Albums Of The Year 2018

Despite being a pretty scary year in the grand scheme of things, 2018 has actually been exceptionally great for new music. Our ears have been filled with sonic delights of all genres, providing necessary catharsis and enjoyment. 

So, it was pretty hard to pick our favourite albums of 2018. But, from luscious indie-pop to thumping electro-punk and eerily dystopian soundscapes, here they are… 

Fightmilk – Not With That Attitude
Following utterly infectious singles such as ‘Pity Party’ and ‘Bank Of Mum And Dad’, this year GIHE faves Fightmilk signed to Reckless Yes and released their truly fantastic debut album Not With That Attitude. Delving deep into subject matter such as the end of relationships, summer crushes and the general feelings of anxiety that come with everyday living, each and every offering on Not With That Attitude is an angst-driven gem; a perfect antidote to life, with a nostalgic nod to the emotions of our younger selves.

I can safely say, although the album was only released last month, it’s been one of my most listened-to of 2018; I just can’t get enough of its luscious, punk-infused indie-pop gems. From the scuzzy tongue in cheek wit of anti-love song ‘4 Star Hotel’, and the jangly riffs and immensely catchy, silky smooth refrains of pop anthem ‘Dream Phone’, to the twinkling heartfelt splendour of personal favourite ‘Solving Crimes In Sweden’, there isn’t a dull moment to be found.

An utterly life-affirming, and completely addictive, collection, Not With That Attitude is not only one of my favourites of 2018, but will hold a special place in my heart for years to come.
(Mari Lane – Managing Editor/Co-Founder)

Gazelle Twin – Pastoral
A unique artist with razor sharp vision and uncompromising creativity; Gazelle Twin (aka Elizabeth Bernholz) combined glitchy beats, menacing samples and an uncanny new costume on her new album, Pastoral. Released via her own label Anti-Ghost Moon Ray, the record marked another transformation for the performer; this time she exhumed England’s “rotten past” and questioned its uncertain future.

I’ve been following Bernholz since the release of her sophomore record Unflesh in 2014, and between Motherhood and curating another two atmospheric records (2016’s Out Of Body & 2017’s audio/visual project Kingdom Come), she eventually released Pastoral – and it was totally worth the wait. Her altruistic style is one that can’t be mimicked – even though she herself is a master at adopting the traits of others, and transforming in to a new species of performer who offers brutality and intrigue in equal measure.
(Kate Crudgington – Features Editor/Co-Founder)

Anna Calvi – Hunter
Along with already being a massive fan of Anna Calvi’s music and eager to hear the follow up to One Breath, I wasn’t prepared for just how much I would love the new record. I’d like to say it’s just a personal thing. Mostly because I’m a writer and there’s a branch of us who only speak about how things make us feel (of which I’m one) but also because Hunter was, at its core, a queer and feminist record.

Hunter is the kind of album I would have given into l’appel du vide for as a teenager: a queer album by a queer artist I love, full of tracks bathed in the queer beauty of art. Of course, queerness is far from all the record is, but every track drips in it and its adjacence to the power of love and of sex and of raw, integral passion untouched by any hand and only feelings.

Because of that and the magnificence of tracks like “Wish” and “As a Man”, Hunter is undoubtedly my record of the year.
(Em Burfitt – Contributor)

Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth
Having marked them out as ‘Ones To Watch’ last year, it certainly seems that Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullinford – aka Sink Ya Teeth – have proved us right throughout 2018; this year has seen the Norwich duo receive acclaim from BBC 6 Music’s Steve LaMacq and The Guardian, support big names such as Chk Chk Chk and Eton Crop, and release their banger-filled debut album.

Filled with addictive, pulsating beats and ‘80s-inspired dance-pop hooks throughout, the album is an epic sonic journey from start to finish. From the pounding energy and funk-fused bass hooks of singles such as ‘Pushin’ and ‘If You See Me’, to the swirling, whirring soundscapes of ‘Glass’ and ‘Complicated’, each track is an utterly infectious slice of thumping electro-punk. And add Uzor’s smooth, soaring vocals to the mix, and what you have is something completely unique and truly exquisite.
(ML)

Haiku Salut – There Is No Elsewhere
For many it will be hard to imagine how an instrumental album can so clearly communicate a message, not just a feeling evoked by sound but a clarion call. On their third album Haiku Salut manage just this though – their most cohesive work to date There Is No Elsewhere is beautiful in sound and theme, as it reflects the dramatic landscape of their Derbyshire home and combats the societal narrative of division with a love-letter to togetherness.

The album moves their intricate and fascinating music on. Here we get a more deliberate and incredibly thoughtful play between analogue and electronic, a blurring of the line between musician and instrument as organic and digital interlock. Community is roused through the clever use of brass bands, while rhythms incite and encircle swells of feeling.

There Is No Elsewhere is a remarkable work from a band who should be considered a national treasure.
(Sarah Lay – Contributor)

TAYNE – Breathe
With a sound as distracting as the shade of pink that creator Matthew Sutton paints his lips with for their live shows; TAYNE’s debut album is a vital, abrasive, cathartic listen fuelled by abrasive synths and explosive pay-offs. TAYNE’s music is some of the most interesting and altruistic I’ve heard all year; blurring the lines between industrial, synth-pop, shoe-gaze and alternative; a visceral cacophony of synth textures and drum patterns, alongside Sutton’s hair-raising screams. It’s an emotional exorcism with a pop sheen, and I’m very glad it dropped in to my inbox at the beginning of this year.
(KC)

First Aid Kit – Ruins
It’s easy to dismiss ‘break-up albums’ as being forty minutes of wallowing in self-pity, however Ruins deals with the whole spectrum of emotions which comes with grieving a relationship without any of the bitterness – demonstrating a gentle strength which we can all relate to. Personal favourite ‘Rebel Heart’ introduces us to the darkness, before the uplifting harmonies of ‘It’s A Shame’ show the empowerment which comes with self-reflection, whilst the twinkling melodies of ‘Fireworks’ convey that common nostalgic, rose-tinted outlook with a chorus worthy of belting out in the shower.

If music reflects the journeys we all embark on in life then Ruins beautifully encapsulates the complexities of relationships. It reassures us that it is normal to feel a wide-range of emotions all at once – that it is okay to be vulnerable.
(Nicky Lee-Delisle – Contributor)

Hilary Woods – Colt
A contemplative, carefully crafted record which schools listeners in how to come undone: Hilary Woods’ debut album is an exquisitely painful exploration of grief, separation, and abandonment. The Dublin-based artist signed to altruistic label Sacred Bones to release her first full-length record, and the partnership is one I wholly approve of. Comfortably overlapping both acoustic and electronic genres, underneath all of Woods’ melancholy sounds there lurks a quiet power: a power that comes from being honest about genuine pain. When I saw her perform live at St. Pancras Old Church earlier this year, I was overwhelmed with emotion and felt too shy to approach her after the gig at the merch stand, where I bought a copy of her album. If I had, I definitely would’ve thanked her for making such a beautiful, rewarding record.
(KC)

Dream Wife – Dream Wife
It’s hard to find a band who have been as consistently brilliant in 2018 as Dream Wife, and their self-titled debut is a case in point. From Fall meets ESG psycho-drama ‘FUU’, high-school Stooges ‘Let’s Make Out’ and Toni Basil gone garage ‘Hey Heartbreaker’, you might think it’s all a blast. But the group can emote too – ‘Love Without Reason’, ‘Somebody’ and ‘Fire’ showing off their pop qualities. It’s all kept simple, and that’s Dream Wife’s genius.
(John McGovern – Contributor)

The Lovely Eggs – This Is Eggland
Ever since being completely blown away by The Lovely Eggs at Indietracks Festival this summer, I’ve been more or less obsessed with the Lancaster duo. Lucky enough to catch their utterly immersive set for a second time at The Scala this Autumn, I’ve had their This Is Eggland album pretty much on loop throughout 2018.

From the swirling, psychedelic cacophony of tracks such as ‘I Shouldn’t Have Said That’, to the uplifting lo-fi fuzz and anthemically catchy spirit of ‘Hello I Am Your Sun’ and ‘Wiggy Giggy’, the album oozes a frenzied, riotous energy and spiralling sense of urgency throughout. With Holly Ross’ blunt realism and scathing retorts to all the dickheads out there, The Lovely Eggs stand out as one of the most relevant bands around – echoing the feelings of the many, with their subtle social commentary and refreshing cynicism providing an apt accompaniment to the eccentric musicality of This Is Eggland.
(ML)

The Soft Moon – Criminal
The second Sacred Bones album to make my list this year is The Soft Moon’s Criminal. It’s a gripping, teeth-grinding, ultra-cathartic affair; and when heard live it’s a different beast entirely. I have all the time in the world for men who explore their mental states through the medium of music, and listening to Criminal feels like an exploration of this kind. The Soft Moon (aka Luis Vasquez) takes memories of childhood trauma, misplaced guilt and self-hatred, and allows himself to “cross the line” and produce a truly breath-taking collection of industrial, electronic soundscapes here. I’ve had ‘Burn’ on repeat all year long.
(KC)

Chorusgirl – Shimmer and Spin
Following 2015’s wonderful self-titled debut, this year GIHE faves Chorusgirl released their long-awaited new album Shimmer And Spin, and we couldn’t be happier for them. Chronicling a tense year, created during a period of crippling anxiety and a relentless string of bad luck and bad news, the new album is the result of immense hard work and dedication from Silvi, Faith, Udo and Michael. Of the writing process, Silvi explains: “There was barely a month without bad news on a personal and wider level, and at the end of that year, my anxiety started to spike badly. The album became a very important anchor. Every note and lyric were raked over and looked at twice; we were hacking and honing away at the songs for months, trying to craft some sort of sculpture of our state of mind.”

Despite oozing a darker undercurrent than previous offerings, Shimmer And Spin showcases Silvi’s distinctive, lush vocals throughout, as effervescent harmonies and impressive driving riffs flow, creating Chorusgirl’s utterly unique, shimmering sounds. From the sparkling garage-pop of tracks such as ‘No Goodbye’ and ‘In Dreams’ to the simply spine-tingling soaring emotion of personal highlight ‘Stuck’, this album – and the determination that went into creating it – showcases exactly why Chorusgirl are one of my favourite bands of the last few years.
(ML)

PLAYLIST: October 2018

The dark winter nights are creeping in, but our brand new October playlist is filled with bright, vibrant new sounds from a range of unusual and inspiring new artists. If our selections are anything to go by, the October 5th is THE date to release a record, and we’re excited to share our track selections with you. Take some time to scroll through our words and hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

Health (feat. Soccer Mommy) – ‘Mass Grave’
I’m obsessed with this new track from L.A. noise rockers HEALTH, which features the divine vocals of Soccer Mommy. Produced by Corin Roddick (Purity Ring), ‘Mass Grave’ is a haunting fusion of alarming synths, apathetic vocals and spaced out percussion. (Kate Crudgington)

Kill J – ‘Strange Fruits of the Sea’
Kill J’s latest offering tackles issues of immigration and racism, with a subtle nod to Billie Holiday’s  iconic ‘Strange Fruit’ (1939). Speaking about the track, Kill J explains: “It’s a protest song about boarders, walls, barbed wire fences, and people trying to survive on small boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While some people dream of just surviving their journey across the boarders, others dream of wealth and power at the expense of others”. I’m a big fan of Kill J’s defiance, which she explores through hypnotising electronics. ‘Strange Fruits of the Sea’ is taken from her upcoming album Superposition, released 5th October via Nettwerk. (KC)

Pip Blom – ‘Come Home’
Catchy AF, ‘Come Home’is the latest single from Amsterdam favourites of mine Pip Blom, taken from their upcoming EP Paycheck which is out on 5th October. I had the pleasure of seeing these guys support The Breeders earlier in the year at the Roundhouse, an abundance of energy and an abundance of hair. Catch them if you can, they’re playing all over the UK this November including The Lexington on the 22nd. (Tash Walker)

Big Joanie – ‘Fall Asleep’
‘Fall Asleep’ is the latest single from Get In Her Ears faves Big Joanie, I only heard this for this first time a week or so ago but it’s firmly got into my head.  They’ve recently announced their debut album Sistahs is going to be released this November by The Daydream Library Series, and I can’t wait to hear the record in full! (TW)

Gold Baby – ‘What Party?
Having charmed us with their with their twinkling charisma and catchy offerings live at The Finsbury, East London’s Gold Baby have now shared new single ‘What Party?’. Reflecting on self-induced boundaries and the limits we often place on ourselves, ‘What Party?’ is propelled by a scuzzy, sparkling energy. Catch Gold Baby live at The Shacklewell Arms on 5th October. (Mari Lane)

Mammoth Penguins – ‘When I Was Your Age’
Having finally been lucky enough to catch Cambridge-based Mammoth Penguins supporting Adult Mom at The Shacklewell Arms last week, my love of their 2015 album Hide and Seek has been freshly revived, and I once again cannot stop listening to it. Fronted by Emma (also known for playing bass for GIHE faves Suggested Friends, and being part of the wonderful Indietracks Festival team), live the band ooze an utterly infectious, shimmering energy, with a highlight being the highly relatable (and seemingly appropriate – it’s Emma’s birthday) ‘When I Was Your Age’. Reflecting on the common pressures of growing up and habits of people to constantly compare themselves to each other, it’s a twinkling slice of impassioned indie-pop, fitting perfectly into the band’s collection of dreamy, scuzzy, emotion-filled delights. A totally uplifting set that stands me in good stead for crying the night away (in a good way) to the lush sounds of Adult Mom. (ML)

Chorusgirl – ‘No Goodbye’
Following 2015’s wonderful self-titled debut, GIHE faves Chorusgirl have now announced their long-awaited new album Shimmer And Spin, and we couldn’t be happier for them. Taken from the album, new single ‘No Goodbye’ is filled with jangly hooks and sunny uplifting beats, despite perhaps a lingering dark undercurrent. As Silvi’s distinctive, lush vocals soar throughout, effervescent harmonies and impressive driving riffs flow, creating Chorusgirl’s utterly unique, shimmering sounds. Another truly dreamy slice of sparkling garage-pop, ‘No Goodbye’ proves that it’s impossible to listen to Chorusgirl and not feel instantly better. Shimmer And Spin, the upcoming new album from Chorusgirl, is out 16th November via Reckless Yes. (ML)

Praa – ‘Y’
This new single from Praa was released at the end of September, and it’s all about questioning our human connection with virtual relationships maintained via our screens. I think it’s a beautiful example of modern neo-soul. Thank you Praa. (TW)

Hazel Iris – ‘A Prince’
‘A Prince’ by classically trained Hazel Iris, is a totally enchanting piece of music, loaded with emotion and fusing classical, indie folk, and a bit of jazz. Her debut album Nine Sisters is due out on 26th October and she’ll be performing at St Batholomew-the-Great in Smithfield’s on the same date, which will no doubt be a mesmerising show. The track’s not up on Spotify just yet, but you can listen to it below (TW)

Ah! Kosmos – ‘June’
Taken from her new album Beautiful Swamp (due 5th October via Compost Records), ‘June’ is another example of Ah! Kosmos’ stunning ability to create powerful, rapturous soundscapes. Born in Istanbul and now based in Berlin, Ah! Kosmos (aka Başak Günak) is a sound designer, producer and multi-instrumentalist – and I can’t wait to review her new record for the website this week. (KC)

Aisha Badru – ‘Splintered’
Following the lush, enveloping sound of previous single ‘Bridges’, New York’s Aisha Badru returns to charm our ears with a sparkling new offering. A call for people to take control of their lives‘Splintered’ flows with the beautiful, sweeping splendour of Badru’s delicately emotion-strewn vocals. Oozing a majestic grace, alongside twinkling melodies and a soaring musicality, it’s filled with a raw emotion that’ll send shivers down the spine on first listen. Pendulum, the latest album from Aisha Badru, is out now. (ML)

Varley – ‘Lonely Were The Days’
Reflecting on the ever-growing demands of today’s society from the effects of social media and the pressure this puts on a whole generation to “be something”, ‘Lonely Were The Days’ is an instantly infectious slice of dreamy alt-pop from Berlin-based Varley. As pulsating beats propel the track alongside the shimmering splendour of front woman Claire-Ann’s vocals, a captivating soundscape is created, leaving you no choice but to bask in its glorious, glistening glow. Catch Varley playing for us live at Notting Hill Arts Club on 1st December alongside Alyss, Elsa Hewitt and Temples Of Youth! (ML)

Art School Girlfriend – ‘Distance (Blank)’
Art School Girlfriend is the moniker of producer & multi-instrumentalist Polly Mackey. Her latest single ‘Distance’ is taken from her recent EP Into The Blue Hour, which was influenced by her move from London to the seaside town of Margate. I love her calm vocals and subtle, yet grand use of synthesizers on this track. She makes being “in over [your] head” sound so, so appealing. (KC)

TAYNE – ‘Sacrifice’
This TAYNE track dropped in to my inbox in January, and it’s been swirling around my head ever since. I’ve also been singing the lyrics incorrectly for the last nine months (the chorus is “I want hope”, not “I want her” as I initially thought) – but I’m not going to let a blip like that stop me from praising this synth-laden, noise-pop gem. TAYNE are celebrating the release of their debut album Breathe at The Old Blue Last on Thursday 4th October (with support from Birthmarks & Volkova Sisters). It’s a free gig, and you can pick up a copy of the clear magenta vinyl (which features ‘Sacrifice’) on the night, ahead of its official release on 2nd November. Us Get In Her Ears girls will all be there, so we’ll see you at the bar! (RSVP here). (KC)

Track Of The Day: SEX CELLS – ‘Hell Is Where The Heart Is’

Dystopian visuals and moody synths permeate SEX CELLS debut single ‘Hell Is Where The Heart Is’. Described as “a mixture of Suicide, Psychic TV, and Art House sensibilities” SEX CELLS – aka Matt Kilda and Willow Vincent – fuse visual art and vicarious noise to create challenging new sounds.

The London-based synth duo will release ‘Hell Is Where The Heart Is’ as a double A-Side release, which will be available digitally & on limited edition 7″ vinyl on their own label, Pretty Ugly Records. Under the guidance of Raf.E and produced by Dave M. Allen (The Cure, Yassassin), the two songs will be accompanied by a series of surrealist artworks made by the band.

Formed in down-and-out circumstances, SEX CELLS were originally hobbyist promoters who ran monthly nights of live music and visual projections for experimental noise acts. After being ripped off in a house rental scam, the duo turned their anger in to music in a Peckham rehearsal room, documenting their desperation with a synth and house drum kit.

Since then, SEX CELLS have shared stages with bands such as Meatraffle, Madonnatron, The Rhythm Method, and HMLTD. They’ll be back on stage tonight (Aug 9th) at The Finsbury supporting noise-pop merchants TAYNE (Free gig: event details here).

Listen to ‘Hell Is Where The Heart Is’ below and follow SEX CELLS on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

INTERVIEW: Pillow Queens

After walking in circles following Google Maps trying to find The Irish Cultural Centre last Friday, I arrived to interview Dublin-based Pillow Queens before their gig for The Irish Jam. As I walked in to their dressing room, Guitarist/Bassist/Vocalist Sarah greeted me with: “Kate, you’re two minutes late! We were worried about ya!”. I cracked up, and was instantly calmed by her openness (and secretly impressed by her adherence to the clock). The conversation flowed effortlessly from there.

Pamela (Guitar/Bass/Vocals), Rachel (Drums/Vocals), Cathy (Guitar/Vocals) and Sarah were all friendly, funny, and super relaxed throughout the interview, and we chatted for what felt like no time at all about gigs, their recent EP release, and what it was like to be surrounded by dogs on the set for their recent music video ‘Favourite’ (Spoiler: it was a dream come true).

Hello Girls. You’re playing a gig for The Irish Jam at The Irish Cultural Centre in London tonight (Friday 16th), alongside Tayne, Video Blue & Delorentos. What are you anticipating from tonight’s show?

Cathy: Fame…

Sarah: …and inevitably fortune. Today’s the release of our new record (State Of The State) which is coincidental, but it’s a very big day for us. What are we anticipating?

Rachel: A bit of craic?

Cathy: Definitely a bit of craic. We’re also anticipating breaking all of the gear we borrow off the other bands.

Sarah: We haven’t brought anything with us. We’re sharing everything. Sharing, borrowing, stealing…

Cathy: I just showed up with a plectrum and was like “I’ve arrived!”

Pamela: I guess we’re anticipating more London fans as well?

Sounds cool. You’re also in town for St Patrick’s Day tomorrow too. What are your plans?

Pamela: We’re in Camden all day. We’ve got an acoustic set at Voodoo Rays, and then we’re playing the Dr Martens boot room.

Sounds like a good day. What would you be doing if you were back in Ireland?

Pamela: Staying. Away. From. Town. (laughs)

Oh really, is it that bad?

Pamela: It gets pretty hectic. Loads of the roads in and out of town are closed, so it’s hard to get anywhere. Usually on St Patrick’s Day I go to my friends house and we get all of his couches and we put them out in the back garden, and we take the TV out there too and we chill out and watch movies.

Cathy: Why, is it always sunny or something? (laughs)

It won’t be this year….the ‘Best From The East’ is back so it’s going to snow…

Congratulations on releasing your EP State Of The State today (16th)! How are you planning to celebrate the occasion?

Pamela: We’re probably going to be quite tame this evening because we have gigs tomorrow…

Sarah: We’re quite tame generally speaking though. Even last year when we were on tour, I was always like “alright girls, come on, time to go to bed!” (laughs)

Cathy: That didn’t mean that we weren’t hungover though…

Pamela: I didn’t drink for most of the tour really.

Rachel: What? How did I miss that?

You were drunk?

Cathy: (To Pamela) You did fall down the stairs though…

Pamela: Ughh yeah, I did do that. No wait, I fell up a step! I think we’ll just celebrate by having a good time, and hopefully making people buy our record.

Sarah: We sold our first one today! The record is so nice. You know when you see an album on your computer screen and you’re like “that looks like it could be amazing” and then you see it in real life, and it’s just like “Oh my God, it’s actually perfect”.

Pamela: They probably don’t have any songs on them or anything, but they look cool (laughs)

I’ll be grabbing one after your set this evening!

On a surface level, your songs are upbeat and catchy, but your lyrics touch on darker emotions like guilt, paranoia, and frustration about situations you’re trying to change. Do you think it’s important to take negatives emotions like this and turn them in to something positive? Is it a conscious decision you make when you’re writing new music?

Pamela: I know it’s something I definitely do, because I absolutely love writing pop songs. I love being like “d’ya know what? I’m gonna make people sing along to a song that’s actually really fucking sad”. That’s the way I’ve always done it. I love seeing people bobbing away and singing and being really happy, but if you actually listen to the lyrics, you’ll realise I’m dead inside (laughs)

That’s my favourite kind of music! It’s like you’re tricking people…

Pamela: Yeah definitely. I love listening to sad music as well, but sometimes I feel inclined not to listen to it just because it kind of puts you in to a warped sadness. You want to divulge when you’re sad, but you don’t want to get sad, so if I’m like that I’m sure other people are like that too. Which is why I want to trick them. So if you want to listen to a banger that will make you dance, well, I’ll give you that…but I will also give you all my emotional baggage too.

Nothing wrong with that. I’ll take the baggage. Do you each have a favourite song on the EP, or one that you’re most proud of?

Sarah: For me, it’s ‘Puppets’. I know that’s narcissistic because it’s the song that I sing on and it’s a song that I wrote, but for me it’s a song that I’d listen to even if it wasn’t by us. That’s probably because I find it to be really relatable, obviously, because I wrote it (laughs), but I think it was due to me learning song-writing techniques whilst being in the band.

It’s kind if like what Pamela was saying, where you take negative feelings and turn them in to a sing-along, it’s an empowering thing. That’s really attractive to me. When I listened back to ‘Puppets’ I was like “God, I was so sad when I wrote this, but now it sounds so happy” and that just feels great.

Cathy: I’d say ‘Puppets’ too, because I felt like it was the most challenging song, and we all went outside of our comfort zones a bit. I’m just so happy with every track on the EP, there’s nothing I would change.

Rachel: It’s really hard because I love them all, but it has to be ‘Favourite’. I’m sorry Sarah (laughs)

Sarah: It’s okay! it’s not a competition. If Pamela and I ever had any sense of rivalry, it would be about how much Vietnamese soup we could eat in one sitting, I don’t think it would ever be anything to do with song-writing. What’s your favourite song Pamela?

Pamela: It’s not actually one of my own, it’s ‘Cuckoo’. I learned how to play the bass on that track. It’s the first song where I felt like I’d played the bass really well…

Rachel: That’s it! It’s the sense of accomplishment within the band. All of the tracks for me are absolute bangers because they’re about the coming together of the band.

Rachel: That’s why I like ‘Favourite’ so much. I had a sound for it in my head, and we achieved exactly that sound. I listen back to it and I get goosebumps, I’m like “Wow, we are soooo good!” (laughs). Peter helped us to get that sound as well. He’s our friend and he produced it.

Pamela: He really captured what we were looking for, and I don’t even know whether knew that was the sound we wanted? But it turned out really well and I’m so proud of it.

That’s great. Speaking of favourites, the video you released for the track is brilliant. Talk us through how that came about…

Sarah: We love dogs. We really, really love dogs! We met with the Director (Bob Gallagher), but initially we were a bit worried about working with external people on videos because it’s kind of a personal thing. Pamela directed the video for ‘Rats’, so we all had an input. But as soon as we sat down with the Director, he didn’t want to go with a romantic element so he suggested a dog show…and we were like “that’s the most perfect thing you could say to us”…

Cathy: We didn’t need to hear his other ideas. We were just like “That’s it. We’re going with the dogs”.

Sarah: I was like “Do you need any help? I will be at all of the dog shows if you need me to be there!” and I was. 7am the day after Christmas? I was like “Let’s do this, my Mum’s gonna drop me over…” (laughs)

Pamela: I wasn’t sure how he was going to make the parts filmed at the dog show and the parts filmed with the actors be cohesive, but now I don’t think you can tell who are the actors and who are the normal people? There are some just, normal people who are acting like they’re mad, like, there’s someone who smacks her head with her mobile phone….

Rachel: Is she not an actor?!

Pamela: No!

Sarah: Straight after that scene there’s a bit where a guy who wins the dog show blows on a woman’s hair, and although he’s an actor, but that’s improvised!

Pamela: And when we were filming at the National Show Centre, two of the people didn’t have dogs. They were just running around pretending to hold leads!

Rachel: I wish you and Sarah had been pretending to be the dogs… (laughs)

That really would’ve been really impressive. The footage looks great though!

You’re back in London at The Sebright Arms on April 10th…

Sarah: Ohhh, is that how you pronounce it? We were like “Is it Seh-bright?”

I say it like it’s “See-bright”. I hope that’s right? It’s in Hackney…

Cathy: Hackney? I can’t wait!

It’s a great venue. I’ll be there!

Sarah: Will you be late again? (laughs)

I’ll never be late to anything again after tonight…

After London, you return to Ireland to close your tour by playing your biggest headline show to date at The Workman’s Club in Dublin. It must feel pretty good to be finishing the journey with that in mind? It’s a pretty long tour as well…

Pamela: It’s going to be great, but we’re also going to feel tired, and a bit shite, and we’ll be a bit smelly…but our fans will be there, they know how bad we smell. So it’s going to be great!

Cathy: Do you not have a shower in your own house? (laughs). We’ve sold a lot of tickets apparently, so it’s all good.

As a new music blog, we always ask bands what new music they’ve been listening to. Are there any new bands or artists that you can recommend to us?

Cathy: I’m listening to Totorro. They’re a math-rock band from Belgium (I think).

Sarah: I’ve been listening to a lot of Soccer Mommy.

ME TOO! I missed her show at Moth Club earlier this month…

Sarah: She’s touring again in September, and we’re like “please can we support you? That’d be amazing”. I found her on YouTube and there were all these live sessions and I just think she’s great.

Rachel: You all know what I’m going to say…

P/S/C: Ailbhe Reddy!

Rachel: I can’t help it! She’s an Irish artist and she’s great. She knows I’m obsessed with her. She’s savage. And Phoebe Bridgers. Strangers In The Alps is my album of the year.

Pamela: There’s an Irish folk band called Lankum that I’ve been listening to who are great.

I’ll have to check them out! Finally, what does the rest of 2018 hold for Pillow Queens?

Sarah: Jesus, we’ve no idea…

Pamela: Festivals!

Sarah: Yes, but we haven’t announced them yet. I’m always living in fear of them just changing their mind last minute and just being like “mmm, no”

Kathy: We can say that one of the festivals is in the UK, and one potentially in Europe…

Sarah: I never went to festivals growing up because it was too expensive, but now we get to go for free!

Cathy: We’ll have the craic at festivals, and then I think we need to write.

Sarah: We have new ideas that are being shaped, and we’re actually just discovering now how we write together. Now all four of us are contributing to every stage of the writing process, so we’ve got a lot of learning to do, but a lot of really fun learning to do as well.

Thanks so much to Pillow Queens for answering my questions. You can buy State Of The State here, and you can catch them on their upcoming UK & Ireland tour. Click here for more info.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

WATCH: Pillow Queens – ‘Favourite’

Can’t decide what you love more: dogs, or new music? Have no fear: Dublin’s Pillow Queens have shared a video to accompany their recent single ‘Favourite’, and it’s a perfect combination of the two.

The band have explained the concept behind their dog-tastic new offering: “[it] was borne from the artistic insights of the wonderful Bob Gallagher, combined with our sheer passion and fondness for all things canine. The idea was to bring to life a work which followed the retro look of old Antiques Roadshow episodes, and was heavily influenced by Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Best in Show, and 80’s prom portraits or, in the case of this particular video, “pawtraits” of dogs and their owners. The National Show centre was the setting for the video while the individual “pawtraits” were shot in All Out Design Studios and feature a mixture of friends of the band and doggo-loving volunteers.”

‘Favourite’ is taken from Pillow Queens’ forthcoming EP State of The State, which is set to be released via Bristol-based Specialist Subject Records on 16th March. The band will be touring the UK & Ireland to celebrate their new record, starting with a show at the Irish Cultural Centre on the 16th alongside Delorentos, Video Blue & Tayne (RSVP here).

Check out the video for ‘Favourite’ below.

PILLOW QUEENS UK & IRELAND 2018 TOUR DATES

March 16th – London, Irish Cultural Centre
April 5th – Galway, Roisin Dubh
April 7th – Cork, AMP
April 9th – Bristol, Hy Brasil
April 10th – London, Sebright Arms
April 11th – Guildford, The Boileroom
April 12th – Brighton, Prince Albert
April 13th – Leeds, Chunk
April 14th – Manchester, Night & Day
April 15th – Glasgow, GLAD Cafe
April 19th – Clonakilty, Debarras
April 20th – Limerick, Dolans
April 21st – Dublin, Workmans Club

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut