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

Video Premiere: Meggie Brown – ‘Angel Like You’

Having been named as one of The Guardian’s ‘Artists For 2020’, and being championed by the likes of Iggy Pop and Alex Kapranos, North London based artist Meggie Brown has previously charmed our ears with the scuzzy energy of ‘Dusty Smells‘. Now, with their new EP set for release next month, they have shared a brand new video to accompany their stirring single, ‘Angel Like You’.

Propelled by twinkling hooks and a lilting energy, ‘Angel Like You’ offers an exquisite reflection on the beauty of intimacy. With its poignant lyricism, it oozes a captivating allure as it ripples with an effervescent emotion and chiming musicality. Maintaining Brown’s deadpan-yet-poetic ruminations, with shades of the likes of Aussie favourite Courtney Barnett, it flows with a dreamy, majestic haze.

Of the beautiful accompanying video, director Sim Gray explains:

“A psychedelic cult, fairytale, astral projection, daydream – a queer, shapeshifting collaboration with Sim Gray, Bianca Scout, The Creature Fleur, Shivani Thussu, Sokora Xilber and Lucy Marie. Wildflowers on the horizon, dancing through each season, whatever the weather. Softness gets crushed into dust, or lost, guided away from the crossroads. A zone of flowers flattened down, the pathway into a shadowed forest.”


‘Angel Like You’ is taken from Meggie Brown’s upcoming EP Home. Written and recorded with Sunny Robertson at Float Rock Home Studio, with backing band Forrest Flowers and long time music companion and drummer Kayleigh Cheer, it explores themes of gender identity and reflects on Brown’s feelings surrounding recently coming out as Transgender.

Home is set for release on 24th September.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Video Premiere: Tribes Of Europe & Barbara Stretch – ‘Rosalind’

Having previously garnered support from the likes of BBC 6Music, BBC Wales and Amazing Radio for previous singles ‘Let The Big Beat Save Your Southern Soul’, ‘The House You Built For Us‘ and ‘It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow‘, Tribes Of Europe are back with an uplifting new offering. The alter-ego of Fenland-based Martin Elsey, for this current project he is joined by musicians Andy Gangadeen (Massive Attack, Chase & Status, Jeff Beck) and Chris Taylor (Poison Girls), with the distinctive vocals of jazz-punk icon Barbara Stretch (The Vernons), as well as additional input from the Ely Fallen Angels Choir.

Immersed in a swirling, psychedelic haze, ‘Rosalind’ is partly inspired by innovative DNA chemist Rosalind Franklin, whilst reflecting on feelings of not fitting into society’s prescribed norms. As sweeping, synth-driven hooks are propelled by an uplifting ’60s-inspired rockabilly energy and a sizzling soul-infused groove, Stretch’s glistening heartfelt vocals soar. As the shimmering allure of ‘Rosalind’s cinematic musicality builds, blissful harmonies flow with a euphoric splendour to create a perfectly sunny slice of neo-soul; a rapturous soundtrack exuding a much-needed vibrant joy.

Explaining the inspiration behind the track, Elsey explains:

It’s about a girl whose hero is Rosalind Franklin. She also has a secret crush on a popular girl at school. It’s very intense, as these things tend to be when you want something really badly but can’t seem to find a way of getting it. The song is her imaginary conversation with Rosalind and the girl. Somewhere along the line I started thinking about Joe Meek as well, and he crept into the general vibe of the song … All these innovators who didn’t quite fit in with the norms of the day; maybe their sexuality or gender just didn’t quite click.”

Watch the wonderfully trippy new video for ‘Rosalind’, for the first time, now and prepare to lose yourself in its fizzing, colourful visuals:

‘Rosalind’ is out tomorrow, 20th August, via Integrity Records.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Video Premiere: Bugeye – ‘Don’t Stop’ (Feral Five Reset Remix)

Celebrating the first anniversary of their incredible debut album Ready Steady Bang, GIHE faves Bugeye have collaborated with some of the UK’s most creative DJs, producers, and bands to cook up an exciting charity remix album, kicking off with newly refreshed single ‘Don’t Stop’, remixed by Feral Five.

The electro duo have brilliantly drawn out the synth tingles and stomping beat of the original track, propelling ‘Don’t Stop’ into the realms of a club banger; all glittering tambourines and charged guitar licks.

Of the collaboration, Feral Five explain: “We love Bugeye! Ready Steady Bang is an absolute instant classic album. The chance to get our hands on one of the tunes and Feralize the freak out of it was irresistible”. ‘Feralized’ is an apt descriptor; Angela Martin’s formidable vocals have been perfectly spliced up into a commanding siren call to the dance-floor, ramping up the sparkly beats of electro whilst highlighting the song’s grunge-fuelled rock roots.

If an album of reinvented tunes wasn’t enough, all profits of the remixes will be donated to Newham charity The Magpie Project, fighting against mother and child homelessness. Angela from Bugeye explains: “Our debut album is very dear to our hearts so being able to explore new possibilities across a number of genres was dead exciting to us. We feel blown away that so many talented people wanted to work with us too. Being able to do this for a Newham charity was very important. Paula and I grew up there. It was, and still is a very poor area, one of the poorest in the UK. We know we’re not going to change the world with just one remix album, but if we can help even a single family sleep safe and sound at night, we will have achieved something incredible“.

Accompanying the ‘Don’t Stop’ remix is psychedelic brand new video. Artfully constructed with vibrant, trippy imagery, it’s a perfect visualisation of the track’s swirling euphoric energy; a completely immersive experience for eyes and ears alike. Watch the video, for the first time, here:

 Ready Steady Remix, the new remixed album from Bugeye, is set for release 9th July, and also features remixes from the likes of Robyn and The Maw Experiment, amongst many more. Pre-order from bandcamp or pre-save here.

Leonie Bellini
@teenpeachmovie

Photo Credit: Keira Cullinane