Track Of The Day: Queen Cult – ‘Beautiful Psycho’

The very earliest opening notes of Queen Cult’s new track ‘Beautiful Psycho‘ drop you into the song’s fiercely unique duality. The combination of heavy, rumbling chords and lighter melodic notes over the top juxtapose darkness and playfulness that feeds every choice made in the track.

The contrast is reflected in the structure of the song; the bright, chirpy verses crescendo into the throbbing, heavy chorus, before returning to the upbeat poppy sound. The potentially conflicting styles work together really well to leap between churning emotions.

This creates the perfect backdrop for the lyrics. Delivered with rich, powerful vocals, they embody feelings of obsession. Without naming the object in question, the song is left open for you to project whatever dangerous thing captivates you into its narrative, but its careful choice of words and bold delivery absorbs you into the feeling behind it so effectively that you hardly notice the lack of specificity. It evokes exactly the feeling you need it to.

Together, the different elements of the song draw you into a pattern of infatuation that cycles between thrilling high points and lows in which you are forced to recognise the looming, painful end. The desire to cling to the experience battles against the knowledge that it is ultimately doomed to a tragic collapse, but in the meantime it (and the track) are a wildly fun ride.

Creative and intelligent from the very first bars, ‘Beautiful Psycho’ establishes Queen Cult as a band with a distinctly intense sound and a flair for crafting depth.

Catch Queen Cult live tonight opening our night at The Shacklewell Arms with The Menstrual Cramps and pink suits! Tickets still available on Dice.

Kirstie Summers
@ActuallyKurt

Photo Credit: Madeleine Fisher

Introducing Interview: Bestfriend

Following last year’s debut EP, places i’ve lived, LGBTQ Vancouver/Toronto based bedroom-pop duo Bestfriend have now announced the release of their upcoming new EP, due out in the summer. Ahead of the EP, they have now shared an utterly dreamy new offering. Reflecting on the optimistic feelings of a new crush, ‘Someplace Else’ oozes a lush, ethereal soundscape as sugar-sweet harmonies flow with a shimmering, uplifting energy.

We caught up with Stacy and Kaelan to find out more…

Hi Bestfriend! Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Stacy: A tough one right off the bat! I should format this one like a tinder bio. Stacy, 6’11 (if that matters). 
Kaelan: Kaelan, I have no bio but my anthem is set as a song from the ’90s so you know I’m really cool.

Are you able to tell us a bit about how you initially started creating music together?
S: Instagram DMs. I love the internet.
K: One of those “I follow you because I’m good friends with your good friend but we’ve never met” kind of situations for like five years before that. Funny.

I love your dreamy electro-pop sounds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
S: Thank you! I have a lot of songwriting influences and a lot of production influences, which I suppose is actually the point of this question you’ve asked here- lots of songwriters I love are generally really quiet, sad, indie singer-songwriters: Julia Jacklin, Big Thief, The National, to name a few. Production-wise, Kaelan and I have the exact same inspo artists, so I’ll let him take that one. 
K: We both listened to a whole lot of absolutely anything Justin Vernon did growing up. Quite the fella. 

You’ve just released your new single ‘Someplace Else’, taken from your upcoming EP, places i’ve left, which is set for release in the summer. Are you able to tell us a bit about the EP? Are there any particular themes running throughout it?
S: Yes! I’m so excited! places i’ve left is the sister EP for places i’ve lived, which we considered to be, like, a series of love letters to our past lives – college life, relationships, friendships, all of the places we used to live, et cetera. places i’ve left is going to close this era out for us, and is really going to be a series of songs that are forward-looking: What are we doing now? What are we dealing with now, good or bad? What are we, as people, but also as Bestfriend, going to do from here?

How have you found recording and promoting an EP during these strange times?
S: Love this question, because the answer is that it really hasn’t changed for us at all! We’ve been making music remotely since 2018, figuring out promotion and releases remotely. 

How do you feel the industry is for new artists at the moment? And do you feel much has changed over the last few years in its treatment of female and LGBTQ+ artists?
S: Oof, I definitely have a lot of feelings about this. New artists in general I think are turning what I think is one of the weirdest corners to have come around in a long time in the industry. We now have this chance for literally everyone and anyone to put their music out there and be heard. The only music I listened to in high school was music I learned about through word of mouth, one-off random shows I’d go to, the radio… Now, it’s just a matter of, like, going to Spotify/Apple Music/whatever DSP and literally typing in “new music”. So, on one hand – awesome, getting your music heard is less of a problem, but on the other, you’re really hard-pressed to find a way to stand out in a super saturated digital world of networking, business, “working the industry”, all that. And I think, personally speaking, it’s become a small percentage less about just the music, and a lot more about the Music Business. As for the treatment of female/LGBTQ+ artists, lots of feelings on this as well. It’s amazing that we’re now at a point where LGBTQ+ folks are openly singing about their experiences without the veiled pronouns layered within metaphors. It’s really freeing. It feels amazing. But I think it’d be remiss to not say that there’s still a long way to go. I’m finding that intersectionality in LGBTQ+ music is still insanely difficult to come by, and LGBTQ+ artists are still sort of being tokenized as LGBTQ+ artists, and not just… Musicians. Not to sound like a pessimist! Silver linings everywhere. Just lots of work to be done still.

You’re based in Vancouver and Toronto, how is the music scene there? Do you feel that the live music community there has recovered since the pandemic?
S: Vancouver, not really yet. Though I’ve definitely been seeing more and more shows happening, so I’m really excited for it to come back.
K: I could write essays about the Toronto indie rock scene of the late ’00s & early ’10s. Definitely don’t think the city has found its groove again post-pandemic but we’ll get there. Seasons for everything.

 As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming artists or bands you’re loving right now that you’d recommend we check out?
S: Hoodie Browns & The Neighbourhood Strangers – insanely cool group who have been playing lots of local shows here and I think have been working on some releases. Keep an eye out for them. I cannot stress enough how cool they are. 
K: I’ll actually just take the opportunity to hop on the back of what Stacy said and shout out a truly great live show I cannot wait to see again. Busty and the Bass – they’re a group of like 8-10 dudes that met while at school for music and just said “hey, let’s write the coolest like, electro soul adjacent music ever and put on shows with all the coolest instruments (which we of course all mastered at music school) and make everyone dance all night.”

In addition to the EP release, what does the rest of the year have in store for Bestfriend?
S: Live shows! Writing! A lot of fun stuff!

Massive thanks to Stacy and Kaelan for answering our questions!

places i’ve left, the upcoming new EP from Bestfriend, is set for release this summer.

Get In Her Ears Live at The Shacklewell Arms w/ Fightmilk, 24.03.2022

On Friday, we were back at The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston with a total dream of a line-up. Fightmilk, Bitch Hunt and Sassyhiya treated us to a joyous few hours of live music. Huge thanks to them all, and to all the lovely folk who came out to support them and fill the venue… We’re still feeling all the feels, and are extremely grateful to everyone who made it such a beautiful night.

First up, Sassyhiya offer up their uplifting, jangly post-punk. Consisting of two former members of Barry (Kathy and Helen) plus Neil and Pablo, the band’s first ever gig proves to be a great success as the crowd smile and sway along to their twinkling hooks and buoyant, quirky energy.

Having last played live at a gig for us back in October 2019, it’s such a joy to welcome Bitch Hunt back to the stage. And what a wonderful return to live music it is. Radiating a blissful, cathartic energy they fill the venue with their scuzzy punk-pop offerings covering poignant topics ranging from men taking up too much space, to reflections on being non-binary and stirring odes to loved ones no longer with us. A truly euphoric set from these First Timers Fest alumni.

Headlining the night are Bitch Hunt’s Reckless Yes label mates, and total faves, Fightmilk. The third time they’ve played for us, it’s an utter delight to finally see them perform some of the tracks from their latest album Contender live, as well as some old favourites (and a couple of surprise covers!). Blasting out their anthemic indie-pop with an endearing tongue-in-cheek wit, each offering fizzes with the band’s trademark vibrant energy and colourful charisma. From fuzzy love songs to tirades against Elon Musk and bridezillas, Fightmilk bring a refreshing honesty and gritty raw emotion to their jangling melodies and the smooth-yet-husky charm of front-person Lily’s vocals, showcasing their ability to continuously refine their sound and, in the process, consistently continue to win my heart. Plus, I don’t think I ever thought I’d be aged 35 and in a venue filled with people joyously dancing and singing along to Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’, but I was and it was pretty magnificent.

Huge love and thanks again to all three bands who played for us on Friday, and to everyone who came out to share the music and good vibes. We’re taking a little break next month, but will be back at the Shacklewell Arms on 6th May with the return of The Menstrual Cramps, supported by pink suits and Queen Cult – nab your tickets on DICE now.

Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto
Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles

Five Favourites: Queen Cult

Following acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing for their debut single ‘Shindigger‘, and support for their resonant latest single ‘A Song About Consent’, Cheshire band Queen Cult have been fast making a name for themselves. Consisting of front person Maisie Johnson and bassist Leila Jacklin, as well as Brodie Carson on drums and Piers Jarvis on guitar, the band pride themselves on their LGBTQ+ identity and sharing their queer, politically-charged messages with the masses. Having released their debut EP earlier this year, they have now shared an epic new video for single ‘Calm’, showcasing the band’s seething energy and immense, angst-fuelled drive as they make a fiercely impassioned proclamation to stand up to the patriarchy.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of their new video, we caught up with Queen Cult to ask about their “Five Favourites” – five of the songs that they’re loving right now. Read about their choices and watch the immense new video for ‘Calm’ at the end of this article!

Childish Gambino – ‘Redbone’
I mean the whole album Awaken, My Love! could have been used for all my five favourites, however we landed on ‘Redbone’ for first choice. It’s sonically pleasing and incredibly well written and produced, with a sense of unpredictability as to where the song is going to go as it plays on, it’s a tune we could never get sick of.


Thundercat – ‘Dragonball Durag’
I mean you can’t not dance to it can you? Again, other very well produced song with catchy, wavey vocals. On top of that – we can’t get enough of that bass-line. And with that, the song is also relatively introspective due to its humorous lyrics that get utterly stuck in your head.


Low Hum – ‘Comatose’
This laid back, pleasingly sleazy song is the perfect warm evening driving song. With a strong bass line and eclectic guitar motifs throughout – you can’t go wrong with it regardless of whatever mood you so happen to be in. Despite the sad nature of the lyrics, by the end of the song you can end up feeling at peace.


Wolf Alice – ‘Lipstick on the Glass’
From their album Blue Weekend, this is a song that when we first heard it we couldn’t stop playing it. From the ethereal vocals to the eclectic layered guitar parts, it catches you off guard when you first set your ears to it and from then, you’ll be addicted.


Jeff Buckley & Elizabeth Fraser – ‘All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun’
This song is held deep in my (Maisie’s) heart. As a demo that was leaked and not even a fully formed song at this point, it has its own charm. A timeless chorus with a chord progression you could have circling for hours. Elizabeth’s vocals soar through with pure power and emotion that makes your face screw up (but in a good way), and Jeff’s harmonies make it so sweet. Could never ever get sick of this song and the nostalgia it makes you feel for a time when you weren’t even born…

Massive thanks to Queen Cult for sharing their Five Favourites with us! Watch the new video for ‘Calm’ below, and make sure you catch them playing live for us at The Shacklewell Arms on 6th May, supporting The Menstrual Cramps. Tickets here.

Photo Credit: Debbie Ellis