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LOUD WOMEN releases of 2020

It’s the most listable time of the year!

It’s been a funny old year, and any band who’s managed to release any music during pandemic lockdowns and worldwide chaos – particularly DIY bands whose gigging income disappeared overnight – deserves a big cookie quite frankly.

Team LOUD WOMEN chewed over what we consider to be the best LPs and EPs to have been released in 2020. Here’s our Top 20.

#1. Nova Twins – Who Are the Girls?

This album also scooped the prestigious Hercury Prize this year, so little surprise that this non-stop banger of an LP has also been chosen as LOUD WOMEN’s number one release of the year! It’s not available on Bandcamp but you can grab it from their official website. The dynamic duo have been busily recording, podcasting and campaigning for a Rock/Alternative category to be added to the MOBO Awards. This unstoppable pair are gonna take over the world next year, mark my words.

#2. Dream Nails – Dream Nails

The original punk witches, Dream Nails have blossomed from the DIY feminist music scene (their first gig was the vey first LOUD WOMEN show!) and this year has seen their music burst through to world stages – with their first studio-6recorded album receiving massive plaudits from the big names of the music press. Grab a record and a whole world of merch from the Dream Nails Bandcamp.

#3. The Lovely Eggs – I Am Moron

Such lovely eggs indeed – head to their lovely website for records and more.

#4. Nadine Shah – Kitchen Sink

A stunning album from Nadine Shah, who had recently highlighted in the mainstream media the issue of ridiculously low shares of streaming revenue for musicians. A woman using her platform to raise up others – we salute you Ms Shah!

#5. Dream Wife – So When You Gonna

“Clever, thoughtful, funny, nostalgic and catchy as hell, this album is a slam dunk, a hole in one, and any other generic sporting references you can think of! Each song has an intent and purpose behind it, whether that’s sharing embarrassing memories of a drunken escapade or challenging the place of women within the world. ” – read Katie McFaul’s full review of this fab album here and pick up your own copy on Dream Wife’s website.

#6. Bugeye – Ready Steady Bang

“Speaking for myself I’ve hardly taken this one off the turntable since it arrived – and when I have, it’s mostly been to turn it over… There isn’t space to rave about everything here, but trust me when I tell you there’s not one track that’s going to make you reach for the fast forward button.” – read Tony Rounce’s review here, or indeed Zoe Biggs’ review here (it’s so good our team reviewed it twice!)

#7. Sink Ya Teeth – Two

Get your teeth into your own copy of this excellent album on the band’s website.

#8. Soccer Mommy – Color Theory

“The soft timbre of the voice singing the words may very well be the only thing that gives her youth away; every word displays a wisdom far beyond her years. These songs are deep and introspective and deal with heavy subject matter (like mental health and family struggles). The darkness of the content is cleverly masked by sweetly delicate melodies. ” – Read Maryjo Mattea’s full review here, and visit the Soccer Mommy website here.

#9. Slum of Legs – Slum of Legs

“What strikes this listener most about Slum of Legs is the voice; not just Tamsin’s vocals tonally (although while I was first playing the album someone came in to ask if it was CRASS’ Eve Libertine singing) or Maria’s violin or Emily’s synths, but the sense of being spoken to, or rather with, with an engaged intelligence that much music simply lacks, either because of the people making it, or perhaps more generously because the musicians concerned have found no way to, or desire to, synthesise content and form in this way. Wisdom from experience; humour from pain.” – read Kris Smith’s full review and interview here, and grab this gorgeous album on Bandcamp.

#10. BLOM – Flower Violence

Blóm’s ‘Flower Violence’ is a perfect oxymoron, both in name and in sound. The Newcastle three-piece’s debut album is an angsty five song riot of frenetic noise, dealing with lyrical themes ranging from gender identity and feminism to socio economic challenges. And Dostoyevsky.” – read Jenny Bunn’s full review here, and visit the band’s Bandcamp here.

#11. Sophie Ellis-Bexter – Songs from the Kitchen Disco

#12. US Girls – Heavy Light

#13. Dolls – Eggshells

#14. Grace Savage – Instinct

#15. Pillow Queens – In Waiting

#16. Partner – Never Give Up

#17. Porridge Radio – Every Bad

#18. Eilis Frawley – Never Too Emotional

#19. Charmpit – Cause a Stir

#20. Shopping – All or Nothing


If you like your end of year lists in playlist form, then look no further. This beauty has 11 hours and 31 minutes of LOUD WOMEN’s golden moments of 2020! The

Dream Nails: Kiss My Fist – new music

Dream Nails have just dropped a mighty new single – ‘Kiss My Fist – a punkrock marching anthem, railing against homophobic violence. The track comes from their self-titled album, now scheduled for release in September, on Alcopop! Records.

Guitarist Anya Pearson says:

“As a queer woman, I live in fear of violence every day because of my sexuality and the way I look. We were all shocked by that image of queer couple Melania Geymonat and Christine Hannigan, who were left bloodied and bruised by a group of teenagers for refusing to kiss on a London bus.

In the UK anti-LGBT hate crime has surged in the past five years. On the one-year anniversary of that attack, we are releasing Kiss My Fist in honour of all the queer people of this world trying to get from A to B without getting beaten up. Our message to homophobes and transphobes is clear: ask us to kiss again, and we will eat your brain”

Connect with Dream Nails:
Facebook  | Bandcamp  | Instagram  | Twitter  | Spotify  | iTunes 

Sugar Coat – VAULT Festival 2020

Theatre review by Lorna S Myles – Sugar Coat at Vault Festival, opening night 10 March 2020.

When I heard that LW faves Dream Nails’ guitarist Anya Pearson was appearing in a punk-pop feminist “gig theatre show,” with music inspired by Le Tigre and Veruca Salt, well, this sounded like the kind of thing I should investigate. After all, I am a woman-of-rock, and my 4real answer to the question “which album first got you into music?” is “The Sound of Music soundtrack.” And I remain a fan of the musical format, and I stand by it!

However, I confess I had some fears as to whether a feminist coming-of-age story was entirely the entertainment I was looking for at the current time. Y’know, what with the world falling apart in every direction, with the failure of democracy, the destruction of the environment, meanness and selfishness and infectious diseases and everything… was I in the right space to listen to stories of heartache and loss and good/bad sex etc? Would it feel trivial? Would it be too earnest? Would I just want to go home and inventorise my tea bags etc? 

It turns out, though, that Sugar Coat was exactly what I needed.

Viewers, I hadn’t smiled all day. But from very shortly after the band started playing, the corners of my lips turned up, just a little bit, and then a bit more, and oh, it was wonderful.

So you have a four-piece band – two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer – all womxn. And you have the protagonist, who occasionally joins them on vocals, and mostly just tells her story, walking around in front of them, talking to us all like we’re her new best friends she just met at a bar and is entertaining us with the story of her life. She’s fucking funny, though her story is sad and painful at times. And the band members double as the voices and faces of people she tells us of – her first boyfriend, problematic shags, her mother, flat mates at Uni and so on.

And, because it’s a “music play”, every few minutes there’s a song. But it’s a song played by a feminist punk rock band, right there in front of you, like you’re at a gig in a subterranean amphitheater. And they move from punk to grunge to funk to pop to riot grrrl, and every song and every lighting decision reflects and enhances the mood, and we’re right there in her story, feeling it, but never getting too intensely-intense. There are poignant moments, there are difficult moments, but before it ever ever gets too earnest or sends you spiraling off into introspection or awkward memories, there’s a beat or a wry look or a comment about toast sliding off your lap and landing peanut butter side down on the floor, and everyone laughs, and everything feels light again.

And I thought about how sometimes, when life feels fraught and on the brink of collapse, what is needed is an escape into a warm room. Not escapISM, not a pretense that everything is OK; but an acknowledgement of pain, through experiences shared frankly and in the context of a hilarious night out with someone you just met.

Anyway, this did it for me.

It’s on until this Sunday 15th March, with performances at 7:30pm each night and a matinee at 4:30pm on the Saturday. And it gets my vote, for an hour and a half of blessed respite combined with an invigorating dose of “fuck the patriarchy!”

Get your tickets here

Sugar Coat: a new live music play about love, loss and lubrication!

Sugar Coat – part of the  VAULT Festival 2020 – is a riot grrrl-themed play with a live band. Produced by Emma Blackman, and starring Anya Pearson (Dream Nails‘ amazing guitar shredder) as musical co-director, guitarist and actor. Described as a “powerful feminist gig performance that follows the coming-of-age story of a young woman, spanning across eight years of sexual highs and lows, from nineties shag bracelets to 21st century non-monogamous relationships”. Sounds like a must-see!

Performance Dates Tuesday 10th March – Sunday 15th March 2019, 19:30 (Matinee Saturday 14th March, 16:30)

Location VAULT Festival (The Forge), Leake St, Lambeth, London SE1 7AD

Box Office https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/sugar-coat/

Tickets from £14.50 (plus booking fee)

NEW YEAR NEW Dream Nails

Our favourite punk witches Dream Nails are kicking off 2020 with their hotly-anticipated first studio release, ‘Text Me Back (Chirpse Degree Burns). And it’s sounds amazing! A perfectly captured punk parcel giving us a tantalising taste of what’s to come from their album this spring!

We caught up with the ‘Nails (Janey, Lucy, Mimi and Anya), on the road today heading off on tour …

We are mega-excited to hear your first studio-recorded release! Tell us more.

This summer we took a Dream Nails holiday up to Liverpool to sit in a hot studio with Tarek Musa from Spring King and lay down ten beautiful tracks for our first full-length LP. It was a magical, albeit intense, process and we’re really proud of what’s come out of it!

Congratulations on signing with Alcopop! Records. What made you feel they were the right match for you?

They really respect our DIY ethics, the importance of our connection with our fanbase and respect us having 100% creative control. We just clicked! We love some of the bands signed to Alcopop! like Happy Accidents, Peaness and Cheerbleederz so it’s nice to get an invite to the punk family dinner table. 

So the hot gossip is that ‘Text Me Back’ was inspired by two of the Nails being ghosted by their Glastonbury festival crushes … what messages would you like to send those heartless ghosters now?

One says: “Thank you for being our completely oblivious romantic muses. What can we say, we’ve learned and grown but sometimes even now when our phone bleeps, we jump out of our skins.”
The other says: “Mate you were off your nut.”

You’re off on a megatour with Anti-Flag, and have an album on the way … any more exciting plans for 2020 you can tell us about? 

Antiflag is awesome, we’re currently in Lisbon about to go and sample some nata. Then we’re going to Madrid, Barcelona, Milan and some other cool spots. We will be embarking on a headline tour running up to our album launch show in London on April 23 at Oslo, Hackney!  Catch us all around the UK!

Now you’re starting to break through the DIY ceiling and share your witchy pop with a wider audience – what advice would you give to fledgling DIY bands who want to follow in your footsteps? 

When you commit to being in a band, commit to regular rehearsals. Once you unlock that magic, you’ve got to keep the momentum going! And get some merch as soon as you can. Our Hex the Patriarchy patches are pretty much the only way we can pay for our rehearsal studio in the first place!


Catch Dream Nails on tour:

JAN (supporting Anti-Flag)
08 Lisboa, Portugal – RCA Club 
09 Madrid, Spain – Caracol 
10 Vitoria, Spain – Kubik 
11 Zaragoza, Spain – Sala López
12 Barcelona, Spain – Estraperio
14 Milan, Italy – HT Factory 

APRIL

10 Cardiff, UK – Wales Goes Pop!
11 Leicester, UK – Shed
23 London, UK – Oslo – Album Release Show
24 Bristol, UK – Louisiana
25 Reading, UK – Are You Listening? Festival
26 Southampton, UK – Heartbreakers

Plus more to be announced.

Connect with Dream Nails:

Facebook  |  Bandcamp  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Spotify  |  iTunes

Dream Nails Scoop 2019 LOUD WOMEN Hercury Prize for ‘Take Up Space’

DIY punk witches Dream Nails have scooped the 2019 LOUD WOMEN Hercury Prize for their album ‘Take Up Space’ – available on Bandcamp.

The prize was announced in a ridiculous DIY ceremony broadcast on Facebook live, by Cassie and her son Dylan.

The Hercury Prize is judged by Team LOUD WOMEN, who 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. This year’s shortlist was:

  • Big Joanie – Sistahs (Nov, 2018)
  • Brix & the Extricated – Breaking State (Oct, 2018)
  • Desperate Journalist – In Search of the Miraculous (Feb, 2019)
  • Dream Nails – Take Up Space (Jan, 2019)
  • Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics (Oct, 2018)
  • Grace Petrie – Queer as Folk (Sept, 2018)
  • Little Simz – Grey Area (March, 2019)
  • Muncie Girls – Fixed Ideals (Aug, 2018)
  • Petrol Girls – Cut and Stitch (May, 2019)
  • Queen Zee – Queen Zee (Feb, 2019)
  • She Makes War – Brace for Impact (Oct, 2018)
  • Trash Kit – Horizon (Jul, 2019)

Dream Nails accepted their award on tour in Madrid!

‘Double Dare Ya’: a documentary on riot grrrl in 2019

Effy Mitchell has just launched ‘Double Dare Ya’ on the world – the results of a documentary project interviewing bands and organisations that make up the UK’s current feminist punk/riot grrrl scene in 2019. It’s a brilliant piece of herstory capturing our scene right now.

LOUD WOMEN’s Cassie Fox was included (with a very sore throat at the time so she’s by far the most quiet woman in this!)

Interviewed bands / organisations :
Peach Club
Cheerbleederz
Fresh Punks
Dream Nails
Penance stare
Witching waves
Cult Dreams
Lunar Sounds
Fig by four
ZALU
Babe Punch
Farting suffragettes
Suffrajitsu
Noise and the naive
Loud Women (Cassie Fox)
Sounds for the cause ( Rynn )
Bomb the twist records ( Sarah )
Girls rock Edinburgh ( Caro and Fiona )

Featured bands + organisations + other contributors:
Maid of ace
Against me!
Pussy liquor
GLOSS
FISTY MUFFS
I, Doris
Guttfull
Petrol Girls
Wet Brain Hooligans

Girl gang Leeds
Women in music Nottingham
Cramond island of punk
FYWROK festival

Archive footage –

Bikini kill
L7
Hole
Huggy Bear
X Ray spex


Three Fierce Feminist Factions

Review by Jas Robinson (from The Baby Seals)

With the Christmas party season firmly behind us, it’s safe to say that January is a difficult month to get right. Resolutions are at risk of being broken and that person you promised yourself you’d become hasn’t yet materialised. But, you know what? Fuck that. Use these three compilation albums to reassert yourself, KonMari the hell out of your music collection, remind yourself how to say ‘no’, and make you want to start (another) band.

With a change in how we consume music, compilation albums can revive that feeling of buying a CD, rinsing the fuck out of it, listening to songs you know and finding new gems. Like: when I bought ‘Now 34’ from a shop in Sunderland just so I could listen to The Spice Girls, but then discovered Bon Jovi and Belinda Carlisle.

So, yeah, just like that, but it’s 2019, and I’m kicking off with Hell Hath No Fury Vol 2 by Hell Hath No Fury Records. El Knight has compiled 18 bangers for our aural delight. Available now from Bandcamp for £4, of which 50% of proceeds will go to Future Festival 2019, a three-dayer close to Bristol with music and performances by trans and enby artists plus practical and political workshops and more! The album compliments perfectly. Tracks selected from artists such as Wolfgirl, Gender Chores, Colour Me Wednesday, Dream Nails, Big Joanie, Charmpit are definitely at the more political end of the spectrum. Listen carefully, and use these as your inspiration for 2019, create your own manifesto and don’t take any bullshit. Turn Big Joanie’s No Scrubs up to eleven and crack open your bullet journal during Dream Nails’ DIY.

HERESY by Ankara-based community, Chaos, I Am Your Mistress (CIAYM), opens with Secondhand Underpants single ‘Your Little Bitch’. If Barbara Stanwyck started a band, this is what it would sound like. This dark and head-banging opening track is bound to annoy neighbours, so make sure to play it LOUD and LATE. The digital album is available on Bandcamp for the devilish price of €6.66. Proceeds go towards supporting women and other marginalized genders in underground music. The album also features tracks from REVULVA, Cryptic Street and Twin Pigs. It’s worth emailing the address on the BC to request the CD, because then you get two extra tracks from GUTTFULL (The Power and That’s What He Said)!

Last, but not least, get your chops around Birds Of A Feather Vol 2 by Anthrax (UK). And before you ask, no, it’s not an album of duets by Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson with Lesley Joseph on the lute. Rather, it’s of the classic punk, head-banging-greatness variety. But, it’s loud, proud and inspiring, with tracks from Zombie Met Girl, Kiss Me, Killer, Bratakus, and loads more! Such a great offering from Anthrax (uk) on Grow Your Own Records, it’s out now on Bandcamp, as a digital album or CD. Don’t forget to hold it, embrace the joy and kiss it before putting it back neatly into its jacket.

So, there you have it. There’s enough here to keep you going for a few months. Go forth, find new favourites, enjoy the tracks you know and don’t forget smash the patriarchy.”


Read more by Jaz over at Halopygian Music.

Dream Nails: Take Up Space! – LP review

Review by Caitlin Webb

Self-described punk witches Dream Nails are a band who put their money where their mouth is in terms of their activism. They were vital performers in last year’s Solidarity Not Silence benefit concert in aid of women sued for making allegations of sexual misconduct, and their chant of “all the women and non-binary people, come to the front” is a staple of their live shows. Now, giving corporations like Spotify the middle finger for their lack of financial support towards DIY artists, Dream Nails’ latest album is independent to its core. Acoustic versions of their raw vibrant tracks are now available on Bandcamp in their ‘Take Up Space!’ record.

After a playfully chatty introduction, drummer Lucy’s roll leads into the vibrant empowerment anthem of ‘Landlady’. Frontwoman Janey sweetly delivers defiant messages of self-confidence and independence with witty metaphors on the level of their previous singles like ‘Tourist’. This record is also home to some of their most beloved singles, including the aforementioned ‘Tourist’ and concluding single ‘Deep Heat’, which has all the ferocity and sass of its delivery on a live stage but feels even more intimate. Hearing the audience participate on tracks like this, as well as their clicking along on ‘Cookies 4 U’, makes for an unexpectedly immersive experience that puts you directly in the welcoming and supportive crowds that Dream Nails conjure on a regular basis.

Dream Nails: Chirpse Degree Burns

As well as revamping some of their singles, the album is also the first chance to hear some of their biggest live successes like ‘Jillian’ and ‘Time Ain’t No Healer’ at your fingertips. A personal favourite of mine from their live sets, ‘Jillian’ becomes a folksy trip into the art of fangirling. The harmonies are still slick, the lyrics are still an absolute delight, and it’s so clear how much fun they’re all having with it, particularly in Janey’s vocal performance. 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.

Dream Wife, Girli, The Tuts and Dream Nails team up for a Solidarity Not Silence fundraiser

45301294_563853120717003_6812626216667840512_nHere’s a beautiful example of badass musical sisterhood in action.

London’s Oslo will host a benefit show on 5 December, featuring live performances from super-sheroes of the DIY punk scene The Tuts and Dream Nails, plus DJ sets from Girli, and Alice Go of Dream Wife.

Proceeds for this not-to-be-missed event will go to the Solidarity Not Silence Campaign, which seeks to help a group of women defend themselves against defamation claim made by a man in music industry for statements that they made concerning his treatment of women.

In the wake of #metoo, with women coming together online to share their experiences of abuse, the campaign has received strong support – with over £20,000 raised so far.

What better way to fight back against the silencing of women than a night of badass women with guitars and turntables.

Tickets on sale here from 11am on Monday 5 November.

Here’s the statement from the Solidarity Not Silence campaign site:

WOMEN FACING DEFAMATION CASE

We are a group of women who are fighting a claim of defamation made against us by a well-known musician (hereon referred to as A). We refuse to be silenced and we need your solidarity to fight this case. Read on to find out more.

Who are we?

Our group includes one of A’s ex-girlfriends, one of several of his former partners who are facing a libel claim, and feminist musicians who spoke out in support of these women. Legal papers have been served against all of us. By coming together as a group, we have managed to personally fund our legal defence through the various stages up until the claim was finally served against us in court on 2 August 2017. Not only has this lengthy process been very expensive, there has also been tremendous emotional and psychological impact. Most of us have suffered severely with our mental health as a result, but we refuse to give up.

This is why we are reaching out to you for support. We risk losing everything and potentially bankrupting ourselves in the process. If you help us, we can continue with proper legal representation which will give us a strong chance of winning this case.

What happened?

In 2016 we each independently made a number of public statements about A’s behaviour towards women. This was in protest against unacceptable behaviour in the music community, a cause we all speak about regularly, and to promote safety. Soon afterwards, we received letters from A’s solicitor and came together as a group in order to support each other.

The nature of this legal battle means that we are already limited in what we can share with you, and we would encourage our supporters not to publish anything more than is in this statement for the time being.

What is defamation and why are we being accused of it?

A defamation claim is a claim brought in a civil court for compensation for publications which are said to cause serious harm to someone’s reputation.  We will be defending our statements as we believe they were in the public interest. We are represented by Bindmans LLP – a well established legal firm with expertise in defamation claims.

What are A’s demands? 

A week before Christmas we received the first correspondence from his solicitor where we were advised to find legal representation and ordered to comply with a series of demands by 4 January 2017 (over the holiday period), including demands for compensation, legal costs, removal of our statements, apologies, and agreement not to repeat these allegations, or similar ones, even when they concerned our own experiences.

Why can’t we get legal aid?

Sadly there is no legal aid for defamation cases.

Why do we need so much money?

Our initial target of £9,000 will contribute towards the cost of drafting our defences: the stretch target would cover our legal costs for the next stages of our defence.

Why don’t we just give up?

We cannot agree to these terms and do not want our case to set a precedent for silencing marginalised voices in the music industry and beyond. We need to keep fighting even though we do not have the same power, fame or financial backing as A, as we do not believe that money should be a barrier to accessing justice. We refuse to be silenced and we believe we must pursue justice.

Please help us and support if you are able.

Contact solidaritynotsilence@gmail.com if you would like to set up a benefit for us or have any questions.