EP: Cuntrie – ‘Scrapbooking’

“Everything I write needs to be true, because I don’t like to lie”, confesses Cuntrie (aka Ebba Gustafsson Ågren) about her debut EP, Scrapbooking. Released via Feverish on 22nd January, the Swedish indie musician embraces both the silly and the serious on her first offering under her new moniker.

Best known for fronting Swedish duo Wy, Ågren’s solo work explores more quirky, personal themes through a combination of witty lyrics, sweet vocals, and minimalist synth textures. Opening track ‘Spider’ is an ideal display of this, as she extrapolates about her phobia of a small arachnid over glitchy beats, prompting her to reflect on the deeper fears of losing control, and trying to stay calm.

On the brief ‘Hamster Cancer’, twinkling keys intertwine with ominous synths to help relive the pain left behind by the loss of a beloved pet. It’s a dark subject to lament about, but Cuntrie’s emotive vocals make her reflections feel soft and poignant. “I always thought that you were cool / just wanted to know more about you” she muses on penultimate track ‘The Singer’. Lo-fi beats and lush, longing vocals blend cooly together here, making it one of the strongest tracks on the EP.

Her gentle exploration of toxic masculinity on closing track ‘Oh Boy’ is especially touching. Cuntrie paints a picture with her lyrics of the stereotypical strong, silent man who is afraid to be emotional. With the simple repeated refrain “Men don’t want to fight / they just want to cry”, she effortlessly dismantles these pressures over slow, tentative beats.

Cuntrie’s debut EP certainly has the quality of a scrapbook. It’s a nostalgic, raw, genuine collection of reflections, fears, and anticipations that have a personal, yet universal quality. Her eccentric approach to songwriting makes Scrapbooking a refreshing, truly enjoyable listen.

Cuntrie’s debut EP Scrapbooking is released on 22nd Jan via Feverish.
Follow Cuntrie on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Riotmiloo – ‘Want: I don’t want it’ (Riotmiloo & Eva|3 remix)

Blending Riot Grrrl ethics with dense industrial sounds; London-based Riotmiloo has shared ‘Want: I don’t want it’, a remix of New Zealand trip-hop artist Scalper’s track ‘Want’. Working alongside her musical collaborator Eva|3, Riotmiloo has deconstructed the original song and altered its context to reflect her feelings about consent, and the #MeToo movement.

Speaking about the track, Riotmiloo explains: “When Scalper asked me to remix one of his tracks, I chose ‘Want’. It had to be this one. What if I approached it with the “Don’t want” idea? News, various articles and experiences around me lit up my feminist flame. I had never tackled the subject of consent in a song and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I asked Eva|3 if he would agree and then our remix was born.”

A cathartic, noise-ridden, raw experience; the dual vocals on ‘Want: I don’t want it’ relay a menacing encounter centered around consent. The role reversal by the end of the track reflects Riotmiloo’s belief that the issues surrounding consent can be dealt with. She extrapolates on this: “Consent is more than ever a subject that ought to be discussed. Social movements like #MeToo and Balance ton Porc (Report your Pig) in France have been decried. Questions like: “What was she wearing then?” or “Wasn’t she looking for it to advance her career?” have been said. There’s no need to say them – “no” means “no”.”

Riotmiloo released her debut album La Pierre Soudée, on German label Ant-zen in 2015. Each track is inspired by a real life story which highlights the suffering of women. Listen to ‘Want: I don’t want it’ below, and follow Riotlmiloo on Facebook for more updates.

You can listen to/download Scalper’s Want More EP on bandcamp.

Photo Credit: Stefan Alt

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: January 2020

We’re two weeks in to 2020, and whether you’re keeping up with ‘Dry January’, venturing into ‘Veganuary’ or simply demolishing the leftover Christmas snacks; we’ve put together a list of brand new music to help with all of the above. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist at the end of the page.

 

Shopping – ‘Initiative’
Referencing governments who shirk responsibilities whilst placing blame on individuals; international trio Shopping’s new single ‘Initiative’ oozes a racing sense of urgency and gritty energy, whilst funk-fuelled beats and jangly, whirring hooks flow. Taken from the band’s upcoming new album, it’s a vibrant anthem encouraging us to stay motivated and keep going against the grain. All Or Nothing, the new album from Shopping, is out 7th February via FatCat Records. (Mari Lane)

Dream Nails – ‘Text Me Back (Chirpse Degree Burns)’
With their distinctive, raucous punk-pop energy; our favourite London Punk Witches Dream Nails address the anxious hell-scape that is 21st century dating on ‘Text Me Back’, and the excruciating pain of being left on “read”. With stomping beats, pounding bass-lines and immense riffs accompanying the fun-filled lyrics, it’s an instant smile-inducing anthem. Of the track, Janey from the band explains: “For those born beyond the M25, “chirpse” is London slang for flirting, and “chirpse degree burns” is our personal slang for the injuries borne from romantic misadventure. The song is a tribute to the gut-wrenching feeling of checking your phone every 5 minutes to see if your crush has replied.” ‘Text Me Back’ is taken from Dream Nails’ eponymous debut album, out 3rd April via Alcopop Records. (ML)

Party Fears – ‘Money’
I’m thrilled to announce I am now a contributor to The Irish Jam for their #NewMusicSunday slot, which airs on Riverside Radio on Sunday evenings 7-9pm. They focus on new music from Irish artists, so I played Party Fears’ latest single ‘Money’, as they’re formed of Northern Irish native Maggie Devlin, and Aussie Eilish Frawley. Their single ‘Money’ is a reflection on power, and how it isn’t always used for the greater good. It’s raw, it’s shouty, and it’s catchy as hell. (Kate Crudgington)

draag – ‘Ghost Leak’
A hazy ode to feeling inconsequential; L.A, shoegaze outfit draag have crafted a strung out, dreamy soundscape on their latest single ‘Ghost Leak’. The track is lifted from their upcoming EP Clara Luz, which is set for release on 21st February. (KC)

Post Louis – ‘Descender’
The new single from London art-rockers Post Louis, ‘Descender’ juxtaposes a dreamy, swirling musicality with soaring impassioned vocals. Oozing a heartfelt raw emotion, it’s a truly captivating slice of stirring alt-folk. Descender, the debut album from Post Louis, is out 28th February. (ML)

Xylo Aria – ‘Ignorance’
‘Ignorance’ is the eponymous track from London-based producer Xylo Aria’s latest EP; a collection of songs informed by the current environmental crisis, mental health issues, and the societal pressure she feels to conform. Aria also runs Music Production For Women, which is a fantastic initiative encouraging women to get involved in the production of their own music. Listen to the Ignorance EP in full here. (KC)

Madeleine Smyth – ‘Palmers Green’
Released by independent record label Scratched, London-based artist Madeleine Smyth’s recent EP Covert is a beguiling blend of soft vocals, ambient sounds, orchestral elements, and trip-hop inspired beats. ‘Palmers Green’ is one of four tracks showcasing Smyth’s ability to blend all of these influences seamlessly. (KC)

Aisha Badru – ‘Soil’s Daughter’
The new single from New York artist Aisha Badru, ‘Soil’s Daughter’ reflects on the need to protect our environment. Radiating a sparkling majesty and subtle, soulful power, it’s a truly beautiful ballad; a moving and sincere offering at a time when our world is literally burning, and things feel like they’re falling apart. Of the track, Badru expands: “This is me reflecting on the world, and this huge disconnect between us as a people, and us with the planet.” Transcendence, the upcoming EP from Aisha Badru, is out 7th February via Nettwerk. (ML)

Drea & The Marilyns – ‘Everything to Me’ (Lips Cover)
Loving this cover of Lips’ ‘Everything to Me’ by Drea & The Marilyns! I mean, I loved the original but I’m really enjoying this remake from the Seattle-based artist. Mix anything up with some electro-synths, and I’m yours. (Tash Walker)

Captain Handsome – ‘Halloween’
The second single taken from Lily from Fightmilk’s solo project Captain Handsome, the rather unseasonably entitled ‘Halloween’ flows with silky-smooth vocals and a twinkling, stripped-back musicality. With its delicate lo-fi scuzz and tongue-in-cheek relatable lyricism – “It was Halloween, I was 24, I had a bad time on the bathroom floor” – it’s a sensitive, yet not sentimental effervescent slice of indie-pop. I Am Not An Animal, the debut EP from Captain Handsome, is out 31st January via Reckless Yes. You can catch them live for us at The Finsbury on 14th February, along with Piney Gir, Grawl!x and I Am Her. (ML)

Fenne Lily – ‘On Hold’ 
I’ve been following Bristol-based songwriter Fenne Lily for a while now, and was lucky enough to have a chat with her for a recent feature on The Line Of Best Fit. This is the title track from her 2018 debut album, and I melt a little bit each time I hear it. She’s playing a (sold out) show at The Lexington on 16th Jan, and I’m looking forward to hearing some of the new material that will make up her second album, which is set for release later this year. (KC)

Ethereal UK – ‘Strange World Normal Girl’
This track literally landed in my inbox just before the winter break and I immediately added it to the playlist for the radio show. Just beautiful. (TW)

Asha Gold – ‘Too Good’
Asha Gold who champions self-confidence in R&B influenced electro-pop. Released at the end of last year, ‘Too Good’ is the West London artist’s current single, and it flows with catchy melodies, beats and an infectious chorus. Keep it up Asha. (TW)

Mavi Phoenix – ‘Boys Toys’
I’ve always been a fan of Mavi Phoenix, and had the opportunity to interview them a couple of years back now. I remember how they 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 is all about Phoenix being reborn, which is what happens in the accompanying music video to this track ‘Boys Toys’, directed by Elizaveta Porodina, ‘Boys Toys’ is as important as an exploration for Mavi Phoenix’s gender identity, as it is for his artistic work. And on top of all that, it’s an absolute tune. Enjoy. Watch the video for ‘Boys Toys’ here. (TW)

tAngerinecAt – ‘I don’t want to be a white master’
tAngerinecAt are a non-binary duo originally from Ukraine, and now based in London. What an amazing track – the vocals, the heavy electronic based instrumentation, pedals, their self-defined “hurdy-gurdy” loops and those beats! I am so happy I know about this band, and I cannot wait to indoctrinate myself further into their sound. (TW)

Last Eden – ‘Fallen’
If you’re into 8 minute long pieces of obscure electronic drone music (why wouldn’t you be?), then multidisciplinary Irish artist Aileen Wallace – aka Last Eden – is worth a listen. She experiments and improvises with elements of industrial and ambient music to create unusual, captivating soundscapes. Working as both a producer and a sound artist, Wallace uses bespoke DIY microphones, cassette recorders, synthesizers, and an array of equipment from both the analog and digital worlds. Her recent EP Elysian Plain explores the mythology and the journey surrounding death. It’s intense, but definitely intriguing. Listen to the record here. (KC)

Get In Her Ears w/ Alessi’s Ark 09.01.20

Kate and Tash were back in the studio for GIHE’s first show of 2020, playing the freshet new music tracks to take you into the next decade. Highlights include: Dream Nails, Aisha Badru, Asha Gold, tANGERINECAt, draag, Xylo Aria, Fenne Lily and Party Fears.

They were also joined in the studio by the lovely Alessi’s Ark for a chat and a beautiful live session, be sure to check them out at their London show on March 20th, at the Green Note.

Listen back here:

Tracklist
The Big Moon – Happy New Year
Ethereal UK – Strange World Normal Girl
Alfah Femmes – Skunks
Draag – Ghost Leak
Crest Glider – Queen’s Head
Personal Best – Baby
Drea Marilyn – Everything to me (Lips Cover)
Aisha Badru – Soil’s Daughter
Noshvia Wu – Hurt Somebody
Xylo Aria – Ignorance
Flyying Colours – Good Times
Post Louis – Descender
Captain Handsome – Halloween
Fenne Lily – What’s Good
Mavi Phoenix – Boys Toys
Alessi’s Ark – Born Free
Pete Yorn – Calm Down
Angelica Garcia- Jícama (Con Sal Version)
Asha Gold – Too Good
Party Fears – Money
Dream Nails – Text Me Back (Chirpse Degree Burns)
Evie Balfe – Remember
tAngerinecAt – I don’t want to be a white
Paper Tigers – Gucci Smiles
The Stolen Moans – Bad Guy (Billie Eilish cover)
Big Joanie – New Year

Video Premiere: I, Doris – ‘Just Some Doris’

Following their debut release ‘The Girl From Clapham’, and with support from the likes of Radio X and Resonanace FM, London DIY pop queens and pioneers of ‘mummycore’, I, Doris are back with a new single to see out the year with some much-needed feminist cheer.

The band’s self-proclaimed ‘theme song’, ‘Just Some Doris’ addresses how women are so often seen to be “all the same”, whilst oozing an uplifting, jangly energy and twinkling vocal harmonies. With a no-frills tongue-in-cheek wit, I, Doris reflect on how the opinions of women over a certain age are seen to have no consequence – “Just some Doris, you can just ignore us…” – all the while, juxtaposing a vibrant, sunny spirit with the sexist reality of a patriarchal society. Addressing a very real issue with a refreshing sense of sarcasm and catchy, upbeat tunes, it’s the perfect antidote to all our feelings of despair right now. So, get some Doris in your ears and stand up to the bigots.

Of the track, the band reflect:

If we were darts players, this song would be our entrance music at the Frimley Green Country Club. We should totally be darts players.

Watch the brand new DIY video for ‘Just Some Doris’, which was filmed while the band were over in New York earlier this year:

‘Just Some Doris’ will be available on Bandcamp and all major streaming services.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Keira-Anee Photography

Track Of The Day: Small Man Society – ‘Songs I Write About You’

Self described as “The kinda band you wanna take home to meet your Mum”, Small Man Society blend indie melodies and down to earth humour on their debut single, ‘Songs I Write About You’.

Accompanied by a video that shows the band joyfully grooving around the office during their 9-5, ‘Small Man Society’ casually laments the tricky situation between dating and becoming “official”, and all the awkwardness in between. Jangly guitars, catchy lyrics and upbeat vocals all blend together to create a care-free tune designed to distract you from feeling crushed by your crush.

Formed of Mother Trigg (guitars/lead vocals), Dapper Dill (guitar/vocals), Mrs Field (drums), and Shed The Sexy (bass), Small Man say their interests are Gordon Ramsay, existential chat, long walks, reading books and breaking hearts. If any of that appeals to you, we suggest you watch their video for ‘Songs I Write About You’ below.

Follow Small Man Society on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ Screaming Toenail, 13.12.19

On what was a pretty devastating and terrifying day for most of us, on Friday 13th December – the day it was announced that we have to live under a Tory government for another five years – many of us ventured out, despite feeling emotionally drained by it all, for a night of live music. And what a special night it was; like-minded people coming together to share music, rage and love at a time when we need it the most.

Kicking things off, Foxcunt deliver their immense punk spirit and catchy tunes. Rallying against the patriarchy, ACAB and the home office, their energy-fuelled anti-establishment anthems are just what we need right now.

Next up, Manchester’s Dollie Demi lift our spirits with their sassy, vibrant spirit. As front woman Demi wows us all with her sparkling confidence, incredible classic-rock inspired riffs and driving beats are delivered with a swirling, fun-filled energy.

Third band of the night, Brighton’s LibraLibra, completely blow me away. Delivering their immense dance-punk creations, it’s utterly impossible not to become completely captivated by front woman Beth’s incredible dazzling magnetism as the full-force of her impassioned vocals blasts out alongside tribal beats and whirring hooks. A colossal cacophony that empowers and enlivens.

Headliners Screaming Toenail bring the night to a poignant end. Despite letting us know that they’re feeling emotionally drained by the awful revelations of the day, front person Jacob leads the band in uniting us in love and rage with their resonant, cathartic creations. Whether we’re being encouraged to scream ‘No’ in the face of any racism/homophobia/ableism we encounter, share names of powerful women we love, or simply acknowledge how cute we all are, Screaming Toenail ooze a a frenzied, raw emotion and vibrant spirit. And, with powerful – and all too resounding – offerings such as ‘Swarm’ and ‘Sever’, they soothe some of the day’s pain, filling the venue with a comforting sense of unity, as like-minded people come together to dance and sing in solidarity against the forces seeking to crush our spirit.

Massive thanks and love to the four incredible bands who powered through devastating times to come and play for us on Friday, and made it such a special night. We’ll be back at The Finsbury on 10th January 2020, with headliners Personal Best.

 

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto