Rookes Launches New YouTube Series #PopNotPop

Pop music is one of life’s greatest wonders — so why does it stress us out so much? That’s one of the questions singer-songwriter and GIHE fave Rookes is trying to answer in #popnotpop, a new YouTube series that explores her volatile and complex relationship with pop music.

And there’s good news if one of your hang-ups on pop is its reliance on smoke and mirrors, because Pop Not Pop also chronicles the creation of Rookes’ debut album, a no-holds-barred and winningly transparent move that’ll allow fans a glimpse of the creative process. Rookes explains: “As well as seeing me reveal my secrets as a pop artist who doesn’t in fact always love pop music, you’ll be able to watch me make a pop record in real time.”

The honesty of #popnotpop will come as no surprise to anyone who’s heard Rookes’ EPs Liminal and The Game And The River, which won fans with their lyrical directness and fearless exploration of queer-female identity. In Episode One, Rookes ponders her past relationship with pop, from initial engagement as a kid, through an off-and-on relationship through her teens, then into adult life and the realisation that for all her resistance over the years, she’s become a ‘pop’ artist herself. And a rather good one, as it turns out.

And, what better time to have a new bit of insightful and fun-filled music-related YouTube content… ?!

Check out all the #PopNotPop episodes so far below:

And if, like us, you’re a big fan of Rookes’ own shimmering alt-pop sounds, check out her recent poignant video for single ‘Liminal’ below and listen to the EP of the same name on all online platforms now.

EP: Rookes – ‘Liminal’

Rookes is a solo electro-pop project based in London. She has just released her second EP, Liminal, using ’80s synth sounds as a frame for her powerful voice, reminiscent of the best of the Eurythmics or Yazoo. This sets the scene for a four track EP, in which Rookes explores her own love experiences during two years of exploration of her queer identity across the London dating scene. 

‘Salvage’ is a slow, shimmering start dealing with post-breakup feelings, becoming more urgent and uptempo with the chorus, whereas ‘New Lovers’ has an eerie ’80s feel, with spiralling synths. However, the synths gain a harder edge as the song goes on, expressing the fear of a dangerous love (“do me no harm”). 

Lead single, ‘Liminal’, is catchy and poppier, where a lover is asked to take a romantic risk; suggesting both hope and caution, it’s a beautifully uplifting ballad. ‘Constellations’, however, closes the EP on a poetic note, oozing a dreamy warmth alongside soaring strings and shimmering synths.

This EP is polished, dramatic, and features intriguing songwriting. And you can dance to it! The emotions and experiences are completely relatable in songs centred on looking for love; finding it (but not being ready), and then losing it again. A stirring collection that will leave you wanting more of Rookes’ glistening soundscapes. 

Liminal is out now. Stream on all online platforms.

Fi Ni Aicead
@gotnomoniker

Premiere: Party Fears – ‘Dog Star’ (Rookes Remix)

What better news of a Thursday than to find out that two of your favourite artists have teamed up for an epic new release… ? And that’s the case today, as we have the honour of sharing the brand new remix of Party Fears‘ track ‘Dog Star’, by electro pioneer Rookes.

With eight years’ live experience under her belt (including two gigs for yours truly!), Rookes is set to release her second EP Liminal later this year, and is known for creating immersive electro-pop soundscapes. Party Fears have also wowed us live, and initially formed in South Korea by Irish native Maggie Devlin. Now Berlin based with co-founder Eilis Frawley, they continue to create their unique, jangling art-pop sounds.

This latest edition of ‘Dog Star’ oozes whirring, glitchy hooks and luscious layers of sound, creating a sweeping, glistening soundscape complete with throbbing bass-lines and showcasing the allure of Devlin’s captivating vocals. Interweaving a range of sonic elements to create an anthemic, majestic wall of sound, the remix adds an eerie, propulsive energy to the already soaring power of the original, leaving you utterly spellbound.

Listen to Rookes’ remix of ‘Dog Star’, for the first time, here:

 

‘Dog Star’ is out tomorrow 16th August. Make sure you also keep an ear out for Rookes’ upcoming EP, Liminal, and Party Fears’ next single ‘Ok. No Problem’, set for release in early Autumn.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

 

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Crumbs, 10.05.19

Following a host of amazing bands playing for us lately, including Mammoth Penguins, ARXX, Wolf Girl, Sit Down and Fightmilk, we were back at The Finsbury on Friday with another dream of a line-up, for a jam-packed night of the best new music from awesome womxn.

Kicking things off is Birmingham born, London-based artist Rookes. Oozing a sparkling, magnetising charisma, she takes full command of the stage, delivering her electro-infused anthemic pop, as the subtle power of her shimmering vocals flows into our ears.

Next up, London duo Sophie Peacock and Natalie Healey – aka Panic Pocket – treat our ears to their twinkling indie-pop. Interspersing each uplifting ditty with charming cat-filled tales, it’s impossible not to be instantly cheered whilst singing along to their infectious, synth-filled melodies and refreshing, tongue-in-cheek wit.

Having not seen third band of the night live before, I was not prepared for just how intoxicatingly powerful Charismatic Megafauna‘s performance would be. Delivering their unique, percussion-filled electro-punk, all-the-while swapping instruments, they blast out empowering, patriarchy-smashing anthems, covering topics from sexual abuse, to diet foods and female ejaculation. Completely breathtaking.

Headliners Crumbs continue to wow the packed-out venue with their fiery post-punk. With funk-fused basslines, scuzzy hooks and impassioned vocals, they ooze a gritty, buoyant power which has the whole crowd buzzing and bouncing with enthused energy.

Massive thanks to the four bands and artists who played for us on Friday; you were all absolutely incredible. It was such a great night filled with amazing live music and the best of vibes! And make sure you don’t miss our next night at The Finsbury on 14th June with headliners CLT DRP.

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles