PLAYLIST: November 2020

We’re almost out of Lockdown 2.0 here in the UK, but whether you’re feeling excited or apprehensive about the changes the new government measures will bring, our November playlist is here to help distract you. There’s an eclectic mix of alt-pop delights, atmospheric electronic soundscapes and some shimmering indie and alternative 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.

GENN – ’23rd March’
The latest single from Brighton based trans-national band Ġenn, ‘23rd March’ is propelled by whirring hooks, capturing the charismatic energy of the band’s magnificent live show, as it builds with a sultry power to a gritty grunge-fueled seething anthem. ‘23rd March’ is taken from Ġenn’s upcoming EP Liminal, set for release next year on Everything Sucks Music. (Mari Lane)

Nervous Twitch – ‘Tongue Tied’
The latest single from the Leeds three-piece, ‘Tongue Tied’ is a comforting ode to “Self-reflection and amazement over the contradictions in life”. Propelled by scuzzy surf-rock inspired hooks and an instantly catchy uptempo musicality, it’s a colourfully retro slice of uplifting punk-pop. ‘Tongue Tied’ is out now via Reckless Yes. (ML)

Tired Lion – ‘~Cya Later~’
Aussie band Tired Lion have just shared their new album Breakfast For Pathetics and it is SO. GOOD. I love frontwoman & guitarist Sophie Hopes’ voice and this track is apparently one of her favourites on the record – it also happens to be one of mine too. (Kate Crudgington)

Francis of Delirium – ‘Lakes’
“The main idea in ‘Lakes’ is that we are all fed by other people (or other “rivers”) to eventually form who we are, one large lake fed by other water streams, one community,” explains Francis of Delirium’s songwriter Jana Bahrich. Taken from their upcoming EP Wading, which is set for release next February, this single continues to show Bahrich’s talent for writing poignant guitar tunes about the interweaving nature of life. (KC)

King Hannah – ‘Meal Deal’
Liverpool’s King Hannah have just released a complete beaut of a debut EP, the magnificence of which is showcased perfectly in ‘Meal Deal’. Inspired by an unsuccessful flat-hunting mission, it’s steeped in an all-encompassing ethereal splendour as the utterly spellbinding majesty of Hannah Merrick’s vocals flow alongside swirling War On Drugs-reminiscent hooks. Tell Me Your Mind And I’ll Tell You Mine, the new EP from King Hannah, is out now via City Slang. Watch the homevideo for ‘Meal Deal’ here. (ML)

Serena Isioma – ‘Stop Calling The Police On Me’
“This song is about searching for peace outside of the society that doesn’t understand you,” explains Chicago-based musician Serena Isioma. “There was a heavy police presence in my household growing up. It was very toxic. Eventually, I stopped coming home altogether. I was much happier hanging out with my friends.” Isioma, a first generation Nigerian-American, neutralizes these hostile memories via ambient guitars and honeyed vocals. I’m so excited to hear their new EP The Leo Sun Sets, which is set for release in Feb 2021. (KC)

Amaroun & Jung Mergs – ‘Highest Head’
GIHE fave Amaroun’s latest offering sees the London artist teaming up with rapper Jung Mergs. Switching between the rich, smooth power of Amaroun’s soulful refrains and the fast-paced poignant spoken-word lyricism of Mergs, it builds with a gritty, grimey groove and whirring, fuzzy energy. (ML)

Rosé Petal – ‘Dripping’
I love this hypnotic new single from Rhode Island-based, alternative R&B/electro-pop producer and songwriter Rosé Petal. It’s a beautiful combination of sweet vocals, sultry beats and atmospheric electronics. (KC)

ZAND – ‘Inappropriate’
Self proclaimed “ugly popstar” ZAND has just released their new EP Ugly Pop, and ‘Inappropriate’ is one of several savage bangers on the record. ZAND’s wit and defiance in the face of their critics shines through in their candid lyricism and polished, yet punishing beats. (KC)

STRAIGHT GIRL – ‘Limón’
A vibrant, jagged electronic soundscape inspired by disjointed and self-critical thoughts, ‘Limón’ is the latest single from Leeds-based electropunk STRAIGHT GIRL. Released via Come Play With Me, the track is a cathartic new offering that sees the artist confront the darker parts of themselves and transform them into energetic, intensely danceable beats. (KC)

CIRCE – ‘Dancer’
An evocative dark-pop gem inspired by a morbid fascination with an infamous cult, London-based Circe’s latest single ‘Dancer’ is taken from her debut EP, She’s Made of Saints. The track is a sultry, cinematic tune exploring the dangerous yet seductive allure of Californian cult The Source Family. I wholeheartedly recommend you listen to Circe’s EP if you’re a fan of any of the following: The Handmaid’s Tale, David Lynch or Stranger Things. (KC)

October and The Eyes – ‘Dark Dog’
New Zealand-born, London-based songwriter October and The Eyes recently shared her debut EP Dogs and Gods, and this dark, sultry single is lifted from it. Speaking about the track, October explains: “It’s about the uneasy feeling of being watched, that at any moment something bad could happen. There’s an anecdotal malformed dog who’s always near – limping, snarling, growling and drooling. It’s one you feel equally sorry for as you do fear it. You cannot outrun this dark dog, so you decide to make peace.” (KC)

Yumi And The Weather – ‘What Will Become Of The Wishing Well’
The latest single from Brighton based artist Yumi And The Weather, ‘What Will Become Of The Wishing Well’ flows with soaring rich vocals and twinkling uptempo vibes alongside glitchy beats and a driving energy. A soothing slice of alt-pop reminiscent of the electro-strewn grandeur of The Postal Service. (ML)

Elaine Malone – ‘You’ (1000 Beasts Remix)
A captivating, blissfully lo-fi new offering from two of Cork’s freshest talents, this is a beaut collaboration between songwriter & multi-instrumentalist Elaine Malone and electronic artist & producer 1000 Beasts. Led by Malone’s original beguiling vocals and lullaby-esque lyrics, 1000 Beasts has tentatively transformed the track with his distinctive percussion and the result is a magnetic soundscape that acts as an aural tonic for testing times. (KC)

Smoothboi Ezra – ‘My Own Person’
Smoothboi Ezra is an 18 year old songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Greystones, Ireland. This song is about “not being happy but not being able to do anything about it” which is the over-riding sentiment for most of 2020. I love this track and can’t wait to hear more from them in the future. (KC)

Hearts Beating In Time – ‘Simone’s’
The latest single from Berlin-based Hearts Beating In Time, ‘Simone’s’ offers a totally dreamy, twinkling soundscape. With elegant layers of shimmering synths alongside the glistening charm of Rebecca Theuma’s vocals, it’s an instantly captivating slice of immersive electro-pop. (ML)

Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business – ‘I Am Afraid’
Reflecting on how being alone as a female identifying person can be both scary and exciting, ‘I Am Afraid’ is propelled by funk-fuelled bass-lines and an empowering, shimmering energy. As it builds with the twinkling power of voices uniting together in harmony and jangling, playful percussion, it’s a poignant, impassioned ode to female strength and resilience. ‘I Am Afraid’ is out now via Lost Map Records. Watch the joyous new video here. (ML)

Pinlight – ‘Grow Slow’
The new single from Edinburgh-based hearing-impaired artist Jenny Laahs, aka Pinlight, ‘Grow Slow’ flows with an uplifting twinkling energy and luscious honey-sweet vocals. A refreshingly uptempo slice of sunny alt-pop, it’s the perfect danceable accompaniment to a solo lockdown living room rave. (ML)

Kama Vardi – ‘The Gate’
An uplifting slice of folk-pop, Kama Vardi’s ‘The Gate’ flows with a twinkling romanticism and joy-tinged lilting musicality. Oozing a captivating allure alongside the soothing splendour of Vardi’s vocals. Moonticket, the upcoming new album from Kama Vardi, is out now via Bread For Eskimos. (ML)

Track Of The Day: ZAND – ‘Inappropriate’

An industrial-tinged pop tune that revels in the idea of not fitting the mould, Blackpool-based dark pop artist ZAND has shared their latest single ‘Inappropriate’. Lifted from their brand new EP UGLY POP (released today), the track is another stellar example of ZAND’s talent when it comes to creating savage yet sweet “ugly pop” gems.

“’Inappropriate’ is taking one of the words that has been used to patronise and belittle artists like myself who don’t fit a friendly, cookie cutter manufactured stereotype,” ZAND explains about the track. “[It’s] putting a sarcastic, embracive spin on it laced with a bit of irony. It’s a vent for the judgement I have faced in this industry by certain people. I’ve really enjoyed taunting those same people with my music.”

ZAND’s wit and defiance in the face of their critics shines through in their candid lyricism and polished, yet punishing beats. Produced by ZAND and DJ/producer Daktyl (Major Lazer, Halsey) and mixed by Thomas Mitchener (Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, La Roux), ‘Inappropriate’, like the other four tracks on the UGLY POP EP, is a delightfully wicked tune that celebrates self-autonomy and persevering in an industry that often tries to soften an artist’s unique edge.

UGLY POP is a very intimate project to me, with it being the first body of work centred around my own genre as an ‘ugly popstar’” ZAND continues. “This EP acts as a little taster for this, and what UP represents. I’m stoked to be birthing this little batsh*t part of me out into the world” – and we’re stoked to be listening to more of ZAND’s warped and wonderful beats.

Watch the video for ‘Inappropriate’ below.

Follow ZAND on Twitter, InstagramSpotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Sophie Thompson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Get In Her Ears w/ ZAND 15.10.20

Tash & Kate were back in the Hoxton Radio studio this week with loads of new tunes from women & non-binary artists. They also caught up with “ugly pop” artist ZAND to talk about their recent single ‘Slut Money’, their feature in British Vogue’s ‘I Feel Pride’ campaign, and their upcoming EP…

Listen back:

Tracklist
The Selecter – On My Radio
Isabelle Brown – In Your Head
Laura Fell – Cold
CIRCE – Ruined Your Sons
Babeheaven – Craziest Things
Nuala Honan – Day To Day
Rosie Shaw – Temporary Love
Opal Onyx – Lover’s Toil
Pao Pestana – Quiero Verte
Morgan – Alien
Celaviedmai – Reckless
Tamar Aphek – Show Me Your Pretty Side
Serena Isioma – King
Witch Prophet – TESFAY
ZAND – Slut Money
**ZAND Interview**
Rachael Lavelle – Perpetual Party
Sans Soucis – Air
Seagoth – Dreamworld
ARXX – Call Me Crazy
Moglii ft. LissA – Skoda
JEEN – Idols
Swallow Cave – Cold Moon
Tolu Makay – Don’t Let Go
Bugeye – When The Lights Go Out
Winifred Atweel – The Black and White Rag

WATCH: ZAND – ‘Slut Money’

A savage pop tune that celebrates self-autonomy and body positivity, ZAND has shared a new video for their latest single ‘Slut Money’. The self-described “ugly pop” star is taking aim at slut shamers on their new track, knocking down the haters with their gritty beats, sweet vocals and candid rap verses.

“While it’s a tongue-in-cheek bop, I wrote it as a liberating bite back at whorephobes,” ZAND explains about the new single. “[It’s] an ode to the community, as well as it being empowering for anyone who’s been judged for demonstrating their right to bodily autonomy and sexual liberation.” The Blackpool-born producer delivers these thoughts via unapologetic lyrics and dense beats on ‘Slut Money’.

“Why you complaining when it’s not your body?” ZAND repeatedly asks, reiterating the problem that patriarchal society has with judging the bodies of women and non-binary people. ZAND rightfully celebrates using your body in whatever way you want to, and unapologetically tells those who find it offensive exactly where to go. Watch the video for ‘Slut Money’ below and follow ZAND on Instagram and Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Sara Irvine

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut