ARXX: Y.G.W.Y.W (You Got What You Want) – single of the week

Review by Tony Rounce

It’s been a busy time for Brighton power duo ARXX. Having released no new music since 2018’s astounding ‘Daughters Of Daughters’ mini-album debut, Hannah Pidduck and Clara Townsend have generously served up two singles in the last couple of months.  Both have been thoroughly road tested in 2019, and both are highlights of ARXX’ current live set. You can catch up with the menacing, broody ‘Iron Lung’ on the new upcoming “Loud Women 2” CD compilation.  Their upcoming offering ‘ Y.G.W.Y.W. (You Got What You Want)’ reaffirms the compulsive qualities of its predecessor, and might just be their best recording yet.

Taken at a slightly slower pace than it’s performed live, YGWYW is quintessential ARXX in every respect. A big, booming salvo of sound, with straight-to-the-point lyrics and one of those ferocious ‘terrace anthem’ choruses that Hannah seems to be able to conjure up at will, it will immediately become your new favourite earworm.

Hannah’s vocals never lack in confidence or power, but the studio seems to bring the innate soulfulness in her delivery to a next level.  Not to be outdone, Clara hits every part of her drum kit – and hits is the right word, believe me – with a show of percussive power that most other drummers would be hard pressed to match, even with a second or third set of arms. 

A fantastic, full on, firmly in-your-face show of musical aggression that doesn’t so much invite your attention as demand it, YGWYW might be the last new studio music we hear from ARXX for a while as they are about to embark on an extensive European tour, which includes an appearance at LOUD WOMEN Fest 4 on 14 Sept in London, which will keep them busy elsewhere till the end of October. 

All the more reason, then, why you should play it loud, and play it often. …

‘Y.G.W.Y.W.’ is out NOW!

Advertisements

Kelly Hoppenjans: If I Had You (Love Letter from a Padded Cell) – track of the day

Today’s track of the day is an instant classic from Nashville’s Kelly Hoppenjans – ‘If I Had You’ – out today! The track parodies the “crazy ex-girlfriend” archetype. She says:

“pop music tends to glorify obsessive romantic relationships, while society often dismisses women who express how damaging this type of partnership can be.”

Crazy ex-girlfriend solidarity.

Run and find out more about Kelly Hoppenjans at soundcloud spotify twitter facebook instagram

Gaptooth: Post-Patriarchy Disco – video premiere

We’re excited to premier the video for new Gaptooth song ‘Post-Patriarchy Disco’! The track – which appears on our very own LOUD WOMEN: Volume Two compilation (pre-order it now!) is taken from Gaptooth’s forthcoming second album Sharp Minds, Raised Fists, due out 11 October.

The video features some familiar faces from the LOUD WOMEN community, including Petrol Girls, Miss Eaves and I, Doris.

Gaptooth – aka Hannah Lucy – had this to say about the song:

“’Post-Patriarchy Disco’ imagines the massive fucking party we’ll throw when we finally overthrow the patriarchy. I wrote it as a tribute to some of the incredible, unstoppable feminist activists I’ve had the honour of organising with in recent years, and I wanted to capture the sense of empowerment and solidarity that comes from working together to achieve radical political goals.”

To celebrate the video release, Hannah has also produced a selection of disco-themed ‘Liberation Now’ badges and stickers available on her Bandcamp page. You can get a download of ‘Post-Patriarchy Disco’ here when you pre-order Sharp Minds, Raised Fists.

Catch Gaptooth live at LOUD WOMEN Fest 4 on 14 September – see the full line up and get your tickets here.

Strange Neighbors: How to Human / Alien – track of the day

Today’s track of the day is from New York’s Strange Neighbors: ‘How to Human’ and it’s a lesson in how to create perfect indie pop. So much so, we asked the band to give us some further schooling. Here’s what guitarist Zach said:

We used a couple of different guitars on this tune, the most drastic differences in tone being between the first and second halves of the song. Throughout the song, Dana plays a Fender Mark Hoppus Precision Bass, which regardless of your feelings on Blink-182, is a great sounding instrument. On the first half, “How to Human” I’m playing a Fender Telecaster for the rhythm guitar, and then arpeggiating on my Danelectro DC 12 String. They’re both very bright sounding guitars, which give the first chunk it’s jangly sound. I think both guitars are played through one of the Fender Silverface models, for that really clean sound. For the second half of the song, “Alien” I used totally different guitars. The main guitar on that half is a Gibson SG, which has a much thicker sound and is really the way to go for that overdriven, punky sort of sound. One of Mike’s fuzz pedals is on there, but I can’t recall any particular brand or model. We double or triple-tracked that guitar so it sounds huge. The guitar used for all those sound effects and crazy feedback is a Jackson guitar from the 80’s. It has a Floyd Rose on it, and that lets you do all those wild bends and divebombs. To record those, I stood in front of the amp, and we cranked the volume so it would start feeding back. It sounds impressive but it’s actually really easy to do, as you’re pretty much hitting random notes.

How to Human and Alien were written by Aidan as two separate songs that the band mashed together because it was too fun and perfect not to. How toHuman is a song about a feeling I feel all the time, like I’m just pretending to be a human in a world of actual humans. Sometimes I feel like I’m faking it, or “passing” really well (like the line in the bridge “Don’t I look like you don’t I move like you, why can’t I quite pass?”) and sometimes I don’t seem to get this human experience at all. I feel like the alien in human skin.

The verses of the song always make me laugh, like sneaking into a party, saying you know Nancy (there must be a Nancy at every party, right?) and ending up drunk and alone in the shower with the house pet. Or the second verse, going for a long drive with a human, a cannibal bastard, still trying to figure out how to operate. They have their feet on the dashboard, so I follow suit, but oops I’m driving, well at least my hands are still on  the wheel.

Then Alien is where it gets really fun and crazy. The  backstory of the song is a friend confiding in me that they found an alien, and I am doing all I can to convince them to give me the alien. It’s kind of a metaphor for your inner alien, and weirdness, coming out when you find something or someone you relate to on that level. Desperate to learn more and connect with that thing, and that alien side to ourselves.

Most of our songs feel really lighthearted, sometimes vague, but every line can be a metaphor, usually for darker or more intense themes.

Find Strange Neighbors on soundcloud spotify facebook instagram

MIRI: 10 question interview

MIRI is coming to play our Unplugged night at the Old Queen’s Head this Thursday 22 August! We got to know her better with our 10 questions …

1. For people who’ve not heard you play live before, what can we expect from you at the LOUD WOMEN gig?

Grit and sound vibes 

2. Which is your favourite song to play and why? Tell us about it …

At the moment it’s a cover of Girls Just Want To Have Fun. It feels really powerful to perform and allows me to vent emotionally about inequality. Sony have given me clearance to release it so I’m looking forward to getting it out there to more people. 

3. Do some super-lazy journalism on our behalf please, and fill in the blanks:

“My sound is like the lovechild of _Edith Piaf_ and _Amy Winehouse_ with a bit on the side from _Paolo Nutini_” 

4. What’s your proudest musical moment to date?

Everything feels a bit of a blur at the moment but the success and positive response from my Soundbites EP I feel pretty proud of. It’s the first full project I’ve co produced and I’ve received amples of love from fans and press like yourselves + Clash Magazine, London In Stereo, Jasmine Dotiwala at BBC London and Fubar Radio. 

5. Recommend a record and a book that you think our readers might not have heard of.

Friends Like These by Danny Wallace. I remember laughing out loud when I read it. And These Days by Nico cos it’s heart wrenchingly beautiful and bittersweet. 

6. Who inspires you?

Patti Smith. I love how she follows creativity. When I was at a real low point a few years back I decided to live the year in the spirit of Patti Smith. I had many adventures. 

8. What are your musical goals?

I’d love to perform my music at Glastonbury and on the Jools Holland Show. 

9. What’s the most important thing we need to know about your music right now?

My new EP Soundbites is out digitally and I’m playing Greenbelt Festival Sunday 25th August. 

10. Pass the mic – who are your top 5 contemporary bands/musicians.

1. Kate Nash – I recommend her documentary Underestimate The Girl. She’s gone through some real rough times as an artist and hasn’t given up.

2. Paolo Nutini – I love his voice and track Iron Sky, it resonates so much truth and power.

3. Bikini Kill – I saw their show at the 02 Brixton Academy. Pure legends. They create a positive environment for womxn to feel free and empowered. 

4. Yolanda Charles – Yolanda is musical royalty and she kindly said yes to playing bass on two of the tracks on my Soundbites EP. 

5. Nia Wyn – Nia’s voice is unique and raw. Her songs are hard hitting and honest. 

Mia Stegner: Born – track of the day

Today’s track of the day is some highly relatable content from Mia Stegner: ‘Born’. She says of the track:

I came out as bisexual in September of 2016, and this song is a reflection on that experience. The lyrics dive into the metaphor of the closet, in order to look at the pros and cons of choosing to leave it. As important as it is to encourage and celebrate coming out, it’s also critical to acknowledge the draw of the closet, especially in the context of the society we live in. Made up of overlapping harmonies on top of a beautiful guitar track by Ramita Arora, this track is an LGBTQ+ anthem infused with bits of fear, hope, and doubt.

Find Mia Stegner at miastegner spotify youtube twitter instagram

For all those who support putting women on stage, and turning up the volume