Track Of The Day: Ideal host – ‘The Conflict’

“Confusion’s a ritual in the routine of the office” observes Ideal Host vocalist Heather Perkins over brooding riffs and post-punk inspired beats on the band’s latest single, ‘The Conflict’. Following on from their debut track ‘Dining Out In The Afterlife’, this latest offering is a more sardonic cacophony that explores the antagonistic nature of the everyday routine.

Led by Heather Perkins and Sean Hughes who are both former members of the band Slowcoaches, Ideal Host is their new project, inspired by the need to make music on their own terms. After Heather decided to step away from writing & recording in 2019, the pair have come back to work together and evolve their sound under their new moniker.

“I had reached a point where I felt restricted creatively, because I was often relying on other people to interpret my ideas,” Heather explains further. “Learning the skills I need to translate what is in my head into something tangible has been a real revelation. De-mystifying the basics of recording and having the option to experiment with both analogue and digital approaches has given me a much broader palette to work from. Sean and I have enjoyed taking a slower, more considered approach to making music this time.”

This consideration has helped to shape their two eclectic singles ‘Dining Out In The Afterlife’ and ‘The Conflict’, which Ideal Host recently performed during a live session for Marc Riley on BBC 6Music. The band are planning to release their debut album in early 2023 and will be playing a string of live dates too.

Listen to ‘The Conflict’ below.

Follow Ideal Host on Spotify and bandcamp

Artwork: Ryan Heath

Kate Crudgington

PLAYLIST: June 2018

We’re mid-way through 2018, and we’re ready to share another playlist packed with fresh new sounds for your very eager ears! Take some time to scroll through our track selections, hit play on the Spotify link below, and let your ears fill up with the glorious new sounds of June…

Fever Ray – ‘If I Had A Heart’
Fever Ray were one of the headliners of Field Day this year and it could not have been a better end to the festival, hypnotic beats, terrifyingly warped vocals and an explosive stage performance. Gender bending outfits, with reverberating sound all whipped up together by the psychedelic and endorphin inducing visuals. When this track started I lost my mind – wow wow wow. (Tash Walker)

Catgod – ‘Keep My Promises’
Lead by sibling duo Robin and Catherine, Catgod’s new single interweaves swirling folk-tinged melodies with trip-hop inspired beats. As Robin’s soaring vocals are perfectly complemented by Cat’s exquisite harmonies, it showcases the band’s unique musicality in a cinematic soundscape that’ll captivate on first listen. Heartbeat In My Hand, the debut EP from Catgod, is out 22nd June. (Mari Lane)

Dott – ‘Bleached Blonde’
Galway’s Dott have released the perfect single for girls who love sunshine, surfing, and super-catchy garage pop anthems. The track is taken from their upcoming album Heart Swell, which is set to be released via Graveface Records on 8th June. It’s not on Spotify yet, but you can watch the video for it below. (Kate Crudgington)

S4U – ‘Heart’
‘Heart’ is the latest single London-based duo S4U (Something For You) taken from their upcoming Mixtape Heart 2 Say, which will be released via Different Recordings on 6th July. Looking forward to that a lot… I’m loving S4U’s new low-slung R&B experimental electro with some heavy 90s influences. Of the track S4U says “Curved, Parallel conscious, sub conscious, the synergy of heart and mind generates wise choices that benefit all. In other words as you appreciate that which is appreciating you. It is a wonderful thing to hold someone as your object of attention while you feel that G force Roses in Britain” Lovely. (TW)

The Menstrual Cramps – ‘Make Girls Feel Good’
Combining activism with musical prowess, The Menstrual Cramps provide a captivating force that we all need now more than ever.  With their fist-clenching ferocity, racing catchy hooks and a tongue in cheek wit, they create truly infectious punk-rock anthems. And this track is no exception – an epic dose of empowering energy, with lyrics like “you always look like such perfection that you don’t even need to try”, it’ll leave you feeling good and ready to take on the world. And we CANNOT WAIT to see The Menstrual Cramps headline for us at The Finsbury on Friday(ML) 

Slowcoaches – ‘Found Down’
Having previously captured our hearts with the totally epic, anti-toxic-masculinity anthem ‘Complex’, Slowcoaches are back with a new single. Racing with a seething energy, ‘Found Down’ hits your ears with its scuzzy riffs and the raw, angst-driven vocals of Heather Perkins. Oozing an immense, punk-fuelled power, it’s a perfect blast of raging honesty that we need now more than ever. (ML)

Placebo – ‘Scared Of Girls’
I scored tickets to Placebo’s Meltdown gig at Southbank Centre (curated by Robert Smith) and although this will be the fourth time I’ve seen them (quit bragging Kate), my heart is still beating double time with joy at the prospect of potentially hearing this track live. I imagine this song title accurately describes how most men feel when they see me dancing to it on a night out… (KC)

The Joy Formidable – ‘Dance Of The Lotus’
This is the band responsible for getting me in to alternative music a decade ago, so when I heard new single ‘Dance Of The Lotus’, my inner 18 year old imploded. They’re playing Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival on the same day as NIN, and they’ll be playing at one of my favourite venues, The Lexington, in August. I missed out on tickets for both, so if anyone wants to help a girl out…I write good reviews… (KC)

Hilary Woods – ‘Inhaler’
‘Inhaler’ is the first single from Hilary Woods’ upcoming debut solo album Colt, which is set to be released via my favourite label Sacred Bones Records on 8th June. It’s a pensive, delicate, melancholy track about her struggles with homesickness, and it’s going to sound beautiful live when ringing out against the walls of St Pancras Old Church on 11th June. (KC)

VTR – ‘Soul To Skin’
‘Soul To Skin’ is taken from Brixton duo VTR’s recently released EP of the same name via Dream Diary. So sultry, so smooth, so seductive. This track reverberates around my ears giving me so much audible pleasure, very excited to hear more from these two in the future. (TW)

Barrie – ‘Tal Uno’
The new single from Brooklyn’s Barrie, ‘Tal Uno’ is filled with jangly hooks and swooning vocals, creating a totally dreamy, twinkling soundscape. As glistening synth-filled melodies glide alongside glitchy beats, it’s impossible not to float away in the shimmering, psychedelic haze that Barrie create. (ML)

ELA Lindsey – ‘Healing Me Slow’
This is the debut track from Nashville’s singer-songwriter ELA Lindsey who found her musical passion later in life starting at the age of 29. She says that by releasing this single she hopes to inspire other women to start their artistic journeys later than the typical industry standard usually allows. ‘Healing Me Slow’ has been firmly stuck in my head over the last couple of weeks, starting with her sweet and gentle vocals, then breaking down into this dark electro synth laden TUNE. With all the hooks and loops I could ever want. INTO IT. (TW)

Tigercats – ‘Candy’s Tailor’
Tigercats’ new single ‘Candy’s Tailor’ is filled with twinkling, jangly melodies and uptempo, calypso-like beats. Flowing with raw vocals and rich layers of sound, it’s an utterly uplifting summer anthem, and I’m already getting pretty excited about seeing these guys at Indietracks Festival next month! Pig City, the new album from Tigercats, is out now. (ML)

Nine Inch Nails – ‘Ringfinger’
I only discovered the true glory of NINs last year (always late to the party, when will I learn?) but I’m seeing Trent Reznor & co twice this month – at Meltdown Festival & The Royal Albert Hall – and I am nerve-shreddingly excited. ‘Ringfinger’ is one of my favourite tracks on 1989’s Pretty Hate Machine, and although they’re unlikely to play it live – I’ll still be bouncing off the walls in anticipation leading up to the gigs. (KC)

Photo Credit: Slowcaoches shot by Priti Shikotra

Track Of The Day: Slowcoaches – ‘Found Down’

A band after our own hearts, having shouted back against the injustice of harassment and toxic masculinity in the music industry on last year’s ‘Complex’, Slowcoaches continue their biting social commentary with new single ‘Found Down’.

Racing with a seething energy, ‘Found Down’ hits your ears with its scuzzy riffs and the raw, angst-driven vocals of Heather Perkins. Oozing an immense, punk-fuelled power, it’s a perfect blast of raging honesty that we need now more than ever.

Of the track, Perkins explains:

It’s about how the ‘struggle’ of the artist is glamorised by mainstream labels via the media in order to sell records… And it’s about how mundane and frustrating the day-to-day reality of that struggle can actually be, whether that’s mental, financial or something else.”


‘Found Down’ will be released as a 7″, backed by Misfits’ cover ‘Skulls’ on the B-side. Catch Slowcoaches live at the following dates:

27th May – UK @ Raw Power Festival, London
5th June – Green Door Store, Brighton
21st June – Chunk, Leeds
23rd June – Delicious Clam, Sheffied

Mari Lane

Photo Credit: Priti Shikotra

Interview: Slowcoaches

Like us Get In Her Ears girls – and most women in music – Slowcoaches bassist & vocalist Heather Perkins is pretty fucking sick of the pervasive misogyny inherent in the music industry today. Fortunately, her band and her voice provide a much-needed antidote to all the patriarchal nonsense we’re forced to stomach. We caught up with Heather to talk about Slowcoaches’ 2018 recording and touring plans, shouting back against sexism on Twitter, being appreciative of your band mates, and taking time to recognise and deal with your own mental health issues effectively…

Hello Heather! It’s the start of a brand new yearand we’re keen to know what’s in store for Slowcoaches. Can you tell us what’s coming up for the band in 2018?

I’ve been mainly writing our second album, which will come out this year. I’ve moved out of London and I’m writing back in the town I grew up in which is weird but also really refreshing. Its given me a new place mentally and physically to write from, which is always interesting. We have a new track coming out in a couple of months which I’m really excited about. We’re also planning a huge tour in a huge country for later in the year, and I’m so damn excited but I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say about that right now.

That sounds exciting! We saw your tweets about Bono’s Rolling Stone interview at the end of 2017, in which he brands new music “girly” and says hip-hop is the only place in music where men can express “rage”. Where were you when you first read his comments?

I don’t know where I was when I read it, but that’s because I read so much shit like this all the time now that it kind of becomes an everyday occurrence. I genuinely couldn’t give a shit what Bono thinks, but the things he says have such reach and they shape the opinions of his already small-minded but huge audience. He reflects an opinion that poses a huge problem to women in the music industry and the world in general, that’s what’s so frustrating about it.

We also saw that you’d been tweeting about the first release on Slaves’ new label ‘Girl Fight Records’ too?

Yeah. This is the first time in a while that I’ve let something like this really piss me off actually. It took me a whole day to totally get my head around why I was so angry about it, and I realised there were so many layers to the whole thing that I found offensive – both as a woman and as a woman musician. I think this is why:

Slaves are a band with a lot of influence. Their opinions and endorsements affect the way their audience perceives music and more widely, the way they perceive the world. So, they’ve chosen to start releasing music under the label name ‘Girl Fight’. That’s the first kicker. The phrase ‘Girl Fight’ denotes pettiness, weakness and bitchiness. It has sexual and comical connotations. And more often that not a ‘girl fight’ involves two women fighting over a man. Those two words have layers of negative connotations that reach beyond simply pitching women as enemies of each other.

This is a problem then, when coupled with the fact that their first release is by an all-white, all-male band called ‘Lady Bird’ (check! Two more references to the female gender) – a song about a ‘traditional geezer’ who’s having a bad time in Wetherspoons which is something that we can apparently ‘all identify with’ (except for anyone who isn’t a traditional geezer – hell, I don’t even know what a ‘traditional geezer’ is.) So that alienates all us un-traditional, un-geezer types.

Congratulations Slaves! You’ve created the epitome of a ‘lads club’ right there. Everything about this label and this release screams ‘punk rock is a boys gang and you’re not invited.’

Denoting women as enemies of each other whilst promoting and supporting maleness in punk music is the ultimate ‘fuck you’ to all women, female-identifying and LGBTQ individuals who are making music of this genre. They are reinforcing the idea that rock music is a boys game. And their audience will believe them.

But notice how both label and band use words referencing the female gender: girl, lady, bird. Its like, adding insult to injury. Not only are women banned from engaging or identifying with the content, they are referenced with the intent to both sneer at them, belittle them and use them as a decoration, a name, an aesthetic reference.

It’s really disappointing to see a band with such a big fanbase belittle women’s efforts in punk.

What inspires you when you’re writing new songs?

It’s taken me a while to get in to the routine of writing. It’s fun and frustrating in equal measure. I get really angry at myself really quickly, especially if I don’t feel like I’ve got a great idea within the first 3 minutes. I’ve spent a lot of time training myself to persevere through those initial few minutes of total shit. It’s like doing warm up before you go for a run.

I’ve also been forcing myself to sit down and just write for an hour or something every day. It’s easier the more you do it. It also teaches you about the best way to write. Like, for you. A few weeks in, I realised I was writing songs that I thought other people would like. And it just wasn’t working. So now I’m writing songs for myself and its all flowing more easily.

In terms of what inspires me, it can be anything at all. I often think about the live show and how songs translate to be experienced on a stage. I guess that’s the place I often start from.

You toured the UK in 2017 and you’ll be back on the road in 2018 too. Can you talk to us about the positive and negatives aspects of being on tour?

Our last tour was amazing. It was a pretty long trip and I learned a huge amount about myself and what I’m capable of and what I’m not.

I suffer from severe anxiety and panic disorder as well as a few other weird things including DPD (Depersonalisation Derealisation Disorder) that can make touring quite tricky for me. I basically got back and finally admitted to myself that I just can’t do some things in the same way as some other people can. Admitting that was a bit of a relief and now I know that I need to be stricter with myself and look after myself a lot better when we go away. Otherwise I’m making my life a hundred times harder than it needs to be.

I definitely couldn’t get through touring without Sean and Oliver and our awesome little team. Doing something so challenging can be a real confidence boost, but next time I want to be able to really enjoy myself.

Here at Get In Her Ears, we’ve noticed that bands and artists have been much more open about their struggles with poor mental health this year. Have you noticed this too? Do you think this open attitude will continue to prevail in 2018?

I hope so. I think music is so inextricably linked to emotion that it’s a great place for people to start to explore and identify and swap experiences.

Do you have any advice for new bands or artists who are concerned about their mental health?

A few things I learned whilst on tour:

Try to be open and honest with your band mates and crew. Don’t bottle things up. It only increases tension and anxiety.

Being around someone with a mental health issue can be as challenging as having one. You’re not expected to provide solutions, but it can help you and others if you’re explicit about what you need at any time. If you want to be alone, say so. If you want someone to sit and just hold your hand, say so. If there’s nothing anyone can do at that moment, say so.

Challenging yourself is good, but be realistic about what you can and can’t do. It’s ok to say “I don’t want to”. Having a few ground rules when you’re on tour is important. It doesn’t make you any less punk.

Good advice. As a new music blog, we’re always keen to hear about other people’s favourite new bands & artists. Who are you listening to at the moment?

I’ve just been listening to a great record that came out this year called LA Women, by a New Orleans band called Patsy. Nice gritty upbeat, catchy garage punk.

Finally, if you had to describe Slowcoaches’ music in three words: what would they be?

Infectious, vital noise.

Huge thanks to Heather for taking the time to answer our questions. Make sure you’re following Slowcoaches on Facebook to keep up to date with all their new releases.

Photo Credit: Priti Shikotra

Kate Crudgington