ALBUM: Harkin – ‘Harkin’

Armed with experiences from a life of touring and collaborations, Harkin has taken her first steps towards a solo journey with her eponymous LP. The album is set for release on 24th April via Hand Mirror, a new label set up by Harkin and her partner, poet & live arts organiser, Kate Leah Hewett.

Well known for being a touring member of Sleater-Kinney, Wild Beasts, and Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett; Harkin has teamed up with Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint) and Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak & Bon Iver) to help record her debut album – but this doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s all Harkin, through and through.

Opening with the booming guitar of ‘Mist on Glass’, Harkin is off to a powerful start as bold, sharp vocals carry through from one track to the next. The swagger of ‘Nothing the Night Can’t Change’ gives way to the softer sonics of ‘Decade’, before the first highlight of the 10-track production comes in the form of thumping beats and husky vocals of ‘Up To Speed’. Next track ‘Bristling’ follows the same path, with a soundscape of drums and guitar.

At the halfway point, ‘Dial It In’ passes by, followed by interlude ‘Red Virginia Creeper’ before the undeniable stand out track of the album breaks through. The foreboding, looming and brilliant ‘Sun Stay With Me’ is the beginning of an eerie mood that travels through the remaining tracks of the album. Penultimate offering ‘New France’ is soaked in reverb-ridden sonics, and spoken word-esque delivery, vibrating with a presence that’s felt even after the last notes fade.

Harkin closes with the ringing acoustic stylings of ‘Charm and Tedium’, with a razor sharp focus on Harkin’s raw vocals. Completed over 16 days dotted between Harkin’s gruelling tour schedule, Harkin is a collection of gritty but smooth songs that showcase a unique trajectory; combining the warmth of nostalgia, with the glitchy pace of the modern world.

Pre-order your copy of Harkin’s debut album here.
Follow Harkin on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Tomm Roeschlein

Malvika Padin
@malvika_padin26

FIVE FAVOURITES: Harkin

Multi-talented Harkin has been a touring musician since her teens, and in addition to her own bands, she has shared stages with the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Wild Beasts, Flock of Dimes, Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett. She’s now set to release her debut self-titled album on 24th April, via via Hand Mirror – a label she founded with her partner, poet & live arts organiser, Kate Leah Hewett.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Harkin to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that influenced her own writing techniques. Check out Harkin’s choices below, and scroll down to listen to her single ‘Dial It In’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Donna Summer – ‘State Of Independence’ (Extended Remix)
I’ve lived in London a couple of times, for Uni and then again around the time I started playing with Wild Beasts. I lived in a ground floor flat share with no living room and a galley kitchen, so we’d just hang out in each other’s bedrooms all the time. My flatmate had the 12” of this single and we’d put on the long b-side version and dance on her bed. That’s a feeling I come back again and again when I need to find some extra fuel for my fire.

2. Quack Quack – ‘Conversations’ (Live at The Brudenell Social Club) 
I feel so lucky to have grown up going to gigs at The Bru. Quack Quack were such an inspiration. Unquestionably virtuosic players, but it’s their passion that was so remarkable. Truly an alive live band.

3. Björk – ‘Crystalline’ (Jools Holland Live)
I feel the urge to listen to this song every winter as the cold creeps in. I saw one of the screenings she did of this album, it’s such a masterclass and was a real revelation for me as to how human electronic performances can be.

4. Ryuichi Sakamoto – ‘Forbidden Colours’ (Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence Soundtrack)
I discovered Sakamoto through a synthesiser compilation and there are a few different versions of this song, all wonderful. His melodies can inhabit so many different forms, it’s staggering.

5. David Axelrod – ‘The Mental Traveller’
I started recording my debut album in LA, and I listened to Axelrod a lot whilst driving around. I’d love to be able to sit in on one of those Capitol sessions from back in the day.

Thanks to Harkin for sharing her favourites with us. Follow her on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Tomm Roeschlein

Track Of The Day: Harkin – ‘Up To Speed’

Recorded with Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint) and Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak & Bon Iver), Harkin‘s latest single ‘Up To Speed’ is a rolling, atmospheric tune that tries to appreciate the feeling of “going nowhere fast”. The track is lifted from her self-titled debut album, which is set for release on 24th April via Hand Mirror.

“I was a pest” sings Harkin at the beginning of the song, over buoyant riffs and steady beats, exploring the feeling of what it means to be constantly on the move. It’s a feeling Harkin must be intensely familiar with, as in addition to her own bands, she’s been a touring member of bands such as Sleater-Kinney, Wild Beasts, Flock of Dimes, and Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett.

Speaking about ‘Up To Speed’, Harkin explains: “[It’s] a song about going nowhere fast. I’ve been on the move for a long time now and I know it’s been something of a coping mechanism. It’s easier to feel like a tourist somewhere you actually are one. It’s about trying to convert a desire to escape into genuine propulsion rather than just a sprint into the void.”

Listen to ‘Up To Speed’ below, and follow Harkin on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Tomm Roeschlein

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: March 2020

March has been a busy month for Get In Her Ears HQ! It’s Women’s History Month, and it was also International Women’s Day on the 8th; so we’ve continued to support the wxmen artists we love with regular reviews on our website, and a special IWD Playlist which you can listen to here.

Sofar Sounds kindly invited us to curate their IWD gig in Hackney too; which Indian Queens, Amahla, and Beckie Margaret all graciously agreed to play for us. We’ve barely stopped for breath, and we’ve got more exciting new music to share over the next few weeks. Take some time to scroll through our track choices for our March playlist below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

 

Sink Ya Teeth – ‘The Hot House’
Fresh from their excellent second album aptly named Two, Sink Ya Teeth’s singleThe Hot House’ and the accompanying video features footage shot by the band and audience members at their recent show in Oxford (check it out here). I am SO happy that I’ve got another heavy helping from the Norwich duo to soundtrack the upcoming warmer months. A time where post-punk, and deep house and I really get back into the swing of things. Sink Ya Teeth thank you, thank you! (Tash Walker)

Sleater-Kinney – ‘Hurry On Home’
I have not stopped singing this since us GIHE girls saw Sleater-Kinney live at Brixton Academy a few weeks ago. Their latest album The Center Won’t Hold is such a tonic, and their performance was certainly a gig-life highlight for all of us. (Kate Crudgington)

Noga Erez – ‘VIEWS’
The inimitable Noga Erez stylishly explores the absurdity of paying for exposure on social media on her brand new track, ‘VIEWS’. Collaborating with her partner Ori Rousso, and LA-based hip-hop artist Reo Cragun, Erez effortlessly commands attention in the striking video that accompanies the single. The Tel-Aviv musician’s clear vocals glide over slick beats and pop hooks to create an infectiously powerful anti-fakeness anthem. (KC)

Taquirah – ‘Feel’
‘Feel’ is the latest single from Taquirah, a performance artist form Illinois currently living in Brooklyn. I cannot get this track’s addictive beats and R&B melodies out of my head. I’m obsessed. Taquirah recently released a video for her track ‘Rush’ choreographed and performed by herself, in line with her focus on creating performance art pieces that fuse ballet with hip hop culture. Keep your eyes peeled for Taquirah’s debut project Divine, coming soon. (TW)

Belako – ‘Tie Me Up’
Having previously blown me away with their immersive live show supporting Queens Of The Stone Age in Finsbury Park last year, Basque Country band Belako have now shared new single ‘Tie Me Up’. Filled with gritty, swooning vocals and immense swirling hooks, it’s a super catchy alt-rock anthem showcasing the poignant raw power and majestic musicality that this Spanish band are capable of creating. (Mari Lane)

CLT DRP – ‘Where The Boys Are’
An anthem of self-realisation and new found confidence, ‘Where The Boys Are’ from Brighton-based CLT DRP oozes their immense raging passion in a seething blast of poignant, swirling electro-punk. Commenting on the track, front-woman Annie Dorrett says: “It’s a love song to some of my favourite female artists, a big thank you to my mom for being such a powerhouse and lastly a big f*ck you to all the TERFS out there spreading hate. It’s also just a really playful song to perform with the band, you get a lot of different elements of our sound all jammed into one piece.” CLT DRP’s upcoming debut album Without The Eyes, is out 15th May via Small Pond Records. (ML)

THICK – ‘Mansplain’
A cathartic, witty, guitar driven take-down of the men who undermine women in bands (and women in general), Brooklyn punk trio THICK’s single ‘Mansplain’ will resonate with women and girls who have struggled to be taken seriously on, and off stage. The track is lifted from their debut album 5 Years Behind, which is out now. (KC)

New Pagans – ‘Admire’
I first heard New Pagans whilst listening to The Irish Jam, and I quickly became fascinated by the Belfast band’s genre-bending sounds. Their debut EP Glacial Erratic is a poignant collection of tracks that explore issues of frustration, defiance, and resolution. ‘Admire’ is a personal favourite. It’s a humble, shimmering ode to the perseverance that’s needed to keep a long-term relationship going. (KC)

Why Bonnie – ‘Voice Box’
Oozing sunny uplifting vibes as shimmering hooks and Blair Howerton’s rich, luscious vocals flow with a soaring emotion, Why Bonnie’s ‘Voice Box’ has shades of the twinkling surf-rock of the likes of Alvvays or Best Coast, creating a truly dreamy offering fuzzing with a dazzling, effervescent charm. Voice Box, the upcoming EP from Why Bonnie, is out 10th April via Fat Possum Records. (ML) 

Ghost Car – ‘Virginia & Vita’
Released at the end of last year, ‘Virginia & Vita’ is a perfect example of all there is to love about Ghost Car. Oozing their scuzzy, quirky bubblegum indie-pop sounds, it’s propelled by eerie synth-driven hooks, soaring honey-sweet vocals and their trademark stirring, whirring theramin-soaked fuzz. I cannot wait to catch this totally unique band headline for us this Friday at The Finsbury! As always, FREE entry, event details here. (ML)

Indian Queens – ‘Bubblewrap’
Hackney trio Indian Queens headlined our International Women’s Day gig (in partnership with Sofar Sounds) at the weekend, and we were captivated by their stripped back set. The talented Amahla & Beckie Margaret also shared the bill, and Girls Against were on hand to  help raise awareness of the issues that female musicians & fans often face. This IQ track is a beguiling lament about the state of the planet, and it’s taken from their debut album God Is A Woman, which is set for release via Cool Thing Records on 3rd April. (KC)

Laura Gray – ‘Break, Drift’
‘Break, Drift’ is the first release from Laura Gray’s upcoming EP Better Lighting. Gentle vocals and dreamy synths all mixed together with pulsating beats. I think we could all do with a little more saxophone in our life. Check out the video for ‘Break, Drift’ here. (TW)

A.A. Williams – ‘Cold’
A.A. Williams is set to play her first headline gig at Southbank Centre in the Purcell Room on Thursday 12th March, and I’m excited to hear her dark, atmospheric sounds in the flesh for the first time. (tickets are available here). (KC)

Otta – ‘Near Enough A Woman’
I cannot get enough of Otta! Their new music is seeping so perfectly into my ears, it’s what I’ve been craving for so long and didn’t realise. This is one of their latest singles taken from the freshly released debut EP after it all blew over, which is sublime. Delivering the perfect combination and concoction of electronic, UK jazz, new soul and RnB. (TW)

Okay Kaya – ‘Insert Generic Name’
Okay Kaya who hails from Norway has been a firm fave of mine since I heard her debut Both, released back in 2018. I got to catch her on 4th March at SET in Dalston which was a total pleasure, she’s back again in May at Hoxton Hall so if you can, grab yourself some tickets. ‘Insert Generic Name’ is taken from her recently released and equally fantastic album Watch This Liquid Pour Itself, another incredibly intimate record of self-reflection via boldly honest, exposing lyrics which are delivered with bone dry with wit. One of my albums of 2020, without a doubt. (TW)

Bugeye – ‘Don’t Stop’
The latest single from friends of GIHE, Bugeye, ‘Don’t Stop’ is filled with swirling scuzzy hooks and the band’s trademark impassioned fiery attitude. Complete with whirring synth-driven refrains, it’s a frenzied slice of catchy disco-punk, showcasing the band’s utterly unique vibrant sound. ‘Don’t Stop’ is produced by Paul Tipler and is out now. You can catch Bugeye live on tour this month – check out their Facebook page for details. (Mari Lane) 

Lady Gaga – ‘Stupid Love’
Get me a pink wig and a metallic bikini, because I’m moving to Chromatica to live with Lady Gaga (see the ‘Stupid Love’ video here). I am SO excited to hear her new album (released on 10th April). I hope it’s bursting with electro-pop bangers like this one, and that all of her future videos are just as Power-Ranger-esque. (KC)