PLAYLIST: St. Patrick’s Day 2020

We began drafting this St. Patrick’s Day Playlist before we were fully aware of the extent of the coronavirus pandemic in Ireland, and before the Irish government called for the mass closure of pubs and clubs, thus removing any chance to publicly celebrate on the 17th. We debated whether it was appropriate to mention St. Patrick’s Day at all – especially after the numerous gig & parade cancellations both in Ireland and here in London – but seeing the resilience of our Irish friends and musicians on social media motivated us in to completing it.

We all need a distraction during these uncertain times, so dive in to our St. Patrick’s Day playlist! You’re going to find a new favourite artist among our choices. We’ve included links to each artist’s social media, Spotify and/or Bandcamp accounts, and we urge you to stream or purchase their music if you have the funds to do so. Make sure you scroll all the way down for the playlist, and for a note about our allies at the end too…

Æ MAK – ‘Dancing Bug’ (Spotify)
A solid fan of Æ MAK otherwise known as Aoife McCann, I’ve followed her since the beginning of 2019, fresh off her recent support of both tUnE-yArDs and Warpaint. ‘Dancing Bug’ is her latest offering which speaks to her chaotic electronic beats and primitive vocal rhythms. (Tash Walker)

Cosha – ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ (Spotify)
A previous favourite of mine known as Bonzai, who released an old favourite of mine Where Are U Now, came back in 2018 under the name Cosha, teaming up with producer Rostam for this single. I’ve been keeping my ears and eyes peeled for their new music ever since. (TW)

New Pagans – ‘Admire’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Filled with urgent, considered, intensely catchy songs that challenge the norms surrounding relationships, history, and gender; New Pagans‘ debut EP Glacial Erratic is a powerful blend of alternative sounds. The Belfast band take the best elements of post-punk, grunge, and indie rock and transform them in to abrasive, yet melodic noise. ‘Admire’ is my favourite track from the EP. (Kate Crudgington)

HAVVK – ’52’ (Spotify)
HAVVK have been long term favourites here at GIHE; a band who continually combine activism with their unique musical prowess, their exquisite, spine-tingling splendour resonates now more than ever. Although written about the extreme political dynamics in the run up to the Brexit vote in 2017, their track ‘52’ remains a poignant soundscape with all that’s happening in the world right now. Oozing a stark, stirring emotion, alongside the soaring, celestial splendour and gritty raw emotion of front woman Julie’s vocals, it’s filled with a glistening musicality juxtaposed with a frenzied, angst-driven climax. (Mari Lane)

The Cranberries – ‘Ode To My Family’
I couldn’t really not include The Cranberries on an Irish playlist. With the heartbreaking crystalline vocals of the late Dolores O’Riordan alongside a delicate twinkling musicality, each of their offerings sends shivers down my spine every time. I’ve chosen this particular track as, during these extremely troubling and anxiety-inducing times, I’d like to give an ode to MY family, and all loved ones – we need each other now more than ever, even if for some us it means not being able to physically see one another right now. Solidarity and good vibes to you all; we can get through this together. (ML)

REWS – ‘Monsters’ (Spotify)
I never fail to be impressed by the power of Shauna Tohill’s vocals, and they’re out in force again on this new REWS track. ‘Monsters’ is an aural challenge to self-doubt, and a bit of fiery pop-rock encouragement to persevere in the face of anxiety. (KC)

Vulpynes – ‘2 Cents’ (Spotify)
Propelled by the gritty, impassioned vocals of guitarist Molly, ‘2 Cents’ rages with a seething energy and sublime raw power as scuzzy punk-fuelled riffs are blasted out alongside intense pummelling beats. Reminiscent of the riotous force of the likes of L7 or The Distillers, it’s a storming, empowering offering from my favourite Irish duo. We’re sad that we’re no longer able to host Vulpynes at The Finsbury on 3rd April, but we do hope to reschedule the gig for as soon as possible! (ML)

Bitch Falcon – ‘Prime Number’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Mari booked Dubliners Bitch Falcon the penultimate act for one of our GIHE gigs at The Finsbury a few years ago, and I was totally blown away by their live set. Such a raw, powerful sound. ‘Prime Number’ is a personal favourite, but I’d recommend listening to their latest single ‘Damp Breath’ too. (KC)

Party Fears – ‘Money’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Party Fears are based in Berlin, but Maggie Devlin is originally from Northern Ireland. The band have been consistent favourites at GIHE since Mari first gave them a spin on our Hoxton Radio show, and this track ‘Money’ is one of my favourites. Keep your eyes peeled for their new single ‘All Is Good’, set for release on 27th March. (KC)

PowPig – ‘Pretty Woman’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
PowPig are Irish DIY at its best, I was totally blown away when I found out that they were still at school. ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘Mayday’ are their most recent releases jam packed with indie harmonies and grizzly guitars. Loving it. Here’s to hearing more from them in the future. (TW)

Hilary Woods – ‘Orange Tree’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
Dublin-based Hilary Woods creates abrasive, primal, charged soundscapes that blur industrial and orchestral elements. She uses sound and image to navigate emotional territories, and I feel intensely comforted when I listen to her music (I also cry to it sometimes, but that’s okay too). “My body knows I can’t make it out” sings Hilary Woods on ‘Orange Tree’, tentatively trying to make peace with her physicality and her surroundings. This need to face her inner fears underscores her latest record, Birthmarks, which is an unsettling, but genuinely liberating listen. (KC)

Fears – ‘Blood’ (Spotify)
Fears is the moniker of London-based, Irish musician Constance Keane. I first heard her music while listening to The Irish Jam, and I’ve tried to keep tabs on her ever since. I love her dark, minimal electronic sounds. Definitely a bit of me. (KC)

SOAK – ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’ (Spotify)
I came across SOAK last year when she released her sophmore album Grim Town, which is most definitely worth a listen. This however is SOAK’s cover of The National’s ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’, tender and gentle and a pleasingly fresh rendition. (TW)

Aoife Nessa Frances – ‘Here In The Dark’ (Spotify & bandcamp)
‘Here in the Dark’ is taken from the very enjoyable debut Land of No Junction by Aoife Nessa Frances. Her voice evokes so much emotion, you’ll soon find yourself falling into the songs reflective melodic musings. (TW)

Maria Kelly – ‘july’ (Spotify)
Alt-folk artist Maria Kelly’s ‘july’ looks inward, exploring the idea that we are ultimately in control of how we feel, and must take responsibility for what we choose to dwell on. Another truly beautiful offering from the Irish songwriter, it flows with her silky smooth, emotion strewn vocals and a stirring, bewitching musicality. Oozing a heartbreaking sense of vulnerability, it sparkles with a mystical grandeur, creating something truly mesmerising. (ML)

Rosie Carney – ‘Bud (Rose)’ (Spotify)
This is the last track to close Rosie Carney’s album Bare. ‘Bud (Rose)’ is a beautiful instrumental which mixes birdsong with piano. The piano is one of my favourite instruments to hear on record especially when it is played with such tenderness, as it is here. (TW)

B*witched – ‘C’est La Vie’
One of the first cassette singles I bought, when I was about twelve, I just wanted to include this one from the Irish girl group to put a smile on our faces – so, turn up it up, sing along and try to forget about everything for three sweet minutes! (ML)

 

We’d also like to give a shout out to GIHE allies, and Irish born London-based musicians Niall Jackson and Matthew Sutton. Niall co-hosts The Irish Jam (along with Mel, Kealan & Rob) on Riverside Radio, which celebrates Irish music. Kate often contributes to their ‘New Music Sunday’ section.

Matthew fronts his own outfit called TAYNE, and is currently creating new music with his tattoo machine equipment. They both play together in Sweat Threats too. Both are trying to stay creative in a time of uncertainty, so if you can stream/purchase their music or merch, it would be greatly appreciated. (TAYNE bandcamp here. Niall ‘Swimmers’ Jackson bandcamp here).

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)

 

PLAYLIST: January 2020

We’re two weeks in to 2020, and whether you’re keeping up with ‘Dry January’, venturing into ‘Veganuary’ or simply demolishing the leftover Christmas snacks; we’ve put together a list of brand new music to help with all of the above. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

 

Shopping – ‘Initiative’
Referencing governments who shirk responsibilities whilst placing blame on individuals; international trio Shopping’s new single ‘Initiative’ oozes a racing sense of urgency and gritty energy, whilst funk-fuelled beats and jangly, whirring hooks flow. Taken from the band’s upcoming new album, it’s a vibrant anthem encouraging us to stay motivated and keep going against the grain. All Or Nothing, the new album from Shopping, is out 7th February via FatCat Records. (Mari Lane)

Dream Nails – ‘Text Me Back (Chirpse Degree Burns)’
With their distinctive, raucous punk-pop energy; our favourite London Punk Witches Dream Nails address the anxious hell-scape that is 21st century dating on ‘Text Me Back’, and the excruciating pain of being left on “read”. With stomping beats, pounding bass-lines and immense riffs accompanying the fun-filled lyrics, it’s an instant smile-inducing anthem. Of the track, Janey from the band explains: “For those born beyond the M25, “chirpse” is London slang for flirting, and “chirpse degree burns” is our personal slang for the injuries borne from romantic misadventure. The song is a tribute to the gut-wrenching feeling of checking your phone every 5 minutes to see if your crush has replied.” ‘Text Me Back’ is taken from Dream Nails’ eponymous debut album, out 3rd April via Alcopop Records. (ML)

Party Fears – ‘Money’
I’m thrilled to announce I am now a contributor to The Irish Jam for their #NewMusicSunday slot, which airs on Riverside Radio on Sunday evenings 7-9pm. They focus on new music from Irish artists, so I played Party Fears’ latest single ‘Money’, as they’re formed of Northern Irish native Maggie Devlin, and Aussie Eilish Frawley. Their single ‘Money’ is a reflection on power, and how it isn’t always used for the greater good. It’s raw, it’s shouty, and it’s catchy as hell. (Kate Crudgington)

draag – ‘Ghost Leak’
A hazy ode to feeling inconsequential; L.A, shoegaze outfit draag have crafted a strung out, dreamy soundscape on their latest single ‘Ghost Leak’. The track is lifted from their upcoming EP Clara Luz, which is set for release on 21st February. (KC)

Post Louis – ‘Descender’
The new single from London art-rockers Post Louis, ‘Descender’ juxtaposes a dreamy, swirling musicality with soaring impassioned vocals. Oozing a heartfelt raw emotion, it’s a truly captivating slice of stirring alt-folk. Descender, the debut album from Post Louis, is out 28th February. (ML)

Xylo Aria – ‘Ignorance’
‘Ignorance’ is the eponymous track from London-based producer Xylo Aria’s latest EP; a collection of songs informed by the current environmental crisis, mental health issues, and the societal pressure she feels to conform. Aria also runs Music Production For Women, which is a fantastic initiative encouraging women to get involved in the production of their own music. Listen to the Ignorance EP in full here. (KC)

Madeleine Smyth – ‘Palmers Green’
Released by independent record label Scratched, London-based artist Madeleine Smyth’s recent EP Covert is a beguiling blend of soft vocals, ambient sounds, orchestral elements, and trip-hop inspired beats. ‘Palmers Green’ is one of four tracks showcasing Smyth’s ability to blend all of these influences seamlessly. (KC)

Aisha Badru – ‘Soil’s Daughter’
The new single from New York artist Aisha Badru, ‘Soil’s Daughter’ reflects on the need to protect our environment. Radiating a sparkling majesty and subtle, soulful power, it’s a truly beautiful ballad; a moving and sincere offering at a time when our world is literally burning, and things feel like they’re falling apart. Of the track, Badru expands: “This is me reflecting on the world, and this huge disconnect between us as a people, and us with the planet.” Transcendence, the upcoming EP from Aisha Badru, is out 7th February via Nettwerk. (ML)

Drea & The Marilyns – ‘Everything to Me’ (Lips Cover)
Loving this cover of Lips’ ‘Everything to Me’ by Drea & The Marilyns! I mean, I loved the original but I’m really enjoying this remake from the Seattle-based artist. Mix anything up with some electro-synths, and I’m yours. (Tash Walker)

Captain Handsome – ‘Halloween’
The second single taken from Lily from Fightmilk’s solo project Captain Handsome, the rather unseasonably entitled ‘Halloween’ flows with silky-smooth vocals and a twinkling, stripped-back musicality. With its delicate lo-fi scuzz and tongue-in-cheek relatable lyricism – “It was Halloween, I was 24, I had a bad time on the bathroom floor” – it’s a sensitive, yet not sentimental effervescent slice of indie-pop. I Am Not An Animal, the debut EP from Captain Handsome, is out 31st January via Reckless Yes. You can catch them live for us at The Finsbury on 14th February, along with Piney Gir, Grawl!x and I Am Her. (ML)

Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’ 
I’ve been following Bristol-based songwriter Fenne Lily for a while now, and was lucky enough to have a chat with her for a recent feature on The Line Of Best Fit. This is the title track from her 2018 debut album, and I melt a little bit each time I hear it. She’s playing a (sold out) show at The Lexington on 16th Jan, and I’m looking forward to hearing some of the new material that will make up her second album, which is set for release later this year. (KC)

Ethereal UK – ‘Strange World Normal Girl’
This track literally landed in my inbox just before the winter break and I immediately added it to the playlist for the radio show. Just beautiful. (TW)

Asha Gold – ‘Too Good’
Asha Gold who champions self-confidence in R&B influenced electro-pop. Released at the end of last year, ‘Too Good’ is the West London artist’s current single, and it flows with catchy melodies, beats and an infectious chorus. Keep it up Asha. (TW)

Mavi Phoenix – ‘Boys Toys’
I’ve always been a fan of Mavi Phoenix, and had the opportunity to interview them a couple of years back now. I remember how they spoke so eloquently about equality and the importance of queer music in the world. Phoenix has found a home in their new sound and also in the pronoun “he”. This is all about Phoenix being reborn, which is what happens in the accompanying music video to this track ‘Boys Toys’, directed by Elizaveta Porodina, ‘Boys Toys’ is as important as an exploration for Mavi Phoenix’s gender identity, as it is for his artistic work. And on top of all that, it’s an absolute tune. Enjoy. Watch the video for ‘Boys Toys’ here. (TW)

tAngerinecAt – ‘I don’t want to be a white master’
tAngerinecAt are a non-binary duo originally from Ukraine, and now based in London. What an amazing track – the vocals, the heavy electronic based instrumentation, pedals, their self-defined “hurdy-gurdy” loops and those beats! I am so happy I know about this band, and I cannot wait to indoctrinate myself further into their sound. (TW)

Last Eden – ‘Fallen’
If you’re into 8 minute long pieces of obscure electronic drone music (why wouldn’t you be?), then multidisciplinary Irish artist Aileen Wallace – aka Last Eden – is worth a listen. She experiments and improvises with elements of industrial and ambient music to create unusual, captivating soundscapes. Working as both a producer and a sound artist, Wallace uses bespoke DIY microphones, cassette recorders, synthesizers, and an array of equipment from both the analog and digital worlds. Her recent EP Elysian Plain explores the mythology and the journey surrounding death. It’s intense, but definitely intriguing. Listen to the record here. (KC)

PLAYLIST: September 2018

Summer’s over and so is festival season, but fear not! Our brand new September playlist is here to to brighten up your day. This month is shaping up to be something special sound-wise, 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…

 

Noga Erez – ‘Cash Out’ (feat. SAMMUS)
The idiosyncratic voices of Tel Aviv’s Noga Erez and Philadelphia rapper SAMMUS combine in superb style on this new track, which is the perfect follow up to Erez’s previous knockout single ‘Bad Habits’. Together, the pair “call out the contradicting and chauvinistic pressures piled on women through consumerist society” with defiant, seething flair. I cannot stop listening to this total T.U.N.E. (Kate Crudgington)

Basement Revolver – ‘Heavy Eyes’
‘Heavy Eyes’ is the new single from Canadian indie-rock trio Basement Revolver taken from the debut album (also called Heavy Eyes) which was released in August via Fear of Missing Out Records. The track is about feeling tired and how hard life is when you’re in that tired state…PREACH. I love the track’s rhythmic percussion with those distant vocals pushing me into that hypnotic hazy state. (Tash Walker)

Twist Helix – ‘Graphite’
Taken from their upcoming debut album, Twist Helix’s new single ‘Graphite’ is a song about the artist feeling frustration as she cannot articulate an authentic vision of her city. A sweeping, cinematic offering, it juxtaposes dynamic, synth-heavy beats with a twinkling musicality and the soaring impassioned vocals of front woman Bea Garcia. Ouseburn, the upcoming album from Twist Helix, is out 5th October. (Mari Lane)

Fears – ‘Blood’
Flitting between Belfast and Dublin, Irish musician Fears (aka Constance Keane) creates sublime electronic-based soundscapes. I first heard ‘Blood’ on The Irish Jam, and I’ve been haunted by her melancholy soundscapes ever since. I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on this talented newcomer. (KC)

Ah! Kosmos – ‘Wide'(feat. Özgür Yılmaz)
Atmospheric guitar, captivating percussion and hypnotic vocals melt together on Ah! Kosmos’ new single. The track is taken from her upcoming second album Beautiful Swamp, which is set for release on October 5th via Compost Records. Born in Istanbul and now based in Berlin, Ah! Kosmos (aka Başak Günak) is a sound designer, producer and multi-instrumentalist. She sweeps listeners up in to a rapture with her intense soundscapes filled with rhythmic guitar melodies, and her collaboration with guitarist Özgür Yılmaz on ‘Wide’ is another stunning example of this. (KC)

Koschka – ‘The Flood’
The new single from Berlin-based Koschka, ‘The Flood’ oozes a sweeping grandeur and haunting, majestic power. Inspired by themes of ephemeral love, acceptance and regret, it flows with twinkling keys as the impressive range of Koschka’s resonating vocals soar across a luscious soundscape with an effervescent grace. Truly spellbinding. (ML)

Okay Kaya – ‘Habitual Love’
Okay Kaya who hails from Norway has only recently popped up on my radar, but I’m so glad she did. Currently in the process of releasing a series of loosely-connected, slightly disconcerting music videos for her album Both – manifesting themes such as love, voyeurism and trauma as another physical body. This is my favourite of the releases so far – ‘Habitual Love’ whose gentle beats and Sade like melodies take on a life of their own when you watch the video. However you consume this…it’s fantastic. (TW)

The Menstrual Cramps – ‘The Smash’
Raw, righteous, and a rallying cry against pervasive capitalist and patriarchal oppression: The Menstrual Cramps’ released their sophomore album Free Bleedin’ at the end of August, and it drips with irrepressible anarchy and wit. ‘The Smash’ is the second track on the record, calling for a political and personal revolution. The lyric “Theresa May don’t even masturbate” is a personal fave here. (KC)

Peach Club – ‘Boy In A Band’
A gritty, raging attack on those ‘boys in bands’ that we’ve all come across – those disgusting guys who use their self-proclaimed ‘fame’ to take advantage of young women – ‘Boy In A Band’ rages with a raw ferocity, thrashing hooks and driving beats, building with a frenzied energy to a riotous anthem, blasting into the ears with a racing sense of urgency. And rightly so. We need voices like Peach Club’s now more than ever; a voice that gives motivation and inspiration to girls and women to speak out and be heard in order to prevent the damaging actions of certain boys in bands continuing to be swept under the carpet within the music industry. And we cannot wait for Peach Club to headline our Blogtober event at The Finsbury on 12th October! (RSVP here(ML)

Fightmilk – ‘Four Star Hotel’
Fightmilk have now signed to Reckless Yes and announced the release of their truly fantastic debut album Not With That Attitude (due November 2nd). Taken from the album, new single ‘Four Star Hotel’ is a scuzzy, sparkling anti-love song spiced with a tongue in cheek wit and refreshing cynicism. Another immensely catchy, instant smile-inducing slice of luscious punk-infused indie-pop at its finest. And we cannot wait for Fightmilk to play for us again at The Finsbury on 14th December! (RSVP here). (ML)

Dolls – ‘Sugar Free’
Prepare to have your bubble well and truly popped by the sound of DOLLS’ latest single ‘Sugar Free’. The London-based duo have delivered another catchy slice of grunge-pop glory, alongside the news they’ll be releasing their debut EP Pop The Bubble on September 21st. (KC)

Value Void – ‘Babeland’
I just think this is such a tune. ‘Babeland’ by London trio Value Void is taken from their upcoming debut album set for release on 26th October via Tough Love, which they’ve described as “a luxuriantly deep, shag pile-warm, analogue proto punk collection”. This particular song is about one night in a pub when everything looked grim except for two very attractive men kissing. I love the hazy dreamlike sound which for me was the perfect accompaniment to the hazy warmth of this London Summer. (TW)

Dott – ‘Wedding Song’
Taken from their recent album Heart Swell, Dott’s ‘Wedding Song’ is a poignant ode to love in all its forms, and a celebration of Ireland’s vote to legalise Same Sex Marriage in 2015. The Galway-based band will be headlining our first Get In Her Ears Night at The Five Bells on October 26th (RSVP here). (KC)

IDER – ‘Body Love’
I could listen to this song over and over and over. Such beautifully intricate harmonies, carefully weaved together over the course of ‘Body Love’, I’m left wrapped in the song’s self-affirming message each and every time. I’ve picked this track because I’m going to be seeing IDER play at The Village Underground on 2nd October, and I cannot wait. (TW)

Tirzah – ‘Gladly’
Beautifully understated, gently hypnotic and lyrically touching. I cannot get enough of Tirzah right now, and you know what, it’s not just this track…but the whole album Devotion. What can I say…I am hopelessly devoted. Cringe statements aside, please go listen if you haven’t already, your life will be better for it. (TW)

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