Category Archives: Music news

Vanessa Silberman: Something To Believe In – track of the day

Words by Heather Hellskiss of LOUD WOMEN LA

Today’s track of the day earns a tip of the hat to a somber dusty tune brimming with hope from grunge-pop Brooklynite Vanessa Silberman: ‘Something To Believe In’. The song exudes Lana Del Rey vibes and the magical energy of a desert landscape. Vanessa tells us:

“Musically, the song features moody melodies that conjure up mysterious feelings, while lyrically, it focuses on finding light in darkness, and changing one’s perspective. The track takes its inspiration from the blues, southern music, and classic western films.”

Released September 30, 2020 via A Diamond Heart Production / Success Records through Symphonic Distribution
Photos: Michelle LoBianco

This is her seventh single of 2020, releasing a song per month. Be sure to check out the other six and stay tuned for more music and an album release.

Find Vanessa Silberman on facebook, instagram, spotify, youtube,
vanessasilbermanofficial.com

LOUD WOMEN Hercury Music Award Nominations revealed

by Kris Smith

It’s that time of year again, time for the only prize that really matters: the LOUD WOMEN Hercury Music Award. 

After taut, masked-up, socially-distanced deliberations amongst the LOUD WOMEN team (not just mouths under our masks, but full noses and everything), we have whittled this year’s crop of Hercury contenders down from nearly fifty albums to a dashing dozen nominations. Many are played, few are chosen.

You know the criteria by now: LPs (sorry, EP fans) released by self-identified female or non-binary artists in the twelve months from mid July 2019. Any format, any distribution. 

After pretty much the only election guaranteed to produce a good result, the democratically-decided winner of the 2020 Hercury Music Award will be announced in September. Without further ado, here are those tiptop twelve:

Bugeye – Ready Steady Bang (July 2020)

The Hercury-nominee with the longest gestation period, an early incarnation of Bugeye having been active in the late 90s before the band reformed five years ago. Ten indie-disco-punk nuggets with a post-Britpop feel on this Reckless Yes debut.


Charmpit – Cause a Stir (April 2020)

Debut album on Specialist Subject from the partly California-raised ‘anarcuties’. Quietly subversive cultural politics with a barrelful of musical sugar to ease the medicine down. File under femme, not twee (then burn the filing system; they’re anarchists).


deux furieuses – My War Is Your War (Oct 2019)

Formidable follow-up political statement to first record ‘Tracks of Wire’ from the Furieuses, once more produced by Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi). An alternative rock LP about “reaching out to find common cause” against regressive populism, patriarchy and despair. Righteousness done right.



Dream Wife – So When You Gonna… (July 2020)

Recorded with an all-female production team, a measured second album from this politically-engaged art school trio, presenting a mixture of moods amidst nagging hooks and irresistible vocals. To cherry-pick an interview quote: “It’s not our job to satisfy men; we’re here to rock out”.



Gaptooth – Sharp Minds, Raised Fists (Oct 2019)

A second DIY album from Hannah Lucy’s ‘riot grrrl-influenced electro-pop’ solo project. An immediate album of sharp lyrics and big choruses but also one that reveals new layers of emotional depth with repeated listening. (Full LW review here)


Hurtling – Future From Here (Oct 2019)


Broodingly-powerful debut album from Hurtling, the latest alt rock project from Jen Macro (Something Beginning With L, My Bloody Valentine, Charlotte Hatherley). Elements of Boston indie and English shoegaze with grunge-pop hooks. (Full LW review here)


The Lovely Eggs – I Am Moron (April 2020)


A sixth album of wry, quirky, psychedelic indie from the unstoppable Eggs, just two years since their last release. A topical focus lends an angrier edge to the band’s typically sardonic guitar pop.



Nova Twins – Who Are The Girls? (Feb 2020)


A relentless big beat/rapcore noise monster of a debut album from the Twins, that fulfils all the promise of their EP/singles and more. Bolstered by a strong visual style all their own, and supported by a series of Harry Lindley/Wanderland Films-produced promo videos.


Salad – The Salad Way (Aug 2019)


Third album proper and a well-received return after a twenty-year break from this underrated Britpop band, their their near-complete original line up of Marijne van der Vlugt, Paul Kennedy and Pete Brown now augmented with Charley Stone on guitar/vocals. Tuneful, idiosyncratic indie rock.


Shopping – All or Nothing (Feb 2020)


The fourth long player from Rachel, Andrew and Billy, with their adept lo-fi take on that mutant disco/no wave dance-punk sound. Shopping pull the neat trick of getting better with every album, leaving you restless to hear what they do next.



Sink Ya Teeth – Two (Feb 2020)


Second album of postpunked-up electro funk from Maria and Gemma. Bass-driven retrofuturist ennui, ideal for dancing to in your room while the world collapses



Slum of Legs – Slum of Legs (March 2020)


Long-awaited eponymous ‘queer feminist noise pop’ debut album from the Brighton-based Slum of Legs, a self-described ‘giant pop-psych, punk monster with twelve legs’. In their own words, “a manifesto for compassion and defiance in a confusing, unrestful world.” (Full LW review and interview here)


There were some excellent runners up this year as always, including the swansong second album from the already-missed Suggested Friends and the debut from Jemma Freeman & the Cosmic Something as well as Es, BLÓM, Porridge Radio, Brix & the Extricated, Harkin, Pet Crow, Nadine Shah, FKA Twigs, No Home, False Advertising, Lauren Tate, Piney Gir, Cultdreams, Marika Hackman, Foxcunt, Slagheap, Killdren and more.

BANG BANG ROMEO confirmed to headline LOUD WOMEN Fest 5

The fifth edition of LOUD WOMEN Fest will take place on 20 March 2021 at 229 The Venue in London. The volume will be turned up higher than ever at next year’s event with a boost from an Arts Council project grant.


BANG BANG ROMEO are set to headline LOUD WOMEN Fest 5, and LW’s founder Cassie Fox enthuses: 


“I am super-excited that Bang Bang Romeo are coming to play LOUD WOMEN Fest 5 – they are just explosive live, and Stars is such a driven and inspiring frontwoman, with a phenomenal voice. The perfect headliner for a festival celebrating female musical power!”


Bang Bang Romeo are a four-piece rock band from Doncaster/Sheffield way. In Summer 2019 they played a 24 date stadium tour with Pink across the UK & Europe, as well as selling out their own UK headliners last year. They also collaborated with DJ/Producer Example on their single ‘Love Yourself’. The band’s debut album is out now and reached number 4 in the iTunes chart.


Earlybird tickets for LOUD WOMEN Fest are available now at a special price of £16. Over 20 more artists are set to be announced and the event will take place across two stages at 229.

BUY YOUR EARLYBIRD TICKETS NOW!

Fee-Free Friday on Bandcamp

Bandcamp have announced that today (i.e. from midnight to midnight 1st May) they are waiving their fee on all digital downloads, so it’s a great day to help support DIY artists, and discover some fab new music at the same time.

NB Bandcamp haven’t actually called it “Fee-Free Friday” but we shalln’t mock them for missing that trick, they seem to be jolly good eggs.

If you’re looking for some musical inspiration, here’s a fieldfull of Bandcamps to check out today!

LOUD WOMEN!https://loudwomen.bandcamp.com/
I, Dorishttps://idoris.bandcamp.com/
Asking for a Friendhttps://askingforafriend.bandcamp.com/
Finding Katehttps://findingkate.bandcamp.com/
Naz and Ellahttp://www.nazandella.bandcamp.com/
deux furieueseshttps://deuxfurieuses.bandcamp.com/
New Guinea Pigshttps://newguineapigs.bandcamp.com/
The Dying Lightshttps://thedyinglights1.bandcamp.com/
Marina is Redhttps://marinaisred.bandcamp.com/
Stony Sugarskullhttps://stonysugarskull.bandcamp.com/
Castle Blackhttps://castleblack.bandcamp.com/
Amy Louhttps://notyouamylou.bandcamp.com/
Bad Ideahttps://badideauk.bandcamp.com/
Alice is Sleepinghttps://aliceissleeping.bandcamp.com/
Smalltown Tigershttps://areapiratarec.bandcamp.com/album/five-things
Breakup Haircuthttps://breakuphaircut.bandcamp.com/releases
Trigger Warning and the Safe Spaceshttps://triggerwarningandthesafespaces.bandcamp.com/
Pretty Strangehttps://prettystrange.bandcamp.com/
The Other Oneshttps://theotheronesuk.bandcamp.com/
Efa Supertramphttps://afiach.bandcamp.com/
Killdrenhttps://killdren.bandcamp.com/
Eliza Mayhttps://elizamayofficial.bandcamp.com/
Beth Munroehttps://bethmunroemusic.bandcamp.com/
Wilted Flowerhttps://wiltedflower.bandcamp.com/
Dispute Settlement Mechanismhttps://disputesettlementmechanism.bandcamp.com/
Sulkhttps://sulk93.bandcamp.com/
Kimmi Watsonhttps://kimmiwatson.bandcamp.com/
Greenesshttps://greenness.bandcamp.com/
Clever Girlshttps://clevergirlsmusic.bandcamp.com/
Pearlahttps://pearlamusic.bandcamp.com/
Forever Honeyhttps://foreverhoney.bandcamp.com/
Deau Eyeshttps://egghuntrecords.bandcamp.com/album/let-it-leave
Little Coyotehttps://littlecoyotemusic.bandcamp.com/
Merriment and Dirthttps://merriment-and-dirt.bandcamp.com/releases
Leisure Tankhttps://leisuretank.bandcamp.com/
The Heroine Whoreshttps://theheroinewhores.bandcamp.com/
Lucy Felizhttps://lucyfeliz.bandcamp.com/
Hagar the Wombhttps://hagarthewomb.bandcamp.com/
Werecatshttps://werecats.bandcamp.com/
Madame Sohttps://madameso.bandcamp.com/
Talk Like Tigershttps://talkliketigers.bandcamp.com/
Peanut Butlerhttps://peanutbutler.bandcamp.com/
Hysterical Injuryhttps://hystericalinjury.bandcamp.com/
Charismatic Megafaunahttps://charismaticmegafaunamusic.bandcamp.com/
Tamesishttps://tamesisband.bandcamp.com
Aryanne Maudithttps://aryannemaudit.bandcamp.com/releases
Pelican Assemblyhttps://pelicanassembly.bandcamp.com/
corporationpophttps://corporationpopband.bandcamp.com/
Valeskahttps://valeska.bandcamp.com/
Cosmic Cazhttps://cosmiccaz.bandcamp.com/
Hanyahttps://hanyaband.bandcamp.com/
Andromachehttps://andromacheuk.bandcamp.com/
Personal Besthttps://personalbest.bandcamp.com/

Gauche: Body Count – new music

Words by Louise Goodger

A product of Washington D.C.’s gritty punk scene, Gauche—a combined voice of righteous rage from Daniele Yandel, Mary Jane Regalando, Pearie Sol, Jason P. Barnett and Don Goodwin—has only gone from strength to strength, one feral social commentary at a time.

Their latest single, released earlier this month, is the heady ode to the current state of things we all need. Adorned with new wave riffs and swirling saxophone melodies dancing between layer upon layer of vocal lines which occasionally drift into atonal realms, ‘Body Count’ catches you in a storm of the band’s social disillusionment.

Written in the wake of Puerto Rico’s devastating Hurricane Maria and the still unknown body count, the song is a commentary on America’s complete lack of regard for the lives of people of colour. Questioning American colonialism and white supremacy one reverb-dripping riff at a time, take a listen to ‘Body Count’ below.

Gauche on facebook

LOUD WOMEN announces shortlist for the 3rd HERcury Prize

By Kris Smith

In 2019 the world might seem to be falling apart in nearly every respect but at least it’s only sad old men on YouTube who think that music is getting worse. If that’s your experience, you’re listening to the wrong music. In fact there’s been such a mushrooming of female talent over the last few years that a competition such as the Loud Women Hercury Music Award gets tougher to adjudicate every year. But what a great problem to have!

Our criteria differ slightly from lesser, so-called music prizes. This year Loud Women has whittled down a Top 12 from nearly one hundred albums by UK-based self-identified female and non-binary artists released in the twelve months from July 2018: that’s albums released on any format, with any level of industry distribution. 

The elected winner of the 2019 Hercury Award will be announced in September, and after tense late-night deliberations among the Loud Women team, the dazzling dozen contenders are as follows: 

Big Joanie – Sistahs (Nov, 2018)


There’s much love out there for this very necessary band, including from your actual Thurston Moore who formed side label Daydream Library just to release ‘Sistahs’, their debut album. Self-identified as a punk group, Big Joanie throw off all genre expectations with a blend of indie rock, riot grrrl and electronica, recalibrating punk as method and possibility. A unique record that rewards repeated listening.

Brix & the Extricated – Breaking State (Oct, 2018)


Second album from the latest band incarnation of Brix Smith-Start, like two of her band mates ex-of The Fall, with a sound that mixes their former band’s bass-heavy sonics with jangley Adult Net choruses and Pixies-esque melodies.


Desperate Journalist – In Search of the Miraculous (Feb, 2019) 


Three albums in to their career, the prolific Desperate Journalist have perfected a singular synthesis of British alternative rock: Jo Bevan’s vocals soar stronger and the band power more tightly than ever through anthems anchored on postpunk bass, garlanded with chiming guitar arabesques and Britpop choruses. In some moments DJ invoke Elizabeth Fraser or Siouxie Sioux fronting the Morrissey band, regarding which either of whom would of course be a colossal improvement.

Dream Nails – Take Up Space (Jan, 2019)


No-one expected the debut full length from Dream Nails to be an entirely acoustic album recorded live in a left-wing bookshop in Kings Cross, and it’s all the more perfect a statement for that. The stripped-down acoustics show off their technical skill, quality of songwriting and audience rapport to full effect. A nigh-on irresistible band taking a winningly playful approach to (mostly) serious themes.


Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics (Oct, 2018)


Nostalgic 90s triphop-style grooves on this, Neneh Cherry’s fifth album. Alternately contemplative and defiant.

Grace Petrie – Queer as Folk  (Sept, 2018) 


Latest studio album from one of the UK’s most prolific, consistent and committed songwriters, with her largest backing band so far and possibly the only Hercury-nominated album to feature bodhrán, fiddle and accordion. Perhaps an unusual choice for Team Loud Women on paper, but not if you’ve seen Grace live, where the political message is as loud as the sound of audiences alternately sobbing and cheering to her songs of heartbreak and resistance.


Little Simz – Grey Area (March, 2019) 


Third LP proper and the most concise, confident musical statement yet from one of our very finest MCs, Simbi Ajikawo. Fiercely intelligent, multilayered and politically-charged lyrics meet genre-hopping sonics over dread basslines. “I’m a boss in a fucking dress,” she declares at the start, and ten tracks later it’s hard to disagree.

Muncie Girls – Fixed Ideals (Aug, 2018)


A consistently tuneful band, Muncie Girls’ second album manages to do all the things their brilliant first album did, but better. Part of an identifiable new wave of women-led indiepop groups, MGs interweave political themes with emotional songwriting in a way that would fit firmly on Dovetown Records should they ever leave their current label.

Petrol Girls – Cut and Stitch (May, 2019) 


“This sound can’t be buried,” declares Ren Aldridge, on this epic, poetic, Poly Styrene-sampling state of the nation address. At times a humblingly powerful band with a combination of righteous political ferocity, melody and atmosphere probably not heard since Rage Against the Machine, combined with a Dischord-style skill at backing vocals; in fact, arguably the finest British post-hardcore band since Leatherface, it says on the internet. (Well, it does now).

Queen Zee – Queen Zee (Feb, 2019) 


There’s a Placebo meets early Suede meets Ste McCabe feel to the best songs on this blistering debut album from trans-fronted punks Queen Zee. Ten walks on the wild side, with a real lyrical bite in lines like “They clock my throat, stare down my lips/Do they hate me or just want a kiss/I think cupid’s arrow might have missed.” A band with vision, attitude, hooks, and in ‘Sissy Fits’ a bona(fide) anthem.

She Makes War – Brace for Impact (Oct, 2018) 


Excellent fan-funded fourth album from Laura Kidd, achieving a deserved Top 20 Independent Album Chart placing, with twelve tracks of deeply emotive hook-laden alternative rock.

Trash Kit – Horizon (Jul, 2019)


One-woman music scene Rachel Aggs returns with Trash Kit for a third album, this time accentuating their plaintive postpunk, afrobeat riffs and DIY-tribe chants with saxophone and all manner of jazzy instrumentation. Often breathtaking and beautiful, and possibly the least, and therefore the most, punk record on the shortlist.



2019 Hercury runners-up include: Menstrual Cramps, Doe, Witching Waves, Cate le Bon, Jelly Cleaver, Calva Louise, Nilufer Yanya, Sacred Paws, Anna Calvi, Ray BLK, Bamboo, Rose Elinor Dougall, Neurotic Fiction, Eliza Shaddad, Personal Best, Vodun, Chorusgirl, Tuffragettes, Scrap Brain, Art Trip & the Static Sound, Tirzah, Girli, A Void, Bis, Fightmilk and Skinny Girl Diet.

Skin and the legacy of a rock goddess

by Molly Tie

I’ve been seeing a fair bit of Deborah Dyer in the papers recently and it got me to thinking about her incredibly powerful persona and exciting career. Still relevant; still badass and still not suffering fools, Dyer (A.K.A Skin of Skunk Anansie fame) still deserves kudos for her enduring legacy and unapologetic brand of ‘clit-rock’.

We have Skunk Anansie’s Summer tour to thank for the influx of articles and interviews in which the impact and influence of the band’s musical output is re-celebrated and poured over, and in true bandwagon style I have decided to add to it. Prepare to be influxed.

Skin was born in 1967 and brought up in Brixton, South London. Her childhood was spent surrounded by music. Her grandfather ran his own drinking establishment and Skin witnessed the revelry and camaraderie that people enjoy when drinking rum and having a dance to Prince Buster. With childhood dreams of becoming a pianist, Skin was keen to pursue a career in music.

The vehicle that would propel her to worldwide fame was the band she is most famous for fronting- Skunk Anansie. Formed in 1994, Skunk Anansie were often lumped into the generic Britrock label as this was the time that ‘Cool Britannia’ was the benchmark for quality culture and British-ness was all the rage- British films; fashion and most significantly, music. Nestled in amongst the likes of Oasis, Blur and Supergrass there was a cohort of harder bands like the Prodigy who made for slightly more hardcore listening.

Skunk Anansie were widely considered to be a political band (they once declared that ‘everything is political’), a label given out due to the nature of their lyrics and Skin’s aggressive vocals. They were Britain’s answer to Rage Against the Machine. Skin has been outspoken in her belief that more musicians need to address issue of racism, sexism and homophobia and actively take a stand against it, rather than sitting on the fence. Many aspects of Skin’s image are political without even trying- she is black, she is gay and she is female. Her shaved head and flamboyant fashion was an antidote the mainstream male Brit rockers of the 1990s who intentionally cultivated a more basic, scruffy image. A strong, powerful and intelligent frontwoman was an instant inspiration for a generation of young women.

Skin was also the first black British artist to headline Glastonbury, something we all had to be reminded of when Stormzy was given the title this year.

Skunk Anansie achieved widespread critical acclaim and released a slew of successful singles including Charity; Hedonism, Weak and Charlie Big Potato. The band’s split in 2001 was not the last we saw of Skin. She went on to release two solo studio albums: Fleshwounds (2003) and Fake Chemical State (2006). As a solo artist she has supported Robbie Williams and Placebo on tour; duetted with Pavarotti in front of the Dalai Lama and was even a judge on the Italian version of the X Factor for one season.  

Skunk Anansie reformed in 2008 and have continued to be recognised for their contribution to the British rock scene. You can pick up a copy of their celebratory album 25Live@25 which was released in January this year, as well as a new single What You Do for Love – their first new single in three years.

Continuing the 25th anniversary celebrations Skunk Anansie will be touring Europe throughout the summer of 2019, headlining festivals and their own shows, finishing with a string of UK shows. For a band that have been widely regarded as one of the most exciting live bands you will ever see, it is worth trying to catch them on one of their forthcoming dates. And if you can’t get tickets to see them in person, there is still an extensive back catalogue of absolute bangers to fire you up and tear you apart.