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

Introducing Interview: CRAWLERS

Based in Liverpool, raging rockers CRAWLERS have spent the last couple of years building a loyal and committed fan base, and have now shared their long awaited debut EP – a diverse collection of emotion-strewn anthems. From the raging, politically-charged energy of ‘Statues’ to the sparkling melancholic splendour of ‘Come Over (again’), each track oozes the band’s trademark impassioned drive and swirling raw charisma.

We caught up with CRAWLERS to find out more about them and their mission as a band…

Hi CRAWLERS, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hiya Get In Her Ears! Crawlers are a four-piece band based in North-West England (half of us from Warrington and the other Liverpool), we formed in late 2018 and like playing around with the sound of rock in any way we can, but most of all we’re four best mates who love creating music. 

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
Amy (guitarist) and Liv (bass) played together in a few bands in their high school and ended up splitting up when both went to different sixth forms. Holly (vocals) and Liv then went to LIPA Sixth Form in Liverpool, and were into very similar music and decided after dabbling in a few projects to create a band with Amy. We met Harry just after we released our third ever single as he wrote a review of the song for a magazine, and once we said we needed a new drummer he was the perfect fit!

Your new EP CRAWLERS is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the EP?
The EP has mainy themes, however it definitely has an overarching theme of struggles. The first single ‘Statues’ is about the corruption of the American police system, and its institutionalised racism. The second ‘Breathe’ is about my (Holly) existential crisis about the development of social media and technology. The penultimate ‘MONROE’ explores the beauty standards specifically for women in media, and the unfair treatment of Britney Spears. And finally ‘Come Over (again)’, the final track, is about our own personal woes, grief of relationships and family, and most of all, the people who cause such feelings.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Nova Twins and Yungblood, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
We’re very lucky to be compared to both artists as they’re both individually extremely talented! We as a band definitely are inspired by the likes of Nirvana, The Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age, Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins… However, individually we all love very different types of music which allows us to delve into many different types of genres. Holly loves artists such as Mitski, Phoebe Bridgers and Black Country New Road, whilst Liv is a huge metal fan, inspired by bands such as Metalica and Tool. Harry loves Gorillaz and Rage Against the Machine, and Amy is the biggest Fleetwood Mac and ABBA fan possibly ever!  

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
Liverpool is a wonderful scene currently, exploding with some of the UK’s biggest talents of many alternative genres. Everybody knows everybody and word spreads fast of a new band on the scene and it’s absolutely crazy to start becoming mutual friends with artists and bands we have loved and respected since we first started out in the scene. 

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
As we have grown as artists, we have definitely also grown as performers. For some reason I (Holly) used to pretend to be bada*s on stage, when in reality I’m a bit of a joker. We focus on creating a safe space for all kinds of supporters, as I have sensory issues. I try to ensure when our heavier songs are played that everyone is aware of their space, as well as those around them and their actions, so that everyone can have a good time! I know there’s been a lot of times at heavier gigs when I have personally felt extremely overwhelmed because of the environment, and we wanna let people enjoy heavy music no matter how they like to enjoy it. Not gonna lie, sometimes I do treat a gig like a bit of a comedy show – I have a funny rapport with the audience and a giggle with the band. I feel like that makes it a lot more personal, and when our emotional songs are performed, it feels like we go through every single emotion at our gigs. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Our current favourites from our scene are definitely Torture and the Desert Spiders, Stone, Gadzooks and Zuzu! All you should definitely check out! Generally I would recommend Witch Fever, Vial, Lowertown, Tash and Charles and the Big Boys too.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
It’s a hard one. Social media has definitely made it easier for artists to get noticed, however it has also meant major labels have even more power to control, and has meant the over saturation of artists has made it difficult to stand out. A good time to play around in the live scene, now it is all back and about, and a good time to build a platform! 

Finally, what does 2022 have in store for CRAWLERS?
A lot. We’re going to be going on our first ever tour, and hopefully showing you guys even more of our now very diverse catalogue, hehe. We’re just so lucky for so early in our career to have such amazing supporters and fanbase – and we can’t wait to grow our craft and share it with the world!

Massive thanks to CRAWLERS for answering our questions! Watch the video for latest single ‘Come Over (again)’ here:

Introducing Interview: Hipersona

With their resounding motto of ‘Pop Punk Is Not Dead!’, Turkish twin sister duo Hipersona ooze their gritty-yet-sugar-sweet and immensely catchy offerings with a sparkling energy and swirling sense of fun. First recommended to me by the almighty John Kennedy, they’re just the empowering, uplifting blast of colour we need in our lives right now.

Having formed back in 2018 and released their debut EP – mixed and mastered by famous drummer and producer Alen Konakoğlu in Los Angeles – in 2019, the vibrant duo have now shared fizzing, energy-fuelled anthem ‘Satellite‘ and we couldn’t be happier.

We caught up with the girls of Hipersona to find out more…

Hi Hipersona welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Hi! We’re so happy to be here! Nice to meet you. We’re twin sisters from Turkey who love making noise! Hipersona was formed in 2018, Turkey. After the disbanding of our previous band in early 2018, we wanted to continue our music career without giving up. With our high and raw youth energy, we wanted to show that pop punk is not dead! I am Bengisu (bass player and backing vocals) – I’m a research assistant at TED University (Dept. Of Electrical Electronics Engineering). My twin sister Bilgesu (lead vocals and guitar) is an architect. 

Are you able to tell us a bit about how you initially started creating music together? 
When we were seven, our dad gave us guitars as gift. Since then we’ve played guitar – forming a rock band was our childhood dream. In our high school years, we played with so many different bands and won awards at music contests. And then these bands broke up, but we did not give up and promised each other: “Lets keep doing what we do love”. We are so happy that our dream came true!

I love the vibrant pop-punk energy of your sound, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Our hero is Dave Grohl (We have got a crush on him!). We freakin’ love Foo Fighters. But our main musical influence is 2000s pop punk. Maybe it sounds weird for rockers but we looooovvvve BTS! Their impact on our music is huge. 

And I’m a big fan of your recent single ‘Satellite’! Are you able to tell us a bit about this? Are there any particular themes running throughout the song?
Firstly, thank you so much! We always wanted to make happier songs, with a party-like energy. And ‘Satellite’ is about that. We wrote this song about the concerts that we’ve missed during the pandemic. We’re just so glad to see that we make people feel happy with our songs!

How have you found recording and promoting music during these strange times?
JUST ONE SENTENCE: IT WAS QUITE HARD.

How is the live music scene in Turkey at the moment – has it ‘recovered’ after the limitations of the last couple of years?
The number of concerts is increasing day by day. But we don’t think it is yet fully recovered – we’re still afraid to play live because of the virus. Things are crazy in Turkey at the moment…

How do you feel the industry is for new artists at the moment? Do you feel much has changed over the last few years in its treatment of female and non binary artists? 
Making, recording and releasing new songs is much easier than in the past, but things have gotten easier for everyone and that makes our job harder. We can communicate more easily with our listeners – this is the biggest advantage for us. But being a woman in the rock music scene is not so easy. We live in Turkey and the rock scene here is still very much a men’s world. We hate that and feel pressure on ourselves, but do not give a shit. GRRRL POWER!

And, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming artists or bands you’re loving right now that you’d recommend we check out?
They’re not that new, but they are more popular lately: Waterparks!

Finally, what does the next year have in store for Hipersona?
We won’t stop! We’ve just finished recording our newest song half an hour ago… And we can say it’s the best we’ve done so far. We’re excited  share it with you. We’re also currently in touch with international music festivals… Maybe a surprise soon…?!

Massive thanks to Hipersona for answering our questions – we can’t wait to hear more from them! Watch the fun-filled video for latest single ‘Satellite’ here:

Introducing Interview: Dyan Valdés

Having been involved in the music industry for twenty years, Berlin-based Cuban-American artist Dyan Valdés has played in esteemed bands such as The Blood Arm and Die Sterne, and has now released her first solo material. Taken from her upcoming debut solo album, ‘Fade Away’ offers an immersive shimmering soundscape; propelled by layers of synth and driving beats alongside Valdés’ luscious vocals, it’s a poignant, twinkling message of hope at a time when things can feel hopeless.

We caught up with Dyan to find out more…

Hi Dyan Valdés, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello! Thanks for having me. I’m a music industry lifer – I got together with my first band, indie rockers The Blood Arm when we were at university in 2002. After releasing five albums and two EPs, touring the world and moving to Berlin together, we went on hiatus in 2017. The singer and I formed the synth punk trio Mexican Radio in 2017, and released another two albums under that name. The band hosted a radio show on KCRW Berlin for 2 years, in which I interviewed artists such as Stereo Total, Sleaford Mods, Ian Svenonius, Allison Wolfe of Bratmobile, and many more. I’ve been playing with Hamburger Schule legends Die Sterne since 2012. ‘Fade Away’ is my debut single as a solo artist and Stand will be my first solo album.

How did you initially start creating music?
I never thought I would make my own solo music – I’ve always been a supporting player, co-writing the music and singing backing vocals. But, the pandemic changed things. At the beginning of the first lockdown, I was attacked by a strange man in broad daylight on the streets of Berlin. I recognised that my already precarious safety as a woman was even more threatened by pandemic circumstances. I arrived home, overwhelmed by my experience and by reports of increased domestic violence and the exploitation of female labour at the frontlines of the pandemic. I wrote and recorded the protest song ‘Stand’ that weekend – feeling that I needed to create something that would make me feel powerful again. This was the first time I had created a piece entirely on my own. After cancelled tours and rehearsals, I was alone in my home studio and could not fall back on my bandmates to provide a creative outlet. I stepped up and did it myself.

Throughout my music career, I have often been the only woman in the room. When I was attacked, I felt alienated and alone. I realised that on some level, I’ve felt the same way in the music industry for years – moving through spaces that are not designed to fit my body, protect my safety, or elevate my voice. What would our industry and our art look like if this model were flipped on its head? In order for the process of this album to line up with the sentiment, I employed women at every level of the project: production, artwork, video, photography, PR, styling, and marketing. 

We really love your recent single ‘Fade Away’ – can you tell us what it’s all about?
‘Fade Away’ is about looking around and saying to yourself “this isn’t good enough”, and dreaming that someday you’ll find yourself in a situation that is. I imagined this feeling of being locked in a house – either by someone else or by myself – and wanting the ceilings and walls to just disappear so that I could be free. The song is sad but hopeful – the “different day” hasn’t come yet, but I believe that it will. I dedicate the song to anyone who has ever felt trapped, marginalized or silenced. The song came to me extremely quickly – I wrote all of the lyrics, melodies and music and then recorded the basic tracks at home within about four hours from start to finish. I felt like the words and music just came through me from a place where they had already been written.

You’ve been compared to the likes of PJ Harvey and Bat For Lashes, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Probably my life-long biggest influence is David Bowie, who was never afraid to take big swings and explore all kinds of different directions. I thought about him a lot when making this record, just in terms of pushing myself to take risks. PJ Harvey is also a big influence, as is Stevie Nicks, Kate Bush, Peaches, Courtney Love and Tori Amos (obviously – I’m a keyboard player!) I was also very influenced by books that I was reading while writing this record. I’ve been a proud feminist my whole life, but while working on the album I really did a deep-dive into a lot of feminist writing. That helped me sharpen the messages that I wanted to deliver: who benefits from the oppression of and violence against women? How is capitalist society complicit? How am I complicit? I did a lot of self-examination on this record, and I hope that comes across.

What can fans expect from your live shows?
Since I’ve been playing in bands for nearly 20 years, I wanted to do something different with my solo show. Instead of hiding behind my keyboard, I’m challenging myself to be a real pop diva and sing and dance throughout the show. I have two backing dancers with me, and one of my producers Maya Postepski (who releases music under the name Princess Century and plays drums with Peaches), will be playing drums on stage. It will be a high-energy rousing pop spectacle!

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Sadly, I usually discover new bands by happening upon them live, which hasn’t been possible in the last year and a half. However, when I was hosting the radio show, I had the pleasure of discovering a lot of new and exciting bands: Sweeping Promises, Big Joanie, Special Interest, Automatic and Surfbort were a few of my favourite discoveries.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
When I started, my band The Blood Arm was part of the last generation of bands that really had the “get signed, get an advance, get label support for touring and PR” trajectory. It’s very different now – in some ways, you have more direct access to fans, but because everyone else does too, you have to find a way to stand out. I think the difference is now I’m not trying to get “label attention”, but rather to reach out directly to the fans. If new artists can manage to make a direct connection with people who like their music, that can be very powerful.

Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for you?
Now that live music is opening up again, I’m touring a lot with my German band Die Sterne and doing some recording with them as well. Following ‘Fade Away’, I’ve just released a second single, ‘Be My Revolution’. There will be a third single (‘Irregular’) in January and the album Stand will come out in February. We are also choreographing and developing the live show, so it will be a busy time! But, after such a lull in the industry, I’m excited to get back on stage and even more excited to share my solo music with the world.

Massive thanks to Dyan for answering our questions!

Stand, the debut solo album from Dyan Valdés, is set for release on 11th February 2022 via R.I.P Ben Lee Records.