and of course, post-punk.

Thanks to Emma & Sarah for sharing their Five Favourites with us!

Watch the video for Bonnie Trash’s single ‘Silence Is A Killer’ below

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Photo Credit: dana Bellamy

LISTEN: GIHE on Soho Radio with Big Joanie 21.09.22

Tash and Kate were back on Soho Radio’s airwaves playing loads of new music from some of their favourite female, non-binary and LGBTQIA+ artists, and Mari offered some of her “musical musings” too. They enthused about the eclectic mix of tracks on the playlist, their love for London duo Scrounge, and Kate revealed that her fear of technology stems from watching Terminator 2: Judgement Day on repeat throughout her childhood.

They were thrilled to have Chardine, Estella and Steph aka DIY punk legends Big Joanie join them on air again to talk about their latest single ‘Confident Man’, which is taken from the trio’s upcoming second album Back Home, due for release on 4th November. The band also spoke about their recent work organising Decolonise Fest, the inspiration behind the artwork on their new album, working with amazing producer Margo Broom at Hermitage Works Studios in North London, and their top tips for surviving life on the road whilst touring.

Listen below:

 

Tracklist
Noga Erez ft. Missy Elliott – NAILS
Maury Blu, Peaches – Vashti Part One
Lucy Dacus – Night Shift
Scrounge – Starve
O Hell – I Watch The Women
AGAAMA – Blackbox Oracle
Moglii, Palmaria – Volcano
TSHA, Clementine Douglas – Dancing In The Shadows
Tokky Horror – Jazz Music
New Pagans – Better People
SPRINTS – Literary Mind
Amaroun – Brown Skin Beauty
Perera Elsewhere – Who I Am
Big Joanie – Confident Man
**Interview with Big Joanie**
Gustaf – Best Behaviour
Grandmas House – Body
Connie Constance – Mood Hoover
Brutus – Victoria
adults – things we achieve
DIVES – Say
Zahra Haji Fath Ali Tehrani – Waiting
th’sheridans – Luka
Perfume Genius – Queen
Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something – Helen Is A Reptile
The Big Moon – Trouble

(you can listen back to the our original 2019 interview with Big Joanie here too)

LISTEN: Grandmas House – ‘Body’

A brooding cacophony of post punk sound that was born from the desire to overcome the discomfort that facing your own reflection can cause, Bristol trio Grandmas House have shared their latest single ‘Body’. Released via Brace Yourself Records, the track is full of candid vocals, cathartic lyrics and boisterous riffs that aim to dismantle the strained relationships we have with our own bodies.

Formed of Yasmin Berndt (vocals, guitar), Poppy Dodgson (vocals, drums) and Zoë Zinsmeister (bass), Grandmas House combine gritty guitars, thudding percussion and a joyful dose of sarcasm to create their commanding and catchy anthems. Formed in late 2018, the band released their self-titled debut EP in October 2021, which covered everything from dismantling the patriarchy, to celebrating queer love, to a penchant for local pasties. Now, the trio are back with their new single ‘Body’, which they initially teased on their TikTok with a clip that has since gone viral, reaching over 400k views.

“‘Body’ is an anthem for anyone that’s ever felt uncomfortable in their own skin,” the band explain. “It’s an urgent statement about disassociation, feeling trapped and not recognising yourself in the mirror, it’s an ode to anyone who has ever felt different.” When the trio simultaneously chant “haven’t seen myself for a second of the day / it feels like everyone is growing / and I just stay the same”, they capture the uneasiness of existing in an insecure skin, whilst putting their own corrosive, riotous spin on this feeling to alleviate the pressure.

Listen to ‘Body’ below.

Follow Grandmas House on TikTok, bandcampSpotifyInstagramTwitter & Facebook

Photo Credit: Harry Steel

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: GIHE on Soho Radio – Teenage Dreams 24.08.22

Tash, Kate and Mari were all physically in the Soho Radio studio together for the first time EVER for this month’s Get In Her Ears New Music show! They played an eclectic mix of tracks from some of their favourite female, non-binary and LGBTQIA+ artists.

The team also took some time to reminisce about the tunes that helped them through their formative years in their special #TeenageDreams section at the end of the show. Kate opted for pure angst with a classic Avril Lavigne anthem, Mari was raging away to The Distillers in her local rock club, and Tash was very busy pretending to understand the full context of Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Oughta Know’ at the tender age of twelve.

Listen back below:

 

Tracklist
Garbage – Cherry Lips (Go Go Baby)
Connie Constance – Till The World’s Awake
Victoria Canal – Swan Song
Beckie Margaret – August Nights
Mannequin Death Squad – Super Mental Psycho
BRUTUS – Liar
Halina Rice – Helix
Nameless Twin – My Eyes Went Black
Midnight Ambulance – Smoke and Sweets
A.A. Williams – Golden
Big Joanie – In My Arms
Electric Pets – That Way
Femegades – Daddy Says
Jadu Heart – Cocoon
070 Shake – Skin & Bones
Seraphina Simone – Milk Teeth
LOLAWOLF – Whole House
Midwife – Enemy
Obli – Hei
AGAAMA – Sarehole Mill
Gemma Laurence – Lavender
Sophie Jamieson – Sink
Fruity – BT9
Kindred Fawn – Neon World
**Teenage Dreams Section**
Avril Lavigne – Losing Grip
The Joy Formidable – The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade
Sheryl Crow – If It Makes You Happy
The Distillers – City Of Angels
All Saints – Never Ever
Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know
Olivia Newton John – Hopelessly Devoted