Guest Playlist: Julie and Joanna from SelfMade

SelfMade is a platform that explores the unseen sides of the music industry through discussion, performance, art and zines. With a strong focus on women in music, their goal is to celebrate the work of DIY musicians and to create a supportive space to explore the realities of getting a music project or career off the ground. SelfMade is organised independently by artist, Joanna Bain, and musician/label co-founder Julie Hawk (HAVVK) in collaboration with a collective of Irish musicians.

Tomorrow, 25th May, SelfMade is hosting a Mind YourSelf: Mental Health and Music event (sponsored by IMRO) event at The Tara Building in Dublin. The two-part event will look at mental health in the Irish music scene and the challenges affecting developing musicians in their professional and personal lives. Featuring a workshop lead by psychotherapist, musician, researcher and BIMM lecturer, Aoife Ruth, in collaboration with Wyvern Lingo’s Caoimhe Barry, the event also sees an evening panel with a line-up of Irish artists, including Maria Kelly, Michael Pope (Le Galaxie) and Paddy Hanna, who have all used their creative work and social platforms to highlight career-related mental health and anxiety.

Ahead of the event tomorrow, SelfMade founders Julie and Joanna have chosen some of their favourite tracks that help them to process, wind down, blow off steam or simply kick-start a bit of self-love.

Read about their choices, and listen to the playlist below!

Joan Jett and the Black Hearts – ‘Bad Reputation’
This is reserved for when I need a true kick up the ass and a reminder that other people’s opinions can not topple my own sense of what’s right or who I am. Also a very good one for abolishing pre-gig nerves.
(Julie)

Scarlet – ‘Independent Love Song’
If I want to sing along at top volume in the car, this one is near the top of the list. Another old song (I still have the single on cassette at my parents’ house), but it has this incredible explosive anthemic chorus that’s a joy. It’s aged pretty well too, and every now and again it turns up in a bar or on a TV programme and it takes me right back.
(Joanna)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Maps’
This song reminds me to love myself. It’s such a unique love song because it’s about reminding someone of their true value and that they are truly loved by someone. And to me, it’s even more powerful because it’s coming from Karen O, who is a huge hero of mine as a performer.
(Julie)

The National – ‘Daughters of the Soho Riots’
That crackling, lo-fi intro, the monotone vocal; the beautiful subtlety of it. I love everything about this song. Matt Berninger writes these incredible lyrics that convey a sense of time and place and a feeling without ever saying anything overt. I’ve always loved the line “I don’t have any questions, I don’t think it’s going to rain / You were right about the end, it didn’t make a difference”. It’s a masterclass in understatement and it brings instant calm.
(Joanna)

Jose Gonzales – ‘Crosses’
I’m a very sensitive person and I definitely get triggered by sad music, which can be great sometimes. But Veneer is one of the only albums I can actually work to or really sort out my thoughts to. There’s something about the sense of space around his voice and guitar that leaves room to think and process, rather than dwell on emotion.
(Julie)

Jose Gonzalez – ‘Heartbeats’
This whole album, Veneer, is an exercise in restraint – beautiful, intricate guitar playing and gorgeous melodies. If I want to wind down in the midnight hour I dim the lights, pick up a book, and set this to play in the background. This song in particular though, there’s something so tranquil but so melancholy about it; it makes me stop and breathe and just enjoy its loveliness.
(Joanna)

Robyn – ‘Every Heartbeat’
Probably not the most uplifting Robyn track but for me, it’s my ultimate ‘blowing off steam’ anthem. There’s something about the repetition and the builds in this song that keeps me grounded. Really good for running, trying not to focus on stress or bullshit, or mustering up the mood for a night out.
(Julie)

Bon Iver / The Staves – ‘Heavenly Father’
There’s a video floating around the internet somewhere that features Bon Iver performing this song live – a cappella, with the Staves, at the Sydney Opera House. It is one of the most beautiful bits of music I’ve ever seen or heard, and have listened it to death. If I want to be transported, I put this on loud and just listen to the layers of harmonies and the wall of sound they produce. Incredible.
(Joanna)

Maria Kelly – ‘Dark Places’
This song is just such a comfort. It is such a generous example of someone saying “hey, we all go through this sometimes and it’s not shameful or the end of the world”.
(Julie)

Radiohead – ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’
I was obsessed with this song and its video as a discerning 8 year old when it first came out, and it’s remained a favourite. I love that unmistakeable guitar line, and there’s something about that gradual build and release at the end of the second chorus that brings a feeling of total peace. I remember crying in a field when I heard this live for the first time over a decade a year or two ago in Lisbon – but I wasn’t the only one…!
(Joanna)

Huge thanks to Julie and Joanna for their choices! Listen to the playlist below, and find out more about SelfMade here.

 

PLAYLIST: May 2018

Bin your umbrellas and bust out your sunglasses: May marks the beginning of UK Festival season! Whatever the weather, we’ve got a brand new collection of music to see you through the next month. Maybe you’re going to see Bjork or The XX at All Points East (25th May – 2nd June), or perhaps you’re treading the pebbles for The Great Escape Festival in Brighton (17th-19th May)? Either way, scroll through our tracks and listen to our Spotify playlist for new music inspiration…

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Zero’
All Points East Festival kicks off on May 25th with headliners LCD Soundsystem in Victoria Park, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are performing on the same bill. They have four albums worth of gems to pick from, but I’ve chosen ‘Zero’ from 2009’s It’s Blitz! purely because I love watching Karen O parade through the streets in her studded leather jacket in the accompanying video. I’m planning to mimic her every move/cry when I hear it live (it’s my birthday, and I’ll cry if I want to). (Kate Crudgington)

Janelle Monae – Pynk (feat. Grimes)
What a song, what a woman. The first note of ‘PYNK’ right the way through to the end is pure and simple PLEASURE. Janelle Monae collaborating with Grimes has delivered us a pure slice of vagina-pop, where the video is as important as the music. The description of which declares “PYNK is a brash celebration of creation. Self love. Sexuality. And p-ssy power!” Need I say more. (Tash Walker)

Amaroun – ‘Indecisive’ 
Written about emerging from a period of deep denial, ‘Indecisive’ – Amaroun’s latest captivating single – oozes a sweeping emotive power and heartfelt lyrical richness. And, as Jay Brown’s stirring vocals sing the perfectly relatable “I can agoraphobic, London can be overwhelming. Yes, I am addicted, I’ve learnt to live through all the noise”, it’s impossible not to be completely swept away by this dreamy sonic delight. (Mari Lane)

Elsa Hewitt – ‘Catvision’ 
My favourite festival – The Great Escape – takes place this month, and I’ve started putting together a list of artists I want to catch when I’m down in Brighton. The experimental electronic sounds of Elsa Hewitt have been swirling around my skull since I discovered her on the website, so I’m keen to hear ‘Catvision’ live when she plays at the KOMEDIA Studio Bar on Saturday 19th. (KC)

Alyss – ‘Envirus’
Producer and singer Alyss’ EP 3EARTH was released last week and it is gold. Taken from the EP, Envirus is dense in its electronic production, tribal in its beats and soulful in the vocals – needless to say the results are addictive. (TW)

Art School Girlfriend – ‘Measures’
Another artist I’m hoping to catch at The Great Escape, I’ve been soothed by the somber, subdued sounds of Art School Girlfriend. She’ll be playing at The Walrus on Friday 18th. (KC)

Rookes – ‘The Game And The River’
Having supported the likes of Stealing Sheep and She Makes War and set to play at The Great Escape later this month, Birmingham artist Rookes graces our ears with her new single ‘The Game And The River’. Filled with the stirring passion of her deep emotion-strewn vocals, it flows with twinkling folk-tinged melodies and a subtle, soulful splendour, making for a truly uplifting slice of heart-warming alt-pop. (ML)

LIINES – ‘Cold’ 
Manchester trio LIINES have been a long term favourite of ours, especially since blowing us all away their riotous, impassioned energy at The Finsbury a couple of months back, and so we’re beyond excited that their brand new, debut album is due for release on Friday! An immense blast of post-punk perfection, latest single ‘Cold’ is an epic taster of what’s to come. (ML)

Chroma – ‘Vampires’
Chroma were recommended to me by the marvellous Queen Zee (interview coming soon to the website!), so I’m chuffed that both bands will be in Brighton for The Great Escape. I’m excited to see Chroma in the flesh at Latest Music Bar on Thursday 17th – potentially my first gig of the festival! (KC)

Suzie Stapleton – ‘Negative Prophet’
Exuding a dark, brooding atmosphere, ‘Negative Prophet’ is Suzie Stapleton’s protest in an oversaturated world where the powerful feed on the powerless. As the immense power of her deep, raw vocals drift alongside reverb-strewn, blues-ridden hooks, it’s a majestic, and spine-tinglingly captivating, creation. We can’t wait to see Suzie headline for us at The Finsbury next Friday, 11th May! (ML)

Men I Trust – ‘Show Me How’
Canada’s Men I Trust first came to my attention when elusive electronic producer H1987 remixed their track ‘You Deserve This’. I love the reassuring nature of their psych-tinged, lo-fi indie anthems, and I’m hoping to catch them at Komedia on Thursday 17th for their Great Escape set. (KC)

i2m1 – ‘Illusion’
i2m1 is the solo recording project of Irene Carson from Colorado Springs. Starting back in 2015, it has since developed into a multimedia project featuring artist Graham Gale. Their second release Zoo is a collection of 20 songs, “one made for a year of my life..” Irene explains, which reflect her ongoing story. ‘Illusion’ is all synth-laden and dreamy pop – a big slice of me which has me going weak at the knees. (TW)

S4U – ‘Refrain ft JD Reid’
Refrain is the latest single from Londoners S4U featuring JD Reid, which is set for release on 1st June via Different Recordings. Low-slung R&B, and dark electro base all mixed together with some heavy 90s influences. Yes. Please. (TW)

EP: Sit Down – ‘Cheap Luxe’

Describing themselves as “halfway between Jack Black and Jack White”, Brighton duo Sit Down are a DIY force to be reckoned with. Formed in 2016 after temporarily living in New York City, guitarist & vocalist Greg Burns and drummer & vocalist Katie Oldham honed their punk ethos, and penchant for strong rebellious women and turned it in to a knockout debut EP: Cheap Luxe.

Labelled by the band as “the lovechild of sin and substance”, the EP was self-produced between two bedrooms, and released online at the end of March. You’ll be cracking your knuckles in preparation for opening track ‘Mothership’, which is a defiant, alien-invasion-inspired introduction to this onslaught of seething, seductive sound. Getting revenge sounds brutal and beautiful on second track ‘Bloodlust’, on which Katie leads the vocals and Greg welds more of his manic, menacing riffs.

The devious ‘Honeysucker’ rips through shortly after; commanding attention with primal drumming, filthy riffs, and Greg & Katie’s dual vocals colliding in blood-lusting fashion. Closing track ‘Cheap Luxe’ is a searing, sassy attack on materialism; with visceral reverb and pounding percussion that’ll have you insisting alongside the pair that the real high life is “living cheap as fuck!”.

There’s no force on earth that will make you sit still (or indeed Sit Down) to this Goliath-sounding EP. Get up, get moving, and get sweaty to Cheap Luxe. Fans of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Kills & Deap Vally will definitely approve.

You can listen to/download Cheap Luxe on bandcamp here. Follow Sit Down on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Jessie Morgan

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut