Track Of The Day: Spurge feat. Bri Foxx – ‘Why Would You?’

Having met in the Atlanta underground scene, queer feminist artists Bri Foxx and Jen Hodges decided to join forces after playing a show together in their respective bands. And now, we’re super excited to share the outcome of their collaboration – Spurge‘s catchy new single!

A song that carries the weight of failed relationships in its core, ‘Why Would You?‘ has a simple but relatable premise. The track as a whole is executed in a way that takes the familiar stab of heartache and draws out the raw and powerful emotions within.

The song reflects on relationships, written from a healthier place. The lyrics juxtapose a heartbroken chorus against wiser, more contemplative verses which creates a moving narrative – a story of growth following pain, only to revisit that same sorrow with another person later on. The fact that the separate sections were written during very different emotional times in the writer’s life is evident in the rich texture of the song. It makes for a more powerful piece that encapsulates the moments of pain in the context of a positive, hopeful journey. There is a cycle to it, but one that delicately balances the resignation to start over with a great sense of hope that next time will be the one.

The vocals pair elegantly with the feeling in the lyrics. You can really feel the rawness and the power in the lead line, whilst backing vocals lend weight to the emotional high points in the track – the hardest parts of the conversation that herald the end of a relationship. Every never and don’t go and why would you feels ripped from the moment.

This is bolstered by instruments that flow together really well. The string lines running through the track are playful and catchy, ramping up into very fun interludes that give the song a lot of energy.

‘Why Would You?’ ends with the lead vocal, alone, holding one final, powerful note. It clings to that emotional feeling down to the very last beats, lingering like the memory of an old love.

‘Why Would You?’ is accompanied by a gritty live video, directed by Tyree Smith and Daniel Medina. Watch it here:

Kirstie Summers
@actuallykurt

INTERVIEW: The Music Federation launch their ‘Safe Space Policy’ for all live shows

London based music promoters The Music Federation have launched their new Safe Spaces Policy in response to the recent surge in cases of spiking that women across the UK have experienced within the live sector. In partnership with Strut Safe and Girls Against, TMF’s policy has a three-part structure providing guidance for post, during and after show an event, as well as guidance on what to do if attendees feel uncomfortable at a TMF show or if they witness harassment of any kind.

We caught up with Jasmine Hodge, Head of Promotions at TMF, to talk about implementing their new policy, how important it is to be proactive when it comes to harassment at gigs, and their anticipations for their charity gig with Lily Moore, Gracey & Sody, hosted by Abbie McCarthy on 31st Jan at Colours in Hoxton…

 

Let’s get a bit of background on you…how did you start working with The Music Federation and can you explain briefly what you do?

Jasmine: Myself, Sam Hong and Rebecca Sangs (who all co-created the safe space policy!) all work for The Music Federation. I am Head of Promotions and work across all our signed artists, festivals and partner labels helping promote them across all media platforms. Sam is our Head of Live and Rebecca is his live assistant, they are responsible for all our live shows and festivals. The Music Federation itself is a community of festivals, artists, labels and partners that launched about 6 months ago. We are building a group of likeminded people who want to be the change that the music industry needs. (You can read about us in Music Week here!)”

Our website is here.

You’ve just launched your new Safe Space Policy for TMF today. Can you explain what a Safe Space looks and feels like to you? And can you talk us through some of the key points of your policy?

Jasmine: I (and most women in the industry) have experienced some form of harassment at live shows/festivals, whether that be from industry professionals or just gig attendees. In the past, I have been too apprehensive to report this or take further action due to this being seen as the “industry standard”. Since working at TMF, I have never felt more confident in our senior management, partners, and wonderful live department to take any accusations seriously. This has filled me with hope that the industry is changing for the better. We want to make sure other people feel as confident as I do in reporting incidents and being listened to.

The music industry has swept sexual harassment under the carpet for too long. It’s not on anymore. For women in the industry, it’s harassment in the workplace. If this was an office space and a guy came up behind me and unclipped my bra, groped me, or asked me to get changed in front of them, there would be procedures in place to get him fired – all of those things mentioned have happened to me. Why does the music industry not have this? We need to have people ready to call this behaviour out, to actually ban these predators from future shows and to actively support the person who had this happen to them. We are building our new community and those people are not invited.

Some of our points in the policy include having a rep on site (of which we will advertise on social media prior to the event) who will be there to help with any accusation, requesting male and female security guards, partnering with Girls Against and Strut Safe etc. We are also looking into online reporting structures post-event for anyone who didn’t feel comfortable to say something at the time. We are aware that this policy will be forever evolving as times change, so we welcome all suggestions to improve. We are also having regular in-house meetings to discuss any suggestions made to us.

As you mentioned, you’ve launched this new policy in partnership with Strut Safe, Girls Against and The F-List – all great organisations we support here at GIHE. Talk us through how you connected with these platforms and what input they had into the policy…

Jasmine: We reached out to them in the first instance to get their opinions on our policy and wording. We wanted as many eyes on this as possible and are happy for this to develop in the public eye. These organisations do such amazing things, and their expertise is something we really wanted to use. We are also in talks with other amazing organisations such as The Music Assistant to be partners for our larger events, which we are really excited about!

There is the saying that “too many cooks spoil the broth”, but in this case, we want as many “cooks” as possible. This is a joint effort, and we want to work with those who are wanting change as much as we are.

TMF have also organised a charity gig with Lily Moore, Gracey & Sody, hosted by Abbie McCarthy in aid of Strut Safe on 31st Jan at Colours in Hoxton. Talk me through your anticipations for this event…

Sam: We are really hoping to promote our Safe Spaces Policy alongside raising awareness, raising money & supporting the important work that Strut Safe have done and continue to do. For anyone who doesn’t know, Strut Safe is a free, non-judgemental volunteer service dedicated to walking anyone who needs us home safely. To be able to add a charity aspect to this and help aid the safety of women in live music spaces is so vital to what we believe at TMF as well, so being involved in this show with such amazing musicians as well as our curator Abbie McCarthy is a great sign of positive change, and we hope to keep up that energy.

Finally, the work you’re doing with TMF and implementing your Safe Space Policy is vital, but it’s also a difficult thing to process and speak about. How have you found the process overall?

Jasmine: I understand that these are difficult conversations to have but honestly, I have not felt uncomfortable speaking to anyone at TMF about this. By changing the stigma that surrounds it and having open and honest discussions, it has been very rewarding and comforting to discuss this.

The most important element of this to me is having men who actually listen. I am very lucky to work with a company that not only has men who listen, but ones who are actively trying to support women (without being reminded). For example, I have curated a compilation album that is coming out in February which is entirely female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ artists to raise money for Reclaim These Streets. A company that allows you to spend your working hours curating that is pretty rad!

Thanks to Jasmine and The Music Federation for their time!

Read their full Safe Space Policy here.

Follow The Music Federation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

ALBUM: Helen Love – ‘This Is My World’

After spending thirty years hidden behind a pair of shades, Welsh indie-pop legends Helen Love have released their most personal album to date. The band’s tenth LP, This Is My World is a reflective, intimate record that explores ageing, loss and front-person Helen Love’s childhood – a departure from their typically joyous odes to punkers and disco dollies.

Full disclosure: I’ve been obsessed with Helen Love for over half my life, so it feels pretty revelatory to hear such personal lyrics. ‘Seaside Town’ is a wistful take on life in a small town, while ‘Clearing Out Mum’s House’ deals with grief and the memories wrapped up in a place. 

This isn’t just Helen Love’s most open album, but it’s their most accessible too. The dizzying, “happy hardcore” beats they’re known for are turned down in favour of a punkier, more melodic and guitar-led sound. Songs like ‘Go-Kart’ are simple and stripped right down, so you can really focus on the vocal and lyrics. That said, the band prove they can still get the party started with the closing title track ‘This Is My World’ – a Pet Shop Boys-esque banger that really shines, combining an infectious ’80s-inspired groove with a poignant, introspective lyricism.

As Helen explains, “Getting older, life changes. Children grow up and leave home, loved ones pass away, friends move on. It’s easier to look back and harder to push forward…it’s not all bubblegum punk rock disco around my house anymore, but in truth, of course, it never was…

By inviting the listener into their world with this punk-driven, powerful record, Helen Love are at their most relevant and relatable here. A fitting album for the post-lockdown era, it’s reassuring to know that even Ms Love’s life isn’t all Casio keyboards and confetti canons.


This Is My World, the upcoming album from Helen Love, is set for release on 28th January via Alcopop! Records.

Vic Conway
@thepicsofvic

Track Of The Day: Queen Cult – ‘Calm’

Following acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing for their debut single ‘Shindigger‘, and support for their resonant latest single ‘A Song About Consent’, Cheshire band Queen Cult have been fast making a name for themselves. Consisting of front person Maisie Johnson and bassist Leila Jacklin, as well as Brodie Carson on drums and Piers Jarvis on guitar, the band pride themselves on their LGBTQ+ identity and sharing their queer, politically-charged messages with the masses. Having now announced their debut EP, set for release at the end of this month, the band have now shared a brand new single.

Starting off perhaps more melodic than what we’ve come to expect from the band, ‘Calm‘ flows with luscious, heartfelt vocals before building to a sweeping, fiercely impassioned proclamation to stand up to the patriarchy. Oozing an emotion strewn, seething energy, it’s propelled by an immense angst-fuelled drive as fizzing riffs ripple with a swirling sense of urgency. Once again showcasing the Cheshire band’s knack for creating epic pop-rock anthems with a poignant sense of intent, ‘Calm’ cements Queen Cult’s place as definite ones to watch in 2022.

Focusing on women who so often seem to conform to patriarchal norms, the band explain the meaning behind the the track:

We wanted to know why excuses are always made, why they give in and let go. This is our reminder, you have your own voice. You have your own rights. Don’t let someone shine brighter when you are the sun. Pick you.”

The debut EP from Queen Cult is set for release on 28th January. Catch them live throughout January and February, including dates supporting GIHE faves LibraLibra and ARXX! All info here and here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Debbie Ellis / A Supreme Shot