All posts by loudwomen

LOUD WOMEN Top Releases of 2019

It’s the most listable time of the year again!

A lot of the DIY bands we love don’t have the resources to record a whole album, so we’ve opened up our end-of-year list to include EPs too. And rightly so – we seen some belters this year.

Here’s the Top 11 Releases of 2019 as voted for by yer Team LOUD WOMEN. Check em all out.

Lilith Ai: Bare Radical (EP)

“Touching on political and personal narratives, and exploring multiple genres and heritages without once feeling forced or tokenistic, this EP demonstrates a breadth of creative potential crying out for the wider reception and greater attention that a full-length album and attendant media exposure could provide. Do your bit and just buy the EP already, because this is, Lilith is, the real deal. To quote the first song here, she comes correct.” <<full review by Kris Smith here>>

Dream Nails: Take Up Space (1st LP)

Also winner of the 2019 Hercury Prize! “The raucous attitude Dream Nails are known for, their exposure of every emotion without ever apologising for it, and their potent chemistry never seem to waver.” <<full review by Caitlin Webb here>>

Gaptooth: Sharp Minds, Raised Fists (2nd LP)

Catch Gaptooth live at our xmas party! “Bright and brash, filled with songs that any of our top tunesmiths would be proud to put their names under the titles of” <<full review by Tony Rounce here>>

Petrol Girls: Cut and Stitch (2nd LP)

Petrol Girls’ explosive performance was a huge highlight of this year’s LOUD WOMEN Fest, as always! If you were there, you may have noticed the enormous banner they performed under – a hand-stitched patchwork of flags, reshaped to proclaim the words ‘NO LOVE FOR A NATION’. The video for this, the LP’s title track, shows the story behind that banner, made on route across Europe, and culminating at LW Fest in London.

Desperate Journalist: In Search of the Miraculous (3rd LP)

Sadly we don’t have a review of our own of this excellent album (we are a bit short of reviews writers – you could say we are … no, no, I shalln’t say it …). Anyway. We spotted that “bjbingle” on Bandcamp had these fine words to say about it:  MessedUp Magazine had a post and photo set on IG. I decided to take a chance at some new music, as I was feeling stale. I pulled up this album on Spotify. Murmuration was the first track I ever heard by this band…and I instantly fell in love. I don’t know if other people get that feeling…lightning strike. I didn’t have to grow to like this band. I didn’t have to get used to them. It’s like I was lost musically before, and was rescued. This band feels like home.

ARXX: Wrong Girl, Honey (EP)

“If you didn’t make LW4, and thus haven’t heard it yet, imagine the Shangri-Las backed by AC/DC and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re in for.” <<full review by Tony Rounce here>>

Salad: The Salad Way (LP)

“Salad is the band that I always wished I could gig with again. The musical chemistry, the humour, the oddness, the collaborative creativity, even the arguments – it was all so much fun. The very first thing we did in our first rehearsal was to work on a new song, and TBH it only felt like we’d had 5 or 6 years off, not 20.” – Charley Stone <<full interview with Salad by Kris Smith here>>

Hurtling: Future from Here (LP)

“From the opening track, Start, with its Pavement-esque guitar riff and slightly off-kilter drums riding along in a cart behind, this record sounds like a road trip across a desert, somewhere in America, with friends driving together in a tripped out convoy, bouncing over bumps in the road, racing each other gleefully, overtaking, pulling apart, careering back together again.” <<full review by Lorna Myles here>>

The Slugs: Wet (EP)

“In keeping with the title, all five selections carry an aquatic theme. If you have ever wondered to yourself “what is wet?” Phoebe and Liberty might have the answer you are looking for in track 2 – piss is indeed wet, as you will know.” <<full review by Tony Rounce here>>

Personal Best: What You At (2nd LP)

“The painted smiles of each 3-minute masterpiece here mask an ocean of tears that nobody should have to swim.  If you’ve ever felt wronged in love, your grievances will pale into insignificance next to the knife-in-the-chest double whammy of the album’s closing tracks ‘One Damn Thing’ (‘Do You Both Sleep At Night In The Bedding I Bought You?’’) and ‘Salute’ (‘You Never Will Come Through For Me’). Nobody deserves that level of hurt. (Well, other than a member of the Conservative party, perhaps…)” <<full review by Tony Rounce here>>

Breakup Haircut: What Did You Expect? I Got It Off The Internet! (EP)

“The confessional style of ‘What Did You Expect?…’ is unfailingly endearing. Tracks like ‘Kim Pine’, with its grunge-style heavily pedalled guitar riffs and haunting background vocals, twist earnest tracks out of the macho posturing often associated with rock and roll.” <<full review by Caitlin Webb here>>

Gaptooth: 5 question interview

Photo by Keira Anee

Gaptooth is our very favourite electro-riot-indie-popstar and she’s coming to play our Christmas party on 14 December at the Hope & Anchor (come!). In the meantime, we asked her 5 questions …

1.     What have you been up to since we last saw you (at LOUD WOMEN Fest 4!)?

Well the main piece of news is that my second album, Sharp Minds, Raised Fists was released in October, so I’ve mainly been busy doing press for that. Doing PR is my least favourite thing about releasing music but it’s really nice to have it out there in the world finally for everyone to hear. The response so far has been great!

2.     What can we look forward to from you on 14 Dec?

Our usual combination of shouty feminist rants, slightly chaotic musicianship, keytar stylings, distorted guitars and dancey electronic beats. And one song from the new album that’s turned out to be a fan favourite but which we haven’t played live yet. It will be the day after the General Election results so we’ll probably be either drunkenly celebrating or drunkenly commiserating. Oh, and we’ve also got sparkly Christmas outfits.

3.     You’ve got a band now! How’s that working out? More fun? More logistics to work out? Change in your sound?

All of the above! Playing electronic music live is difficult as a solo act because you end up having to have quite a lot of stuff pre-recorded. Bringing in Kim and Georgia as guitarists has made a massive difference in terms of the punkier sound but also bringing much more energy to the live set. My new album is a lot more guitar-driven than the last one so having live guitarists makes it sound much more powerful.

4.     What are your plans for 2020?

Gigs! We’re playing for Get In Her Ears on 13th March with Ghost Car, The Other Ones and Minimals, and we have one or two out of town gigs in the works as well as applying for festivals in the summer. I’ve been intending to scale things back a little bit because I really need to finish my PhD thesis (!) but I’m already having vague ideas of maybe releasing another single or two…

5. Have you been naughty or nice this year? What’s top of your Christmas list?

The state would say naughty, my cats would say nice. What I’d really, really like Santa to deliver is a Labour majority in Parliament and Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10. Failing that, new socks.

Come and see Gaptooth and her band on 14 December, along with I, Doris and friends at the Hope & Anchor

Problem Patterns: Good For You, Aren't You Great – EP review

Review by Gilan

Get ready to pour your pint all over the patriarchy and then proudly stomp away with your head held high; it’s my new favourite band: Problem Patterns.

Who are Problem Patterns? Problem patters are a DIY, RRRIOT punk band from Northern Ireland. Self-described as “just women shouting in a room”. Yes please!

Their EP, “Good for you, Aren’t you great?” has everything you would want from a punk record, a glorious balance of heart pumping chaotic distorted guitar , and delicious slowed down gritty numbers all of which are showered with witty words of wisdom. There is also a delicious hint of sarcasm which I am always in the mood for. So let’s take a look at a couple of the tracks.

Day and Age: A fun fast-paced rant about being a modern day women and trying to keep up with the ridiculous standards the mainstream media set. What I love about this track is how the lyrics themselves are a fairly polite, low key vent about trying to be an ideal woman in today’s society but the whole thing is screamed out – just like lots of women must be silently screaming every bloody day. There’s just something so beautifully frantic about it. Like the singer has had enough and is on the brink of exploding.

Sell-by Date: This song starts as one of the bands slower, grittier songs. The guitar tones are chuggier, thicker, and heavier and the drums are simple but so effectively punchy. The first chunk of the song is written from the perspective of people asking ‘those questions’.  You know the ones: “Do you have a baby yet? No? Why not?”

“Aren’t you too old too….” The second phase switches to the person who all of this has been directed to, and they are clearly not taking any systemic abuse made to feel women like biological ticking time bombs, made only for breeding and nothing else. Nor should they be! This song makes me hopeful that more of us will shake off these false social constructs we are taught, that are normalised. Our bodies are our own! More like this please!

Throughout the EP this feisty four play with their rhythm with little punches here and there or fun vocal inserts. Problem Patterns also have no one fixed front person and all swap around vocally and instrumentally. I don’t know who is singing or playing what on the EP, but what I do know is, they all know how to make ranting about life sound spectacular!

Listening recommendation: If you have had enough of mainstream media making you feel like you are about to buckle under the pressure of it all, stick this on and stomp around!

bandcamp facebook instagram

Katie Graham: Fallen – track of the day

Kicking off the week with some fab new music from Preston’s Katie Graham – ‘Fallen’. One to watch.

Lancashire’s Graham released her debut EP aged just 18 in 2016. Her musical career was paused in late 2017 after becoming unwell and later diagnosed with intracranial hypertension (pressure on the brain), forcing her into a brief hiatus and putting life very much on hold. 

With her health now firmly under control, Katie is ready to make up for lost time and begins with the release of her musically defining new EP ‘Last Summer’. The ideas for the project were shaped whilst Katie travelled across Europe following a break up, with many of the tracks written whilst she stayed in different cities across the continent. 

“The EP is called Last Summer because it’s when I started experiencing a lot of the things I’ve written about in the songs,” Katie explains; “it was a time for me to really try and figure out what I wanted, who I wanted to be and what music I wanted to make. I get a lot of my writing influences from my friends lives and what’s going on with them and I find it a good way to release some of my own thoughts and emotions too. I’ve suffered with mental health problems since I was a kid which I think a lot of people understand and writing for me is just one way to help me get some of the cooped-up thoughts out of my brain!”

Jemma Freese: Pleasure Island – video premiere

Delighted to present today the video premiere of Jemma Freese’s trip-hop electronica grunge soundscape, ‘Pleasure Island’.

Jemma is a keyboardist/vocalist/composer and also a part of GREAAT (Music:Leeds Gender Equality Advisory Group) which is a group of people supporting gender equality specifically focusing on Leeds and the surrounding areas. 

The single is taken from the Leeds trio’s recently released album ‘The Beast in the Blueprint’. Jemma tells us:

“The album is about emotional abuse that I have been through, with this track being about trying to find oneself. “

Find Jemma Freese on facebook instagram soundcloud bandcamp

Misfortune Cookie: Heavy Seas – LP review

Review by Chris Fox

There was a time, in the late 1980s, when UK melodic punk met US melodic punk for the first time. Out popped Mega City 4, Senseless Things, Snuff, HDQ, Sofahead, Leatherface, Joyce McKinney Experience and so on. This spawned a brief period of brilliance – and the odd unexpected hit single – before the existence of the genre gave inevitable rise to the generic. Since then the UK has always had plenty of bands kicking around doing that thing, and almost none of them has done anything special with it.

With ‘Heavy Seas’, Misfortune Cookie have done something very special. It’s awash with pop sensibilities, folk tinges, UK punk chugging and US punk arpeggios. The personnel are old enough and self-aware enough to know that they can’t be singing songs about teenage concerns, but are smart enough to know that those songs need to feel as if that’s what concerns them. So the record is rammed fully of  urgency, plaintiveness and righteous anger coming from people at their weakest who want to assert their vision for a better tomorrow. The pedigree is there, of course; I mean, it’s basically Bear Trade with Helen Chambers fronting them. So it’s phenomenal punk rock of the tradition I outlined earlier, plus Helen Chambers. And everyone loves Helen Chambers.

Ten songs. All brilliant. Buy the record.

Misfortune Cookie – Heavy Seas – out now on Everything Sucks Records