PETSEMATARY: Get Away With It – interview

Out today on Beth Shalom records, PETSEMATARY release their label debut single, ‘Get Away With It’. We caught up with frontwoman Gaby-Elise for a quick chat about the release.

Tell us about the single!
It’s about mental health, relationships and family. I remember writing the chorus in my last few weeks of uni. I’d just started taking medication for my anxiety/depression and started jamming out the chords with my bassist Luke in my shitty student halls flat. For me and for a lot of my friends as well, family and upbringing has such a huge impact on how you deal with mental health stuff, and I think that going through a phase where all of my mental health issues seemed to come to a head made me really realise that. I wanted to make a song that kind of addressed that frustrating fact but also offered a lot of hope, love and acceptance. Family issues and dealing with the cards you have been dealt is such a massive part of just surviving, and I don’t want to be a person that tries to sweep this stuff under the rug. I want to be able to embrace my fuck ups when they happen and I want to be able to accept other people for their fuck ups too haha. It’s not about finding blame or justification, but about self acceptance and learning from this stuff. Basically it’s okay not to be okay, cause a lot of us just aren’t, and that’s completely okay!!! We recorded the song with our friend and local Oxford talent Chris Barker of Premium Leisure/Willie J Healey. He is super open, creative and just a super nice and passionate guy so I think we all felt really comfortable and inspired working with him. 

What’s it like launching a single during a lockdown?
It was pretty stressful at first especially because the gigging part was initially the main focus of our release plan, and of course like every other artist we had to cancel our tour. However it really gave us an opportunity to work on the campaign in more detail and we are super lucky to be releasing the song on Beth Shalom Records. We were also super lucky to be in the April issue of Flying Vinyl which was another awesome opportunity, and companies like Flying Vinyl are super important for baby bands like us. Another aspect of it is that it seems like a really important time to be releasing music. The whole situation is traumatic and overwhelming – I’ve found it really difficult to indulge in creative stuff just because it feels like there are so many bigger things at stake. People are risking their lives on the daily, our government is inept, people are dying. We have all of this craziness going on in the background, and with that I think people really need art and music right now. It’s peace, escapism and catharsis, and whilst it’s not a massive priority I just hope that the song can offer a moment of respite from the chaos. 

Tell us about the Oxford music scene – what bands should we be listening to?
The Oxford music scene is absolute family – I’ve met some of my best friends and some of the most talented people I know through shows here and it’s just really wholesome and accepting. Bands everyone should be listening to are fuzzy garage punks Self Help and jazzy-art-prog legends Lucy Leave who happen to be some of the loveliest and most creative people I know. Premium Leisure are also one of my favourite bands at the moment – Chris is an incredible songwriter and guitarist and makes the catchiest psychy indie rock tunes ever. Indie pop heart throbs BE GOOD are also one of my favs – their lyrics are extremely relatable and I have found myself crying to their songs whilst drunk maybe too many times than I care to admit.

Lauran Beth: 11 Years – PREMIERE

We’re excited to bring you today the premiere of Lauran Beth‘s cracking new single, ’11 Years’. The video delivers a stark climate change message, contrasted by Lauran delicate vocals – with, refreshingly, no masking of her beautiful natural accent. Lauran tells us:

“’11 Years’ is a climate change song about how selfish and cruel people have become in relation to the environment. It expresses the opinion that, as a society, we have become indifferent to the pain and suffering endured by animals and plants, and only care about ourselves. Climate change is an emergency, and in order to fix the problem that we’ve created, we must learn where we’ve gone wrong and change our relationship with the environment.

Writing ’11 Years’ was a therapeutic experience for me, as I personally have many fears and anxieties around climate change. I have always worried about the environment and the effect that our behaviour has on plants and animals. Writing this song really helped me in calming my fears and expressing how I really feel in a way that is unique to me.

Lockdown has been a strange, yet interesting experience. From doing schoolwork, to writing music and learning more songs from other artists, lockdown has helped me to broaden my horizons in terms of music. I have gotten time to think about the type of music I want to write and the opinions I want to share through my music. Even though it is a scary time, music has helped me through.”

11 Years is out now via Beardfire Music.

Sit Down: Nice One – album review

Review by Julie Riley of I am HER

Nice One is a slice of nonchalant genius. Already a fan of Sit Down (have you seen them live?) and their track Mothership (from their first EP, Cheap Luxe) in particular I was excited to hear about this release. Their bio on FB claims: ‘Summoning fiery garage rock with infectious energy and acid-tongued wit, Sit Down forge their own brand of art rock that borders on doom, hip hop, and everything in between’. This EP does not disappoint. They say of it that they have been sitting on these songs for a while which is weird because this 4 -tracker could easily be a journey through (some of) the various states we might be experiencing in lockdown.

Told U So is a musical journey of a track akin to the slide into the new normal of our quarantined situation. There is a sparse middle eastern intro before an electronic beat starts up, soon followed by a seething bass. Then swagger as drums come in. The layering of these elements gives an industrial sound worthy of Nine Inch Nails. The use of vocoda gives the vocals a pop/disco style of a darker hue, contrasting with shouted choruses.

Banana Split is going to be my anthem for lockdown. It sticks in your head like every classic should, it has swagger (yes, again), a filthy bass sound and overall production values that Butch Vig would envy. The lyrics are startling on point (did they really not write this right now?)  and reference the self- revaluation that all  artists  probably go through as they try to make a living through their art. However it does feel all the more poignant right now….with lines like ‘nothing like a change of pace to make you fall apart’ …’maybe that’s thing with art, you won’t now where you are going but you might find who you are’ and ’who the fuck are we if we’re not doing this’.

Promiseland could be a musical version of Milton’s Paradise Lost or Heironymous Bosch’s Hell, a perfect outburst venting visceral anger and confusion demanding we ‘get it done’.

Feel It is the therapy track to heal. Run to it, have a gong bath in it, doing whatever it does to help you cope. As the lyrics say….’scream until you feel it’.

The title of this EP is an understatement Nice One is bloody awesome, swagger-some and I highly recommend you go get you some.

Typical Girls Volume 5 – album review

Review by Kris Smith

Released right in time for lockdown, Typical Girls Volume 5 has proved – along with the Slum Of Legs album (a band included on the first volume) – the most perfect, prodigious purchase of the period.

Emotional Response Recs have produced their five volumes in barely four years and show no sign of slowing down or losing focus; I’m struggling to think of any run of contemporary punk-related compilations to have maintained their level of quality control – and attempts to showcase all-female/female-led groups are rare enough to begin with. From early shots in the dark like 1981’s ‘Making Waves’ and 1990’s ‘Postcards From Paradise’ to more recent projects like those which Riot Grrrl Berlin released online a few years ago, the challenge has changed from one of a lack of licensable material to one of too much material. The compilers of Typical Girls sidestep the latter problem with judicious cherrypicking, an ear for flow and a catholic curatorial taste in subgenre-hopping.

This album features 16 bands, less than half from home country the USA, with over a third of the songs seemingly unavailable elsewhere, and the remainder mostly taken from the EPs or debut albums of relatively new groups. Sounds range from power-pop earworms like Color TV‘s ‘Anybody’s Girl’ to hardcore ear-melters from Drama and Snob, stopping off at all points in between including new wave, post punk, art punk, indie rock, garage and noise pop (and if you find those labels reductive or something, they’re taken from the groups’ own bandcamp pages, ok?)

My initial thoughts on listening to this collection were that I’d found myself in a blissful alternative reality where the major influences on contemporary music were Kleenex/Liliput, Altered Images and Trash Kit, but further inspection reveals even more going on. Australia’s Empat Lima and USA’s Table Sugar and Latitude take that playful pop/new wave approach to post punk but more of a regional moodiness is evidenced on tracks by Quebec’s Helene Barbier (ex-Moss Lime), Tasmania’s Slag Queens and Scotland’s Vital Idles.

There’s brilliantly snotty but tuneful hardcore/punk from Whip and Mr Wrong, the sweet sound of ’77 from UK’s Child’s Pose and Germany’s The Inserts, dreamy noise-pop from Patsy’s Rats and surprisingly-uptempo shoegaze from Spain’s relatively long in the tooth Linda Guilala, a song from their third LP, while Kamala and the Karnivores do several unexpected things in just over two minutes, on a song which like so many on this album leaves me wanting more. (This isn’t the first time I’ve summed up with a variation on ‘it left me wanting more!’ but being a volunteer those do tend to be the records I want to review in the first place.)

Out of sixteen artists on this comp, I’d previously heard only two; since its release I’ve already bought music by two more with several others in sight. As a snapshot/sampler of the breadth of creativity and inspiration out there this record is an unqualified success, and without a doubt an album you’ll find yourself putting on repeat. If you’re new to the series start here, then collect the Typical Girls set; I really can’t recommend them enough.

Typical Girls, Vol 5 is out now on vinyl and digital download

Find Emotional Response Records on Facebook, on Bandcamp and at emotionalresponserecords.com

Noise Noir: Deep Blue Sea – track of the day

Words by Katie McFaul. Photo by Keira Anee.

‘Deep Blue Sea’ is the latest single from Noise Noir,and this track doesn’t mess about! Crashing in with heavy guitar and thumping drums, there is a real raw energy to this song from the moment you press play. This paired with Kelly Chard’s roaring vocals, not only produces a grimey, garage rock fantasy, but also allows us listeners to witness the complex relationship between a person and their mental health. Over the past few years, and in 2020 especially, the condition of people’s mental health has been a hot topic. We are fortunately living at a time where the conversation surrounding, what used to be an uncomfortable, taboo subject, is becoming more and more fluid between friends, on social media and across various artistic platforms. 

‘Deep Blue Sea’ manages to paint those consequential feelings of depression and anxiety with brash, raucous strokes, and it perfectly captures the sensation of being pulled further and further down by those inner demons. It’s deafening and dishevelled, but also quite alluring – like that friend who always gets you into trouble, but you fall for their schemes every time because they know you better than anybody else. And as the words, ‘I pledge my allegeance to the devil down below! And she welcomes me in with a tic-tac-toe‘ are howled over and over again, you can feel that anger and frustration of submitting to this invisible yet untouchable force that has so much power over all of us.

Noise Noir hail from London town, and declare themselves as ‘a riff-heavy, garage rock four piece with an unapologetic, fierce message of equality’ – If ‘Deep Blue Sea’ is anything to go on, I would say that this description is pretty accurate! So if you like your music loud and energised, with raging guitar riffs and just a hint of ‘spit in your face’ punk attitude, I would say that Noise Noir might just be your dream band.

Find Noise Noir on Bandcamp Twitter Facebook

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