GHUM: Bitter

NEW SINGLE ALERT! GHUM have released the title track from their debut record, Bitter and it is bloody brilliant. I mean, they don’t make bad songs so I guess that’s redundant but honestly- their debut record is going to rip. Laura’s vocals on this are so tough and so snarly. There’s so much power in this band. They all have this ability to just make you wish you were part of the band or wish you could make something like this.

I’m going by what they’ve released previously, and I think it is safe to say that their debut record is going to be nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s out a month today, and I am SO excited to hear it. I’ll probably have to take the day off work to listen to it (I probably would!) So the single Bitter is about, “how the right connection, even for someone that has been beaten up by bad experiences, drives them to go through the risks and fears that new relationships might bring. It’s hopeful, it’s about taking chances.” I think this is properly hammered home with the way Laura sings, “You are the only reason I put myself through this.” We’ve all made exceptions haven’t we. Sometimes it works out but there are times where it didn’t work out, and you’re not sure why you bothered. Laura’s vocals over the electrifying sounds that Vicki, Jojo and Marina MJ bless us with is enough to break the toughest of people. This is a ferocious number with the level of passion that you will always hear and expect from the band. I’ve played this song enough times to know that the record will be just as tough and powerful as this.

GHUM aren’t afraid to be aggressive with their sound, and to show us all exactly how it’s done. At times you feel like you are intruding on something so personal but the more you listen- the more you connect. For me, they are up there with the likes of L.A. Witch, TwoFiftyFour (come back please!!!) and Warpaint. There’s this dark but ethereal sound that has you hooked right away. I’ve listened to Bitter a handful of times on my break now, and I can pretty much call it one of their most heaviest and mind-blowing songs.

I’m not one for wishing time away, but I really cannot wait for the 17th June!

*Photo Credit: Paul Phung

WARPAINT: Radiate Like This.

The day before Warpaint released their debut record The Fool around 11 years ago, I interviewed them at The Deaf Institute here in Manchester. I was petrified! I was about to interview a band I had loved for some time, and I was finally able to sit next to them and interview them. That feeling, that moment will never leave me. Since then, I’ve pretty much obsessed over any and everything they’ve released. I wear my Warpaint tattoo with utter pride. I adore this band. I love everything about them but the main thing is the bond they all have with each other. You can tell they love the bones of each other and love making music together and this shines through in all they do.

The artwork for the record sums up the feel of it. It is calming, you’ll feel like you’re floating and for that moment you listen to the record- you’ll feel alright. When the record came out on Friday- I just couldn’t wait to play it. I played it whilst getting ready for work and whilst on my way to work- I had it blasting in my headphones. The best way to listen to Warpaint is through headphones so you can really soak up everything that is going on. There’ll be times where Emily’s voice will make you cry because of the sheer gentleness. Jenny’s bass will make you move without a care in the world. Theresa will hypnotise you with the way she annihilates the guitar. The we have Stella who is just the best drummer around. The record opens with Champion, and this song perfectly guides us gently into the new record. Champion has everything you could possibly want from Warpaint. They’ll make you feel like you are gazing out to the ocean with the sun providing comfort on your back.

Radiate Like This is their first record in 6 years, and it honestly feels like you are listening to a brand new band. It is such an ethereal record and for me, this is so evident on Hard To Tell You which I think just may be one of my favourite Warpaint songs ever. The lyrics are heartbreaking, and everything else surrounding it is so light. Vocally, Emily will break you. There’s this beautiful fragility to her voice here, and the way Stella, T and Jenny accompany the dreamy vocals is just out of this world. I just want to spend the day doing nothing and listen to this song on repeat. I feel like I could write an essay on how perfect it is. It’s one of those songs that when you listen to it just once, it immediately takes over. Everything about this song is just divine. Maybe it’s Emily’s gentle voice, maybe it’s the lyrics. Maybe it’s everything I love about Warpaint in 5 minutes. I think that’s it.

What I adore about Warpaint and this record is how fearless they are. I love how they absolutely blow your mind with every single song. The way songs like Trouble, Proof and Stevie (Jenny’s bass on this sounds so heavenly. If angels played bass, this is what it would sound like!) sound like they are from another planet. It just blows my mind. Proof is definitely up there with one of the most exciting songs on the record, and the energy it has just makes you wish you could start a band like this! There will only ever be one Warpaint. I love how Proof gets quite heavy musically, and together vocally it feels like they are putting a spell on you. I think Warpaint put a spell on us all those years ago when they first started.

When you listen to Warpaint, you immediately forget everything that’s going on in your head. You’re quickly taken to their world; and their world is so tranquil and soothing. Warpaint have this heavenly sound that only they can create. I’m pretty sure they could make a Death Metal record and it would still sound gentle and soothing. Warpaint are that security blanket you need when everything seems pretty tough, and what they’ve done on Radiate Like This is just like they have done on their previous records. They make you fall back in love with music all over again. I don’t mean to fixate on it, but Champion has something about it that just makes you feel like you can take on anything. It makes you feel hella tough- even when you are the complete opposite. I cannot wait to see them do this live; there’s something about this that is just meant to be witnessed live.

If you’re looking for a song to really get you moving- you need to play Like Sweetness. This one has that slick Warpaint sound. That groove that makes you pull an ugly face and you just feel every beat, every note, every word. It just moves you. For me, Warpaint have always been that band I listen to when I can’t sleep or when I need my mind to quiet down a bit. Radiate Like This is made up of songs that will calm your mind, and Like Sweetness may just be the most gentle song on the record lyrically. When I paid attention to the lyrics the other day, I just cried. Not just because it’s beautiful, but because of how open the band are with their words. If you want to feel a sense of freedom or just sheer happiness, then go the nearest lake or body of water, put your headphones in and play Trouble on repeat for a little while. Honestly, that song is something else.

I could spend hours, days even giving you reasons as to why this is the most gorgeous record you’ll hear all year. But if you’re a Warpaint fan already, then you know this. I know I love music that is loud and such, but Warpaint are the band that are just good for the soul. This record is made up of songs that could calm any soul, that could tame any mind. This is their 4th full length record, and they are a band that keep on getting better and better. They have a distinctive sound/style, but they always change it up. They play around with all genres, and make their own. There’s no band quite like them. There never will be again. It’s obvious how much I love this band, and I’m SO excited to see them on Thursday.

Radiate Like This is a masterpiece. It is a glowing work of art that you just won’t be able to live without.

GHUM: Deceiver.

In a matter of weeks, the debut record by GHUM will finally be here. I cannot wait. Part of me wanted to hold off listening to anything they’d release (single wise) until the record was here, but I couldn’t stop myself. I’m glad I didn’t.

My love for this band is huge, and I adore any and everything they do. They’re one of those bands that once you listen to them, you’re just hooked for life. That’s how they got me. There’s a number of bands I can think of that I hold in this regard and to put GHUM in that list makes me happy.

Deceiver is everything us GHUM fans have come to expect from the band and more. It’s such a great song, and one to really get lost in. Am I obsessed with the song? Ever so slightly. I’m so excited for their record to come out, and going by the music they have blessed us with so far- I think we can call it as one of the best records of the year. Definitely the best debut record for sure! There’s an infectious fury in this song, and it’s that fury that makes you sing the words back with everything you have. There’s truly no better band around right now. It’s always been GHUM. It’ll always be GHUM.

This song along with Bitter are two perfect dark and eerie songs to set the tone for their debut record. Deceiver is about “a relationship where one of the parties is starting to discover a selfish side to their lover, disappointment after disappointment the trust starts running low and the love starts to fade away.” Something painful, but the band make it easier with this song. There’s this intense passion in all that they do and it comes across exceptionally strong on this song. I have a feeling their record will be full of moments like this- where the songs are dominated by intense and raw emotion- you can’t help but relate to it. The chorus is lethal, and is delivered with this snarl that leaves you in awe.

In a few weeks time, the debut record comes out. I’m fully ready to play the record religiously.

You can pre-order the record here: https://ghum.bandcamp.com/

HOORSEES: A Superior Athlete

I am SO excited to write about the new record by the finest band in Paris; Hoorsees. Their second record, A Superior Athlete comes out on the 22nd April via Kanine Records and if you’re looking for a record that is going to play a vital role in the music you listen to during the summer- then this is the one for you.

I really enjoyed writing about their debut record last year, and it’s still a record I love listening to. There is something really gentle about this band and their sound. They have a sound so precious and unique to theirs, and there’s no one else out there who sounds even remotely like them- and that’s what lures you in and keeps you there.

The record opens with the beautifully relaxing, Week-End At Bernie’s and it is such a soothing song. It’s the perfect opener to the record and really sets the mood for the record. Alex’s vocals on this really have you hooked, and what is so easy to love about this band is that they have a lot of soul in their sound. They make you feel like you’re on holiday or they make you feel like you need to just sack off every responsibility you have, and just enjoy this record. The first song really does grab you and before you know it, you’ve fallen deep into the world they’ve created on this record. That’s just with one song! The gorgeous and oddball lyrics hit you right again on the song Cream & Onion (I don’t know why this title makes me feel a bit like I’m going to puke, but the song does the opposite!) This song feels like the sun hitting you on your back as you spend the day lazily wandering round. Again, that’s just something I love about this band- they make you feel completely fine with doing nothing at all!

Around this time of year bands will contend to make a record that rules your summer. I think it’s safe to say that Hoorsees may have beaten them all on this one. There’s innocence to the lyrics that go beautifully with the slight dream-pop/shoegaze sounds. It is a gentle record, and shows us exactly why they are one of the most exciting bands around. Songs like Jansport and Drama Kings will be stuck in your head for days- you’ll be humming the song constantly. There’s no better song to have stuck in your head. With so much shit going on in the world, a band like Hoorsees are here to just lighten the burden of it all for a little while.

I love the heaviness on Memory’s Knife towards the end of it; it fits so well with the gentle tones of it. I just think with this record, they have showed us exactly why they are one of the most exciting bands around and how fearless they are with their sound. This record was written in two weeks, and for some that may be way too rushed but what I hear on this record is a band that are so sure of their sound and know exactly what they want to create. The band left the city and stayed at Alex’s grandmother’s house, and maybe that’s part of why the record sounds so care-free and light. You can play this record, and everything just feels okay you know? It’s that reassurance you need and it’s that friend you need to just hang out with and do nothing with. They are also a band that aren’t afraid to talk about the frustrations of daily life and how restless we become through boredom. I don’t even know if it’s boredom. Maybe it’s a touch of frustration that we can never shake. Either way, Hoorsees have created something truly beautiful with this record.

A Superior Athlete is everything you could want from the record of the summer, and so much more. You;ll play this on the coldest day in December, and it’ll take you back to warmer times. It is a comforting record and one that really does show us what Hoorsees are made of and why they are one of the most exciting bands around. It’s a divine record from start to finish.

A Superior Athlete is out this Friday (22nd April) via Kanine Records

BULLET GIRL: Talking Pony EP.

Good Friday has now taken on a whole new meaning because the debut EP from Bullet Girl is FINALLY here. It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for this. And yes, as that old saying goes- good things come to those who wait. I mean I was pretty impatient for this one, but I stayed up well past my bedtime last night/this morning and at midnight, I played the EP. I’ve been playing it all day (I’ve taken a break from listening to CROWS for the time being.) Good Friday? More like a BRILLIANT Friday. If you’re looking for something that is powerful, will burst your eardrums, give you a swift kick up the arse and make you feel something- then I URGE you to check out this EP. It’s incredible.

In 4 songs, Bullet Girl show us exactly what they are made of. They are a political, honest, focused and a poetic bunch. The songs are insanely brilliant. It opens with The Hunt, then we go right into Paper Guns which is just a treat for the ears. The whole record is. Of course, you want more, but what they’ve given us is a work of art that oozes passion, dedication and determination. You can truly feel the hard-work that has gone into this record. Everything about Talking Pony just screams every fury you possibly feel right now. Paper Guns nails this more than most. The despair and hurt on this are so raw, and you’ll probably be made of stone if you don’t connect even a tiny bit to this one.

With one EP they have firmly put their sound out there. There’s nothing like this around and thank God because no one can do it like Bullet Girl. They make you want to cast aside your daily responsibilities and just follow them on tour or something equally fun. They’ve got this energy to the songs that just makes you punch the air in agreement and yell the songs out. Nothing will hit as hard as the into to McViolence. That intro just gets me every single time. Pretty sure I could be having the worst day possible, and within seconds of that intro being blasted out- I’ll feel better. I love the sheer rage in the song. The whole record has this brutality to it that just makes you really connect to the band and what they are about. Again, it’s all about picking up on that drive and determination in this EP- it’s wild. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when listening to the record. Like, I knew it was going to be great of course, but I didn’t know how the songs were going to hit and how it’d feel to finally hear this body of work that they’ve worked so hard on.

The love and drive gone into this EP is evident on every single song. If you want music that will make you feel like you are being thrown about or if you want lyrics that are just an accurate social commentary that are sung with such vulnerability and urgency- then this is the record for you. These 4 songs were made to be heard by the world and to be treasured. The record ends beautifully on Parasites but it doesn’t have to end there. Simply play it over and over again. It’s the only way. The last 20 seconds or so on this one is just incredible. The screaming of “Better days will come” just hits you right in the soul.

Talking Pony calls out everything shit with the world, but it’s delivered in a way that givers you hope. Hope that it’ll get better. It has to, right? With bands like Bullet Girl telling it like it is, it’s a sure fire way of making us all feel less alone and less helpless.

Tour dates for May are:

7th May: Retro, Manchester (R-Fest)

8th May: Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds

9th May: The Washington, Sheffield

10th May: The Old Blue Last, London

11th May: Bedford Esquires, Bedford (supporting Personal Trainer

14th May: The Black Lion, Brighton

BEAT IN MY BONES: Episode 3

This week there is music from: CROWS, METZ, GHUM, Hoorsees, The Battery Farm and the new one from Sextile!

I think I spend most of the show talking about CROWS and their show in Manchester from last Friday. Bloody incredible it was!

Right, I’m off to play FIFA x

CROWS: Beware Believers.

In 2019 I wrote about the debut record from Crows. It was full of love and admiration. I was in awe of what I was listening to, and I found it hard to believe that it was only their debut record. Crows are a band that I’m constantly in awe of, and I love how they make me feel like I’m discovering the likes of The Birthday Party for the first time. They are loud, they are raw and they are criminally underrated. Their second record Beware Believers was released last Friday, and trust me- it’s unreal.

11 songs make up this record. 11 heavenly songs that will send you off into some odd dystopian dream/nightmare (I mean you could just take a look outside for this, but let me be a bit dramatic here.) There’s nothing more annoying than someone mentioning the second record curse when writing about a bands second release. Ease off the pressure and stop assuming everyone will release a shit second record. Crows are a band that do not make bad songs nor do they put fillers on their record at all. They make the kind of music to completely let loose to. If something is stressing you out or if you’re carrying some frustrations you just do not need- play this record as loud as you can stand. I’m not playing it as loud as I normally would due to being a little deaf from seeing METZ last night, but I’m brave. I can do this.

This year is clearly the year for exceptional records, and Crows can add their name to the list of bands contributing to this. I don’t think we’re going to hear a record as driven as this one. I don’t think it’s possible for anything to even come close to this record. Crows have been around for ages, and yes, it’s hard to get your heard around the fact that this is only their second record but what’s more difficult is that they haven’t taken over the world yet. Come on now! This needs sorting. I’ve listened to the record a lot the past few days, and I love the way every song flows perfectly into the next. I love how Only Times goes right into Slowly Separate. For me, that’s one of my favourite moments on the record; I love how beautifully chaotic this record, and I love that every song is delivered with such importance. These songs are vital, and you can tell just how much it means to the band.

I’m so excited to see them this week, and to see these songs live. I love when you hear a record, then you finally get to witness it live. You can really feel what the songs mean to the band and you can be part of how they are meant to be heard. Every song on this record, much like their debut, will make you want to trash any room you step into. Do it. Live a little. Throw some shit around, go wild. 

There’s a song on the record call Healing, and there’s a line that goes “I know that everything hurts, and I know that everything can heal” and it probably one of the most important lyrics I’ve heard in a while. Something so simple, but is projected in a way that really gets you right in the gut. I think Healing might be THE song for me on this record. I think it’ll probably be one of the most vital songs I hear all year. I love the vulnerability in the song and I love James’ vocals on this. I feel I could write an essay on this song and why it’s just so important. If they play this on Friday, I’ll probably have a bit of a cry or I’ll be too in awe of what’s happening and just stand there like a gormless twat! I cannot tell you how euphoric the song Room 156 is. This again is one I am so excited to see live (hopefully they play it!) For me, this record has this strong sense of urgency. It feels like the band just HAD to get this record out. Every word, every note played had to be released into the world. Thank God it finally has been.

Every song on this record shows us exactly why Crows are thrilling and a joy to listen to. The darkness but hopefulness in the songs will leave you feeling fragile but okay. There’s something about this record that makes you feel like maybe, maybe, it’ll all be okay. The record ends on Sad Lad which has this beautiful yet eerie feel to it. It’ll break you but by the end of it, you will feel healed. I really hope Crows know how important they are, and how important their songs are. There’s a lot of healing in the lyrics, and the way the it all comes together and just soothes your head and soul is divine. I’m just in awe of how loud and gentle this record is. Sometimes, you just don’t know how much you needed to hear something until it hits you right between the eyes.

Crows start their UK tour tomorrow, and you can get yourself tickets here: https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/crows-1-1

Go see them and let the healing begin.

GHUM: Some People.

I feel like I have waited FOREVER to write this, but I am SO excited to write that GHUM’s debut record, Bitter will be out THIS YEAR. I am so so excited about this. I can’t put into words. I’m just stupidly excited to hear this record from a band I’ve loved for so long. There’s really no better feeling is there? When a band you adore get to finally put their debut full length record out

Bitter is made up of 9 phenomenal songs; I am confident in saying this because I love this band and going by what they’ve already released so far- it’s a pretty fair statement to make. Today they have also released their new song, Some People which is also accompanied with a pretty great video too. The new song is heavy, but the video is the polar opposite of it and it works so well. The video is directed by the wonderful Lydia Garnett who has blessed the world some wonderfully Queer art. When you take that and mix it with a song from a band you just love- it creates something that just makes your heart burst with utter joy!

There are some bands that when you listen to them, the impact just stays with you. Just this morning I was listening to the band on my way to work, and I felt like I was listening to them for the first time all over again. I’ve got a handful of bands that make me feel like that, and GHUM are easily one of them. I know that their debut record is going to blow our minds and from 17th June onwards- I probably won’t listen to anything but that record. I cannot wait!

The band got together about 6 years ago, so this full length record has been a long time coming. Their two EPs (self-titled and The Coldest Fire) are works of art and you know, it’s a fair call to make to say that Bitter will too be a masterpiece. I’m just so excited to listen to the record.

Check out the artwork here for Bitter:

For me it kind of gives you a hint to how the record will sound; a bit spooky, a bit dark but with tender moments. The band are made up of the best musicians around, and with this strong and distinctive sound they have- they will probably take over the world. Let’s dream big! They deserve it.

It’s an honour to write about a band like GHUM and to see how their sound has strengthened, and also how fearless they are with what they do. This morning I finished reading the book In The Miso Soup, and there’s part of the song that reminds me a little bit of the book: “We’re just ‘some people.’ But I want you to know; there’s some evil in me.” Really makes me think about the book and the ending of it. The book will mess with your head, and so will GHUM’s music to be honest- but all the best art does, right?! The magic in this song is all the way through. You’ve got the sheer intensity of Laura’s vocals that go right into Vicki’s drumming. Then you’ve got MJ and Jojo on bass and guitar creating this eerie atmosphere that pulls you in. You just can’t get enough of this song, of this band.

You can pre-order Bitter here: https://ghum.bandcamp.com/ and the record is out 17th June via Everything Sucks.

GHUM will also be playing a headline show in London at the Sebright Arms on the 22nd April.

ZOLA JESUS: Lost

That feeling when one of the singers you adore so much comes back with new music; there’s truly nothing quite like it. The first time I heard Zola Jesus, was actually the song she did as Nika + Rory. The song was I’m Not Going Anywhere. I played it almost religiously. I then heard Nika’s work as Zola Jesus when brought out The Spoils, and that was it. My obsession was blooming and I didn’t want it any other way.

There are a few bands/singers that just stick with you, and the any announcement of new music from them just immediately hits you right in the heart and you feel alive again. Since 2009 I’ve had this admiration and love for Nika and all she creates. I cannot think of anyone else who does what she does, who makes the sounds she does, who has a mind like hers. She’s the only one, and let’s be honest- there won’t ever be anyone else like her ever again. Her voice is so haunting and so comforting. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve bawled my eyes out to some of her songs, but my god there are songs that just give you this euphoric feeling and nothing can come close to it.

Lost is the new single, and is taken from Nika’s new record Arkhon which is out 20th May via one of the best labels ever- Sacred Bones. If you’re a fan of Nika/Zola Jesus, you know exactly what to expect but at the same time you are ready to be thrown into the deep unknown. Lost is such a beautiful and open song, and so easy to connect with. We all feel lost. Some of us feel it more than others, some of us are just constantly lost. For some, it may be all we know. But it’s a feeling that so many can connect with; and the way Nika writes about it here is just divine and right to the core.

The percussion, the sound of breathing (at the start- I think) it’s got this reassuring feel to it. The start sounds like a panic attack coming on (something I know far too well) but then everything calms down, and you are centred. Everything is okay, and you feel reassured again. There’s something about that chaotic feeling of being lost that allows you to just go at your own pace and eventually find what you need. I think that’s something we probably need to cling on to more than we care to admit.

The video for Lost is stunning. It will leave you breathless and just in awe of this magnificent creation. It sums up the feel of the song so well, and it is shot in the most gorgeous way imaginable. I don’t want to write too much about the video; I want you to take some time out of your day to watch the video. Maybe a couple of times in a row, and just take it all in. The song is a masterpiece and if the whole record has this feel to it, then I think we may have found the most beautifully put together record of the year.