Five Favourites (Drummers): Eilis Frawley

We’ve been big fans of Berlin-based classically trained percussionist Eilis Frawley for some time now, especially since she took our breath away playing live for us at Notting Hill Arts Club last year. With recent single ‘Stats’, she offered arresting beats set against bold, Krautrock-infused spoken word, as the lyrics addressed hard-hitting stats, highlighting the everyday injustices facing women today. Tackling issues such as period poverty, FGM, domestic violence and other vital issues, it’s a beautifully striking and necessary listen. As is the entirety of her just released EP Adult Life

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. So, we caught up with Eilis to discuss the five (well, six, actually!) drummers that inspire her the most.

Here are 6 of my favourite drummers/percussionists, all from different scenes with totally different playing styles but all 100% owning what they do.

Fleur Green
Fleur Green was my first percussion teacher, when I was 16. She was tough, in the best way. I spent just one year learning from her before she moved abroad, but I’ll never forget her discipline, especially to her own artistic practice. She led by example and was highly committed with a no bullshit attitude. From the very beginning she instilled in me a diligence towards music I’ve carried through the years. She’s such an inspiration. She’s back in Adelaide now and performs under Fleur Green.

Chi Fukami Taylor
Chi Fukami Taylor was the first female drummer I saw perform on a big stage – and she completely nailed it. It was 2007 and she played with The Go! Team at Falls festival in Victoria. She had so much groove, and it was the first time I witnessed someone playing drums and singing. I’m still shocked people can sing in tune and play drums, that’s alot of brain power.

Seol Kim
Seol Kim – Known as Snow is one half of Oh Chill (57) from Seoul. I had the pleasure of sharing the bill with her multiple times in Seoul and also in Berlin. Snow does not mess around. Another singing drummer, she’s a hard hitter, her timing is impeccable and her grooves always leaving you wanting more. She’ll keep you on your toes.

Sara Neidorf
Sara is a Berlin drummer. We share the same practice space, and no-one sounds like her. You always know when she’s in the building. Her fills are outta control. She’s fast, dynamic and playful. She’s involved in scenes I’m not too familiar with but hearing her play alone is already a treat! Aptera is one of her projects I’ve seen live, and wow the skill! Highly recommend looking into what she’s doing, especially if you’re into heavier music.

Valentina Magaletti
Valentina Magaletti is the only person on this list who I haven’t met, or seen play live, BUT I’m so impressed by her playing, she crosses over so perfectly from pop drummer to experimental percussion wizard. She’s behind so many great projects but I recently discovered Tomaga and it’s a total stand out! Go listen to them.

Mindy Abovitz
Mindy Abovitz has to be on this list as well, for not only pursuing drums as a self taught drummer, but for creating TomTom Mag, connecting female* drummers all over the world and changing the media representation of drummers. She’s outstanding.

Massive thanks to Eilis for sharing her choices with us!

Adult Life, the new EP from Eilis Frawley, is out now via Reckless Yes. Listen now. And watch the recent video for the poignant ‘Stats’ here:

Photo Credit: Janina Gallert

PLAYLIST: March 2018

England’s finally defrosting after the visit from ‘The Beast From The East’, and us Get In Her Ears girls are ready to embrace the springtime. To get us in the mood, we’ve compiled our favourite new March tunes in to one fresh playlist. Check out why we’re loving what we’re loving below, and click on the playlist at the bottom to hear it for yourself…

Soccer Mommy – ‘Your Dog’
Soccer Mommy has a gift for exploring frustration and insecurity through laid-back vocals and melodic guitar, and ‘Your Dog’ is a sublime example of this. Her frank admission of “I don’t wanna be your fucking dog” is a cathartic, emotional uprising against neglect, that seethes and soothes in equal measure. I’ve been singing it obnoxiously loud since she released her debut album Clean earlier this month. (Kate Crudgington)

Skating Polly – ‘Queen For A Day’
Taken from their upcoming album The Make It All Show, and featuring guest vocals from Exene Cervenka (from seminal punk band X), Skating Polly’s new single interweaves scathing vocals with lush harmonies, exuding the sibling trio’s trademark seething energy and understated subtle power. Once again marking themselves out as going against the grain, with ‘Queen For A Day’ Skating Polly deliver an empowering sentiment, uniting anyone who doesn’t want to coincide with the confines of society’s limitations. (Mari Lane)

Pillow Queens – ‘Favourite’
The brilliantly named Pillow Queens released a new video to accompany their track ‘Favourite’ last week, and it features some dodgy goings on at a dog show. I’m excited to catch the Dublin band at The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith on the 16th, alongside Delorentos, Video Blue and Tayne. Check out the Facebook event for more details. (KC)

Alex Rushfirth – ‘I Live It’
Infections and frenzied, ‘I Live It’ has to be my most played track from the last couple of weeks. Of the track, Rushfirth explains “I made the whole thing in my bedroom in a trance.” Warping the vocals to sound like they’re “being sung by an excitable small child” and that’s exactly how this song makes me feel…so heady, so feverish, so goddamn catchy. (Tash Walker)

ARXX – ‘Stuck On You’ 
New favourite band ARXX have previously completely blown us away with their immense, seething energy when playing for us live at The Finsbury a couple of months back. And now they’ve just released their fantastic, and totally addictive new EP. Entitled Daughters Of Daughters, as it’s been put together as a tribute to the music that Hannah Pidduck was brought up on by her Mother, it draws on an eclectic range of influences, and a variety of subject matter.

Taking a break from the riotous, punk-infused power of tracks such as ‘Moments At A Time’ and ‘Intervention’, ‘Stuck On You’ oozes a lush, country-pop romanticism as the soaring passion of Pidduck’s vocals flow, creating an instantly infectious, heartbreakingly catchy love song. (ML) 

Heka – ‘Did You See The Sunrise’
Heka was our guest on our first Get In Her Ears radio show of March, and we were lucky enough to have her perform this track live in the studio. ‘Did You See The Sunrise’ is so intimate and beautiful, with such strong searching vocals…described as “thoughts whispered to friends in dim lit rooms”. Mesmerising. (TW)

Amber Mark – ‘S P A C E’
This track is taken from Amber Mark’s 2017 EP 3.33am, which is about losing her Mother in 2013 and the stages of grief. ‘S P A C E’, the song that got her noticed, is just so enjoyable, rhythmic and about something we can all relate to but often find it so hard to articulate in this over connected, communication driven world. (TW)

Alice Bag – ’77’ 
If you need something inspiring to motivate you during these ridiculously cold, and depressingly dark times, then look no further. Punk legend Alice Bag has brought together a dream team if ever there was one – Riot Grrrl queens Kathleen Hanna and Allison Wolfe, plus an appearance from Shirley Manson – to bring us the perfect angst-driven anthem. Raging against the gender pay gap, it’s filled with seething, punk-driven riffs and is an empowering, inspiring call to arms to unite against the patriarchy and make the changes needed for equality, in the workplace and beyond. As Bag poignantly sneers “… don’t pretend that we’re paid equal… You wrote the script / But I’m writing the sequel.” (ML)

The Go! Team – ‘Huddle Formation’ 
Though the last couple of months have been largely filled with cold, dark days and a distinct desire to hibernate, seeing The Go! Team live a couple of weeks back breathed a new lease of life into me; their sunny charisma and vibrant energy brightening the mood like nothing else.

Although the band’s whole set at Camden’s Electric Ballroom was an utter joy to behold, and I was completely immersed in their infectious, jubilant sound throughout, the highlight of the night came in the form of Thunder, Lightning, Strike’s ‘Huddle Formation’. Splitting the huge crowd into two sides, magnificent front-woman Ninja lead the way as we all sung our hearts out to the chorus, and a wave of sparkling euphoria filled the venue. (ML) 

Big Thief – ‘Shark Smile’
Released back in 2017, ‘Shark Smile’ by Brooklyn’s Big Thief has only just popped up on my radar with its cruising, slow story telling indie lilts. A song about two lovers driving down a highway where only one survives a crash, ‘Shark Smile’ sways from intense descriptions of oxygen kisses to the welcome predictability of the steady drum, guitar laden chorus. I’m loving this tragic tale which feels somewhat strangely comforting. (TW)

Mesadorm – ‘Yours And Not Yours’
Taken from Mesadorm’s forthcoming album Heterogaster, ‘Yours And Not Yours’ explores an intense sense of doubt, both internally and externally – ricocheting between security and unease with the help of a dirty synth line and urgent, rich vocals. I’m totally hooked on it. (KC)

Divide & Dissolve – ‘Abomination’
Divide & Dissolve’s second album Abomination is a sonic force to be reckoned with. The Melbourne-based duo curate heavy-instrumentals designed to “decolonize, dismantle white supremacy, and empower people of color & Indigenous people”. This is the opening track on the record, and it’s an intense five minutes and fifty seconds of unnerving riffs and ceaseless cymbals, crashing together to form a desolate but powerful soundscape. It’s instrumentalist activism that seeks to disrupt the norm – and I love it. (KC)

Track Of The Day: Skating Polly (feat. Exene Cervenka) – ‘Queen For A Day’

Following 2013’s  Lost Wonderfuls, 2016’s The Big Fit, and last year’s New Trick EP, sibling punk-rock trio Skating Polly are now ready to release a brand new album. Marking themselves out as favourites when we caught them a couple of years back, putting on an immense live set at The Lock Tavern, Kelli and Peyton have since recruited Curtis on drums, to create an even bigger, high-octane sound.

Taken from the upcoming album, and featuring guest vocals from Exene Cervenka (from seminal punk band X), ‘Queen For A Day’ builds as honey-sweet melodies develop into a gritty climax of whirring, raging hooks and raw emotion. As scathing vocals are interweaved with lush harmonies, the trio exude their trademark seething energy and understated subtle power. Once again marking themselves out as going against the grain, with ‘Queen For A Day’ Skating Polly deliver an empowering sentiment, uniting anyone who doesn’t want to coincide with the confines of society’s limitations.

Accompanying ‘Queen For A Day’ is a tongue-in-cheek new video, Kelli Mayo explains:

“The lyrics for this song came from a conversation we had backstage with Exene about the old game show ‘Queen For A Day’.. The premise of the show was that women with tragic stories (sick children, dead husbands, poverty, etc) would compete against each other for applause from the audience… Months after this conversation Exene sent me lyrics in a text and we wrote the song around them. She’s singing on the second and third choruses too. We wanted the video to emulate the old show but also look like it was directed by John Waters.

The Make It All Show, the new album from Skating Polly,, is out 11th May via El Camino Media. And Skating Polly will be supporting The Go! Team on a number of US tour dates (what a line up!).

Mari Lane

LIVE: The Go! Team @ Electric Ballroom, 15.02.18

Skipping dinner in order to catch Berlin band Gurr supporting The Go! Team at Camden’s Electric Ballroom is certainly worth it (and Guinness is a meal in a glass anyway, right…?). Kicking off the night with their sweeping, grunge-infused ‘Gurrlcore’ sound, they charm the crowd with their energy-filled offerings and endearing between-song wit. With a mosh-inducing set of racing tracks including last year’s single ‘#1985’ – “Who here is over 30?… This one’s for you. We’re not yet 30, but we’re sure you can still be cool when you’re 30” (thanks guys) – they ooze a raucous musicality and buoyant joy. The perfect introduction to the night’s main act.

And then it’s time. The excitement I’ve been feeling over the last couple of weeks to finally catch The Go! Team (a band who’ve been successfully putting a smile on my face since their 2004 debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike) has reached its climax as the extensive band take to the stage.

Opening the set with the racing energy of ‘Flashlight Fight’ from 2007’s Proof Of Youth, front-woman Ninja takes a minute to greet the completely sold-out venue: “5 frickin’ albums! Who’s been with us since the beginning…? You must be old!” – the second reminder of my age of the night, but all is forgiven as she bounds with gusto into the swirling cacophony of recent single ‘Mayday’. And then onto perhaps the band’s most famous track, ‘Ladyflash’; reminded of the first time I fell in love with The Go! Team’s utterly joy-filled, musically rich splendour, I’m giddy with glee as brass melodies are blasted out alongside pumping beats and an immense, contagious energy.

Interweaving these intense, buoyant offerings with the honey-sweet pop sounds of the likes of ‘The Answer’s No – Now What’s The Question?’ and ‘Chain Link Fence’, we’re treated to Kaori Tsuchida’s luscious vocals and twinkling musicality as we take a breather before the next hit of rapturous energy.

As the band continue to instrument-swap, the crowd can’t help but be swept up by their infectious, jubilant sound and join in at every opportunity. From the “Yeah!”s of ‘Grip Like a Vice’ to shouting out our star-signs throughout ‘Semicircle Song’, and even do-dooing along to the recorder melodies of ‘Get It Together’, this is very much an interactive performance, and – with Ninja’s sunny charisma at the helm – it’s impossible not to remain completely engaged in each and every moment of the ecstasy that is The Go! Team live.

The highlight of the night, however, comes in the form of Thunder, Lightning, Strike’s ‘Huddle Formation’. Splitting the huge crowd into two sides, Ninja leads the way as we all sing our hearts out to the chorus, as a wave of sparkling euphoria sweeps over the Electric Ballroom.

Jumping our way through the uptempo break-beats  of ‘All The Way Live’ and the frenzied energy of ‘Keys To The City’, it’s impossible not to be left utterly blown away by the immense soaring joy The Go! Team leave in their wake as the set comes to a close.

Thankfully, this uplifting experience is not quite over as the band return to the stage for an encore of Semicircle’s ‘She’s Got Guns’ and Thunder Lightning Strike’s ‘The Power Is On’. Once again expressing her gratitude for us all being there tonight, Ninja signals the end of what has been one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. I may have waited fourteen years to finally see The Go! Team live, but standing here tonight, the “cool” thirty-something that I now am, it seems the wait was worth it; I’m left speechless and immensely grateful for the performance I’ve just witnessed, brimming full of a euphoric bliss that only comes with seeing the most special of bands. Thank you The Go! Team for brightening up a dull February day and breathing a new lease of life into this ‘old’ gal.

Mari Lane