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)

ALBUM: The Menstrual Cramps – ‘Free Bleedin’

Raw, righteous, and a rallying cry against pervasive capitalist and patriarchal oppression: The Menstrual Cramps‘ sophomore album Free Bleedin’ drips with irrepressible anarchy and wit. Following 2017’s excellently named debut We’re Not Ovaryacting, the four-piece have returned with fourteen new tracks that systematically strip away the hateful forces that threaten to hold these riot grrrls back.

Front-woman Emilia has a vocal range that ricochets between dangerous, disinterested, screeching and savage. From opening track ‘Boycott The Lot’, she begins calling out corporations including The Sun, Amazon, and the dairy industry; whilst urging listeners to avoid all interaction with these dishonest establishments. She’s backed by the formidable Cooper Rose on guitar, as well as the equally formidable rhythm section comprised of drummer Beth and bassist Robyn.

Intelligence and piss-taking combine in memorable style on second track ‘The Smash’, which calls for a political and personal revolution amidst lyrics such as “Theresa May don’t even masturbate”. The girls continue their take down on following track ‘Neo Nazi’, which acts as a warning and a defiant middle finger to any fans of punk music who confuse the genre with outdated, fascist ideals. As Emilia so aptly says: “Nazi cunts need to disappear” – and we couldn’t agree more.

Up next on The Menstrual Cramps’ “bullshit we shouldn’t have to address, but will do anyway” list is toxic masculinity. On ‘Boyz Will Be Boyz’, the girls urge men to take responsibility for sexual assault and “do something about it”, instead of hiding behind the all-to-familiar saying and remaining complacent. What follows is an unorthodox and unexpected ode to long-haired, liberal lads and lasses. On the pop-ier sounding ‘Long Haired Babe’, Emilia delightfully declares “guys with long hair make me scream, guys with long hair make me cream”. That’s the great thing about this record: one minute you want to punch a hole through a patriarchal wall, and the next you just want to lay back and show yourself some sweet self-love.

Cue next track, ‘Mutual Masturbation’. It’s as fabulous and filthy as it sounds; celebratory (guitar) strums and raucous percussion combine with Emilia’s lyrics about defying shame and spending some time on yourself. The girls dial up the sarcasm on ‘I Like That Top’, a track which laments the comments made by dull housemates who insist on making passive aggressive remarks about your lifestyle and fashion sense. The band switch back to full on assault mode on ‘Idols’, calling out the inadequacies of the biggest icons in the industry and stripping them of their God-like status. It’s eye-opening and entertaining in equal measure, with trademark Menstrual Cramps bite.

Guitarist Cooper takes lead vocals on the seemingly tender-sounding ‘Tinder Girl’ which tackles a very modern dating dilemma: “I don’t want nothing serious, but I think I want more than this”, before the self-explanatory ‘Tory Scum’ kicks in. It’s a punishing anthem about the policies crippling the working class under Theresa May’s Government. It bleeds in to the aptly named ‘Killin Us’, which shouts back against poor mental health services that have inevitably been affected by Tory budget cuts to the NHS. Things get a bit Orwellian on ‘Phone Hack’, but the severity of the message is made more palatable by a garage-pop-esque rhythm.

Penultimate track ‘No Means No’ challenges male entitlement and bodily autonomy. Emilia’s spoken word style lyrics about consent, rape, and sexual assault make things crystal clear here, and her vicious and wailing delivery of “Nooooooo!” towards the close of the song leaves no room for interpretation. Body positivity is promoted on closing track ‘Bush’ which champions natural hair growth with the simple lyric “let my bush be free!”. Bleedin’ furious, Bleedin’ funny, and Bleedin’ eye opening; The Menstrual Cramps latest record provides the perfect soundtrack for any feminist activist to rage and recover to.

You can listen to Free Bleedin’ on Spotify

Follow The Menstrual Cramps on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Skating Polly – ‘Camelot’

Following the release of their genre-transcending fifth album The Make It All Show, Tacoma-based trio Skating Polly return with a brand new video for album track ‘Camelot’.

Blasting into the eardrums with intense, pulsating basslines and the impassioned screech of Kelli Mayo, ‘Camelot’ is a seething, grunge-fuelled anthem. Oozing a thrashing power, it perfectly tears apart the misogynistic nature of American frat-boy culture with an empowering energy.

Of the video Mayo expands:

There are so many moments throughout that always make me smile… I love the little kids, love the unfortunate crowd surfer who did not get caught – he’s okay! – and Arrow and Henri from Starcrawler had me cracking up through out the whole shoot. Those two are powerhouses, they never run out of energy. Also Allison Wolfe from Bratmobile crowd surfed for the first time ever in the video!” 

Watch the wonderfully frenzied video for ‘Camelot’ here:

The Make It All Show is out now. Catch Skating Polly live:

10th Sept – Sebright Arms, LONDON (with faves The Menstrual Cramps supporting!
11th Sept – Le Pub, NEWPORT
13th Sept – The Thunderbolt, BRISTOL
14th  Sept – Firebug, LEICESTER
15th Sept – Broadcast, GLASGOW
16th Sept – Hare and Hounds, BIRMINGHAM
17th Sept – Yardbirds Rock Club, GRIMSBY

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ The Menstrual Cramps, 08.06.18

Following a host of super amazing bands playing for us recently – including LIINES, Witch Fever, The Magnettes, H.Grimace, Ghum and Dream Nails  – we were back at The Finsbury on Friday for another jam-packed night of the best new music.

Kicking off the night, Bad Sidekick kindly stepped in to fill the shoes of Salvation Jayne who sadly had to pull out. But what a way to start the night: the trio absolutely blow us away. As charismatic front-woman Cooper Rose oozes her seething, Northern twang over immense, thrashing beats and raging riffs, I’m reminded of early Arctic Monkeys with a unique, gritty edge. New favourite band alert!

Next up Brixton’s Coltana bring their visceral energy to the stage, delivering their riotous punk-rock anthems. Propelled by frenzied, whirring hooks and the magnetic charm of Cat’s impassioned spoken word vocals, it’s a set filled with wit and infectious energy as the band treat us to their wonderfully ferocious offerings.

Penultimate band of the night, Weekend Recovery, draw in a loyal army of fans with their contagious energy and endearing warmth. Racing with uplifting hooks and the angst-driven power of front-woman Lori’s vocals, each track is an instantly catchy, perfect slice of punk-pop at its finest.

I’ve been waiting a long time to see headliners The Menstrual Cramps. and – on finally having the honour – they don’t disappoint. From the topical, tongue-in-cheek wit of tracks such as ‘Hashtag Sad Penis’ and the empowering, feel-good vibes of ‘Make Girls Feel Good’, to the immense, politically-charged force of ‘Frack Off’ and ‘Cull The Tories’, their fantastic, fist-clenching force never ceases. As Emilia leads the band with her uncensored, genuine, seething passion, The Menstrual Cramps give a welcome voice to the anger we’re all feeling about the way society’s headed. An intense outpouring of emotion, The Menstrual Cramps’ set combines activism with musical prowess, reminding us all why we need bands like this now more than ever.

Huge thanks to the four AMAZING bands who played for us on Friday. And catch us next month at The Finsbury on 13th July, when we’ll be joined by The Empty Page, MeMe Detroit, Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something and Jetstream Pony!

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Em Burfitt / @fenderqueer