Ones To Watch 2018

We’re approaching the beginning of a new year – the perfect time to celebrate new music. As we leave 2017 – and all it’s thrown at us – behind, we’re ready to venture into 2018 alongside some of the music we’re most excited about for the upcoming year.

Have a read, and keep your ears peeled for these incredible bands and artists over the coming months…

Having recently supported GIHE faves PINS on tour, and received much acclaim for their eponymous debut album from the likes of Mojo and Q Magazine, London collective Madonnatron would seem to have had a pretty successful 2017.

We’ve been in love with these four awesome women since their captivating cacophony left us completely spellbound at The Finsbury back in March. And now, with the seething vocals and haunting discordant hooks of tracks such as ‘Sangue Neuf’ and ‘Headless Children’ having provided an eerily majestic soundtrack to much of this year, we’re quite sure that the beguiling ‘Witch Prog’ of Madonnatron will be headed for big things in 2018. (Mari Lane)

We currently hold the record for “how many times you can feature Queen Zee on a roundups/playlist” article – and it’s one we’re proud to be upholding. The Liverpool-based band blew us away with their visceral, politically switched on sounds at The Garage in October, and we’ve been hooked on their punk-like anthems ever since.

Fronted by Queen Zee, the group use their platform to shout back against transphobia and homophobia, as well as supporting and celebrating equality. They’re set to record and hopefully release their debut album in 2018, as well as hitting the road again in support of The Marmozets. Make sure you put your ‘Idle Crown’ on, and get behind this incredible set of talented individuals in 2018. (Kate Crudgington)

Having blown us away with their completely captivating live performance at The Finsbury, Sink Ya Teeth are fast becoming one of our favourite bands. With the addictive, pulsating beats and ‘80s-inspired dance-pop hooks of singles ‘If You See Me’ and ‘Glass’, they’ve showcased their ability to create utterly infectious, uptempo offerings, and we cannot wait to hear more.

With praise from the likes of BBC 6 Music, and support slots with Chk Chk Chk already under their belt, this Norwich duo are sure to be continuing to seduce many an ear throughout 2018. (ML)

Although we’ve been aware of them for some time, Slowcoaches caught our full attention this year with the release of their brilliant track ‘Complex’ – a snarling comeback to the music industry’s misogynist bullshit.

Comprised of Heather (bass & vocals), Neil (drums), and Oliver (guitar), the band are a grunge-fuelled, alternative force to be reckoned with. With wicked tracks like ‘Living Out’ and ‘Complex’ behind them, we’re excited to see what 2018 holds for this talented trio. (KC)

With support from the likes of BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio, and an ever growing reputation for their vibrant live performances, London collective Kid Cupid have been alluring our ears with their blissful electro-pop for some time.

Now, with the recent release of latest single ‘Easy’, they’ve shown themselves to be true masters of their craft; creating utterly euphoric layers of sound alongside Laura Shaw’s rich, soulful vocals. With shades of the likes of Oh Wonder and Little Dragon, we cannot wait to hear more of Kid Cupid’s dreamy, sonic delights throughout 2018. (ML)

 

We’ve made no secret of our love for Essex songwriter Beckie Margaret, and we want everyone’s ears to be blessed with the sound of her impeccable voice.

Inspired by the likes of Lucy Rose, Jeff Buckley and Bon Iver, Beckie’s songs are tender, intuitive, and effortlessly delivered. She’s still at University in the final year of her song-writing degree, but there’s something about her music that can’t be learned from the pages of a textbook. Signed to Cool Thing Records, we’re confident the future for this talented vocalist, writer, and producer is blindingly bright. (KC)

Receiving support across the industry from the likes of Joe Talbot (IDLES) and BBC 6 Music’s Tom Ravenscroft and Steve Lamacq, Birmingham trio Table Scraps are certainly worth paying attention to.

Creating dark and gritty garage-punk, with tracks such as ‘My Obsession’ and latest single ‘Sick Of Me’, the band deliver thrashing riffs and stomping beats, fuelled by a ferocious force. A perfect example of raw, raging DIY music at its best.

Now, with their debut full-length album Autonomy set for release in February, the enraged, empowering energy of Table Scraps looks set to take the world by storm in 2018. (ML)

If you’re a fan of ambient electronic music with a melancholy edge, Temples Of Youth are a band you need to invest in. The Winchester duo sent divine shivers down our spines when they headlined our December show at The Finsbury, and we’ve been spinning their recent self-titled EP in an attempt to stay hypnotised by their magnetic sounds.

We’re confident that tracks like ‘Amber’ and the beautifully articulate ‘Churches’ will propel the pair further in to the spotlight in 2018. We also recommend you check out their superb cover of Nirvana’s ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ – it’s urgent and unforgettable. (KC)

With 2017’s highlights including supporting Desperate Journalist and Nelson Can on various tour dates, Manchester trio LIINES have fast been gaining attention from the likes of John Kennedy, The Quietus and BBC Introducing throughout the year, and we’re loving their gritty, post-punk sounds.

As the pummelling beats and raw vocals of tracks ‘Disappear’ and ‘Blackout’ blast into the ears with all the brooding, impassioned energy you could ever desire, we’re desperate to hear more from LIINES and wait with excitement for what they have in store for us in 2018.

We’re also extremely excited to announce that LIINES will be headlining for us at The Finsbury on 9th February with Bugeye, Suggested Friends and Duck. See you there! (ML)

Track Of The Day: Queen Zee – ‘Idle Crown’

Hot on the heels of their last single ‘Fly The Pink Flag’, GIHEs favourites Queen Zee have released brand new track ‘Idle Crown’, and it’s a riotous, hostile, smartly executed three and a half minutes of Marilyn Manson-esque garage punk. Released via the band’s own label (Sasstone Records), the Liverpool band have yet to record something that we don’t instantly fall in love with.

They blend activism and politics with their fleshy, raucous tunes, and ‘Idle Crown’ is no exception. Front woman Queen Zee explains the inspiration behind the new single:

“‘Idle Crown’ is essentially a narrative between two characters trapped in a toxic relationship. It’s something everyone can relate too, but what I wanted to do was question heteronormativity using a familiar setting. A theme throughout the album as a whole is society’s wish for LGBTQ+ people to conform to a standard, regardless of the happiness or health of them. Within ‘Idle Crown’, I used two LGBTQ+ characters trapped in a heteronormative relationship to express the pain of being unable to live as your true self”

The band will head back out on the road again with Marmozets in February 2018, to deliver more of their fearless, provocative sound to the eager crowds who caught them live earlier this year. Together, Queen Zee (vocals/guitar), Jason Taylor Brown (guitar), Frank Wortho (bass), David Bloom (drums) and Courtney Colley (Keys & Vocals) give “give so much of a fuck, that they really couldn’t give a single fuck” – and we’re more than happy to follow their example.

Queen Zee February 2018 Tour Dates (with Marmozets)

Friday 2nd  – Cardiff – The Tramshed
Saturday 3rd – Southampton – Engine Rooms
Sunday 4th – Brighton – Concorde 2
Tuesday 6th – Cambridge – Cambridge Junction
Wednesday 7th –  London – Student Central
Thursday 8th – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
Friday 9th – Newcastle – Riverside
Sunday 11th – Sheffield – The Leadmill
Monday 12th – Edinburgh – The Liquid Room

Follow Queen Zee on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

INTERVIEW: Queen Zee & The Sasstones

Since we heard the warped pop sounds of Queen Zee & The Sasstones last week, all we want to do is lay in a bath tub full of red wine and listen to their EP, Eat My Sass (watch the video for ‘Boy’ below and you’ll feel the same). We had a quick chat with front woman Queen Zee about how the band started out, what inspired their latest recording, and the mix of “adoration and bemusement” they receive from live crowds…

Hello Queen Zee & The Sasstones. For anyone who doesn’t know, can you tell us how the band came to be?
Myself and Em met at a black metal show for both our solo projects. I uploaded some demos six months later under the Queen Zee moniker, Em didn’t like them but said we should start a band anyway…

Your latest EP Eat My Sass is out now. What kinds of reactions have you had from fans and critics about the EP? 
It’s been great, as a collection of songs they’re old and new, so it’s great to finally get those older songs out there while also showcasing our new material like ‘Boy’.

On a surface level, you can throw yourself around to the EP completely carefree on a dance floor, but your lyrics – especially on ‘Boy’ – highlight the dangers faced by trans people who have been the subject of trans and/or homophobic abuse. Do you write from experience?
I think all Trans people are exposed to the abuse written about ‘Boy’. On one level, yes ‘Boy’ comes from my resentment to how I’ve personally been treated. But I’m nothing special, all Trans people experience the same hate.

Is the EP your way of dealing with and shouting back at those who have tried to silence or physically hurt you?
Art is in general, my art is my catharsis. It’s my rage, my passion, my love, my hate. So on some level, yes it’s my aggression. 

Your video for ‘Boy’ looks incredible. Tell us a little about the shoot: How much red wine did you consume? Would you recommend bathing in it to your fans?
Not enough wine. It was a very fun day, we were very tipsy. I wouldn’t recommend it though, the bathroom still stinks. We did it so fans don’t have too.

I’m a big fan of Courtney Love, and I noticed your reference to her on ‘I Hate Your New Boyfriend’. Are you a fan of her too?
Yeah I’m a huge Hole fan, ‘Violet’ is my jam.

You’re currently touring the UK, and you played Reading & Leeds Festivals earlier this year too. What reactions have you had from the crowds so far?
It’s a mix of adoration and bemusement. Reading & Leeds was fun, people go feral when you put them in a field for three days.

Can you name a gig that was particularly memorable?
Playing with Venom Prison was fun, they’re a great death metal band. So this metal fan base turn up, loads of big dudes with beards and Neurosis shirts and we’re like “fucckkkkk” in  our sparkly leggings absolutely bricking it. Two songs in the crowd’s going mad, the kit got crowd surfed, lapping it up, ended  up being one of the best shows we’ve ever done. Hopefully we’ll get to do a Venom Prison / Queen Zee tour one day.

As a blog dedicated to promoting women and non-binary artists in new music, we’d like to know if there are any female-fronted/non-binary artists you could recommend to us?

I really dig Babe Punch, who are our buddies from Nottingham. The new Marmozets record is a killer as well, we’re off on tour with them this month.

Finally, what’s next for Queen Zee & The Sasstones?
Wrap up this tour and head off for some studio time. Which may or may not result in more music next year…

Thanks to Queen Zee for answering our questions. Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Queen Zee & The Sasstones – ‘Boy’

We’re hooked on Liverpool punk sass-perts Queen Zee & The Sasstones, and after watching their new video for ‘Boy’, we guarantee you will be too. It’s an anthem for trans-gender rockers and their allies who refuse to be ignored, or oppressed by transphobic or homophobic attitudes.

“You can try and bury my head in the sand, But that won’t make the body at the surface a man’s” sings frontwoman Queen Zee, as manic guitar and heart-pounding drums smash out for just shy of five minutes. The track is ridiculously easy to tear up the dance floor too, but Queen Zee’s lyrics reveal the frightening reality faced by many people who identify as trans, who live in fear of “That skinny kinda lonely kid, raised on homo-trans-hate rhetoric, Waiting for me to come outta the club, a concealed weapon clenched between his fists”.

Fortunately, with their punk attitude and ability to write abrasive heavy-pop tunes, there’s no danger of Queen Zee being melted in to a “masculine mould” – and we’re rejoicing in support of this “whipping girl born into a big man’s world”. Take a look at the incredible video for ‘Boy’ below, and follow Queen Zee & the Sasstones on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut