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The LOUD WOMEN Top Albums of 2018

The results are in! From nearly 100 nominations for LOUD WOMEN album of 2018, Team LOUD WOMEN has whittled a Top 20 from which we present the joint Top Five Albums of 2018 because frankly we can’t and won’t choose between them. (And if you want to skip right to the music, here’s a Spotify playlist of the winners to brighten up your afternoon!)

The 2018 LOUD WOMEN album of the year is therefore shared by five artists; and if that wasn’t enough we’ve inaugurated a spanking new LOUD WOMEN People’s Vote Readers’ Choice Award chosen by LOUD WOMEN readers themselves (who are clearly better at making decisions!)

Without giving too much way at this stage let’s just say that it’s been a good year for block capitals: here goes! 

The LOUD WOMEN Top Five Albums of 2018:

Big Joanie – Sistahs

With stellar gigs performed all over the London-based DIY scene that they call home and extensive radio play on shows like BBC Music Introducing, it’s been a big year for Big Joanie. The feminist punk trio have certainly ended 2018 with a bang thanks to the acclaim that’s already been given to their debut album Sistahs…By allowing their true feelings to be at the forefront of their songwriting, the band create tracks that truly empower the listener; not only to rebel but to check their own activism, to continue growing, and to do better. [Read full review here]

GUTTFULL – Tits and Nails

“An irrepressible sense of fun runs through Tits and Nails, in spite of everything its lyrics address. GUTTFULL has created a brilliant and uncompromising summation of the trials of being ‘other’ in 2018 and they’re ready to shout down their oppressors – with wit and with groove.” [Read more from this review]

ILL – We Are ILL

They write songs which are both silly and serious, and they attack them (as well as each other) playfully. You can make a case for pretension in art, but there’s none with ILL; like so many of the best bands they seem like a gang you’d love to join, but ILL go one better and make you feel like you’d be welcome: friendly if not quite family-friendly (unless the family in question is more Addams than Partridge, perhaps). … A perfect storm of enigma, whimsy and controlled violence, and a genre-straddling state-of-the-nation address. With added bear growls. [Read more from this review]

LIINES – Stop/Start

‘Long-awaited’ might be a cliché, but in the case of LIINES‘ debut album, it’s a fitting description for a band that’s evolved steadily from fin-de-siecle Manc post-riot grrrl stalwarts Hooker: the tightest, heaviest rhythm section in DIY supports Zoe McVeigh’s emotional vocals and haiku-like songwriting, together conjuring an atmosphere of taut, claustrophobic menace like a UK postpunk time capsule. [Read more from this review]

Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth

A perfect ten tracks of no wave-disco electropop on a brilliant debut album from this Norwich duo. Described by The Guardian as “Thrillingly chilly, perfectly funky, no-wave straight out of early 80’s NYC…except that Sink Ya Teeth are a duo from Norwich. In a different era they’d have been all over TOTP” 4/5

The LOUD WOMEN People’s Vote Readers’ Choice Award:

The Menstrual Cramps – Free Bleedin’

The Menstrual Cramps is an anti-capitalist feminist band, therefore expect direct attacks on Tories, Neo-Nazis, big brands, business owners, famous idols who shouldn’t be idols anymore, and of course, “boyz-who-will-be-boyz”. The songs are so catchy that half of the album will get stuck in your head after giving one listen to the whole album. They produce music rapidly, though diligently. This rapidity actually shows itself in the guitars as fast riffs, playful strokes and abrupt small silences and it just sounds so good and steady. [Read more from this review]

The Top Twenty in full:

  • Big Joanie – Sistahs
  • The Breeders – All Nerve
  • Colour Me Wednesday – Counting Pennies in the Afterlife
  • Doe – Grow Into It
  • Dream Wife – Dream Wife
  • ILL – We Are ILL
  • GUTTFULL – Tits and Nails
  • Gwenno – Le Kov
  • The Menstrual Cramps – Free Bleedin’
  • Fightmilk – Not With That Attitude
  • LIINES – Stop/Start
  • Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
  • Muncie Girls – Fixed Ideals
  • Grace Petrie – Queer As Folk
  • Screaming Females – All At Once
  • She Makes War – Brace For Impact
  • Shopping – The Official Body
  • Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth
  • Skinny Girl Diet – Ideal Woman
  • The Twistettes – A Strange Play

LOUD WOMEN announces the 2018 HERcury Prize shortlist

LOUD WOMEN’s 2018 HERcury prize shortlist is a bakers’ dozen (whittled down from 30) of albums released between July 2017 and July 2018 by British-based, (self-identified) female, female-fronted and female-driven bands. Votes cast by Team LOUD WOMEN. Not much crossover here, you’ll notice, with lesser, so-called music prizes.
Winner to be announced 21 September via Facebook Live!

Without further ado, our shortlist, in alphabetical order:

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1) Argonaut – Argonaut Forever (November 2017)

“Raw and fragile and urgent in all the best ways,” to quote Loud Women’s review; Argonaut’s third album presented last year’s new material and revisited key tracks from their first two albums, serving as a liminal release before the unveiling of their revamped band line-up for 2018.

2) Bratakus – Target Grrrl (August 2017)

Probably the best Scottish sibling bass ‘n’ drum grunge album since, well, The Twistettes’ LP the year before, Bratakus are just one of many Caledonian bands rocking Loud Women’s world right now. Short sharp punk soundbites and catchy-as-hell chant-a-longs on this well-received debut, like a charmingly-gnarly hybrid of The Exploited and The Distillers.

3) Chvrches – Love is Dead (May 2018)

No inverse snobbery around these parts: Chvrches’ third Top 10 album has one firm foot in 21st Century stadium pop and the other in 80s electro, and Loud Women love it like we love our Taylor Swift and Yazoo albums. Lyrics like ‘Graves’ hint at political bite beneath the glossy perfect-pop sheen.

4) Crumbs – Mind Yr Manners (July 2017)

Debut album from this Leeds-based ‘funk post-punk disco pop party pack’ fourpiece. They’ve got the stripped-down, melodic tunes, they’ve got the best song titles (‘Stockport Syndrome’, ‘Ciggy Stardust’) and they’ve got a place in the 2018 Loud Women Fest line-up!

Surely in itself reason enough to get tickets.

5) Dream Wife – Dream Wife (January 2018)

Much-loved, tune-packed debut from this Brighton-based pop-punk trio. Unmistakably Icelandic vocals atop an irresistible noughties-new wave sound that recalls the likes of CSS and New Young Pony Club.

6) Goat Girl – Goat Girl (April 2018)

A deserved Top 30 chart placing rewarded Goat Girl’s eponymous debut, an unexpected delight of an album from a young, all-female group sounding wise beyond their years and uncategorisable to the genre-fixated. The band traverses a range of moods across 19 song-sketches held together by a deceptively lazy-hazy vocal. Did that song really recommend several methods for literally executing the Tory government? Yes. Yes it did.

7) ILL – We Are ILL (May 2018)

“A perfect storm of enigma, whimsy and controlled violence,” according to our reviewer, ILL’s debut album has only been blowing minds for two months, yet already feels somehow like it’s always existed. A genre-straddling state-of-the-nation address, with added bear growls.

8) LIINES – Stop-Start (May 2018)

‘Long-awaited’ might be a cliche, but in the case of LIINES‘ debut album, it’s a fitting description for a band that’s evolved steadily from fin-de-siecle Manc post-riot grrrl stalwarts Hooker. The tightest, heaviest rhythm section in DIY supports Zoe McVeigh’s emotional vocals and haiku-like songwriting, together conjuring an atmosphere of taut, claustrophobic menace like a UK postpunk time capsule.

9) Nervous Twitch – I Won’t Hide (November 2017)

“Catchy lo-fi garage pop” says our reviewer, and it’s the third album in only as many years from this DIY Leeds trio. One of three albums in the shortlist from Cardiff’s Odd Box Records, Nervous Twitch present 14 tracks of surfy guitar and Headcoatees-esque vocals, with a 60s girl group influence.

10) Rainbow Reservoir – Channel Hanna (February 2018)

Perfect indie-punk-power-pop with clear riot grrrl influences from this Oxford trio, fronted by Connecticut native Angela Space. The title track tells you everything you need to know, but there’s not a bad song on Rainbow Reservoir’s varied and entertaining debut.

11) Shopping – The Official Body (January 2018)

DIY queercore supergroup-success-story Shopping show no signs of running out of credit (yeah we went there) on their third album in five years. With Edwyn Collins back in the producers’ chair, the pace is faster, the bass is heavier, Rachel Aggs’ vocals have a newly-won confidence and their ability to paint propulsive-yet-plaintive pictures (ref. ‘Asking for a Friend’) is in full effect.

12) Sink Ya Teeth – Sink Ya Teeth (June 2018)

A perfect ten tracks of no wave-disco electropop on the brilliant debut album from this Norwich duo. And omg that *is* Gemma from KaitO!

13) Suggested Friends – Suggested Friends (November 2017)

Soundbites like “instantly catchy guitar work”, “strong singalong chorus” and “lush harmonies” litter our review of this self-titled debut from Suggested Friends. Something of a supergroup featuring members of Standard Fare, Chorusgirl and Wolf Girl, the band brings some of the sensibilities of those groups to this record, mixed with 80s/90s influences and an epic quality unusual for the DIY indiepop scene.

Runners-Up

Brix & the Extricated – Part 2
Charismatic Megafauna – Semi-Regular
Colour Me Wednesday – Counting Pennies in the Afterlife
Days Fade, Nights Grow – Amelioration
The Duke Spirit – Sky is Mine
DuckFaceache
Gwenno – Le Kov
Kate Nash – Yesterday is Forever
The Kut – Valley of Thorns
Ramonas – First World Problems
REWSPyro
Runt – Positions of Power
The Selecter – Daylight
Nadine Shah – Holiday Destination
Table Scraps – Autonomy
Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life
You Want Fox – Reverse the Curse

interview: Sink Ya Teeth

interview by Tim Forster

SYT1

Maria (left) and Gemma (right) form Norwich’s Sink Ya Teeth, who’ve been playing together as a duo since 2015. Their debut single ‘If You See Me’ is out now on 1965 Records.

Congratulations on your recent signing with 1965 Records! How did that come about? 

G: We played the launch party of Norwich Sound and Vision and there was a guy in the audience who really loved us and wrote something on Facebook about us. It turned out he was friends with James Endeacott who runs 1965. This guy wrote ‘Sink Ya Teeth are amazing’ and tagged James in it and James said ‘Thanks I’ll check them out’ Turned out James was the guy who used to manage Tindersticks and discovered The Libertines and The Strokes. He asked us to send him some music and then they came to see us play in a little country pub in Diss, and it all went from there really!

You were recently played on BBC 6 Music as well is that right?

G: Steve Lamacq has played us 6 days in a row-and yesterday we got played 3 times in one day!

M: And Radio 1 the day before on Huw Stephens!

You seem to play live quite regularly, is that something you particularly enjoy?

G: It’s one of those things, you do enjoy it at the time and you enjoy it afterwards, but on the day I go really quiet and get in the zone and think ‘Why do I do this to myself?’  and get really nervous, but I have to do it. I’m not the most extrovert on stage but I have to do it. And we like to have a little tipple, it’s like a night out!

And has Norwich been a good place to be a band? Are there quite a lot of opportunities to play?

M: Yeah I think so, there are some good venues and some good promoters. Norwich Art Centre is always our favourite.

Who would you cite as musical influences? The single ‘If You See Me’ reminded me of John Foxx and Grace Jones.

M: I think there is a lot of influence from the early ’80s, and from late ’80s rave as well – not too heavy but that is there as well – and I do love Grace Jones! I think the vocals are quite detached because I was feeling a little bit burnt out and down when I wrote it … self induced through too much partying!

 

Is there one main songwriter in the band? Is it a collaboration? What does the creative process look like in SYT?

G: Usually what happens is Maria will come up with the main bit of the song and then gives it to me and I’ll add a bass line if I feel it needs it and anything else I feel needs doing but usually it’s 70% done when it’s delivered but I just add the finishing touches. Or sometimes I don’t do anything to it because adding to it would ruin it! It’s also knowing when not to add as well, I think a lot of people can want to get themselves all over it when it’s fine as it is.

What sort of subjects do you engage with lyrically?  ‘Circumstances’ seemed to end with a question about determinism versus free will …

M: I should find that quite easy to answer but I’m actually finding it quite difficult! It’s usually from personal experience but I don’t like lyrics that are really black and white I like to leave in a bit of ambiguity and leave things open to interpretation, so the listener might draw their own conclusions through their own life path and their own experiences. I know what I’m singing about in most cases and I might embellish that to create a bigger story but I’ll still leave an element of ambiguity there. No one wants you to lay everything on the line.

So what was ‘Circumstances’ about?

G: Not being able to find things in drawers haha!

M: It’s not about anything, it’s about everything, it’s an amalgamation of different thought processes and different feelings that are all drawn together to make a sentence and making sure that the end of each line rhymes! Every line does mean something to me…one line reminds me of when I was a kid and my Mum used to buy us souvenirs and you’d have that bottom draw in your kitchen or sideboard or wherever that’s got loads of crap in it.  And then there are other lines like ”You think you’ve got a voice, you think you’ve got a choice” which is obviously a little bit more deep and a comment on the world today and governments and political systems. It’s just phrases, some carry weight, some don’t, it’s up to the listener to decide which is which.

 

 

 

Are there any books, bands or writers that you’ve been influenced by?

G: I like David Lynch, the film director, and his music and art as well. He’s my hero.

M: I like Patti Smith, love her poetry and her performance and books. I like how she is just who she is, unapologetic.

Are there any bands around at the moment that you are particularly impressed by?

G: Pip Blom who we’re playing with tonight, she’s from Amsterdam, catchy indie punk pop. And Maria saw a band the other night that I missed…

M: Yeah, yeah, Yassassin. Really good 5 piece band they sort of reminded me of a cross between early Roxy Music and The Slits, really energetic on stage and really good!

Plans for 2017?

G: We’ve got LOUD WOMEN Fest in September obviously and a couple of things in July. We’re going to write some stuff over summer and get our live set as good as we can get it! And we’ve got another single lined up …

 

Big thanks to Maria and Gemma for their time.

LOUD WOMEN Fest line-up announced!

We received nearly 300 applications from awesome grrrl bands and singing wimmin to play our Fest, so it was a gut-wrenching task to sift down to this final list … we’ve had to say no (this time, at least) to some amazing acts, but I’m sure you’ll agree that the final list the panel of Team LOUD WOMEN arrived at is the perfect mix of exciting, talented, new, beloved, varied, amaaaazing and above all LOUD WOMEN!

On the main stage:                     On the bar stage:

Hands off Gretel                               Sink Ya Teeth
Petrol Girls                                       Baby Arms
The Twistettes                                  Lilith Ai
Dream Nails                                      Gaptooth
GUTTFULL                                        Grace Savage
LIINES                                               Velodrome
PUSSYLIQUOR                                Lea Andrews
The Baby Seals
Party Fears
Beverley Kills

Earlybird £10 tickets are available NOW for a limited time only, from WeGotTickets

Hands Off Gretel