PLAYLIST: Transgender Awareness Week 2021

At Get In Her Ears, we stand every day with our transgender and gender non-conforming siblings. We support trans and non-binary artists because they create some of our favourite music, and because trans rights are human rights and we send our love, solidarity and joy to all the trans community today, and every day.

This week has been Transgender Awareness Week, and ends with Transgender Day of Remembrance tomorrow 20th November, so today we wanted to uplift and spread awareness of just some of the incredible transgender and non-binary artists who we love to blast out of our speakers on a regular basis.

Read about our choices below, and take a listen to the full playlist here.

And, if you need support during Transgender Awareness Week, or at anytime in the future, you can always reach out to Switchboard LGBT+ via their website or by calling 0330 330 0630.

Jackie Shane – ‘Comin’ Down’
As always, I can’t resist adding soul singer Jackie Shane to our playlists. Her wonderfully smooth vocals, sophisticated style and defiance in the face of transphobia in the early ’60s all make her a true GIHE icon. 
(Kate Crudgington)

Ms White – ‘Fuck Men’
I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of Ms White until this year, 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 and for people of all genders; I challenge you to listen to this and not feel motivated and ready to face the world.
(Mari Lane)

Thigh High – ‘Go Slow
I had the pleasure of interviewing Thigh High last year and I recommend you check out their full back catalogue – a band truly dedicated to celebrating and centring queer and trans joy in their music! 
(Tash Walker)

Ezra Furman – ‘I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend’
Having come out as a transgender woman earlier this year, and sharing beautiful images of herself with her child, Ezra Furman has long been a favourite of mine, since I first fell in love with her 2018 album Transangelic Exodus. This song, taken from 2019’s Twelve Nudes, is a beautiful reflection on identity, as Furman describes it – “a romantic song of transgender longing…
(ML)

The Crystal Furs – ‘Miss Hughes’
Portland band The Crystal Furs returned to our ears earlier this year with own unique brand of queer jangle pop. Tying together the band’s penchant for writing about cities with vintage b-movie vibes, ‘Miss Hughes’ is a playfully twinkling offering, complete with organ melodies and honey-sweet vocals.
(ML)

Bitch Hunt – ‘Shapeshifter’
GIHE faves Bitch Hunt originally formed at the amazing First Timers fest, and this year released their debut EP via Reckless Yes. The title track of the EP, ‘Shapeshifter’ is a stirring slice of effervescent punk-pop, reflecting on themes of transition and gender identity, and how we are consistently ‘shape-shifting’ depending on our circumstances. A beautifully poignant offering, oozing a sparkling sense of optimism.
(ML)

Chuck SJ – ‘Sink Your Teeth In’
This single is taken from DIY multi-instrumentalist Chuck SJ’s upcoming debut album Resist.Recharge.Revolt. Full of atmospheric guitar riffs, sparse beats and glitchy electronics, it’s an industrial-tinged rumination on the forces that construct, influence and sometimes dismantle our ways of thinking. Chuck is also one half of punk duo Byenary who you can check out here
(KC)

Adult Mom – ‘Berlin’
Consistently my most listened-to artist over the last couple of years, non-binary musician Stevie Knipe – aka Adult Mom – creates the most beautifully heartfelt music. I’m sending extra love to them at the moment as they were diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and are currently in recovery. I can’t wait to hear more gorgeous music from them when they’re ready.
(ML)

Smoothboi Ezra.- ‘My Own Person
We’re big fans at Get In Her Ears of non-binary Irish artist Smoothboi Ezra, whose music so often touches on the melancholy but with such richness it is such a pleasure to listen to their music which is often SO relatable to all of us in the queer community.
(TW)

YAY MARIA – ‘Template’ (feat. FRANX)
Having previously captivated our ears as the front person of Grawl!x, trans artist YAY MARIA recently released her wonderful debut solo album, OYEZ. Made in collaboration with Nottingham-based queer artist and musician FRANX, ‘Template’ is filled with a stirring lyricism that celebrates self-love, whilst oozing a dry wit, drawing attention with a raw honesty to the mundane issues of modern life; the parts of life that are often expected of us – the ‘template’ we are expected to live by – but by no means are appropriate or desired by all, particularly those in the queer/non-heteronormative community.
(ML)

PET Wife – ‘B.L.O.O.D.O.R.A.N.G.E.’
Love what I’ve heard from PET wife so far! I came across them only a couple of weeks ago. PET wife are a trans/non-binary couple and art-pop duo from Bushwick, Brooklyn. This single is accompanied by a music video, that they describe as an homage to the vampire lesbian exploitation films of the 1970s, with an all-trans/gender non-conforming crew and queer cast.
(TW)

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.
(KC)

SOPHIE – BIPP (Autechre MX) 
A pioneer in electronic music who we sadly lost earlier this year. Like so many of the people I have learned about in our British queer history, SOPHIE will live on in their music and the memories we all hold of how that music makes us feel. 
(TW)

Gordian Stimm – ‘Breath Diet’
I’m such a big fan of everything electronic artist & producer Gordian Stimm creates. This track is taken from their instrumental EP Flirty Lucre for Public Sector, which they released earlier this year. Their debut album, Your Body In On Itself (released by Amateur Pop Incorporated) also makes for a super listen. 
(KC)

LOTIC – ‘Burn A Print’
Berlin-based artist & producer LOTIC’s mission is to “live life to the fullest by not giving a fuck about what anybody thinks,” something she clearly and defiantly communicates on this track. With a name that means to “to inhabit rapidly moving water,” Lotic’s chaotic yet fluid soundscapes truly embody her passionate, fighting spirit. 
(KC)

HUSK – ‘My Innocence’
Manchester based trans, non-binary artist HUSK prides themselves on celebrating queer joy and equal rights in their shimmering, euphoric pop anthems. ‘My Innocence’ is the perfect accompaniment to having a dance with loved ones and uniting in the celebration of queer love and diversity.
(ML)

F.R.U.I.T.Y – ‘U.P.S’
Belfast-based queer artist Dan O’Rawe – aka F.R.U.I.T.Y – released their debut EP earlier this year. Taken from the EP, ‘U.P.S’ offers a wonderfully quirky, futuristic soundscape whilst reflecting on themes of identity. As twinkling hooks flow with a cinematic splendour, it’s a glistening, uplifting slice of alt-electro-pop.
(ML)

Arca – ‘KLK’ (feat. ROZALIA)
Arca is a trailblazing trans artist who has been pushing boundaries in the electronica scene for years now. I love her music, especially right now where I cannot quite scratch that live gig rave itch. Turn this up loud, close your eyes and dance dance dance, you’ll feel free.
(TW)

Mavi Phoenix – ‘Boys Toys’
Mavi Phoenix is someone that we interviewed a couple of years back now, but who 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 track is taken from their debut album of the same name, which was released earlier this year. This is all about Phoenix being reborn, which is what happens in the accompanying music video to this track. ‘Boys Toys’ is as important as an exploration for Phoenix’s gender identity as it is for his artistic work. And on top of all that, it’s an absolute tune. Enjoy.
(TW)

Khx05 – ‘Trouble’
I have Nova Twins to thank for introducing me to North Carolina-based artist Khx05. They feature on the duo’s compilation album Voices For The Unheard, a blistering collection of alternative anthems that showcase the eclectic, tenacious range of talent from artists of colour in the heavy & alternative music scenes. Khx05 is one of the most interesting artists I’ve come across this year and I urge you to check them out. 
(KC)

Kae Tempest – ‘People’s Faces’
Coming out as non-binary last year, Kae Tempest is one of the most necessary and innovative artists around. The glaringly honest and completely relevant social commentary of ‘People’s Faces’ showcases their unique poetic skill at creating relevant and hugely emotive social narratives. But a subtle glimmer of hope also shines through; the comfort we gain from those we love, and the comfort we can offer them just by being there.
(ML)

Shamir – ‘Cisgender’
I’ve been such a fan of Shamir for years and really admire how they’re constantly developing their sound and not shying away from being their true self. ‘Cisgender’ is a simply beautiful and moving reflection on their non-binary identity: “I’m not cisgender / I’m not binary trans / I don’t wanna be a girl / I don’t wanna be a man / I’m just existing on this god forsaken land.” Solidarity and love to you Shamir, always. 
(ML)

Listen to our Transgender Awareness Week playlist on Spotify now, and make sure you follow and support these fab artists!

Track of The Day: The Crystal Furs – ‘Miss Hughes / Please Fade Away’

Having previously charmed our ears with their debut album Beautiful and True, Portland’s indie jangle pop band The Crystal Furs have spent their career channelling their growth as individuals and as a group into their music. Their sound reflects the shifting, unpredictable nature of life and deftly changes with each curveball thrown. Their two new tracks, ‘Miss Hughes’ and ‘Please Fade Away’ show that same keenness to embrace change and throw the full weight of their creativity behind their own growth.

Both songs are built on a foundation of The Crystal Furs’ ’60s-inspired pop sound, with high lilting vocals harmonising over a chirpy combination of strings and keyboard. This is complemented by a more contemporary-sounding reverb and deep bass, blending the old and new styles in a way that marry together to create something unique and exciting.

Miss Hughes’ opens with the rich boom of an organ, striking a decisive and powerful note that rumbles beneath the lighter vocals and strings as they jump in. You can feel the vintage influences soaking into the sound in the way the harmonies dance around each other, as the delightfully simple yet immersive riffs play around the chord progression. The reverb lends an almost club-like vibe to the track underlying the chirpy upbeat singing, which creates a fun contrast that sees the two styles balance each other out into a playful whole.

‘Please Fade Away’ is another wonderfully constructed song, playing off vocals teeming with attitude against that same bright ‘60s sound. The vocals are absolutely fantastic, with the relatable premise of wishing someone would stop being so clingy and just disappear. The snark comes through the wording in a way that is effectively juxtaposed against tones that are otherwise very gentle in their sound and rhythm. These seemingly simple structural decisions give the track’s details so much character. The delicate tambourine jingles feel almost sarcastic, so lightly played against the lyrics, given power by the throbbing drums and signature chirping guitars.

Both tracks show an evolution in The Crystal Furs’ sound. The way the more contemporary musical elements enhance the effect of the vintage style gives the songs a distinct and timeless flavour that feels at once familiar, yet novel. Two dreamily uplifting offerings that leave us longing for more of The Crystal Furs’ playfully honey-sweet creations.

Kirstie Summers
@ActuallyKurt

Artwork: Kara Buchanan

LISTEN: Husk – ‘My Innocence’

Having previously treated our ears to uptempo pop gems ‘Heal With Time’ and ‘Below The Neck’, and having received acclaim from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson, BBC Radio Cymru’s Janice Long and Gaydio, Manchester based trans masc, non-binary artist HUSK has now shared a brand new single.

Propelled by glitchy, tribal beats and a fiery, vibrant groove, ‘My Innocence‘ oozes a swirling, empowering energy. With an uplifting passion, HUSK’s distinctive, sweeping vocals flow as a shimmering euphoric splendour glistens with every note. A fiesty pop banger, it’ll leave you feeling energised – ready to hit the dance floor with loved ones and unite in the celebration of queer love and diversity.

Of the track, HUSK reflects: “I just wanted to make a song that you could dance to about new exciting queer love.

They have certainly succeeded in this with ‘My Innocence’! And at a time when it is more important than ever to spread the message of equal rights for all, and love and solidarity within the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. So, press play, turn it up and celebrate queer joy!

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: YAY MARIA – ‘Template’ (ft. Franx)

Having previously captivated our ears as the front person of Grawl!x, Trans and queer artist YAY MARIA has now announced the release of her debut solo album, OYEZ. Touching on themes of being an outsider, celebrating solidarity and community, OYEZ is set for release later this year.

The first of three tracks to be shared from the album, new single ‘Template’ is a wonderfully empowering slice of poignant power-pop. Made in collaboration with Nottingham-based queer artist and musician FRANX, the track oozes a swirling, ethereal splendour and vibrant, uplifting energy. Propelled by calypso-like jangling beats and colourful twinkling hooks, it’s filled with a stirring lyricism that celebrates self-love (“No set way for living your life / That’s ok / You’re great / No wrong or right.”) whilst oozing a dry wit, drawing attention with a raw honesty to the mundane issues of modern life; the parts of life that are often expected of us – the ‘template’ we are expected to live by – but by no means are appropriate or desired by all, particularly those in the queer/non-heteronormative community. As Maria explains:

“I think it can sometimes feel like there is a ‘template’ in life (school, marriage, children etc) & for many that course of life is either unattainable &/or undesirable. So, it can feel kinda scary not fitting in with that pre-supposed model. However, there is also something wonderful & empowering about that too; particularly given that there are so many other queer folks out there who feel a similar way.”

With this first taste of the new album, ‘Template’ offers a blissfully euphoric anthem in celebration of being your true self in the face of adversity. A much-needed sentiment right now, YAY MARIA has created a truly dreamy, danceable soundtrack to the summer; a vital message of solidarity – assuring us that even if you don’t fit society’s accepted ‘template’, you deserve happiness – that we need now more than ever.

‘Template’ is accompanied by a simply beautiful video, exuding all the celebratory, self-love filled joy you could ever desire. Have a watch, and a boogie, now:

‘Template’ is released with the Year Of Glad collective, a young imprint and close knit family of creatives who worked with YAY MARIA on her charity release ‘ENDTIMESand a commemorative piece for Transgender Day Of Rememberance’ in 2020. The track, as with all of OYEZ, is made in the spirit of collaboration, produced with label mate and YOG founder Tom John Hall.

‘Template’ is out now. Buy it on bandcamp now – with all proceeds going to the QTIBIPOC Therapy Fund; an initiative of the Radical Therapist Network, to create access for Queer & Trans People of Colour to safe therapeutic spaces & services; outside of systemic oppression. 

Mari Lane
@marimindles