Five Favourites & Video Premiere: Junk Whale – ‘Pilebox’

Following infectious recent single ‘Happy Birthday’, Oxford band Junk Whale have now announced the release of their new EP, Caught In The Act Of Looking Weird, next month. Taken from the EP, latest single ‘Pilebox’ pays homage to being yourself in the face of adversity. Propelled by a fuzzy, emo-tinged energy and scuzzy hooks, raw impassioned vocals flow throughout as the track builds with a jangly allure to an anthemic blast of angst-driven splendour. Of the track, the band explain:

It started as an attempt to write a song that sounded like a mashup of Pile and Jawbox (hence the title), although it ended up not really sounding like either. It’s about the joy of living life on your own terms and trying not to worry about fitting into anyone else’s expectations of you.”

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of a quirky brand new video for ‘Pilebox’ and the upcoming EP, we caught up with members of Junk Whale to ask about the music that has inspired them the most. See below for their choices of their five favourite songs, and watch the new video for ‘Pilebox’ at the bottom of this feature.

The Cribs – ‘Things You Should Be Knowing‘ (Jenny – bass/vox)
When I wrote the guitar bit that became ‘Airbed’ from the EP, I sat down and basically just tried to write a song that sounded like The Cribs. One of the reasons I was keen to join Junk Whale was I heard that Hannah & Josie were also huge Cribs fans. Needless to say, I love them. They’re so consistent in their ability to produce bangers even now, but their first album is still closest to my heart. It’s so delightfully ramshackle, and has such an infectious energy – listening to it makes me feel young and reckless again (and it makes me feel old to be writing that). It sounds like they’re having loads of fun without even having to try, as if they’re just mucking about in the garage, and even though they’re playing massive venues and festivals now, I’d still favour the ramshackle mucking about sound any day. 


Illuminati Hotties – ‘Knead’ (Ali – vox/production)
Illuminati Hotties are one of the few bands I’ve discovered recently that I’ve really connected with. This song does a really great job of balancing elements of indie rock, pop and grunge which is more or less what we’re trying to do in Junk Whale. Their lead singer, Sarah Tudzin, is a professional audio engineer and produces their songs; she does an amazing job and is a real inspiration for me.

Doe – ‘Julia Survived’ (Josie – guitar/vox)
I first saw Doe in 2016, supporting Muncie Girls in Brighton (also on the bill was another Junk Whale fave, Fresh). I left with a cassette copy of their First Four compilation, and over the next few weeks I rendered it more or less unlistenable by playing it over and over again. At that point, Hannah’s and my pre-Junk Whale band was coming to an end and we were thinking about our next project together. Somehow, Doe had managed to capture exactly the kind of music that we wanted to make. Every song on that comp is great, but ‘Julia Survived’ has always stood out to me. It has that visceral punch of emotion that I crave in music, and the overlapping vocal harmonies were definitely a big influence on our songwriting. Nicola Leel is up there with Corin Tucker from Sleater-Kinney in my “people I wish I could sing like” rankings.

Taking Back Sunday – ‘You Know How I Do’ (Hannah – guitar/vox)
I first got into Taking Back Sunday when I was in sixth form because the drummer in my band really wanted to cover ‘Cute Without the E’ and I’ve never looked back. Their first album, which this track opens, is pretty much without flaw in my eyes and I struggled to pick just one song from it. Something I really love about it is the sheer quantity of vocals; Adam Lazzara barely lets up for a second, singing over almost every section of every song, with John Nolan pitching in frequently for some really effective back-and-forth segments. I think we have a pretty different sound to Taking Back Sunday, but they’re always on my mind whenever I’m trying to structure a song, and especially when I’m writing vocal parts.

Dinosaur Jr. – ‘Little Fury Things’ (Josie – vox/guitar)
First hearing You’re Living All Over Me as a teenager was a genuinely life-changing moment. It exemplified everything I love about guitar music: heavy riffs, soaring solos, ear-scraping noise and, most of all, beautifully expressive rhythm-playing. It was the latter that had the biggest influence on my playing; messing around with different harmonies and chord combinations is my favourite thing to do with a guitar and has formed the basis of my songwriting. ‘Little Fury Things’ is the best example of this. After the pummelling drum intro and aural chaos of the opening section, the plaintive guitar and melancholy vocals of the verse completely disarm you. To me, this song is the best demonstration of the immense dynamic power of a distorted electric guitar.


Huge thanks to Junk Whale for sharing their Five Favourites with us! New EP, Caught In The Act Of Looking Weird, is set for release on 8th July via Reckless Yes. Watch the brand new video for latest single ‘Pilebox’ here:

Photo Credit: Tom Turner

VIDEO PREMIERE: LibraLibra – ‘Fancy Car’

Having released their epic second EP, Modern Millennial, earlier this year, and fresh from wowing crowds at TGE and receiving acclaim from the likes of Jack Saunders at BBC Radio 1, GIHE total faves LibraLibra have now shared a brand new video for album track ‘Fancy Car‘.

With the vibrancy of the retro, Grease-inspired hand-crafted visuals matching the colourful charisma and frenzied energy of the track perfectly, ‘Fancy Car’ is propelled forwards with a sizzling, empowering spirit. Fizzing with a swirling, psych-infused chaos, it oozes a fierce, immense power as the raging magnificence of front woman Beth’s colossal vocals are interwoven into the track’s gritty, anthemic musicality.

With the visual and lyrical narrative so wonderfully aligned, we’re fully immersed into the story of ‘Fancy Car’ – the highs and lows of intense young love, and the rollercoaster of feelings that can accompany it. Fluctuating between a riotous angst-driven force and glistening soulful majesty, the glorious dynamic splendour of Beth’s vocals lends itself perfectly to the vivid cinematic allure of the animated illustrations.

The video for ‘Fancy Car’ was created by Holly Deanna from previous GIHE headliners and faves CURRLS – and I think you’ll agree that she has encapsulated the fiery essence of LibraLibra perfectly! See more of her art at @heavenlystudio_ .

Watch the new video, for the first time, here:

Mari Lane
@marimindles

VIDEO PREMIERE: Problem Patterns – ‘Y.A.W’

**Content Warning: mention of misogyny & violence towards women**

A powerful, necessary anthem for women and girls who have spoken out against violent misogyny only to be told they’re “just a bitch who can’t take a joke,” Belfast punks Problem Patterns have shared a video for their poignant new single ‘Y.A.W’, which we’re premiering exclusively on Get In Her Ears.

Recorded at Start Together Studios with the support of the ‘Scratch’ development programme at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, the track is a visceral rumination on the universal rage and despair that permeates our consciousness in the wake of public violence towards women, in particular, the misogynist killings of Sarah Everard and Aisling Murphy.

Their first official single since their 2020 release ‘Big Shouty‘, Problem Patterns’ ‘Y.A.W’ seethes with a righteous fury, underscored by Ciara’s King’s buzzing basslines, Beverley Boal’s striking guitar riffs, Bethany Crooks’ thudding beats and Alanah Smith’s crystalline vocals. An acronym for ‘Yes All Women’ – antagonising the social media excuse ‘Not All Men’ – on ‘Y.A.W’ Alanah steps forward on vocal duties, demanding “Who do we call for help / When the help seems like a threat to me?” as her bandmates unleash a cathartic cacophony of relentless, rage-fulled sound around her.

“We’re trying to help people get through certain situations, or speak to situations that people are having at this moment. It’s hard to hold things back,” guitarist Beverley explains about the purpose of Problem Patterns’ music and the context of ‘Y.A.W’. This desire to antagonise, expose and shift the narratives around women’s safety is something the band have believed in from day one, and something which their collective hero, Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, encouraged them to keep shouting about. “She’s been part of relighting the fire,” continues Ciara, “and the trust and confidence we have in ourselves as a band.”

Officially released tomorrow (16th March), 100% of the profits from the Bandcamp sales of ‘Y.A.W’ will be split between Cara-Friend and Women’s Aid Northern Ireland. The track is accompanied by a striking performance video, shot and directed by Brendan Seamus with art direction from Billy Woods. It captures the raw, frenzied energy of a Problem Patterns’ gig, something GIHE followers will relate to after their debut London performance with GIHE at The Shacklewell Arms back in December 2021.

Together, Problem Patterns use their collective talents to create riotous feminist punk anthems that provide comfort and catharsis in equal measure, with this latest single being a powerhouse example of both. Watch the video for ‘Y.A.W’ below.

Follow Problem Patterns on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Problem Patterns Upcoming Tour Dates 2022
06.04.2022 – Bob Vylan & Problem Patterns Tour (Cork, Cyprus Avenue)
07.04.2022 – Bob Vylan & Problem Patterns Tour (Galway, The Loft)
08.04.2022 – Bob Vylan & Problem Patterns Tour (Belfast, Deer’s Head)
09.04.2022 – Bob Vylan & Problem Patterns Tour (Limerick, Kasbah)
10.04.2022 – Bob Vylan & Problem Patterns Tour (Dublin, The Grand Social)
12.06.2022 – Supporting Bikini Kill (O2 Academy, Glasgow)

Photo Credit: Carrie Davenport

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

VIDEO PREMIERE: Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra – ‘Empty Envelope’

A disarming reflection on the emotional resilience that’s required in the wake of a bad decision, Dublin-based trio Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra shared their single ‘Empty Envelope’ via Anon Records in September last year. The brooding, shoegazey lament was inspired by a dream that vocalist & guitarist Sarah Deegan had about receiving an empty letter in the post, and today (12th Jan) the band have shared an accompanying video, shot & edited by Irish artist Hollie Gilson, further exploring the song’s narrative of unsaid things.

We caught up with Sarah to talk about creating the new video, how Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra first came to meet and what we can expect from the band in 2022…

Can you remember who or what inspired you to start making your own music?

I remember CDs. I loved the tactile nature of it; putting the CD on and flicking through the lyric booklet while listening, finding your own meaning in the songs. I remember listening to the whole album and not just one song. I remember the music channels on TV, the emo ones of course. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the music video for Evanescence ‘Bring Me To Life’ or Paramore’s ‘Misery Business’.

Neither will we, that’s some iconic 00s imagery. For anyone who doesn’t know, can you explain how Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra first met?

The band has changed about 9 times since its original conception, so it’s kind of hard to say, but I first met Danni about 5 years ago through being friends with her brother. I was in their house and mentioned needing a drummer for some college performance thing I was doing. He said it to her at the kitchen table, and she said that she was up for it. About 20 minutes later I could hear Danni out in the shed playing the song. She’s just a legend. On bass, we’ve recently enlisted Sarah Michelle, who is well known for her guitar playing skills. She’s amazing at bass too.

You’ve teamed up with artist Hollie Gilson (who directed the video for your previous single ‘I didn’t love you when I said I did and I don’t now”) to create the video for ‘Empty Envelope’. Talk us through some of the highlights of working with Hollie again…

Me and Hollie are really good friends, so that makes the process a lot easier. We always do 4 or 5 drafts before a video is final. We spend time watching it, we show others, and consider their feedback. It’s important to have people around us that we can bounce off. This video is a lot more abstract than the last one, there’s no clear timeline in it. We focused more on letting the imagery tell the story.

When you released the single back in 2021, you said that the image of the ‘Empty Envelope’ was inspired by a dream you had, and the lyrics to the track are based around the “cyclical nature of bad decisions.” Talk us through how you chose to reflect these things in the accompanying video…

The start of the video is pretty much exactly like the dream. In the dream, I got a letter in the post. The envelope was painted with swirls of blue and pink. It was the most beautiful envelope I had ever seen. It was from my ex, I could see their name and return address in the corner. I opened it and it was completely blank. Just a really nice looking envelope with absolutely nothing inside. I thought that was a good metaphor for the relationship.

We used wringing hands in the video to portray anxiety and nervous energy. The protagonist attempts to write a response to the empty letter, but this only leads to more frustration. Frustrated and alone, they take their piles of paper and burn them, along with the letter.

The track is an ode to moving on, and this is reflected with the imagery of the train. But moving yourself physically doesn’t change anything, in a new place the cycle of bad decisions continues. It takes something a bit more dramatic (like burning everything) to really break a pattern.

PCRO are working on a debut album at the moment. What details can you tell us about the record?

We’ve been working on this album for the last 2 years with Sean Montgomery Dietz, who is an insanely talented producer/engineer/musician. We’re recording mainly in Crossroads, a studio owned by Shane Tobler in Kilkenny. Parts of the album were also recorded in Dublin, at the Annesley House, and in Clare and Drogheda. We teamed up with some really talented musicians who played orchestral instruments on a couple of tracks, Ali Comerford on violin and Karima Dillon El-Toukhy on flute. A combination which I can only describe as majestic.

Most of the songs were written in Mayo, where I’m from. The album takes you on a journey through growing up, the confrontation of idealism and the real world, asserting your independence and getting your heart broken. It’s an honest reflection on the confusion of youth, and talks openly with both sensitivity and cynicism.

We’re really taking our time with this, and I can tell you that, unlike a lot of new albums, every song is a proper song. Long songs, with long titles, that don’t really care for the modern lack of attention span. There has been some debate about whether or not the album will be uploaded to Spotify.

That sounds great, we can’t wait to hear it. Aside from releasing the album, what are your hopes and ambitions for PCRO for 2022?

To play as many shows as the pandemic permits, to just keep doing what we’re doing.

Finally, are there any bands or artists you’re listening to who you’d like to recommend we check out?

Another Anon Records artist to watch this year is OG CNT & the 1240. OG CNT is a WhatsApp famous counter-cultural anti-hero. Tracks like ‘HATE’ and ‘Everybody that I know’ are unforgettable. His album, The Memoirs of OG CNT, will be out this year too.

Thanks to Sarah for answering our questions!
Watch the new video for ‘Empty Envelope’ below.

Follow Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra on bandcampSpotifyTwitterInstagram & Facebook

Photo Credit/Video Still: Hollie Gilson

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut