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Premiere: Mira Aasma – Lost & Found

Mira Aasma
Mira Aasma's new Nighttime Memos EP is released on Birds Records on Friday 30 November

On Lost & Found, Swedish musician Mira Aasma is raw and unmasked, constructing a poignant composition that’s her most affecting to date.

The witchy pop performer drives through an emotional minefield on her new stripped-down production, although under her fragile tones there’s a deceptively positive message and powerful outlook.

A choir of ambient voices gives way to Mira’s vulnerable vocals, synthesized chords and a sprinkling of violin that slowly spin their way to a gently rhapsodic crescendo.

Lost & Found is the second track to be revealed from Mira Aasma’s upcoming Nighttime Memos EP, her cosiest release so far, and initially borne of a series of primitive, back-to-basics demos recorded in her bedroom.

Using only a small Casio synthesizer and the built-in microphone on a pair of headset style headphones, she laid down all of the EP’s five tracks in the comfort of her home, later working in a studio with friends to re-record and add instrumentation.

The first track, Sunday, was unveiled last month, similarly stripped-down but uniquely punctuated with proud blares of saxophone, but it is on Lost & Found that Nighttime Memos is at its most revealing.

The lyrics (“Every time you’re falling down, you’re falling way down through the ground / Every time you’re way up high, all of the shadows seem to hide”) deal with the highs and lows of emotional turbulence, and almost unambiguously seem to address mood and mental health.

Yet of the track, Mira is fairly tight-lipped on the meaning, telling us: “I think that the lyrics have to speak for themselves in this song. It’s very close to me and I imagine that many people probably will recognize themselves in it.”

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Nighttime Memos will be Mira Aasma’s third collection of music to date, almost three years exactly since the release of her debut single Ghost.

Born in 1996 and hailing from the vibrant Gothenburg music scene, Mira Aasma started out seeking to sound like Enya and released considerably moodier, gloomier, and even goth-tinged pop material, releasing her first EP Stereoscope in 2016.

She followed it up with a self-titled mini-album last year, marrying violins, synths and her shadowy vocal tones and including the brilliant art pop of Snow White Wedding. A standalone single, Witches, followed this March.

Nighttime Memos is released on Friday November 30 on Birds Records.

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Lost & Found Lyrics

Not a day left to get back to
Not a day left to find
All of the shadows that you tried to resist
Are growing fearless in your mind

Not a day left to hold it in
Not a day to let it out
You’re leaning back and longing for a place
Where you can dance under the sun

Every time you’re falling down
You’re falling way down through the ground
Every time you’re way up high
All of the shadows seem to hide
You’re feeling lost and feeling unfound

Stay away just to watch your dreams quietly passing by
In the real coming distant weeks keeping up with the speed of light
Not another day turning into night, gotta get back to sleep
You drift away if you stay around on the bottom of the sea

Every time you’re falling down
You’re falling way down through the ground
Every time you’re way up high
All of the shadows seem to hide
You’re feeling lost and feeling found

Live Notes: Emma Ruth Rundle and Jaye Jayle in Manchester

Emma Ruth Rundle
Emma Ruth Rundle released her new album On Dark Horses in September. Photo: Amélie Jouchoux

Emma Ruth Rundle dazzled a sold-out crowd on Saturday as she opened the UK leg of her 2018 tour in Manchester.

Appearing at Soup Kitchen for the second time in under a year, she performed material from her excellent new album On Dark Horses, its atmospheric, ethereal sounds proving to be even more hypnotic in the live arena.

Support came from Jaye Jayle, the foursome’s moody Americana supplying a fitting and well-matched warm-up, before half of the band returned to the stage as part of Emma Ruth Rundle’s backing setup.

Jaye Jayle’s vocalist Evan Patterson is Emma Ruth’s partner, and since becoming an item their careers have blended together and become wholly intertwined. The two provide guest vocals on each other’s albums, tour together, and release music on the same label (the brilliant Sargent House).

It’s useful, then, that their respective sounds are a natural fit, even though Jaye Jayle’s music features more electronics and is strongly rooted in alt-country, dominated by Evan’s dusky baritone vocal.

Evan Patterson of Jaye Jayle
Evan Patterson of Jaye Jayle, as captured by Emma Ruth Rundle

Most of the audience showed up early for Jaye Jayle’s 7:45pm set, which lasted 45 minutes – leaving a short changeover to the headliner – and comprised of nearly the entirety of their new album No Trail and Other Unholy Paths.

Ode to Betsy, up second, was the highlight of their jaunt, while Evan filled the gaps with a few comments to the crowd, remarking on Soup Kitchen’s slightly stale smell.

He also spoke at length about what he called the sound of a barking dog between songs, a joke which the crowd didn’t really get, and which in fact turned out to be this writer sneezing (sorry!) from her spot in the front row.

They proved a good primer to Emma Ruth, even though the audience was not so familiar with their material, and their stage performance – with Evan stood behind a keyboard – less engaging on the eyes than most.

A quick turnaround followed before Emma Ruth Rundle took to the stage for the main event, joined by Evan, Jaye Jayle’s heavily-bearded bass guitarist Todd Cook and her own drummer.

Emma Ruth, a stalwart of several other bands, has been performing in the UK for years and had appeared at Soup Kitchen as recently as 15 December 2017, but that didn’t prevent solid ticket sales and a full house by the time of her performance.

She played almost all of her new album – only Races failed to receive an outing – as well as tracks from her previous full-length Marked for Death, the older material arguably the most enthusiastically received despite the quality of her new release.

Emma Ruth’s audience responded to her music in diverse ways, from calmly watching to sultry dance moves and occasional bouts of headbanging, but it’s music to get lost in regardless of approach and Soup Kitchen, despite not being the most aesthetic venue, was an appropriate auditorium for her intimate sound.

Declaring she was “so glad to be in England” – she’d cancelled in Paris the night before – she got down to business quickly with a performance of the five-minute Dead Set Eyes. Album opener Fever Dreams then mesmerised, while performances of Protection and the title track from Marked for Death were met with the biggest cheers.

Darkhorse, featured in full rather than its single edit, was perhaps the most engaging and captivating performance of all, forming part of a streak of moody songs that she hung a lampshade on by quipping that they weren’t the most appropriate for a Saturday night.

Between the material Emma Ruth also told the audience she’d bought a dress (she played in her usual t-shirt and jeans get-up) only to ask herself “what the fuck” days later, and suggested the audience go along to a “dance party” after the show with her, but she otherwise rarely chatted to the crowd at length.

That meant it was the old adage of letting the music do the talking, which Emma Ruth – armed with her wonderful voice, battle-worn guitar and the percussion of her boot – manages to do in abundance.

Her penultimate track Heaven was another standout, as her set ran to an hour in total for just ten songs, concluding with You Don’t Have to Cry, a song about a painter friend and an unusually sombre choice to end a set.

She returned to the stage alone for her one-track encore, picking out Shadows of My Name from her breakthrough solo album, still one of her most popular tracks and the unsurprising choice to close her performance.

The quieter stage for the encore meant that a small pocket of fans could be awkwardly heard singing along to the chorus more loudly than Emma Ruth, before she made a sudden exit from the stage almost as soon as she’d played her final note.

It was an abrupt end to a thoroughly stellar show, colouring her passionate new album with her live talent and offering fans a popular opportunity to hear old favourites.

Emma Ruth followed her Manchester performance with a show in Bristol last night, and concludes her UK tour with headline sets in Glasgow (6 Nov), Newcastle (7 Nov) and London (8 Nov). She’s then in Belgium, before returning to the U.S. for a second run of Stateside dates, finally concluding her extended tour in Kansas City on 17 December.

Emma Ruth Rundle set list: Dead Set Eyes, Fever Dreams, Apathy on the Indiana Border, Protection, Marked for Death, Darkhorse, Control, Light Song, Heaven, You Don’t Have to Cry, Shadows of My Name

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Artist Playlist No. 3: Hanne Mjøen

Hanne Mjøen
Hanne Mjøen released her new single, Sounds Good to Me, at the end of September

For this week’s Artist Playlist we’ve asked Hanne Mjøen, a Nordic newcomer making waves in Norway and beyond, to pick out a selection of her favourite music.

Hanne is a glossy pop climber, releasing singles that receive up to millions of plays on Spotify and receive heavy rotation on national radio playlists, a surefire sign she’ll be sticking around and that there’s great things to come.

She recently performed in the UK for the first time at one of Ja Ja Ja’s regular London showcases of Scandinavian talent, and has just released a new single – Sounds Good to Me – on new label Spinnin’ Records.

Her music, proudly boasting its pop credentials, is sleek and shiny, and it’s those characteristics that she’s brought to her edition of the Artist Playlist.

For the uninitiated, the Artist Playlist is our way of giving musicians, usually the curated, the opportunity to curate a playlist of their own, harnessing their passion for music to receive great recommendations, learn about the music they love, and get closer to their own influences and tastes.

Hanne Mjøen’s picks include two tracks from the powerful trailblazer of modern Nordic electropop, plus selections of both major U.S. stars and artists based closer to home.

It’s unsurprising, then, that she describes herself as a “pop girl”. She told us: “I tend to listen mostly to emotional pop songs that hit me and describes how I’m feeling. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a pop music fan.

“Growing up in Oppdal, a town with 6,000 citizens in the middle of Norway, we didn’t really buy a lot of CDs, and I never listen to albums. Lyrics are very important, but most of all the emotion in the voice of the singer.”

Read on for Hanne’s picks, or head straight for the music and check out all of the tracks she selected on the Spotify playlist here.


Robyn
Dancing on My Own

Hanne says: “I am the biggest Robyn fan, and Dancing on My Own is the best song in the world. She is amazing, and she makes me want to dance confident and strong and fall apart crying, all at the same time.”

Taken from: Body Talk Pt. 1, June 2010
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Bon Iver
715 – CRΣΣKS

Hanne says: “I’ve been in love with Bon Iver ever since I first heard Skinny Love in high school. Justin Vernon is an amazing songwriter, and his voice breaks my heart.

“I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve cried listening to this song. For me, it’s the perfect description of how it feels being lost, and having pain no-one really can understand or heal.

“I think I could listen to this song on repeat forever.”

Taken from: 22, a Million, September 2016
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Zara Larsson
Ruin My Life

Hanne says: “This was a song that just hit me. I love the simplicity and the conflict in the lyrics, missing someone who messed you up, and wanting them to come back and ruin your life even more.”

Taken from: Ruin My Life (single), October 2018
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Selena Gomez
Hands to Myself

Hanne says: “This song is something completely different, but it’s just so good. It always makes me smile, and it’s the perfect balance between innocent and sexy.

“It’s the perfect pop song, and I am obsessed with the lyric: ‘Can’t keep my hands to myself. I mean I could but why would I want to?'”

Taken from: Revival, October 2015
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Lykke Li
so sad so sexy

Hanne says: “This is just a song that everyone should listen to. It’s sexy to be sad.”

Taken from: So Sad So Sexy, June 2018
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Justin Bieber & BloodPop®
Friends

Hanne says: “I feel like Friends is the perfect post-breakup song. I still care about you, and I was just wondering, can we be friends? I’ve actually played this live a couple of times, and I love it.”

Taken from: Friends (single), August 2017
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Iselin
Bathtub

Hanne says: “Iselin, I just wanted to say that Bathtub is so weird, so cool and so so so good, everyone should hear it! It’s important to take care of yourself, and to take time to take a bath and not rush into things.”

Taken from: Bathtub (single), June 2018
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Emilie Nicolas
Wild One

Hanne says: “Listening to this song by Emilie Nicolas just makes me feel like a boss lady. She is so strong, and her voice completely knocks me out.”

Taken from: Tranquille Emile, June 2018
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Coldplay
Viva La Vida

Hanne says: “Coldplay is my all-time favorite band, and Viva La Vida always makes me feel good.”

Taken from: Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, June 2008
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Robyn
Honey

Hanne says: “I couldn’t help myself and had to pick another Robyn track! Her new song Honey. It’s perfect, and it changes a lot, so it keeps me interested and makes me listen to it over and over again.”

Taken from: Honey, October 2018
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Hanne Mjøen
Sounds Good to Me

Hanne says: “This is the most honest song I’ve written. I’m a very emotional person, and going into a new relationship can be so scary, putting every emotion on display and knowing it will hurt, but feeling that it’s still worth it in the end.

“Because without love? We’ve got nothing.”

Taken from: Sounds Good to Me (single), September 2018
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Hanne Mjøen’s new single Sounds Good to Me is out now on Spinnin’ Records. A music video has also been released, plus a remix by UK producer Paul Woolford.

Upcoming Album and EP Releases: November 2018

November 2018 new releases
Major releases in November 2018 include Muse's Simulation Theory (9 Nov) and The 1975's third album (30 Nov)

Our round-up of upcoming releases collects all of the album and EP releases you ought to know about in November 2018.

Our extended list covers the alternative genres that we love, from the worlds of indie, post-punk and shoegaze to dream pop, electropop and riot grrrl, plus a few prominent releases from beyond our usual comfort zone.

The penultimate month of 2018 is set to be a busy one, with new albums from The 1975 (30th), Muse (9th) and The Prodigy (2nd), plus plenty of other material we’re highly excited about.

Most releases fall on the usual Friday release day, with a few exceptions, including Sun Kil Moon‘s new album on Thursday 1 November. Other high-profile releases include, most likely, a controversial Kanye West album (23rd) and a new full-length from The Smashing Pumpkins (16th).

Read on for the full list, arranged by date, and let us know if we’ve missed something truly essential.

FEISTY’s Tips

FEISTY editor Katy Blackwood’s tips for the month mainly come in the form of EPs, starting with Australia’s San Mei on 2 November. She also recommends the new Extended Plays from UK high-flyers TOUTS (9th) and Yonaka (16th) and retro vibe king Pizzagirl (30th).

She’s also sure to be listening to the second album from post-punk dreamers Lusts (16th) and the debut album from Stockholm trio Gestures (9th).

And finally, looking for something a little more esoteric? Try the ethereal, post-rock tinged Esben and the Witch, whose fifth full-length is out on 16 November.

1 November 2018

Sun Kil Moon – This is My Dinner (Caldo Verde)

2 November 2018

Banfi – The Marlow EP (Communion)
Bill Ryder-Jones – Yawn (Domino)
Dan Mangan – More or Less (City Slang)
Dead Can Dance – Dionysus (PIAS)
Eliza and the Bear – Group Therapy (Be-Known)
Gabby’s World – Beast on Beast (Yellow K)
It Looks Sad. – Sky Lake (Tiny Engines)
L.A. Witch – Octubre EP (Suicide Squeeze)
Lucia – Cheap Talk EP (Sweet Jane)
Makeout Point – Dear Audrey EP (Youth)
Mother Feather – Constellation Baby (Metal Blade)
The Prodigy – No Tourists (Take Me to the Hospital)
San Mei – Heaven EP (LXVI)
Sofie Winterson – Sophia Electric (Excelsior)
Tenacious D – Post-Apocalypto (Columbia)
VHS Collection – Retrofuturism

9 November 2018

Alien Sex Fiend – Possessed (Cherry Red)
Amanda Tenfjord – First Impression EP (Propeller)
Chez Ali – Buenas Noches Club EP (Rama Lama)
CHINAH – Anyone (No. 3)
Ead Wood – Beige Dreams EP
Gestures – Funny Games (PNKSLM)
Holygram – Modern Cults (Cleopatra)
Imagine Dragons – Origins (Interscope)
J Fernandez – Occasional Din (Joyful Noise)
J Mascis – Elastic Days (Sub Pop)
Kælan Mikla – Nótt eftir nótt
King Nun – I Have Love EP (Dirty Hit)
Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers – Bought to Rot (Bloodshot)
Little Dragon – Lover Chanting EP (Ninja Tune)
Muse – Simulation Theory (Warner Bros.)
NANCY – Mysterious Visions EP (Cannibal Hymns)
The Ninth Wave – Flesch EP (Distiller)
The Ocean Party – The Oddfellows’ Hall (Spunk)
Pleasure Heads – Excuse the Filth EP
TOUTS – Analysis Paralysis EP (Hometown)
whenyoung – Given Up EP (Virgin EMI)

16 November 2018

Alpines – Full Bloom
Anderson .Paak – Oxnard (Aftermath)
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – Upside Down Flowers (Fantasy)
Claire George – Bodies of Water EP (Cascine)
Crooked Teeth – Honey EP (Rude)
Esben and the Witch – Nowhere (Season of Mist)
Fjer – You Again (QUINTIC)
The Good, the Bad and the Queen – Merrie Land (Studio 13)
itoldyouiwouldeatyou – Oh Dearism (Alcopop!)
Liv Dawson – Bedroom EP
Lusts – Call of the Void (Blinky Watts)
Mumford and Sons – Delta (Island)
Sloucher – Be True (Swoon)
The Smashing Pumpkins – Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. (Napalm)
Yonaka – Creature EP (Asylum)

17 November 2018

Sœur – Fight EP

20 November 2018

Sam Fender – Dead Boys EP (Polydor)

23 November 2018

Arcadian Child – Superfonica
Art Brut – Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out! (Alcopop!)
Ed Harcourt – Beyond the End (PIAS)
Kanye West – Yandhi (Getting Out Our Dreams)
Swimclub – Waiting for the Night EP (Seehurst)
The Wild Things – You’re Really Something

30 November 2018

The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships (Dirty Hit)
ANNAVR – Vibration EP (Zero Hour)
Alessia Cara – The Pains of Growing (Def Jam)
Chlöe Howl – Work EP
Ex:Re – Ex:Re (4AD)
Mira Aasma – Nighttime Memos EP (Birds)
Pizzagirl – Season 2 EP (Heist Or Hit)
River Fury – 5 Year Plan EP (Painted Halo)

Something missing from our list that we simply need to hear? Send us a tip or email our editor at [email protected].

Artist Playlist No. 2: Agent blå’s Emelie Alatalo

Agent blå
Agent blå released an EP, Medium Rare, in June and a self-titled debut album last year. Photo: Martin Norberg

For this week’s Artist Playlist, we made a curator of Emelie Alatalo, the vocalist with Swedish indie rock darlings Agent blå.

The self-described “deathpop” band produce dreamy post-punk music, intertwining moody aesthetics and bullish lyricism with more wistful, gazey moments, managing to both embody the spirit of punk and the rousing emotion of jangle pop.

The Gothenburg group have become one of our favourite bands from the Swedish scene, and by performing predominantly in English they’ve also won over plenty of admirers abroad, securing a U.S. record deal with Kanine Records in addition to their contract at home with Luxury.

Emelie is joined in Agent blå by Josefine Täck, Lucas Gustavsson, Felix Skörvald, Arvid Christensen and Tobias Bauer. Their debut album, as a five-piece, was released in the summer of last year, followed up by a four-track EP, Medium Rare, this June.

The Artist Playlist is our way of giving musicians, usually the curated, the opportunity to curate a playlist of their own, harnessing their passion for music to receive great recommendations, learn about the music they love, and get closer to their own influences and tastes.

We’re asking a new musician to take part each week, giving them free reign to select ten tracks and tell us all about them, as well as one favourite from their own past output.

In the first edition last week, we learnt all about the personal tastes and influences of Dead Naked Hippies’ Lucy Jowett. In this week’s entry, Emelie delves deep into her childhood loves plus the music she adores today, picking out Swedish pop and punk and more worldly rock and riot grrrl.

On her music taste, Emelie told us that her first favourite band was Green Day: “I adored them, and finally got to see them live in Gothenburg, for the first and last time in 2010. Shortly after I realized that being 13 years old and wearing my own weight in eyeliner, I had to listen to something heavier. So I started to listen to My Chemical Romance and Marilyn Manson, Slipknot and Rammstein.

Agent blå
When Agent blå first formed they rehearsed covers of The Cure and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Photo: Martin Norberg

“I’ve always been someone that finds a band and gets too involved. I had a period where I listened exclusively to Håkan Hellström, Broder Daniel and Kent, and every wall in my room was covered with their faces.

“Somewhere around that time, when I was maybe 15 or 16, I started listening to more Swedish music, more indie pop, and fell in love with those bands. You could say that the sheer existence of those bands is the foundation which Agent blå grew on, since we all met through our shared love for them.”

An audio fanatic, Emelie admits to listening to music all of the time, except shortly before going on stage. She’s also big on vinyl, despite lacking a turntable: “I think I like the authenticity of being able to own and hold a vinyl, and getting up in the middle of the record to flip sides. I’m also aware that’s a really pretentious thing to say, haha!”

Read on for Emelie’s picks, or head straight for the music and check out all of the tracks she selected on the Spotify playlist here.


Broder Daniel
When We Were Winning

Emelie says: “I just had to include Broder Daniel on this list. They might be the band we’re getting compared to the most, and I think that it always gets a little tiresome being compared to the same band over and over again, like it doesn’t matter what your own music sounds like anymore.

“But, they’re also the band I spent many years obsessing over when I was younger, so I can’t be too cranky about the comparison. If you want to make a whole club full of youngsters, including me, both cheer and weep at the same time, this is the song to play!”

Taken from: Cruel Town, September 2003
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Le Tigre
Deceptacon

Emelie says: “I love to listen to this song whenever things just feel hopeless. It makes me think of the whole riot grrrl movement, and it just makes me feel so fucking grateful.

“I especially find Kathleen Hanna so fascinating, and I wish that I could sit down with her for a conversation, even just for a few minutes.”

Taken from: Le Tigre, October 1999
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Amason
Yellow Moon

Emelie says: “This record is one of the best records I own. It’s just such a winner all the way through, and I think that this was the first song I heard from it.

“Amanda Bergman’s voice has always been like a gentle pat on the back for me, or the one tucking you in when you just don’t want to do anything but lay in bed listening to the same record over and over again. It just makes me feel calm.”

Taken from: Sky City, January 2015
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Marilyn Manson
Dried Up, Tied and Dead To The World

Emelie says: “This song is the black sheep of this playlist, but I didn’t have the heart to scrap it. Marilyn Manson is the soundtrack to my early teens, when nothing mattered more than quirky clip-ons, my then girlfriend’s Marilyn Manson t-shirt, and who had the biggest rips in their stockings.

“I think this period of my life was when I really started to care about music in a way I hadn’t done before. It became more than just something to listen to, it became my entire personality. Whenever I listen to him I get thrown back to that time, and there’s something weirdly soothing about that.

“I will never forget the look on my boyfriend’s face when we found out about our shared love for him. It was like a buried guilty pleasure had just resurfaced and was suddenly okay for us to openly like. Nowadays this is my go-to song whenever I’m going out, to get in the right ‘fuck you’ mood!”

Taken from: Antichrist Superstar, October 1996
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Den svenska björnstammen
Som vanligt

Emelie says: “This is by far my favourite band to watch live. They have a ridiculous amount of energy on stage, which is impossible not to absorb when you’re standing in the crowd.

“One of my top memories with this band is from maybe one year ago when I went to a gig with one of my best friends. The venue was overflowing with people, so you couldn’t stand still, but nobody wanted to anyway. It felt like the whole audience was one giant family, celebrating together.”

Taken from: I förhållande till, April 2014
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Kent
Stoppa mig juni (lilla ego)

Emelie says: “Kent is, just like Broder Daniel, a band that opened me up to the Swedish pop scene. I had Jocke Berg’s lyrics written across the walls of my childhood room, and I can’t count the times I’ve cried thinking that this is the only band in the world that knows how it feels to be me.

“Even though I’m not sixteen anymore, I still love this band just as much. They were definitely a big motivation to start playing music in the first place.”

Taken from: Hagnesta Hill, December 1999
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KSMB
Polsk Zchlager

Emelie says: “I love this really iconic band, and especially this song, much for its childish seriousness. It’s full of irritation, but dealt with by seemingly not giving a damn. I usually find myself listening to it in the mornings while on my way to school, to lose a bit of morning temper. It’s somehow a little refreshing.”

Taken from: Rika barn leka bäst, August 1981
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Parenthetical Girls
The Four Platitudes (A Bridge Song)

Emelie says: “Parenthetical Girls have, hands down, been my absolute favourite band since the day I found out about them. There’s something about how their songs are bursting with both arrogance and humility at the same time, both in their lyrics and instrumentally. It never fails to amaze me.

“If I ever run into a genie in a bottle my one wish would be to get to collaborate with Zac Pennington, or to cut his brain open and marvel over the wonders going on inside.”

Taken from: Safe as Houses, June 2006
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Makthaverskan
Comfort

Emelie says: “When we started Agent blå, we were all really big fans of Makthaverskan, and wished there would come a time that we might even be signed to the same record label [Luxury Records] as them. Flash forward a couple of months, and we were, and still are!

“They have definitely been a big influence on our music, and since everyone on Luxury is like a little family, they’ve also become great friends to us all. They’re all really talented, and really great people!”

Taken from: Ill, October 2017
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Cocteau Twins
Cherry-coloured Funk

Emelie says: “This song is the root of one of my favourite tour memories. We were driving home from a gig in Uppsala, and I was sitting in the front seat when this song came on.

“There had been this amazing sunset happening before us for some time, but when this was playing the sky had just become dark and starry. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, and this song captured it so well, and tied the whole weekend together.”

Taken from: Heaven or Las Vegas, September 1990
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Agent blå
Another Reason to Cut Off An Ear

Emelie says: “This song is a really fun one to play live! It usually fires up the audience, which is such a fun thing to watch from the stage.

“It’s a pretty upbeat and happy sounding song, but at the same time, I really think it’s one of our sadder songs lyrically. I was in a really weird place in my life while writing these lyrics, and I was telling myself that if I acted like everything was fine, I would eventually feel fine.

“Looking back at this song now, I realise that the lyrics that seemed kind of happy then are really quite sad and out of place. I was writing about some kind of fear, but it was already happening. But that also gives the song another push, and makes it even more fun to perform.”

Taken from: Medium Rare EP, June 2018
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Agent blå’s Medium Rare EP is out now, available digitally and on 12″ via Luxury Records in Sweden, Kanine Records in the US and Through Love Records in Germany, and on CD via 2670 Records.

Indoor Pets announce long-awaited debut album Be Content

Indoor Pets
Indoor Pets' debut album will be released on 8 March. Photo: Felicity Davies

Indoor Pets have announced that their debut album, Be Content, is set for release next year.

After years of single releases and two EPs back in 2015, the band confirmed the date of 8 March with the line: “We’re just as shocked as you are”.

The album announcement is accompanied by the release of a new track, Being Strange.

Be Content will be a mixture of new and previously released material, and will be issued on Wichita Recordings, the label they joined over the summer.

Prior to joining Wichita, the artist formerly known as Get Inuit had been one of the UK’s best unsigned bands, releasing material on East City Rockers, Alcopop! and guitarist James Simpson’s label Bon Nudity.

On the album, vocalist Jamie Glass told us: “Be Content is about growing up. The trials and tribulations of becoming comfortable in your own skin, dealing with unhealthy relationships with people and substances.

“Its overall theme is about finding how to just be content, rather than always seeking more.”

The track list for Be Content reveals that 7 of the 14 tracks, counting new single Being Strange, have already been released, including fan favourites Barbiturates and Pro Procrastinator. There’s also spots for recent single Hi, 2016 track Teriyaki, Mean Heart and the 001 EP’s Cutie Pie, I’m Bloated.

The tracks yet to be released are Thick, Spill (My Guts), Couch, Heavy Thoughts, The Mapping of Dandruff, Good Enough and album closer My Amnesiac.

Data on Last.fm indicates that several of the forthcoming tracks were recorded in some form over a year ago. It’s unclear if any the previously released material will be re-recorded or remixed for the album.

As well as announcing the album and releasing a new track, Indoor Pets have also just confirmed their first ever U.S. shows – in California and New York in January – and been revealed as one of the first fifty for The Great Escape 2019.

They’ve also announced a run of UK dates next April, including performances at The Deaf Institute in Manchester, Scala in London and Green Door Store in Brighton.

Indoor Pets 2019 UK Tour

April 9 – Moles – Bath, UK
April 10 – Liverpool Arts Club – Liverpool, UK
April 11 – King Tuts – Glasgow, UK
April 12 – The Deaf Institute – Manchester, UK
April 14 – Think Tank? – Newcastle, UK
April 15 – The Flapper – Birmingham, UK
April 16 – Clwb Ifor Bach – Cardiff, UK
April 17 – Scala – London, UK
April 18 – The Green Door Store – Brighton, UK

Tool, Slipknot and Def Leppard will headline Download 2019

Download Festival 2019
Download Festival takes place at Donington Park in Leicestershire from 14-16 June 2019

Slipknot, Def Leppard and Tool have been announced as the headliners for Download Festival 2019.

The three bands will headline across the traditional weekend of 14-16 June, as Download becomes the first major festival to show its hand for next year.

Twenty bands are confirmed in total today, including long-established heavyweights like Rob Zombie, Trivium and melodic death metal band Amon Amarth.

Symphonic metal group Delain, ska-punk legends Reel Big Fish and guitar hero Slash add variety to the announcement.

There’s also a spot, more controversially, for Die Antwoord, whose hip-hop style is out of step with the bands that usually play the event.

So far, the reaction has been positive, especially to the announcement of a set by Tool on the final night of Sunday 16 June.

Tool haven’t released an album since 2006, but continue to have a huge following, with 1996’s Ænima and 2001’s Lateralus widely considered two of the best metal albums of their respective decades.

Def Leppard will perform on the opening night, playing their 1987 album Hysteria in full and making their only UK appearance of the year, and Slipknot take to the stage on the Friday.

Tickets for Download Festival go on sale on Thursday at 2pm UK time, with a price spike set for 6 November.

The full Download Festival 2019 lineup so far:
  • The Amity Affliction
  • Amon Amarth
  • Carcass
  • Delain
  • Die Antwoord
  • Def Leppard
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
  • Opeth
  • Power Trip
  • Reel Big Fish
  • Rob Zombie
  • Skindred
  • Slash (featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators)
  • Slipknot
  • Starset
  • Tesla
  • Tool
  • Trivium
  • Underoath
  • Whitesnake

Artist Playlist No. 1: Dead Naked Hippies’ Lucy Jowett

Dead Naked Hippies
Dead Naked Hippies have just relased a new single, titled Young Male Rage. Photo: Andrew Benge

For the first ever Artist Playlist we invited one of our favourite new women in music, Lucy Jowett, to pick out ten tracks that mean something to her.

Lucy is the fiery frontwoman of Dead Naked Hippies, a stormy post-punk trio that have been making waves of late with a stream of gutsy singles and live shows.

Described in our Women on Vox feature earlier this year as “Leeds scene prospects that clamour and barb with unabashed in-your-face style”, their music is all about sharp riffs and Lucy’s jagged vocals, little abrasive touches and ferocious melodies.

Their self-titled debut EP dropped in September last year, with a new single – Young Male Rage – released on Friday and out now on a 7″ split and digital platforms.

The Artist Playlist is our way of giving musicians, usually the curated, the opportunity to curate a playlist of their own, harnessing their passion for music to receive great recommendations, learn about the music they love, and get closer to their own influences and tastes.

We’ll be asking a new musician to take part each week, giving them free reign to select ten tracks and tell us all about them, as well as one favourite from their own past output.

We’ll also be chatting to each musician about their own music taste, finding out exactly what made them the artist they are today. In Lucy’s case, it all started with pop-punk.

“I was definitely a rock and metal kid throughout my teens,” she told us, citing Green Day’s American Idiot as her first favourite album. “I was 11 or 12 when it first came out, and that set me up to develop a taste for guitar music.”

Dead Naked Hippies' Lucy Jowett
Lucy Jowett onstage with Dead Naked Hippies at Headrow House in Leeds, UK. Photo: Katy Blackwood

Later on, she discovered classic bands like Sonic Youth, Portishead and Massive Attack through a college tutor, but Radiohead proved to perhaps be the main revelation. “I listened to OK Computer first, and then delved into everything that came before and after. Their development is fascinating, and I hugely respect how they have constantly pushed and reinvented themselves over the years.

“PJ Harvey is another like that. She’s also constantly reinvented herself, and her music has always felt very primal. Discovering her was really exciting for me as a young woman.”

Nowadays, Lucy cares deeply for artistic integrity, noting: “Music and message is a big thing for me. I’m definitely more inclined to listen to a band or artist if I know that their art is coming from a place of integrity and if they have something to say.”

Her playlist choices – packed with powerful women and important messages – reflect her inclinations, and include old favourites, new releases, and a couple of the bands that she’s shared the stage with along the way.

Read on for Lucy’s picks, or head straight for the music and check out all of the tracks she selected on the Spotify playlist here.


Savages
Hit Me

Lucy says: “I recently listened to an interview where Jehnny Beth discussed the lyrics of this song, and I found it really thought provoking.

“They’re centred around the idea that pleasure can come from different places, and the similarities between pleasure and pain. Focusing on the idea that a typically negative signal, for example crying, is seen as a sign of weakness, when perhaps it could be seen as a positive, releasing emotion vital to a specific time in your life to become stronger.

“I think it’s a really interesting perspective that can challenge the norms we’ve put in place, especially the idea that men and young boys can’t cry because it will make them appear weak. It’s a terrible pile of BS and is very damaging. I like to think that outwardly crying is a sign of strength and a willingness to share emotion.”

Taken from: Silence Yourself, May 2013
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Anna Calvi
As a Man

Lucy says: “I really respect how Anna is challenging perceptions of gender. This track in particular focuses on the idea of both genders moving to the middle of the spectrum, furthering gender equality. I’m understandably passionate about gender equality, and as far as we’ve come there’s still a long way to go, so I find this song really powerful and empowering.”

Taken from: Hunter, August 2018
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Dream Wife
Somebody

Lucy says: “We’ve had the luxury of playing with these brilliant women twice over the past two years. The first time we played with them was actually only the third Dead Naked Hippies gig, and we got asked to jump in the night before as another band had to drop out due to illness.

“We were inspired by the sense of togetherness they encourage at their shows, and how welcome they made us feel as a support band. It definitely made us consider how we wanted to be at our own shows.”

Taken from: Dream Wife, January 2018
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Fever Ray
Mustn’t Hurry

Lucy says: “This song makes me feel a sense of calm when I start to feel impatient about the things I really want to achieve but have no control over. I’m a serial perfectionist, I’m always ambitious, and I’m never satisfied, especially when it comes to creativity. This song serves as a reminder that it’s important to not rush and to let myself breathe too.”

Taken from: Plunge, October 2017
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Björk
Enjoy

Lucy says: “To me, this song is about being able to go out and experience the world. To enjoy learning about life, to feel emotion and be fearless about it.”

Taken from: Post, June 1995
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imi
Born For What?

Lucy says: “imi is a Leeds lady too, and a good friend. This track in particular is very emotive and beautiful. It provokes me to think about the human condition and purpose. I think practising self-awareness is extremely important in the modern world because there are so many distractions.”

Taken from: Born For What? (single), December 2017
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Karen O
Rapt

Lucy says: “Karen O is massively inspiring to me as a frontwoman, in the way that she doesn’t put herself on any kind of pedestal because of her gender. She doesn’t give a fuck, and seeing that has been really important for me when feeling my way around being a frontperson.

“Women definitely need to be championed in music and encouraged from a young age, but should never feel that their gender is in any way a token, that it has to be highlighted or that they have to live up to what is deemed acceptable, typical or ‘normal’ as a woman.”

Taken from: Crush Songs, September 2014
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Queen Zee
I Hate Your New Boyfriend

Lucy says: “Queen Zee are another band we got asked to jump on a couple of shows with because our friends had to drop out. We’re glad we did. They’re pushing boundaries and extremely important messages around trans power, self-acceptance and looking after your mental health. Their live shows are insane too.”

Taken from: Eat My Sass EP, September 2017
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PJ Harvey
My Beautiful Leah

Lucy says: “PJ Harvey is another woman that I find hugely inspiring, as she’s never fit into anyone else’s mould and has constantly reinvented herself. My Beautiful Leah is one of my favourite tracks from my favourite album of hers.”

Taken from: Is This Desire?, September 1998
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Sit Down
Bloodlust

Lucy says: “We played with Sit Down in Brighton earlier this year and they knocked my socks off. That doesn’t happen very often! Lovely people too. Their visual style is just as in your face as their music, think noisy AF, matching power suits and a ton of attitude.”

Taken from: Cheap Luxe EP, March 2018
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Dead Naked Hippies
Rare

Lucy says: “We wrote Rare at a time when I was feeling pretty much not myself. I was suffering with a really bad bout of anxiety.

“The idea of Rare was to flip that around and turn all of the negative, bad energy that I had into something positive and unapologetic. We humans are often very good at being hard on ourselves when we’re down, which ends up causing us to spiral out of control.

“Rare enabled me to find a way to be compassionate towards myself, and embrace my anxiety rather than demonise it. It might sound odd to some, but it made me feel a lot better.”

Taken from: Rare (single), August 2018
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Dead Naked Hippies’ new single Young Male Rage is out now. They’re set to play lots of live dates this autumn, including HERfest Sheffield and 2Q Festival Lincoln on 3 Nov.

Track of the Day No. 5: Fever Joy – Shots

Fever Joy
Fever Joy's Avery Robitaille has described Shots as "a personal reminder that you deserve better". Photo: John Tsiavis

Have you ever felt like you’re not in charge of a bad situation? That someone is holding you back or just messing you around? Did you ever wish you could take control, make a stand and do what’s best for you?

That’s the combative message behind Shots, a chest-thumping pep talk and a first taste of Californian newcomers Fever Joy.

It’s a spunky, bright pop song with a driving drum beat and vocals from the trio’s star power frontwoman Avery Robitaille, wasting no time in getting to a series of urging hooks that have every chance of getting stuck in your head.

Shots was released quietly at the end of June, but Fever Joy have clearly been working hard to build their profile since. They also released a music video earlier this month.

Fever Joy are a trio, comprised of striking vocalist Avery, guitarist Kevin Holm and drummer Sean “Tean” Baker. They first met at an open mic night, deciding they’d form a more permanent band after performing together.

Although they were originally known as Dear Kora, named for an Indonesian tribe, the three seem to be treating Fever Joy as a different project altogether. Their sole single under the Dear Kora name, Sunflower, dropped in February 2017, technically making Shots their second single to date.

Avery is originally from Indonesia, moving to Los Angeles at the age of 18 after being encouraged by her religious missionary parents to attend a U.S. university. Prior to the formation of Fever Joy she performed on a more solo basis, playing a Sofar Sounds session in 2016 and posting covers of The Cranberries, Rihanna and Kodaline – all still available at the time of writing – on her SoundCloud account.

The next step for Fever Joy, whose biggest dream is to play at major U.S. festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, is likely to be a second single in the near future. They’re also hoping to perform at next year’s SXSW in Texas.

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Track of the Day is curated with a personal spin by FEISTY editor Katy Blackwood. Got a tip for her? Drop her a tweet at @KatyBlackwood or send her an email at [email protected].

Shots Lyrics

You got it all wrong, baby, I call the shots
I’m not what you need, and I thought we’d agree
But all I do is leave

Your girl’s out cold and you gotta stay warm
Now you’re at my front door, I know I’m hard to ignore
But all I do is leave

It’s not that I’m one of the bad girls
Just don’t wanna be one of your sad girls

I’ll do as I please
I don’t need no man holding me
If my mind is at ease
That maybe I’ll call you at three

I’ve got you wrapped my finger, now you’re begging to stay
Just for today, you think I won’t slip away
But all I do is leave

You think you got me in a coma but I’m not here to sleep
Get your mind off of me while you’re getting busy
All I do is leave
All I do is leave

It’s not that I’m one of the bad girls
Just don’t wanna be one of your sad girls

I’ll do as I please
I don’t need no man holding me
If my mind is at ease
That maybe I’ll call you at three

Don’t need your money, I’m not your honey
Don’t need nobody holding me
I’m not your sweet girl, or a mean girl
But baby if you fall I believe

I’ll do as I please
I don’t need no man holding me
If my mind is at ease
That maybe I’ll call you at three