Five Favourites: Maija Sofia

Following the success of last single ‘Flowers’, Irish artist Maija Sofia has now announced the release of her debut album, Bath Time – a collection of songs that were written in the run up to the Repeal The 8th Movement, and all addressing the issue of the silencing and misrepresentation of women.

Creating poignant, stirring slices of alt-folk, filled with beautiful melodies, rich luscious vocals and a raw emotion, Maija Sofia is fast becoming a firm favourite and we can’t wait for the album release.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. We caught up with Maija, who has shared her “Five Favourites” – five tracks that particularly resonate with her. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to listen to latest single ‘The Glitter’ at the end of this post.

Katie Kim – ‘Day is Coming’ 
Katie Kim is one of my absolute favourite songwriters and this song is from her incredible album Salt. I love how dark, foreboding and ominous her work is while managing to be tender and emotive at the same time. She marries heavy, droning, gauzy harmonies with strange, unexpected vocal melodies and it creates an atmosphere in her work that’s like a sliver of sunlight trying to push through heavy black storm clouds. I love how the chanted refrain “day is coming” towards the end of this song sounds like a wild, horrific pagan ritual, but also sounds redemptive and oddly reassuring.

Radie Peat – ‘Katie Cruel’
I first heard Radie perform this song with the above mentioned Katie Kim when they did a really special collaborative performance in the Pepper Canister church in Dublin, and she’s since recorded an amazing version with her band Lankum who I would include in this list as they are probably my favourite band at the moment, but they surely need no introduction. I knew this song first from Karen Dalton’s gorgeous version but I love how Radie’s drawling almost terrifying voice merges with the harmonium and fiddle drones and makes it a totally new song.

Rachael Lavelle – ‘Perpetual Party’
Rachael Lavelle is an up and coming artist also based in Dublin that I’m really excited about. She has one of the hugest most eerily expansive voices I have ever heard and her songs are dark, gothic, evocative but also euphoric and have a strange, off-kilter sense of humour. This song is a perfect example of what makes her work so singular; she blends aspects of influence from Laurie Anderson, Jenny Hval and Julia Holter, but just makes it completely her own. Every time I see her live I’m more blown away.

Lisa O’Neill – ‘Along The North Strand’
For one reason or another I have a deep love of murder ballads in which the roles are reversed and it’s the women doing the murdering; same goes with folklore, the bible – Judith and Holofernes, Salome and John the Baptist, you name it, I love them all. This is a song Lisa O’Neill learned from a little-known traveller singer Kitty Cassidy and it appeared on her last album, the brilliant Heard A Long Gone Song. Lisa is also an one of my favourite songwriters, and that last album is a perfect mix of original songs and traditional songs, blending her wild, jagged mountainside stormy sea of a voice, her plaintive, poetic lyrics with accompaniment from some of the best trad musicians in the country like Cormac Begley and Christophe Capewell.

Rising Damp – ‘Rising Damp’
Rising Damp is the solo performance project of Michelle Doyle who also plays in the great punk band Sissy. I’ve been lucky to share the same bill with Michelle a few times now and every time I’m blown away. I can’t really describe it properly, but a Rising Damp show consists of synths, drum machines, vocal effects and fervently anti-fascist spoken word/shouting, all delivered with Michelle’s wild, hypnotic feral energy. If you ever get the opportunity to go to a Rising Damp show – go!

Huge thanks to Maija for sharing her Five Favourites! Listen to latest single ‘The Glitter’ below:

Bath Time, the upcoming album from Maija Sofia, is out 22nd November via Trapped Animal Records and Cargo Records.

LISTEN: Maija Sofia – ‘The Glitter’

Following the success of last single ‘Flowers’, Irish artist Maija Sofia has now announced the release of her debut album, Bath Time – a collection of songs that were written in the run up to the Repeal The 8th Movement, and all addressing the issue of the silencing and misrepresentation of women.

In keeping with this theme, new single ‘The Glitter’ tells the story of Jean Rhys, a Carribean novelist who came to England aged sixteen and struggled with feelings of displacement. Flowing with beautiful, folk strewn melodies and Sofia’s rich luscious vocals, it sparkles with a raw emotion, creating a poignant, stirring slice of alt-folk. 

Listen to ‘The Glitter’ here:

 

Bath Time, the upcoming new album from Maija Sofia, is out 22nd November via Trapped Animal Records and Cargo Records.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

 

ALBUM: Dott – ‘Heart Swell’

Galway-based Dott‘s sophomore record Heart Swell lives up to its name: from start to finish it will make your garage-pop loving heart palpitate with glee. Described as “early-60s-meets-early-90s indie rock” by Brooklyn Vegan, the band’s new album (released via Grave Face Records) is a shimmering blur of optimism and adrenaline.

The gloriously upbeat single ‘Bleached Blonde’ opens the record, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for girls who love sunshine, surfing, and intensely singable choruses. If you’ve ever tried to surf on an ironing board (watch the video below, you’ll understand) or at an official surf camp, you’ll sympathise with guitarist & vocalist Anna’s struggle when it comes to catching waves.

Activism and garage-pop collide in anthemic style on second track ‘Like A Girl’. The band released the song ahead of Ireland’s vote to Repeal the 8th Amendment on May 25th, but it rings out with truer intensity now the “yes” result has been confirmed. The song features a guest appearance from Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz on guitar, and the accompanying video features members from Galway Pro Choice, Galway Parents for Choice, and Galway Roller Derby.

No apologies and no excuses sound carefree and constructive on ‘Not Sorry’, whilst the restless bass lines and guitar riffs on ‘Floating Arrows’ will keep your feet twitching and your heads bopping. ‘Swim’ paints an enviable picture of losing yourself by the seaside, and Anna’s clear vocals are as bright as the warm sun she sings of here.

The eponymous ‘Heart Swell’ is a wonderful ode to finding love; an aural head-rush that will fill your heart with satisfaction. It flows perfectly in to the gentle sounding ‘Self-Help’ which shimmers with sensitivity. “I try to live my life without forgetting anyone” sings Anna, and if she keeps writing songs like this, there’s no danger of that happening to Dott.

‘How Do I Feel?’ is another joyous offering of buoyant guitar and feel-good lyrics, before listeners are urged to reject the “double standards” that girls are often subject too on ‘You Don’t Have To’. The age of independence and ambition is reminisced about on ’18’, which fades effortlessly in to penultimate track ‘Do Ya?”. The beautiful ‘Wedding Song’ closes the record on a romantically reassuring note. Anna’s lyrics systematically strip away the traditions and expectations that come with wedding ceremonies, revealing the only thing that truly matters when you consider spending the rest of your life with someone: Love.

If you’re still searching for your soundtrack to Summer 2018, invest in Dott’s second album Heart Swell now. Download it here.

Follow Dott on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Alison MW

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Get In Her Ears w/ Sabatta

This week Tash and Mari played an abundance of fantastic new music, including tunes from Caswell, Savdaliza and BOUTS. They also paid tribute to the Repeal The 8th referendum that’s taking place in Ireland tomorrow, with tunes from HAWK, Dott and Sissy.

They were joined in the studio by ‘grunge-soul’ duo Sabatta, who talked about their upcoming new album ‘Misfit Music’ and defying genres.

Listen back to the show here:

Track Of The Day: Dott – ‘Like A Girl’

Activism and garage-pop collide in anthemic style on Dott‘s latest track ‘Like A Girl’. The Galway-based band have released the song ahead of Ireland’s vote to Repeal the 8th Amendment on May 25th – a vote which would give Irish women access to full reproductive health services, including abortion.

The song features a guest appearance from Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz on guitar, and the accompanying video features members from Galway Pro Choice, Galway Parents for Choice, and Galway Roller Derby, as well as footage of recent marches for Women’s Rights in Galway. Guitarist & vocalist Anna talks of the inspiration behind the track:

“It has always bothered me when people say that doing something ‘Like a Girl’ means they did it weakly or substandard. To put this out-dated notion to bed, I wrote this song to remind people that doing something ‘Like a Girl’ means it will be powerful and no shit will be taken.

It’s especially relevant in Ireland at the moment with the fast approaching Referendum on Reproductive Rights (voting on May 25th). Irish women and girls have spent years fighting for their reproductive rights, demanding a referendum to change archaic and unsafe Irish Law. And now we are a matter of weeks away from the referendum finally happening, all because of the fierce and tireless work of the women’s groups of Ireland. So, what I’m trying to say is, if you’re going to do something important, you’d better hope that everyone says you did it ‘Like a Girl'”.

We’re totally behind everything that ‘Like a Girl’ stands for. Listen to the track below…

Sign the petition to Repeal the 8th Amendment here.

Follow Dott on Facebook for more updates.

Dott’s sophomore album Heart Swell is set to be released on Graceface Records on 8th June.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: April 2018

Another month, another brand new playlist brimming with fresh music! We’ve been (gladly) overwhelmed by the amount of brilliant new sounds bursting in to our ears this April, and we wanted to share our favourites with you here. Whether you’re in to the idustrial/electronic beats of Zola Jesus, the anti-fascist punk glory of Dream Nails, or if you’re breaking in to “mumble rap” with Tierra Whack…there’s something here for your listening pleasure. Scroll down to the playlist below & enjoy! 

 

Zola Jesus – ‘Bound’ 
Artist & Producer Zola Jesus has shared an eclectic set of new tracks & remixes on Okovi: Additions, and ‘Bound’ is one of many sonic treats on this project. This release follows her 2017 critically acclaimed album Okovi (via Sacred Bones Records), and features remixes by a diverse cast of artists including; Johnny Jewel, Katie Gately, Wolves in the Throne Room, and Joanne Pollock. I’ve had this track on repeat since I first heard it in March, and I’m happy to stay ‘Bound’ by Zola Jesus’ sounds. Read our review of the album here(Kate Crudgington)

Wendy Rae Fowler – ‘Svengali’ 
Having previously worked alongside the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Mark Lanegan and UNKLE, American artist Wendy Rae Fowler has now released her new solo album, Warped. Taken from the album is the utterly bewitching ‘Svengali’. Filled with sweeping layers of sound and the cinematic grace of Wendy’s vocals, it’s a truly captivating creation. Read our review of Warped here(Mari Lane)

Rhye – ‘Please’
I was lucky enough to get tickets to see Rhye perform in London this week, back in our ears after a four year hiatus.  What a treat. When they played this track I felt like I was melting into Heaven’s floor (apt), so incredibly gentle, sensual and intimate. I can never get enough of the gender-fluid vocals of Mike Milosh, now more so than ever. (Tash Walker)

Girls Names – ’25’
Taken from their upcoming new album, Belfast’s Girls Names’ new single ’25’ is a brooding, shoegaze-reminiscent sonic delight. Filled with sweeping, reverb strewn layers of synth-heavy sound and the dark, swooning vocals of Cathal Cully, it oozes a twinkling, ethereal haze alongside eerie undertones. An intensely captivating offering, it’ll have you hooked on first listen, and desperate to hear the album in full. Stains On Silence, the new album, is out 15th June. (ML)

Henry Green – ‘Another Light’ 
I recently reviewed Henry Green’s debut album Shift, and I felt like every track was a helpful reminder to inhale, exhale, and try to exist in the moment. His gentle electronics and intuitive lyrics have helped me to slow down (whilst still moving at full speed) this month, and I’d recommend him to anyone that needs a ‘Shift’ in perspective. (KC)

Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Magnets’
Keziah Stillwell’s vocals blaze in full glory on the mesmerising ‘Magnets’, which is a swirling fusion of bass, guitar & electronics that prove Black Gold Buffalo have a knack for writing atmospheric dark-pop songs. Their debut album is released today via their own label Buff Rekkids, and we’ve been swooning over it ever since. Read our review here(KC)

Lamb – ‘Gabriel’
I was recently reminded of Lamb after we put together our alternative Best of British playlist this week. Gabriel is a solid blast from my past taken from their album What Sound released back in 2001, which was my soundtrack of that summer.  Listening to Rhodes’ distinctive and emotive vocals wavering over the top of a medley of string samples and gentle beats, this song marks the beginning of my love for electronic music. 15 going on 16 and very sexually confused. All the feelings, all the emotions and all the hormones in the world. (TW)

Maria Kelly – ‘Small Talk’
Filled with smooth, celestial vocals and folk-tinged melodies, Irish artist Maria Kelly’s ‘Small Talk’ is a majestic, emotion-strewn offering. Written during a storm blackout in her hometown, the song parallels the nature of a storm with her own feelings of social anxiety. Double A-side ‘Small Talk’/’Dark Places’ is out 27th April via Veta Records. (ML)

Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’
Since I saw her live at The Islington pub a few months ago, Fenne Lily’s sad but sublime music has played on my mind (as has her sharp wit and dry sense of humour). ‘On Hold’ is the title-track from her debut album (released today), and it makes my spirits sink and soar whenever I listen to it. The accompanying video is a charming ode to small acts of kindness too. (KC)

Courtney Barnett – ‘Never Tear Us Apart (Rehearsal Room Recording)’
A beautiful stripped back cover of INXS’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by Courtney Barnett. I love this simple recording of her performance, finding myself completely entranced by our Aussie fav. This song was released for an Apple commercial in support of marriage equality – here here. (TW)

Sit Down – ‘Honeysucker’
Oh. My. Word. There’s no force on earth that could make you sit still or indeed Sit Down to the sound of this Brighton duo (pictured above). The pair released their knockout debut EP Cheap Luxe at the end of March, and ‘Honeysucker’ is my go-to track. Filthy, furious, and sweet as hell. Read the full review here(KC)

Queen Zee – ‘Victim Age’
It was Transgender Day of Visibility on 31st of March (thanks to Tash for informing me), so it feels apt to support Queen Zee and all that she and her band mates stand for. They’ve been taking down trolls and tearing up stages across the country with their live shows, and I can’t wait to see them again at their sold out Sebright Arms show on April 26th. Long live Queen Zee! (KC)

Dream Nails – ‘Vagina Police’
“Your body is not your own, you are public property…” Dream Nails front-woman Janey rages in the refrain of our favourite Feminist Punk Witches’ ‘Vagina Police’. Oozing the poignant message that women are not allowed to have control over their own bodies, it races with the band’s trademark punk-fuelled energy and the riotous power of Janey’s seething, impassioned vocals. Another formidable offering that proves once again why we need Dream Nails in our lives, and makes us even more excited to see them live at The Finsbury for GIHE on 13th April! (ML)

Tierra Whack – ‘Mumbo Jumbo’
A twisted reflection of mumble rap and hip-hop, I cannot get this song out of my head and I especially love the ambiguity around what she’s saying, making it so much easier for me to join in.  Quietly. Mumbo Jumbo came out last year but I was recently introduced to her in the wake of her outstanding performance at SXSW. Soooo godamnnnn gooood. Need I say more? (TW)

BARQ – ‘Sassy Mouth’ 
One half of their new double A-side, Dublin band BARQ’s ‘Sassy Mouth’ is inspired by the courage and resilience of Ireland’s Repeal The 8th movement and the perils of online debate. Oozing the soaring power of front-woman Jess Kav’s soulful vocals alongside immense funk-fuelled beats, it’s a powerful, and empowering, call to arms. (ML)

Track Of The Day: HAWK – ‘Can’t Explain’

As any avid follower of Get In Her Ears will be aware, we’re pretty besotted with everything Berlin-based HAWK create, and their latest single is no exception. Released as a AA side with accompanying track ‘Below’, ‘Can’t Explain’ is a wonderfully intense whirlwind of burning passion.

Somewhat heavier than past material, the track was written as a reaction to people’s ignorance and the power privilege has to erase the voices of those who need to be heard. Continuing HAWK’s track record of creating captivating soundscapes with an acute social awareness, ‘Can’t Explain’ oozes thrashing riffs and urgent beats, as the immense power of Julie Hawk’s soaring vocals builds the tension and drives it forwards with an empowering, impassioned splendour. Although perhaps more raucous in sound that previous offerings, the track loses none of the glorious, spellbinding beauty and enchanting grace that the band have become known for.

 

‘Can’t Explain’ once again proves why it’s vital that we have HAWK in our lives. Not only intent on creating rousing sonic delights, they are dedicated to raising awareness of pressing social issues, and bring them to the fore of all they do.

‘Can’t Explain’/’Below’ is out now via Veta Records. Listen on Spotify.

You also ought to check out Julie’s ‘Female Fronted Drawn Together’ playist, and make sure you don’t miss HAWK live at The Lexington tonight!

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles