PLAYLIST: July 2021

The GIHE team have unearthed some more new music gems for you to listen to on our July Playlist! There’s an eclectic mix of alternative tunes, synth-pop bangers and raucous guitar anthems for you to enjoy. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of this post.

Follow GIHE on Spotify to hear all of our previous playlists too.

Amy Winehouse – ‘Me & Mr Jones’
“What kind of fuckery is this?” – one of my all time favourite lyrics, courtesy of Amy Winehouse. This month marked ten years since her untimely death and gave us all a chance to reflect on her iconic musical legacy. Charming, intelligent and rib-achingly funny, but simultaneously plagued by addiction, alcoholism and bulimia, Amy Winehouse’s altruistic talent is one that simply can’t be rivalled. RIP Amy. (Kate Crudgington)

Babeheaven – ‘Lovefool’ (The Cardigans Cover)
Babeheaven are a band who do wonders with their covers and this one is no exception. Singer Nancy Andersen’s voice just beautifully falls over the music every time, the perfect accompaniment to this sweltering summer where we just have to slow down. (Tash Walker)

Abra – ‘Roses’
This song has been spinning its way around all of my playlists over the last month. Released back in 2015, I always have space for a return listen for Abra. The way a song sounds six years later is part of the beauty of it, especially the lyrics on this one – “You taste best when you are in full bloom” – turn up your dials for a big slice of distilled electro pop. (TW)

Evil House Party – ‘Head Held High’
I love this captivating synth-pop tune from Copenhagen-based duo Evil House Party. Taken from their debut EP Grand Theft Audio, which is set for release on 24th September via Third Coming Records, the track is a heady, bittersweet reflection on personal uncertainty and laments the struggle of trying to survive in the real world whilst also trying to fulfil your dreams. (KC)

Maria Uzor – ‘Innocence’
The latest solo release of Maria Uzor (also one half of GIHE faves Sink Ya Teeth), ‘Innocence’ offers an other-worldly soundscape propelled by glitchy electronic hooks and drum ‘n’ bass reminiscent beats. Interweaving a whirring ethereal splendour with shades of the likes of Grimes with a unique soul-fused drive, I just can’t get enough of its blissful, euphoric energy and bewitching allure. Innocence And Worldliness, the upcoming EP from Maria Uzor, is set for release on 27th August. (Mari Lane)

John Glacier – ‘Icing’
This song! Coming in at 1.44 a song has never left me desperate for more, obsessed is an understatement. East London’s John Glacier released this as a teaser from the forthcoming 12-track project SHILOH: Lost For Words, due on 30th July. (TW)

Moor Mother ft. lojii – ‘Shekere’
Having released her debut album Fetish Bones back in 2016, musician-poet-artist-workshop facilitator Camae Ayewa – aka Moor Mother – has now announced her upcoming new album, Black Encyclopedia Of The Air. Taken from the album, latest single ‘Shekere’ features Philadelphia rapper lojii and is propelled by a stripped-back, jazz-infused musicality as it oozes a swirling, stirring allure and immersive, soulful drive. As poetically poignant lyricism is set against the captivating flow of the instrumentation, an exquisitely enthralling, and undeniably necessary, battle-cry is created. Black Encyclopedia Of The Air, the upcoming album from Moor Mother, is set for release on 17th September via ANTI-. (ML)

Witch Prophet – ‘Makda’
I have Tash to thank for introducing me to the majestic sounds of Ethio queer hip-hop fusion artist Witch Prophet. ‘Makda’ is a celebration of the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba and the accompanying video for the track is all about showcasing “the power of Black women and mothers.” (KC)

Piroshka – ‘V.O’
Taken from Piroshka’s brand new album, Love Drips and Gathers, ‘V.O’ offers a poignant tribute to 4AD’s late in-house art director and graphic designer Vaughan Oliver. A swirling, ethereal soundscape, sparkling with a captivating, shoegaze-tinged splendour, the track reflects not only on Miki Berenyi’s memories of Vaughan, but also her experience of attending his funeral last year – with many of the lyrics inspired by speeches that she heard on the day. Find out more about Piroshka and their new album in our recent interview with Miki here. (ML)

Praises – ‘A World On Fire’
This shadowy track by Toronto-based Praises is such a hypnotising listen. The new project of Jesse Crowe (formerly one-half of Beliefs), ‘A World On Fire’ “imagines a diaspora and a war, whilst tackling other ideas of mortality, identity and love.” The track is taken from Praises’ upcoming EP, EP4, which is set for release on 5th August via Hand Drawn Dracula. (KC)

Tirzah – ‘Tectonic’
Anyone who knows me/has asked me what I’m listening to over the last couple of years will have given you one answer: TIRZAH. She’s recently announced the release of her new album Colourgrade which I am counting down the days to. This song ‘Tectonic’ is totally hypnotic, starting with a conflicting drone before her vocals arrive, rougher than we’re used to, all adding to the music’s intensity – and don’t even get me started on the lyrics. Needless to say, this track gives me FEELS. (TW)

Täpp – ‘Aquaria’
The latest release from Jazztronica/hip hop/ classical collective Täpp, led by classically trained jazz violinist Rebekah Reid. This track is lifted from their debut album, named after the winner of Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race – ‘Aquaria’ is an anthem created to empower women, transgender/gender non-conforming people and the LGBTQ+ community, encouraging them to step into their light and “shine like the gifts they are to the world.” Can’t argue with that. (TW)

Tiiva – ‘Bones’
Is it even a GIHE playlist if I don’t include a Tiiva track? I’m a big fan of all their releases so far and ‘Bones’ is no exception. The London-based producer has crafted another captivating soundscape full of atmospheric beats, hushed vocals and summery synth sounds. (KC)

Planningtorock – ‘Gay Dreams Come True’
This song gives nothing but pure gay joy, a pleasure to hear it pouring out of any speakers. Planningtorock has to be the most consistent creator of absolute dance tunes right now. I LOVE IT. What vibes, what fun. (TW)

cheeky – ‘SPADES’
cheeky is a classically trained pianist, queer non-binary producer based in Philadelphia. This track ‘SPADES’ is taken from their recent EP The Tower. Constructed of mostly percussive sounds sampled from their piano, cheeky says this song is “about struggling with self love.” Definitely check out their new EP, it’s a bittersweet exploration of their musical influences and includes a bewitching cover of ‘Nightingale’ from Disney’s Cinderella. (KC)

FLOSSING – ‘SWITCH’
FLOSSING is the new project from Heather Elle, formerly of Bodega and The Wants. I love her candid, moody sound on her debut single ‘SWITCH’, which explores her own sexuality and “the deviant nature of men.” I can’t wait to hear her new EP Queen Of The Mall, which is set for release on 10th September. (KC)

Ailsa Tully – ‘Sheets’
Ahead of the release of a new EP next month, Welsh artist Ailsa Tully recently shared poignant single ‘Sheets’. Flowing with a shimmering, stripped back musicality, ‘Sheets’ combines lilting melodies with Tully’s crystalline, honey-sweet vocals. Oozing an immersive, delicate emotion and sparkling grace, there is something uniquely captivating about the juxtaposition of the vocals and the rippling instrumentation; the gentle build up and crescendo evoking images of waves delicately crashing against swathes of sand. Holy Isle, the upcoming EP from Ailsa Tully, is set for release 20th August via Dalliance Recordings. (ML)

CMAT – ‘2 Wrecked 2 Care’
Irish pop sensation CMAT says this song is based around the idea of what “would have happened if Sheryl Crow ever had to work in a TK Maxx” – absolute lols. I love everything CMAT creates and I can’t wait to see her live for the first time at her sold out show at The Troubadour in November. (KC)

Bad Waitress – ‘Strawberry Milkshake’
The latest single from Toronto based Bad Waitress, ‘Strawberry Milkshake’ blasts into the ears with pulsating hooks and thrashing beats, as Kali-Ann Butala’s seething vocals soar with a riotous power. Propelled by a gritty energy and frenzied, empowering drive, it’s a wonderfully sinister – hell-raisingly raucous yet fuzzily catchy – punk-fuelled anthem. Of the track, the band comment: “Strawberry Milkshake’ is saccharine sweet, milky pink terror. On the surface it’s sexy and enticing – but there’s a poisonous sludge bubbling just beneath.” No Taste, the debut album from Bad Waitress, is set for release on 3rd September. (ML)

Pretty Happy – ‘Sudocream’
Centered around the Cork-centric story of a girl who is suffering from alcohol poisoning in the Mercy Hospital whilst her partner sits across the road in the Franciscan Well pub, Pretty Happy’s ‘Sudocream’ kicks and screams with the kind of frustration, panic and anxiety that can’t be soothed by the childhood medicinal staple it’s named after. It’s a frantic, witty, cathartic burst of art punk noise from the Cork trio, lifted from their recent EP Sluggers Bridge, released via Art For Blind Records. (KC)

My Idea – ‘Stay Away Still’
The latest single from New York duo Nate Amos and Lily Konigsberg – aka My Idea – ‘Stay Away Still’ is a perfectly jangly slice of lo-fi, indie-pop. I’m a big fan of this track’s luscious, sunny melodies and the way it juxtaposes a deadpan wit with a dreamy, twinkling energy. ‘Stay Away Still’ has been released with accompanying single ‘That’s My Idea’ ahead of the duo’s debut EP, set for release on 30th July. (ML)

Softcult – ‘Spit It Out’
I’m a big fan of this lush, swirling guitar tune from Canadian duo Softcult. Formed of Ontario-based twins Phoenix and Mercedes Arn Horn, this new single gently encourages listeners to face up to, and reject their unconscious bias. Check out the accompanying video for it here. (KC)

Meggie Brown – ‘Dusty Smells’
The first song to be taken from London-based Meggie Brown’s upcoming new EP, ‘Dusty Smells’ is a nostalgia-inducing anthem for anyone struggling with their identity. With shades of the likes of Aussie fave Courtney Barnett, it juxtaposes Brown’s deadpan-yet-poetic reflections with a sparkling musicality as scuzzy hooks flow with a lilting energy, offering an uplifting glimmer of hope. Of the track, Brown – who has recently come out as transgender – explains: “Coming to terms with one’s gender identity has been both beautiful and challenging during this lockdown. When I wrote and recorded ‘Dusty Smells’ I wanted it to match through sound how non-binary those emotions and realisations were.” HOME, the upcoming EP from Meggie Brown, is set for release later this year. (ML)

th’sheridans – ‘Awesome Summers & Kate’
The latest single from indie-pop duo th’sheridans, ‘Awesome Summers & Kate’ is taken from their upcoming career-spanning compilation. Propelled by scuzzy hooks, jangly drum-machine induced beats and a swirling, danceable energy, it reflects on the tentative anticipation of possibilities as restrictions start to lift. With shades of the stripped-back hype-pop/dance-punk of Le Tigre, it offers a perfect smattering of effervescent euphoria – something that is much needed in these uncertain times. Pieces Of General, the upcoming compilation album from th’sheridans, is set for release on 10th September via Reckless Yes. (ML)

Death Valley Girls – ‘Sanitarium Blues’
A refreshingly honest reflection on mental health struggles, Death Valley Girls’ latest single ‘Sanitarium Blues’ was inspired by vocalist Bonnie Bloomgarden’s stay at a professional institution amidst a serious battle with her own mental health. Propelled by the soaring, gritty power of Bloomgarden’s vocals, it’ll soak you in its fierce, reverb-strewn riffs that rage with a frenzied, angsty drive. Oozing a sludgey, grunge-fuelled fuzz with a swirling psychedelic allure, it’s an instantly bewitching and eerily immersive creation. Street Venom, the re-issued album, is set for release on 30th July via Suicide Squeeze Records. (ML)

Ms White – ‘Fuck Men’
I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of Ms White until recently, when Belfast artist F.R.U.I.T.Y thankfully introduced me to her by including this track in their recent Five Favourites feature for us. A wonderfully empowering anthem from the Trans artist, the name really speaks for itself: I challenge you to listen to this and not feel motivated and ready to face the world. (ML)

LISTEN: GIHE debut Soho Radio show with Noga Erez 05.05.21

After 6 years of presenting on Hoxton Radio, the GIHE team are thrilled to announce that we’ve moved over to the NYC & Culture channel on Soho Radio! For our debut show, we played a mix of iconic feminist punk anthems and new music tunes from some of our favourite women and non-binary artists.

Tel Aviv-based pop renegade Noga Erez also spoke to us about her brilliant second album KIDS, working alongside her creative & life partner Ori, and we circled back on some of the interesting things she said the first time we met her back in 2019.

Listen below:

Tracklist
Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
Noname – Blaxploitation
PÁULA, POVOA & JERGE – Primavera
Sans Soucis – I’m On
ARXX – DEEP
Grandmas House – Always Happy
Shy Girl – Tasty
Catherine Moan – Fools (Depeche Mode Cover)
Currls – Let Down
SOPHIE – BIPP (Autechre Mx)
Tiece – Nowhere Now Here (Tiiva Remix)
Nun Habit – Righteous Jerk
Bitch Hunt – Eau Claire
Noga Erez – VIEWS
Noga Erez – You So Done
**Noga Erez Interview**
Fousheé – Deep End
Tirzah – Send Me
Fears – Fabric
Beckie Margaret – FF
Mykki Blanco – Free Ride
New Pagans – Yellow Room
Fightmilk – Overbite
pink suits – Fake Great Britain
Thigh High – Because The Night (Patti Smith Cover)
Naz and Ella – No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)
X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage, Up Yours!

PLAYLIST: April 2021

The GIHE team have unearthed some more new music gems for you to listen to on our April Playlist! There’s an eclectic mix of indie anthems, alt-pop gems, electronic soundscapes and gritty guitar tunes. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of this post.

Follow GIHE on Spotify to hear all of our previous playlists too.

Noga Erez – ‘Fire Kites’
GIHE favourite and pop renegade Noga Erez’s new record KIDS has barely left my turntable since it was released in March. The record is bursting with her trademark charisma and energy, epitomised by this track ‘Fire Kites’. Keep and eye on our GIHE socials for an exciting announcement involving Noga very soon…
(Kate Crudgington)

Miss Eaves – ‘3 Jobs’
This banger from Brooklyn-based rapper Miss Eaves features on Loud Women’s third compilation album, which is bursting with anthems from DIY bands from both sides of the Atlantic. The record also features tracks from ARXX, GÉNN, LibraLibra, Vulpynes, Bugeye, Jelly Cleaver, Breakup Haircut and Pleasure Venom. Grab your copy from bandcamp now. (KC)

Little Simz – ‘Introvert’
The latest single from innovative artist Little Simz, ‘Introvert’ may just be her most powerful offering yet. A poignant reflection on the last year and an empowering rallying cry to break free from societal limitations, the track is propelled by an immense sense of grandeur and cinematic instrumentation. A heartbreakingly impassioned anthem, touching on themes of governmental corruption, poverty and race, it’s a truly magnificent and necessary listen. “I’m a Black woman and I’m a proud one / We walk in blind faith not knowing the outcome / But as long as we unified then we’ve already won.” (Mari Lane)

Sans Soucis – ‘I’m On’
An uplifting blend of lush vocals, warm synth textures and smooth beats, songwriter & producer Sans Soucis’ single ‘I’m On’ is a genre-bending reflection on her own experiences of recovering from an extended period of depression and the joy she experienced when she was able to re-connect with herself again. (KC)

Ruti – ‘Daylight’
Essex-based songwriter Ruti may only be 21 years old, but she has a distinctive, soulful voice that shines with a majestic, mature glory on ‘Daylight’. This track is taken from her recent EP, All At Once. (KC)

People Club – ‘Damn’
This smooth new offering from Berlin-based five-piece People Club is an exploration of the behaviours surrounding addiction to internet pornography. “We wanted to examine how porn addicts can actually be super high-functioning and never get ‘found out’, yet actually can suffer seriously as a result of their habit,” the band explain about the track. ‘Damn’ features on People Club’s new EP Take Me Home, which is set for release on 7th May. (KC)

Nun Habit – ‘Righteous Jerk’
Having wowed us with their sparkling charisma playing for us at The Finsbury back in 2020, the London-based queer five-piece Nun Habit have now announced their debut album, set for release in August. Taken from their recent double a-side release, ‘Righteous Jerk’ oozes an eerie mysticism before building with thrashing beats and scuzzy, reverb-strewn riffs, alongside Kate’s sweeping soulful vocals. ‘Righteous Jerk’ is out now alongside double a-side ‘Slip n Slide’. hedge fun, the upcoming album from Nun Habit, will be released in August, with an accompanying celebratory launch party on 16th August at The Victoria in Dalston. (ML)

Maya Lakhani – ‘Walk Alone’
Inspired by the current conversations that are happening around women’s safety, the culture of victim-blaming and pure desire to walk alone as a women, British-Indian artist Maya Lakhani’s latest single is propelled by a gritty, emotion-strewn power. Flowing with the soaring, raw splendour of her vocals alongside a majestic, otherworldly musicality, it oozes a captivating sense of grandeur and poignant sentiment. (ML)

Softcult – ‘Take It Off’
I’ve been listening to Softcult aka twin sisters Phoenix and Mercedes Arn Horn’s debut EP Year Of The Rat so much recently. It’s a bittersweet collection of lush, grunge-infused songs that culminate their thoughts on sexism, misogyny and objectification, and ‘Take It Off’ aches with with their subdued anger. Lyrically, it’s directed at catcallers, but it doubles up as a care-free dismissal of ridiculous trophy wife standards too. (KC)

Bitch Hunt – ‘Eau Claire’
The latest single from London based non-binary band Bitch Hunt, ‘Eau Claire’ offers the first taste of the band’s upcoming debut EP. An ode to a Wisconsin town where singer Sian used to live, with its stripped back jangling hooks and raw, heartfelt vocals, it builds in momentum to an effervescent slice of perfect punk-pop. Shapeshifter, the debut EP from Bitch Hunt, is set for release on 28th May via Reckless Yes. (ML)

Wallice – ‘Hey Michael’
It was love at first listen when I heard this single from LA-based Wallice. I love her candid lyrics on this playful lament about having your ear chewed off by a mediocre man at a party. Watch the accompanying video for the track here. (KC)

Fightmilk – ‘Overbite’
The recent single from total faves Fightmilk, ‘Overbite’ is taken from their upcoming new album. Oozing a track’s subtle romanticism and tongue-in-cheek wit, the raw emotion and distinctive smooth-yet-husky charm of front-person Lily’s vocals deliver a heartwarming sentiment alongside an infectious, shimmering energy. The perfect, alternative fuzzy love-song. Contender, the new album from Fightmilk, is set for release on 14th May via Reckless Yes. (ML)

PACKS – ‘New TV’
This brooding offering from Toronto-based PACKS is a hazy ode to “other people’s garbage.” I love the sound of Madeline Link’s vocals and the grungy, hazy guitars on this track. The band will be releasing their debut LP Take The Cake on 21st May via Royal Mountain Records/Fire Talk. (KC)

Tirzah – ‘Send Me’
The latest single from Tirzah, the first we’ve heard from her in two years and boy am I glad she’s back. Teaming up again with previous collaborators Coby Sey and Mica Levi, Tirzah delivers us another beautiful song with futuristic subtlety. The amount of emotion and longing that’s conveyed in her music blows me away every time, leaving me with all the feels. Fingers crossed the release of ‘Send Me’ is only the beginning of more music to come from Tirzah. (Tash Walker)

Deap Vally – ‘Give Me A Sign’
Us GIHE girls are super excited to hear Deap Vally’s new EP American Cockroach, which this new track ‘Give Me A Sign’ is lifted from. Set for release on 18th June via Cooking Vinyl, the LA-based duo have collaborated with Jennie Vee (Eagles of Death Metal) and the brilliant Ayse Hassan (Savages/ESYA) for this record, which the duo describe as “songs for the underdog, the outlaw, the defeated, for the days when you feel like no one understands you or you can’t do anything right.” (KC)

Catherine Moan – ‘Fools’ (Depeche Mode Cover)
This is a fun, polished cover of a Depeche Mode b-side from Philadelphia-based electro-pop artist Catherine Moan. Her buoyant electronics and infectious rhythms give this slice of 80s alternative music nostalgia a welcome sultry twist and it’s been bouncing around my head for weeks. (KC)

Shygirl – ‘Tasty’
One thing that is getting me through my weeks at the moment is listening to music that makes me just want to dance. Especially this track from the incredible Shygirl. Pull up those hoods and get moving. (TW)

Mykki Blanco – ‘Free Ride’
Firm fave Mykki Blanco released ‘Free Ride’ alongside the news that they’d signed to Transgressive Records at the beginning of this year. Speaking about the track, Mykki explains “Some of the most intimate moments and conversations I have ever shared were with my mother on long drives in the Southern countryside when I was a teenager. The music that soundtracked these memories on our daily journeys was the stuff of my mother’s generation. I would find myself daydreaming, reflecting and envisioning the kind of life I would like to create for myself.” With all its feel-good vibes, this song has been buzzing around my head constantly since I first heard it – I LOVE IT. (TW)

DEELA ft. T6lu – ‘FIT’
A fun, provocative cut from British-Nigerian rappers DEELA and T6lu, ‘FIT’ is all about being able to say what you want, when you want. Their slick lyrical delivery and dense beats reflect the pair’s direct approach to making empowering, unapologetic anthems. (KC)

Alex Loveless – ‘Through 2 U’
This is a slow-burning offering full of hazy beats and brooding vocals from Hackney-based DIY electronic artist Alex Loveless. Released via Loveless’ own label Dirty Mind (named after their own club night inspired by the Prince record) ‘Through 2 U’ is an intoxicating combination of smouldering alt-pop hooks and melancholy-tinged lyrics. (KC)

Pallas Athene – ‘Gimme Gimme’
Toronto-based artist Pallas Athene contributed this ambient track to Object Ten, a compilation album that features original pieces of experimental, electronic music by new and established artists. Put together by London drone-pop band The Leaf Library, the album is a real breath of fresh air for anyone looking for a departure from their usual listening habits. (KC)

Tokky Horror – ‘Godliness’
London-Manchester-Liverpool trio Tokky Horror have taken things down a notch on their latest offering ‘Godliness’, which is taken from their debut EP I Found The Answers And Now I Want More, set for release on 21st May via Alcopop! Records. “I think we show our more expansive side on ‘Godliness’,” Zee Davine explains. “Where our first two singles were the ‘flag-in-ground’ moment when we wanted to assert our presence with intensity, ‘Godliness’ is us letting our guard down a bit for something more genuine.” (KC)

GHLOW – ‘Not Fit For This’
A visceral blend of distorted guitars, energetic beats and commanding vocals, this single from Russian-Swedish heavy duo GHLOW is taken from their debut album Slash and Burn, recently released via PNK SLM Recordings. I love their intense rhythms and jagged riffs and recommend listening to the full album if you like what you hear. (KC)

A Place To Bury Strangers – ‘End Of The Night’
With a change in lineup and a new EP titled Hologram on the way, Brooklyn’s A Place To Bury Strangers have unleashed this caustic new tune that buzzes with unrest. Founding member Oliver Ackermann has been joined by John Fedowitz (bass) and Sandra Fedowitz (drums) for this record, which is released on 16th July. (KC)

SPITBOY – ‘In Your Face’ (Remastered)
Don Giovanni Records have announced that they’re releasing trailblazing San Francisco based 90s feminist hardcore band SPITBOY’s discography on 25th June. Titled Body Of Work (1990-1995), 100% of the profits from the record will be going to the National Women’s Law Center. This is the first time SPITBOY have appeared on my radar and I’m loving their grungy, riot grrrl sound. (KC)

The Bug Club – ‘Checkmate’
Set to release their debut EP this Friday, Welsh trio The Bug Club’s ‘Checkmate’ showcases their uniquely uplifting, frenetic brand of garage rock perfectly. Propelled by a vibrant, driving energy, it oozes a playful sense of euphoria as gloriously scuzzy hooks race alongside blissful harmonies. Launching Moondream One, the upcoming debut EP from The Bug Club, is out 30th April via Bingo Records. Read our interview with Tilly from the band here. (ML)

Queens & Kings – ‘Going Through Hell’
Propelled by a fuzzed-out visceral energy and gentle blues-rock twang, ‘Going Through Hell’ reflects on Toronto duo Queens & Kings’ 10+ year relationship and the struggles they have gone through both personally and as a band. As Alissa’s gritty swooning vocals flow with a stirring, soulful drive alongside scuzzy hooks, it’s a powerful Americana-tinged slice of garage-rock brimming full of anthemic emotion. (ML)

GracieSouz – ‘Brian Cox’
Having just released her stirring debut EP Better In Space, GracieSouz creates sweeping, ethereal soundscapes. Paying ode to the famed scientist with Gracie’s soaring, crystalline vocals and a cinematic splendour, it oozes a bewitching, majestic grace. A shimmering slice of brooding electro-pop. Better In Space, the new EP from GracieSouz, is out now. (ML)

MELÓ – ‘Castle’
Taken from her upcoming EP Youthless, Canadian-Hungarian artist MELÓ’s latest single ‘Castle’ reflects on themes of mental illness. Evoking images of escapism, it oozes a sweeping, ethereal soundscape propelled by the soaring power of the soulful vocals. Flowing with a shimmering majesty, it’s a captivating slice of dreamy alt-pop. (ML)

Gillie – ‘Retirement Paradise’
The title track from her recent EP, Welsh songwriter Gillie tentatively explores what it means to slow down and reflect on what you truly need on ‘Retirement Paradise’. “I think this is the track that defines me as who I am today,” she explains. “I’m now aware that the people whom I previously thought lived slow and boring lives, have become the people I take note from. I often joke that I could go into retirement right this moment and live quite happily, and so that’s how this track developed.” (KC)

Be Charlotte – ‘We Are Burning’
Taken from her debut EP Dreaming With The Lights Off, Be Charlotte’s ‘We Are Burning’ soars with a twinkling emotion and lilting, folk-tinged melodies. Propelled by Charlotte’s distinctive luscious Scottish vocals, it’s a sparkling pop anthem, calling us to action at a time when hope may seem to be lost. (ML)

All cats are beautiful – ‘(u know) u mean a long minute to me’
The first single to be taken from their upcoming EP, all cats are beautiful (acab)’s ‘(u know) u mean a long minute to me’ is a truly stirring slice of twinkling lo-fi indie pop. A shimmering, swirling soundscape, it wraps itself around the ears and heartstrings with beautiful harmonies and woozy beats. A wonderfully soothing offering oozing an emotive sparkling splendour. the things we made, the upcoming new EP from all cats are beautiful, is set for release on 6th August via Moshi Moshi. (ML)

Thigh High – ‘Because The Night’ (London 2021)
I first heard Thigh High’s cover/performance of ‘Because The Night’ as part of Patti Smith’s celebrations around the inauguration of President Biden. The track is now available for you to download and it’s just beautiful. I had the pleasure of interviewing Thigh High last year and I recommend you check out the rest of their catalogue – a band truly dedicated to celebrating and centering queer joy in their music! (TW)

 

FIVE FAVOURITES: Fran Lobo

A singer, songwriter, producer, DJ, choral composer & sound artist; Fran Lobo has extensive and impressive experience in multiple areas of the music industry. The North East London artist takes inspiration from both the club scene and the choral scene to create her own music, and her new EP, Brave – released today (19th June) via Slow Dance Records – is a stellar example of how she seamlessly mixes these genres together.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Fran to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have influenced her writing techniques. Check out Fran’s choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for her track ‘Brave’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Aaliyah – ‘More Than A Woman’
This has got to be one of the best R&B/Pop songs ever made. The production from Timbaland is so playful and ASMR like. All the crazy percussion shakes, scrapes and clatters are so delicious. The drums are so powerful and the squelchy synths take you to a deep sludge. The guitar licks and string sample sounds are insane and the outro section just listening to that squelch alone is such life. Of course Aaliyah’s syrup vocals and delivery top it all off, it’s totally luscious and sensual. I love this track! I always aim to play it if I’m DJing somewhere and watch the crowd drop into ecstasy.

2. Tirzah – ‘Holding On’
I’m so in love with Tirzah and Mica, their Devotion record is a slight obsession for me. This track is so simple and hits so direct yet in a complex way. I love the brassy synth sound and highly reverbed, floaty but big old school drum machine beat which is so driving. Tirzah’s vocal is so relaxed but also troubled. “This feeling’s controlling me, I can’t shut it down” – it’s so gentle and so melancholic and easy at the same time. I can imagine dancing to this in a big club and also crying at the same time. I really connected to the sentiment of this song when I went through a troubling relationship while writing this EP. I even danced around at like 3am with said person blasting this track on full, singing the lyrics pretty much to them! It’s got such a yearning and fragile quality to it and at the same time the sounds are so pleasing you can’t help but sway and step to it.

3. FKA twigs – ‘Sad Day’
The latest Twigs record is my favourite piece of work she’s put out. The production is really adventurous and powerful. This particular track has an incredibly classic quality to the songwriting. In my opinion, it’s one of the strongest songs on the record, production aside. It’s got a simplicity to it too that drives the story home. I love the sound design/ field recordings throughout and use of vocal sampling in the breakdowns. The drum programming is really interesting and has strange textures in there. The chorus is killer and my absolute favourite part – the bridge sounds like something from Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ era. It’s so beautiful and really lifts your heart out of your chest. I think the song is so exposing and vulnerable and it’s a perfect mix of old songwriting and adventurous 2020 production.

4. Everything Everything – ‘Kemosabe’
What an incredible band! This song, just as a feeling, brings me so much joy. The chorus takes you up to space, makes you want to outstretch your arms and look to the sky. The vocal production on the intro and strange noises are really great, how all the sounds really move around. All the new elements that come in genuinely make you so excited. The guitar parts and “Yes!” shouts/echoes really build you to the chorus amazingly. I like how quick and rhythmically the vocals and lyrics are delivered, again quite stark and unusual. The bridge brings a great down moment, then the synths build us back into the chorus. I think it’s jaw-droppingly great as a song, and all the movements happen at the right time. The production and body of the song is really alive and keeps moving forwards.

5. Mount Kimbie ft. Micachu – ‘Marilyn’
Andy, who I worked with on my EP recorded the marimba on this in his studio. The intro is so great. And wow, Mica’s vocal is just so standout. I love listening to her voice, it tells you so much! I love the live percussion and orchestral instruments mixed with drum machine/live kit. All the sounds are so interesting, the mix of them. What I love about this tune is that it sounds like it was recorded in one take or as a jam, it’s so free and natural.

Thanks to Fran for sharing her favourites with us. Listen to her new EP Brave here.

Fran will be playing at the Love record stores digital event on Saturday 20th June.
Full event details here.

Photo credit: El Hardwick