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21 Artists that you should be excite d about th is year





FRE E FE B/mar 2021

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CO N T E N TS 4 N EWS: RI P Soph i e prs for m usic UPDATE 6 lgbtq+ aware n ess month: jojo siwa 8 bi m m i ntroduci ng: tri bunal 10 COVE R feature: th e artists of 2021 12 exclusive q&a with jc stewart 20 movi es an d gam i ng 22 album revi ews 24 live revi ew: bi de n's i nauguration 26 OPI N ION: is th e te rm gam e r gi rl too sexist to reclai m? 28 ldn m e ets: th e sh itbats 30 rock'n'roll knitting! 32 people that i nspi re: lucy mccourt 34 SE LF CARE: tH E th e rapy walk




s we move past the new year it's the best time to think about the things in life we take for granted. This issue we look at these things from the ever evolving vibrations that is music to more humble thoughts such as love and respect for others, because when you think about it, what more do you need in life. As john Lennon once said - all you need is love.

LDN EDITOR, Olly Childs


ldn spoti fy

4 / obituary

Sophie Words: thomas - Bradey Riseley


OPH I E, one of the bravest and boldest artists to exist, tragically died after an accidental fall from a balcony in Athens, Greece January 30, 2021. Labels Transgressive and Future Classic, who represented SOPHIE, say

“True to her spirituality she had climbed up to watch the full Moon and accidentally slipped and fell. She will always be here with us.” Forever embracing the avant-garde and experimental, her influence will not be understated. Having kept

her identity relatively hidden until the press for her debut album, 2018’s ‘Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides’ she revealed to the world that she was a trans woman, opening the door for trans artists to step into the mainstream. Her image and identity did not

define who she was in the eyes of the industry, she was an incredible and prolific artist as well as a trans woman. Her debut was a critical success earning a Grammy nomination for ‘Best Dance/Electronic Album’ in 2019 and widely regarded as a breakthrough in the experimental pop scene. She produced for myriad artists including; Vince Staples, Madonna, MØ, Let’s Eat Grandma and most noticeably Charli XCX. SOPHIE’s death prompted the ‘#HereForCharli’ hashtag to trend on twitter in solidarity with XCX who lost a close friend and not just a collaborator. Sophie was an icon and a pioneer. Her death touched all corners of the music realm. She met bigotry and negativity with grace and aplomb. Her example will inspire and encourage anyone facing the same situations she did. There will never be another SOPHIE but there will be hundreds if not thousands who can continue blazing the trail she left for us. Rest in power, SOPHIE.

N EWS / 5

PRS For M usic backtracks on th e i r lice nsi ng fe e Words: thomas - Bradey Riseley


oyalty collection society PRS For Music has backtracked on implementing a new license fee for small live-stream concerts in the UK. The introduction of a new license fee for streamed shows which receive less than £500 in revenue received widespread backlash and criticism as organisers, managers and artists alike now to have to overcome yet another business obstacle. The UK-based organisation launched the new Online Live Concert license. The fixed-rate fee only applied for live-streaming concerts generating less than £500, even if the artists were to only perform their own songs. The new license was launched on January 27 and retracted on February 1. Having received a joint statement from the Music Managers Forum and the Featured

Artists Coalition, who state that the scrupulous terms of the levy was launched with “no prior warning and without consultation with artists or their representatives”. PRS has acknowledged the criticism stating that they had listened “to feedback from songwriter and composer members” and have since added an exemption for artists who want to perform ticketed online shows of only the said artists’ songs. The exemption still requires a free license to be obtained. PRS explain “The free license will be available to any individual concert qualified for the small-scale license, with revenues below £500, throughout the period the live sector is forced to close due to the COVID-19 crisis where the qualifying member is the performer,” in its statement. Organisers of live-streamed shows with revenues less than

£250 will have to pay a fixed rate fee of £22.50+VAT whereas organisers with revenues of between £250 and £500 will have to pay £45+VAT which can be paid on the PRS website under ‘Online Live Concert License’. David Martin, CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition and Annabella Coldrick of MMF’s joint statement includes “It is a welcome step forward that writerperformers playing their own material will be exempted from paying for a license at small-scale live stream shows”. Hopefully a return to live shows won’t be that much further away as artists and organisers who are making less than £500 from their streamed shows are undoubtedly struggling enough. For more information, visit www.prsformusic.com

LGBTQ+ H istory Month Words: thomas-bradey riseley

hat is LGBT+ History Month and why do we need to pay attention? Not only is it a celebration of queer culture and how far we’ve progressed as a society but there is still so much further we need to go and to have a whole month dedicated to raising awareness is a fantastic step in the right direction.


The UK celebrates LGBT+ History Month in February to commemorate the abolition of the cruel and nonsensical Section 28, first introduced by UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and enacted on the May 24, 1988. Section 28 stated that a local authority “shall not promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship” – essentially hiding the image of homosexuality for schoolchildren. Teachers would have to hide their sexuality and text with queer imagery was banned. The introduction of Section 28 was a knee-jerk reaction to the AIDS pandemic of the 80s and instead of educating young people on safe sex, they tried to hide and suppress what they describe as homosexuality and make an unhealthy environment for children curious about, or struggling with, their identity. In 2000, the Labour party appealed the reform but ultimately lost to a House of Lords campaign led by Baroness Young. Former Prime Minister Theresa May described the loss “a victory for commonsense”. In February 2003 it was repealed, coincidentally after Baroness Young’s death, with peers of the House of Lords voting 180 to 130 and henceforth we celebrate LGBT+ History Month now and not in October like other western counterparts. Thanks to the Discriminations Act and the repeal of reforms such as Section 28, it is now illegal to isolate and overlook people based on their sexuality but it is the day-to-day stigmatisation and normalisation of homophobia we need to squash. LGBT+ History month is so important to arts culture. It empowers and enables queer artists to express themselves on a medium in which they feel comfortable and ultimately encourage their fans to do the same. An artist like Tyler, The Creator wouldn’t of been able to elevate the level of success he’s had after coming out in a less progressive society, creating by far his best music as an openly gay man after keeping his sexuality hidden for the early chapters of his career. Younger and less mainstream artists such as Arlo Parks and girl in red (see our cover feature from page 10) who have had the opportunity to establish themselves as musicians while being out from the beginning of their career and not have their sexuality be made a gimmick or the forefront of their image.

This month is important to me because although I don’t see myself within the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, it helped me learn and begin to understand the daily struggle our friends and family have to go through every day. Teach those that don’t know yet: this is the world we live in now and it’s a world for all those tolerant and accepting. I might never live their experience, but I stand by all my queer friends and family and reassure them that they’re not alone, none of us are alone. Fun resources and events taking place this month for all include; Big Gay Ben’s Queer History Quiz at westminsterlgbtforum.org on the 21st, Queer Writing for Teens on the 22nd and LGBTQIA+ Interfaith Service on the 25th which can both be found on the LGBT+ History Month website calendar. lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk

JoJo Siwa, TH E GAY ICON m issy's m usi ngs / 7

Words: n ina de san ders

For the LGBTQ+ community, 2021 has gotten off to a flying start from ‘Drag Race’ to ‘It’s A Sin’ to the world of politics. What no one saw coming, however, is ‘Dance Mom’ star and 17-yearold YouTuber Joelle Joanie “JoJo” Siwa becoming a gay icon.


or those who have been living under a rock, JoJo Siwa rose to fame on the high brow reality TV show ‘Dance Moms’, where she was a part of Abby Lee Miller’s team. From dance moms she kickstarted her career on YouTube, where she currently sits at 12.2 million subscribers. She subsequently launched her music career and built somewhat of a merchandise empire. Her core audience is young girls, who have been growing up alongside JoJo over the years. Now 17, JoJo recently came out in a TikTok (in case you forgot we still live in a dystopian social media world). The post shows her lip synching to Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’. She confirmed the news a few days later in a photo that saw her wearing a t-shirt with the phrase “best gay cousin” printed across the chest. Normally when YouTube stars come out, there’s a 30-minute sit-down video with plenty of tears. This was entirely different. She was so casual about it. This was such a powerful message to the next generation of queer kids. Coming out doesn’t have to be a big circus, and being anything other than straight is not a big deal. Representation matters. For JoJo’s young core audience to have someone queer to look up to who is close their own age is extremely valuable. Young queer people might see themselves in her, and for others it might open up important conversations with their families. On the Jimmy Kimmel show JoJo describes how her girlfriend Kylie has supported her through this process, and inspired her to be her true self. Having these conversations on mainstream talk shows might finally help us beat this heteronormativity that still plagues our society to this day. Personally, I can’t wait for the day JoJo gets to tour again. It’s gonna spark some serious joy to see half the crowd being little kids and their parents, while the other half is a bunch of queers in short shorts and Pride flags.


tribunal It’s just as well that LDN caught Tribunal in the emergence of their discography, because their debut EP, ‘Circles Are Dangerous Shapes’, heavily implies that the colourful arrangements and daring approaches to production is simply the Londonbased hip-hop trio warming up. In this chat about their first project, Tribunal producer Razvan Matlinsche offers LDN some insights into the group’s workflow and his ‘family’-like relationship with vocalist Alex Meles and co-producer, Askur Odinsson. Words: doug ph illips photography: tash i djago

What kind of time period was ‘Circles Are Dangerous Shapes’ made in? We completed it during lockdown last summer. We started it in April and finished around the end of August. At what point did you, Askur and Alex decide to all make music together? Basically, because we were all friends, it all started with a basketball game [laughs], and a natural vibe. Right after that, we made ‘Cool With The Guys’, our first track. Are there any particular tracks or specific moments from ‘Circles’ you’re especially proud of as producers? For ‘What’s Your Story’ which is seen as an interlude, Askur’s sister is playing cello and it felt very nice to have a connection with her somehow, because right after she sent the recordings, I had to re-record playing the piano and mix it with her performance. We also recorded some other friends, students from BIMM, Bukky, Kanti and Jimi Koski helped us perform a choir in my room just by capturing some friends enjoying the summer for the final track, ‘No Body’. How did you get the choir on ‘No Body’? It sounds so charming and warm. And the strings on ‘What’s Your Story’, they sound too special to be midi, beautifully mixed with the dark piano. There’s no midi in ‘What’s Your Story’, just pure audio. There’s loads of different styles and approaches to production and songwriting on ‘Circles’, was it difficult to get them to sound so cohesive? You know, it was difficult to get to the sound that we wanted, but the sound came out naturally. It was fun making it, but we were also treating it very seriously, also yep, some ‘family fights’ happened but we also

learnt how to treat a project from start to finish. This built up a strong relationship. And we also learned more about ourselves and we put this in our sound. Just pure connection. It really feels like there’s a synergy between you all. We are all a family right now. Have Tribunal made their performance debut yet? Actually, we’re working on a livestream show, there’ll be more info soon on our Instagram. Where did most of the recordings take place for ‘Circles’? The recordings took place in my room – everything was made there [Razvan and Askur share a house]. The recordings sound studio standard. We did vocal recordings in the wardrobe. My room is quite sick to make music in [laughs]. Have you been productive over the Covid period with Tribunal or solo projects? Yes, we also worked on solo projects. Askur is working on his own stuff, he got something out with Jinju [Uncia], another BIMM singer [and the sleeve artist for ‘Circles’], and I do have solo projects coming out soon, and yeah, Tribunal is preparing some heat and fire. After the first project, everything feels very different. We are more fast and efficient, we know each other very well and that makes it very natural. Is there a full length project on the horizon for Tribunal? It sounds like you guys have a lot cooking up right now. Yep, we’ve started working on it, we are developing it. Actually in ‘Leanin’, the intro is a snippet of a different track from the upcoming project.

Find out more at @tribunalmusic

Tribunal, left to right: Askur Odinsson, Alex Meles, Raz Matlinsche

''It was difficult to get to th e soun d that we wanted, but th e soun d also cam e out naturally.''

Forever '21 21 artists for life, not just this year


of the most fascinating things, as a music lover, is seeing new artists keep emerging, year in and year out. Aside from somehow managing to keep going in the stressful times we live in, you’d also think that, by now, that surely all songs have been written. Of course, that’s never the case and the world of music just keeps giving. So, to help guide you through the latest crop of talent from homegrown artists in the UK to our cousins from across the pond in the US, we’ve found 21 of the best newcomers that we believe to be the ones you need to watch as the year goes on. Ranging from pop sensations to indie darlings and hypnotic electronica, at the heart of our list is an interview with Northern Irish sensation, ‘the new Lewis Capaldi’, JC Stewart. But we’ll also grapple with Corpse and find out more about Olivia Rodrigo while also getting the low-down on Remi Wolf, the amazing Arlo Parks and many more.

Words: olly childs

th e artists of 2021 / 11

remi wolf

Last June, California native Remi Wolf made a colourful and vibrant splash in the pop world with her second, genreblurring EP. Even at just 16 minutes long, ‘I’m Allergic To Dogs!’ fully exhibits Remi’s endlessly malleable vocal capabilities. Wolf can flicker between a wail and a conversational mumble in a matter of moments, leaving no vibe unrepresented by her impossibly versatile performances. Although Remi’s light, bubbly persona drives her aesthetic and style, her musical understanding is remarkably mature and realised, considering she’s yet to release her debut album. Speaking of her style, her projects set a trend of pushing the boundaries of pop to fit her, rather than the other way round. Her embrace of “funk, dance and soul” to influence a previously unprecedented branch of pop, has created a hefty promise for the future that only Remi Wolf could live up to. DOUG PH I LLI PS

arlo parks Arlo Parks’ work cannot be described by anything other than extraordinarily raw. Storming into 2021 with her debut album ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams,’ (see our review on page 22) the B-side features ‘lo-fi lounge’ versions of the tracks, giving a jazzy and relaxed perspective on eight of the tracks. Her indie sound has been inspired by the likes of Radiohead and Portishead, sharing personal experiences of her upbringing and sexuality through her music. Future shows include sold-out dates at Village Underground, Gorilla and O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. BETHAN MCCON N E LL

12 / th e artists of 2021


JC Stewart


orthern Irish singer-songwriter JC Stewart released his first single in 2014 but his breakthrough came during this pandemic when he shared a COVID-themed parody version of the ‘Friends’ theme on TikTok. Little did he know the whole world would see it and it would lead to him being invited on Good Morning America. He also released two singles, with ‘I Need You To Hate Me’ currently at over 30 million streams on Spotify. Not only that, Stewart has collaborated with big names such as Lewis Capaldi, Tom Odell and Niall Horan. The 24-year-old released his EP ‘When The Lights Hit The Room’ in November 2020. LDN found our more about this rising star… WORDS: M EGAN HOFMAN WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THE EP? I’d never written a body of work and thought it was high time that I tried it. I guess I was a little nervous of what it would turn out like and that it wouldn’t be something I could proudly stand behind forever. During lockdown, I learned a lot about myself and had a lot of time to reflect on the last few years. I’m really glad I was able to get it all on the page. YOU WROTE THE EP TOGETHER WITH IVOR NOVELLO WINNER TOM ODELL, HOW WAS THAT EXPERIENCE? A proper pinch myself, dream come true moment. Tom is such a gent and someone I’ve followed since the time I saw him live in The Mandela Hall in Belfast when I was 17. He is probably the most awe inspiring and important lyricist I have had the pleasure of coming across and lived up to every lofty expectation I had built for him in my head. We’re still working together even after the EP as it was such an amazingly enjoyable experience and we really spark off each other in the writing room. OTHER THAN TOM ODELL, YOU HAVE ALSO WRITTEN WITH LEWIS CAPALDI, BRAD SIMPSON AND NIALL HORAN. DO YOU PREFER WRITING WITH OTHER PEOPLE?

I love it. I wouldn’t say I prefer it as I write a great deal by myself as well but who wouldn’t want to work with the people who inspire them all the time? I suppose I do get some validation when people like that want to work with me as well and it makes me feel like I’m not a complete failure on the darker days. WHAT WAS THE MAIN IDEA BEHIND THE EP? IS THERE A REASON FOR THE ORDER OF THE SONGS? Is it ok to answer a question in meme form? Someone tweeted me this the other day saying they thought it encapsulated the EP for them and it hit me a bit. It’s about searching for everything, finding it nowhere and then it just walking into your life one day. Identity, heartbreak, loss, joy, love, it’s all in there. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME ‘WHEN THE LIGHTS HIT THE ROOM’? It’s a lyric from the last song on the EP, ‘Hard To Believe’, about the moments where I realised everything I thought would make me happy was actually making me sad and then the moment when I realised what it was that I needed. WHAT SONG ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF WRITING? On the EP? ‘Hard To Believe’. In

general? ‘What’s Done Is Done’. DURING THE FIRST LOCKDOWN YOU SHARED A GREAT TAKE ON ‘I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU’ ANY CHANCES OF REPEATING THAT DURING THIS SECOND LOCKDOWN? I’m very much still trying to figure out TikTok so who knows what could happen there [laughs]. WHERE DO YOU TAKE MOST INSPIRATION FROM? The people around me. Books. Movies. Life. My own head. Other artists. The internet. A LOT OF PEOPLE DESCRIBE YOU AS ‘THE NEW LEWIS CAPALDI’. HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL? I love Lewis. If people want to compare me to him them so be it. It’s a huge honour really. I don’t think we’re that a like though. On the surface sure, but I just want to be me for a bit. IS THERE ANY ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US? It never gets better. Enjoy where you are because this is as good as it gets. And it’s pretty great if you just live in the moment.

‘When The Lights Hit The Room’ is out now via Warner Records. See www.iamjcstewart.com

'' I real ise d eve ryt h i n g I t h ou g h t wou l d make m e happy was maki n g m e sad. ''


Known as the deepest voice on the internet, Corpse (also known as Corpse Husband) is a 23-year old faceless internet personality and an upcoming artist from Southern California. Combining angry rap verses, lo-fi and subtle screamo elements in his tracks he puts himself under the underground rap scene along with his friends as $uicideBoy$, Night Lovell and Scarlxrd. After conquering Gen Z’s hearts on TikTok with his biggest hit ‘E-girls Are Ruining My Life!’ and having his own section in MrBeast’s Youtube Rewind 2020, he has created an army of passionate and dedicated fans all over the world. In such a short time of his career, he has climbed to the No 1 spot on Global Viral Hits on Spotify and has almost four million monthly listeners. Having previously worked with artists like BONES, Ghostemane, Savage Ga$p and much more, he is already teasing a Machine Gun Kelly collaboration which is about to be released very soon. An na runa

THE PALE WHITE The Pale White have developed a thunderous and eclectic take on rock music, drawing inspiration from QOTSA and The Black Keys. Despite their debut album only being released in April of 2021, they have gained popularity from performances at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds. They pair smooth and savoury vocals with intense guitar licks to create a fierce sound, bringing guitar rock back into the limelight. Original singles ‘Second Place’ and ‘That Dress’ illustrate the pure noise that this band can make. Bethan Mccon n ell


FEVA are a loud and rambunctious band, mainly as a result of their vocalist Sam Reynolds. Their shows have included performances at Newcastle’s Riverside, Student Union and Think Tank. They have supported artists like Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at This Is Tomorrow Festival, delivering a cocky and carefree performance to anyone who is in earshot. Reynold’s wailing vocals paired with entrancing guitar melodies result in an organised, yet clamorous, sound. Their growing fanbase has been illustrated through gig photos, with the same fans returning time and time again. FEVA are sticking their fingers up at those who are claiming that guitar music is dead, and smashing down the doors of conventional rock. Bethan Mccon n ell

th e artists of 2021 / 15


Inspired by the The 1975 and Arcade Fire, Drive are an electronic duo from Newcastle formed from members of the (now disbanded) Fletcher Jackson Band and VITO. Their recent track ‘The Routine’ sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a coming-of-age movie, leaving you reminiscent of spending time on the beach in the summertime. Despite being a fairly new band, the duo have performed at The Head of Steam as part of the multi venue festival ‘Hit the North.’ Vocals are provided by seasoned performer Jake Fletcher, and guitars/keys from Andy Bell. Their old aesthetic has featured their social content being exclusively shot on film, to draw the audience back to an analogue nostalgia. Bethan Mccon n ell


BigFatBig are a funky, female three-piece from Newcastle, known for emphatic dance moves and striking vocals. Their 2019 single ‘Science’ is a fast-paced pop track, sharing the perspective that ‘it’s not science to be honest.’ For fans of Kate Nash, Martha and Lauren Hibberd, BigFatBig were deemed as one of BBC Introducing’s Ones to Watch in 2020. Despite being a fairly new act, the band have sold out all six of their headline shows, and performed at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend. Their warm and groovy indie-pop tracks are dance-inducing at the best of times, particularly at their jam-packed concerts. Bethan Mccon n ell

96 back

Bleep techno may have already had its heyday but Sheffieldborn 96 Back is doing everything he can to shove its robotic synths, twirling arpeggios, and dusty percussion back into the mainframe of electronic music. The seamless pairing of these elements with darker Detroit electro components across his debut album release ‘Excitable, Girl’, released on CPU Records, brings a mind-boggling experience that only a technician like 96 Back could provide. Alien-like sounds, huge rumbling bass breakdowns and jarring drum grooves are always promised in his tracks, while elements of Italo disco and breakbeat sometimes bleed through. gvidas piscikas

bad boy chiller crew The Bradford bassline sensation are targeting the mainstream after a stream of several underground successes. GK, Kane and Clive have gone from ice-cream men and warehouse operatives to kings of West Yorkshire. After initially making comedic parody stunt and rap videos, encouraging comments convinced the lads to take it more seriously. Debut single ‘450’ encapsulates the band’s entire image and sound; booming kicks and helium vocal loops along with a dirt-bike music video. Its silly while being daring and challenging. Their vintage 2-step speed-garage sound is a early 2000s throwback which is bound to produce banger after banger. THOMAS-BRADEY RISE LEY


Exploring love and intimacy while providing a safe space for black men to own their feelings, Q will be a fresh gem for the fans of Frank Ocean, Yves Tumor or even Childish Gambino. The 21-year-old Florida native owns the full package of stardom - artistry, versatility and charisma. Having musical influences from R&B, soul and alternative rock with a sprinkle of falsetto, he dives deep into topics such as anxiety, lack of connection and love while blessing his listener’s ears. Some argue that Q should have been included in the tracklist of teen drama series ‘Euphoria’. AN NA RUNA

ashton russell If you’re a fan of R&B, trap, or dance, Ashton Russell’s going to be right up your street as he mixes the trio to give us his distinctive sound. From becoming a gymnast at the age of six to winning Britain’s Got Talent as part of the Diversity dance collective, the upcoming singer is multi-talented. Ashton’s past releases demonstrate multiple sides of him, and for those who dislike Valentine’s day, Ashton’s ‘Not A Love Song’ is ideal. It feels as if Ashton was born to be in the dance industry and now, he’s here to prove that he should have a place in the music industry too. JADE DADALICA

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josie man Josie Man comes hailing - or I prefer shining - from sunny Orpington via tropical Hong Kong. Filling our ears with ethereal pop songs to dance to, do your shopping to or cry in bed to, the soft-sounding sweetheart’s pensive pop is palatable at any occasion. Josie made a sparkling entrance from her dream world into our ears in 2019 with single ‘Colours’ - highlighting what it’s like to grow up a little different in a little town. ‘Colours’ was followed by a five song EP in 2020 titled ‘aLOVINGboothang’ released on Columbia Records. LDN are excited to see what else this ball of love has to offer the world. JOH N NY FRY

fools on parade The four rockstar boys from a small town in Latvia are about to knock your roof off in 2021. Their passionate love for music unites them and their fans are lucky enough to experience the craziest parties of their life. Influenced by Foo Fighters, Nothing But Thieves and Arctic Monkeys, they are full of energy and unstoppable while smashing drums, screaming with passion and showing off their guitar skills. After winning the New Music Parade award and being featured on multiple Latvian radio channels, they are teasing another big project to release this year. AN NA RUNA

girl in red Already breaking into the TikTok scene with ‘we fell in love in october’ and ‘girls’, girl in red’s music is now a new way to communicate with sapphic women. “Do you listen to girl in red?” has been the LBGTQ+ community’s little inside joke for almost a year now. However, indie pop phenomenon girl in red is now ready for world domination. Dubbed as “queer icon” by Paper and as a “phenomenon” by the New York Times, you are truly missing out if you haven’t given girlinred a listen. Making most of her music in her bedroom as Billie Eilish, she gathered over seven million monthly listeners on Spotify. Time to check it out! FLOOR JANSE N


Caro released their first tracks in 2016, pairing alternative rock tracks with gorgeously artistic single artworks. The Leeds trio have been deemed as one of the ‘most exciting new bands in the country’ by Gigwise, and shared their first album ‘Burrows’ in 2020. ‘Fall Apart’ shares the experiences of overthinking, anxiety, and being ‘ready to fall apart.’ Calming whispered lyrics and sugary sweet guitar lines create the a false sense of security, before throwing the audience into exponentially more established choruses. Caro have integrated hypnotising melodies into their main guitar melodies, creating an iconic and extremely hard-to-imitate sound. Bethan Mccon n ell

bull Bull were initially formed in 2011, despite their earliest music online only being uploaded last year. The band went through an emotional reboot, and started afresh last year, with easy-listening style of artistic rock. Bull are clearly influenced by bands like Pavement and Pixies, with their pedal-fuelled guitar melodies reminiscent of albums like ‘Brighten the Corners: Nicene Creedence Ed.’ Bethan Mccon n ell

olivia rodrigo It has only been a few weeks since we’ve entered 2021, but it already seems clear who is going to be the star of this year. Following her starring role in High School Musical: The Series, Olivia Rodrigo came guns-a-blazing in every existing chart out there with her debut single ‘drivers license’. The 18-year-old pop singer is destined to have a great year, after a hell of a start. From Taylor Swift to Niall Horan – everyone is waiting for her next move. There is no doubt that we will hear very great things from here in the near future. FLOOR JANSE N

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maisie peters Emo-girl-pop has us crying, laughing and channelling our inner feminist, and its creator Maisie Peters is no different. Bursting onto the scene with a blast of colour and emotion in 2017 with her debut single ‘Place We Were Made’, Maisie has been making waves and climbing to the top ever since. Two EPs later she has us all hanging on the edge of our seat for her debut album. For fans of folklore era Taylor Swift and Gabrielle Aplin, Maisie is one to watch in 2021. She blends girl power with her complex emotional lyrics seamlessly and her fans of all ages are hanging on the edge for more. em ily cliff

the old pink house

The self defined ‘cosmic pop’ band don’t fit into any other genre, combining space-age synth refrains and poignant bass lines to form an otherworldly sound. Their most recent EP ‘Expectations’ was released in 2018, featuring their fan favourite tracks ‘Fever Dreamer’ and ‘Silver Cadillac’. Their talents have resulted in shows alongside the likes of Manic Street Preachers, The Cribs and Anteros. The Old Pink House deliver an air of enthusiastic nonchalance at their live shows, perhaps unaware of the mark they are leaving on the North East’s music scene. Led by frontman Chris Brown, The Old Pink House have produced banger after banger, sticking to their roots and maintaining their independent sound. Bethan Mccon n ell


SAULT first released music online in 2019, and since then have released four studio albums. Featuring the tagline ‘Add a little SAULT to your life,’ the RnB collective were presented as an anonymous artist, their identities shrouded in secrecy. Their releases integrate and make use of a range of genres, with emphatic and poignant lyrics in tracks such as ‘X’ and ‘Out The Lies’. Their lyrics surround social issues, like police brutality, oppression and fighting back against the system. Their tracks have featured the Mercury Prize winner Michael Kiwanuka, and vocalist Cleo Sol. Bethan Mccon n ell

20 / what to watch



hat would have happened if four of the prominent personalities of the black community of the 60s had all met together for one night, discussing tolerance, faith, passions? Regina King responded with her debut film ‘One Night in Miami’, written by Kemp Powers. A sort of what-if

film starring Malcolm X, Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown, reunited in a dialogue as much fun as touching, but above all source of deep reflections. Prominent figures in American history, close friends in a small hotel room in Miami, and the rest of the world locked out.

Wan Wan davision davision W

andaVision’, the first big Marvel Studios series, works because it’s the opposite of what you might imagine. At the same time, however, it is well anchored to the stylistic and narrative canons that have made the Marvel Cinematic Universe the largest container of intertwined stories that cinema remembers. Indeed, showrunner Jac Schaeffer refers to the many sitcoms that have made the fortune of the small American screen. We also have the terraced houses, the intrusive neighbour, the apple pie in the oven and the half-sleeved shirts in the office. With the


only exception that, in this case, the protagonists, we know well, are two superheroes: Vision and Wanda Maximoff, played by Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen, who demonstrate a remarkable and strong comic talent. And then some questions arise: what are they doing in the Fifties? And above all, how is it possible that Vision is still alive after being killed by Thanos in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’? Did we miss an important passage, or is it all in Wanda’s mind?

what to play / 21

gam es Words: olly alex ch ilds, An na runa


o here we are at the end of the World of Assassins trilogy, five years on from IO Interactive’s first release of the series. Just like it’s predecessors Hitman 3 is just as rich in plot as it is goofy (you can assassinate a man with a banana), its this blend that makes the games memorable and gives it probably the most important thing for a game: replayability. As the infamous Agent 47 you

rust rust E

ven though earlyreleased in 2013, Rust has been having the same “Among Us” surge in popularity and has broken the Steam gaming market. Being the most viewed game on Twitch at the moment it has brought together gamers from all around the world and we get the honour to experience how our favourite streamers cope with other strong personalities from the same field. The game is originally designed as survival, but Abe (@BaboAbe on Twitch) has caused

a cultural revolution, creating a new world of community servers for his gamer friends where the priority is to build a society and have a good time. Creators are using it as an entertainment platform where to virtually role-play and build great content. Police sheriffs, gambling addicts, priests, mayors, waste management, hotel managers and journalists are only the tip of the iceberg of what has been happening in the world of Rust.

continue what you had started in the first game while uncovering 47’s past before he joined the ICA and while the story comes to the perfect conclusion one can’t help to feel like this is just a reskinned Hitman 2 though it is understandable as there really isn’t much to add to the formule. That being said the second level in the game has to be the best level in any Hitman game, most likely inspired by the film Knives Out, 47 finds himself in a stately home trying to solve a murder mystery.

22 / ALBUM REVI EWS Edited by Doug Phillips

ARLO PARKS collapse d i n sun beams Arlo Parks is a name that, if you listen to the radio, you have definitely heard before. The west Londoner released her highly anticipated debut album ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ on the January 29. Prior to this, she had already released seven singles for the album - which is why the album’s tracklist didn’t hold many surprises, nonetheless it received lots of well-deserved attention. ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’ is a soulful, retro record, laced with influences of R&B and hip-hop. The album starts off with a 55-second spoken word section, which immediately shows the listener the poetic side of Arlo, and boy, is she good at that. When Arlo speaks her mind, she is not afraid to tackle difficult topics such as struggles with unrequited love, and depression, as heard on tracks like ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Hurt’. It’s because of this that she has already been hailed as a voice of a generation. When describing the record, it feels incredibly nostalgic, like your teenage years, where every little inconvenience feels like the end of the world. Which might not be far off as Arlo is just 20 years old herself. This record brings comfort, like a sunny Sunday morning, just what we need in these times. So if you feel like you need a little light, listen to ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ and it will be alright.


m egan hofman

Ever since the provocative ‘Sports’ music video release in 2018, the zealous Swedish get-up, Viagra Boys, should be consumed with care - with the brace you would handle a bony filet of fish on the end of a rusty fork. The way you would take great caution in navigating your daughter dating a dude in a band called ‘Viagra Boys’. The distressed post-punk - Mark E Smith-enthusiastic band have hit back hard with full album, ‘Welfare Jazz’. Even the title evokes political distrust. The album is seeded with selfindulgence by the narcissistic roar of the opening track ‘Ain’t Nice’, providing a signifier of the uncourteous horrors to come. The hedonism continues throughout, reaching climax with ‘Girls And Boys’ unnerving brassy horns moan over angsty platitudes coming from dad-bod frontman Benjamin Vallé’s slurring mouth. Viagra Boys are a band to be excited about among a growing post-punk scene that can be forecasted to blossom through the social hardship, inconsistent norms and political unease of our world today. JOH N NY FRY

viagra boys we lfare jazz

as h n i kko de m i devi l Ashnikko’s pop-natured hip-hop mixtape, DEMIDEVIL features all of the wit, cheekiness and fun you’d expect if you were familiar with any of her previous works. The rising North Carolina native has begun to hone her skills as a songwriter, singer and rapper here in London. Innovative and creative production makes her already-versatile voice a formidable and fundamental device in this mixtape, as it’s her melodies and performances that contribute the most unique and satisfying moments in it. Ashnikko never thinks twice about her hilariously unsubtle lyrics addressing sex, feminism and her own emotions, and I hope she never does. doug ph illips

bicep isles

we e z e r ok h uman The last thing you’d expect when going into the new Weezer album is to be greeted by an orchestral string section, so you can imagine LDN’s surprise when that was exactly how ‘OK Human’ went down. This orchestra-fuelled album might be one of Weezer’s best in years. The lyrics in opening track ‘All My Favourite Songs’ are just as angsty as any of their classics. The best part of the album is its effective introduction from the next three songs, each one ending and blending into the next, which is any seasoned artist’s way of showing off. oliver ch ilds

Bicep’s latest album, ‘Isles’, feels like the Belfast duo took the easy way out. ‘Isles’ does not build on the psychedelic, expansive, deep-house sounds heard on their self-titled debut in 2017. While the standout singles ‘Apricots’ and ‘Atlas’ pushed the boat out creatively, the rest of the album feels like it’s been done before, with uncreative sampling, repetitive drum rhythms and glitchy synth leads. Sitting at 49 minutes, this album, or even each track, could do with some shortening. A bold and creative effort, yet after a three and a half year wait, it didn’t fulfil expectations. thomas-bradley riseley

Photos: Evan Vucci / AP ; Patrick Semansky / Pool; Drew Angerer/ Getty Images

24 / live revi ew

Presi de nt

Bi de n's

I nauguration JAN UARY 20, 2021 Words: thomas - Bradey Riseley


resi de nt Joe Biden’s inauguration will be one for the history books for several reasons. There were no supporters in attendance and instead 200,000 American flags were laid on the Mall of Capitol Hill. Former President Trump did not attend and instead had a State Military Parade which he awarded to himself at a nearby military facility where he promised “we will see you soon”. Up to 25,000 National Guard soldiers were in attendance to protect the ceremony and celebration of democracy, to make sure that there would not be another attempt at an insurrection, as happened just a few days earlier. The number of soldiers was more than the combined total of US troops in Afghanistan, Iran and Syria. Former Presidents in attendance Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W Bush all seemed to enjoy themselves and had a resonating sense of relief seeing Joe Biden being sworn in. Jimmy Carter would’ve been in attendance, but it was deemed not safe enough for the 96-year-old in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Each invited guest and presidential member was walked out from the main building to music of their own choice played by the Marine Corps Band. Joe Biden was introduced to the patriotic classic ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’. Lady Gaga’s elegant outfit was understated and humble by her standards. Her performance of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ was not. She opened her lungs and provided a spectacular, passionate performance of the song that is synonymous with all Americans. She made her country and her new President proud. Jennifer Lopez’ performance matched Gaga’s level. Singing a blend of Woody Guthrie’s folk anthem ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and ‘America The Beautiful’ with an impromptu ad-lib speech in Spanish which was undoubtedly cherished by millions of Americans.

Biden and Harris participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Virginia.

Garth Brooks followed Lopez with the more acoustic and heart-felt cover of ‘Amazing Grace’. The greatest selling country singer of all time might have lost a significant amount of fans for performing at a Democrats’ inauguration which makes his gesture more appreciated even if it wasn’t as powerful or demanding as the previous two performances. Before the second verse started, he invited all at the inauguration and all those viewing at home to sing along, cementing the new President’s message of unity and togetherness. The surprise real star of the show was the young poet laureate Amanda Gorman who read her moving poem ‘The Hill We Climb’. Using clever wordplay and reverse rhyme schemes she highlighted her own struggles with a speech impediment at a young age, much like the new President had with stammering in his youth. Gorman mentioned the insurrection attempt from January 6 as well as tipping a hat to having the first woman, and a woman of colour, appointed to Office, Kamala Harris. Gorman’s poem aligned with

Amanda Gorman, the US’s first-ever Youth Poet Laureate, delivered a message of resilience. “We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.”

the theme of unity over division and to make America a great country for all Americans. “We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colours, characters and conditions of man,” she said. “We seek harm to none and harmony for all.”. This inauguration was, with the exception of no supporters, one that followed the tradition while bringing the event tup-to-date. It was the first time in over 150 years that the losing candidate did not attend so the usual protocol had to be taken up by Senator Mike Pence. To have two women perform,

Lady Gaga sings the national anthem in front of Mike Pence.

one singing the national anthem and one of them being one of the most influential Latin-American artists of all time, signifies the unity Joe Biden’s presidency will represent and are significant steps in the direction Biden wants to take the USA. While the performances were stunning and brought across a day of hope and optimism, time will tell if Joe Biden can unify a split nation. There is still a long way to go, but this is a huge step forward. Openly discussing racial inequality and police brutality at your own inauguration is brave, but actions will speak louder than words.

26 / opi n ion pi ece

Is Th e Te rm

Gamer Girl

Too Sexist To Be Reclai m e d? Words/photography: M io Farre n de n


he phrase ‘Gamer Girl’ is allocated to any femalepresenting gamer that meets specific and, in all honesty, rather sexist criteria. For the past two decades it’s been massively popularised within the gaming industry, with merchandise, products and advertising directing themselves to the Gamer Girl. The term itself and the aesthetic it accompanies isn’t in itself sexist, but how we choose to stereotype and allocate it to people, however, could certainly do with some consideration. The type of things you may see in the stereotypical Gamer Girl setup include cat-ear headphones, a pink or ‘kawaii’ (Japanese word for cute) themed chair, Pusheen merch, and anything else that anyone would agree is cute. These aren’t bad things to have (I own some myself) but attached to this term is the idea that these people aren’t “true gamers”. It doesn’t matter if you play a shooter professionally, if you’re seen with ears and whiskers, you are now a Gamer Girl and don’t really like games. There’s clearly a lot to unpack here. First, there’s this idea that the term is only applicable to female-presenting people. This also includes the fact that adding ‘girl’ to the end of ‘gamer’ intensifies the gap between men and women; this is not okay.

Another is that this term is rarely self-identified first. Most of the time, ‘Gamer Girl’ is allocated by those who see the person. Finally, there’s the diagnostic that comes with the title that they are ‘not real gamers’. Although there’s no exact date for when this term became popular, the first female competitive gamer, Doris Self, entered her first VGM (Video Games Masters) tournament in 1983. So at the very least these stereotypes have likely existed since around then. The fact that there are problems with this term isn’t entirely bad as long as we can rectify them. Starting with the more sexist and exclusionary issue with ‘Gamer Girl’, gender is just an aesthetic. Anything to do with femme clothing, decorating, acting, and just generally presenting, is an aesthetic. That makes the idea of a Gamer Girl just as much so. If you like the aesthetic that goes with Gamer Girl and you want to have that title, it’s yours. No title should be policed to simply one gender identity and Gamer Girl is no different. And, since Gamer Girl is just an aesthetic, it cannot be used as a way to separate male and female gamers. This leads us to my next point: a Gamer Girl is something you choose to be. If you have a completely pink set up and cutesy room but you don’t want to be

labelled as a Gamer Girl, then you’re not a Gamer Girl. You’re a gamer. If you want to be a Gamer Girl but don’t have the setup, you’re a Gamer Girl. According to statistics, 46% of gamers are women, though I’m not sure my Mum who plays Candy Crush on her phone would want to be called a Gamer Girl… Everyone should have the ability to label themselves if that is what they want. Lastly, we have the very insulting assumption that Gamer Girls aren’t real gamers. This isn’t entirely connected to Gamer Girls so I’m going to start with a statement I’ve already mentioned: you can self-identify as a gamer. It doesn’t matter how much you game or how you do it, as long as you love the game(s) you play, you can be a gamer. So anyone who is also a Gamer Girl is definitely a real gamer.

some of my favourite Gamer-Girl Instagrams: @NINTENDO.GRL @OHAYOUKITTEN @JULIAA.SAKURA @GAMING.AND.CUTE

''Gam e r Gi rl is an aesth etic, it can not be use d as a way to se parate any gam e r from anoth e r.''


he phrase ‘Gamer Girl’ is allocated to any femalepresenting gamer that meets specific and, in all honesty, rather sexist criteria. For the past two decades it’s been massively popularised within the gaming industry, with merchandise, products and advertising directing themselves to the Gamer Girl. The term itself and the aesthetic it accompanies isn’t in itself sexist, but how we choose to stereotype and allocate it to people, however, could certainly do with some consideration. The type of things you may see in the stereotypical Gamer Girl setup include cat-ear headphones, a pink or ‘kawaii’ (Japanese word for cute) themed chair, Pusheen merch, and anything else that

Shitbats 28 / ldn m e ets...

"With an album li ke th is, you ki n d of have to h ear it live."

At the end of 2020 we found out about Shitbats, comprised of vocalist Cat “Shit Commander” Clyde backed up by bassist Mitch “Fair Squire” Decaire, drummer Strummer “Troll Smasher” Jasson, and guitarist Dan “Cyclops Tamer” Serre. Whether that name attracts you or not, the goth-garagepunk four-piece’s new album ‘Guano’ is worth a listen. Clyde and Jasson take off their eye patches and reveal more… Words: Conor Sharkey GLACKIN

HOW DID THE NAME SHITBATS COME ABOUT? Strummer: “We were just hanging out with some friends and they asked what music to put on. I just said, ‘Put on the Shitbats,’ they looked it up and didn’t exist. So I thought that was a good band name and we went with that.” HOW DID YOU ALL COME TOGETHER AS A BAND? Strummer: “We all went to school together, but originally we had a different singer. Then Cat asked if she could do some songs with us, because she saw us play. And then I just said, ‘You should do all the songs.’ We kicked out the old singer and got her in, and it was great.” CAT, YOU’RE KNOWN AS THE “SHIT COMMANDER”. WHAT RESPONSIBILITIES DOES THAT JOB ENTAIL? Cat: “I’ve got to call the shots. I’ve got to make sure the wheels are turning, the cars can drive and the food is eaten. Things like that.” WHAT’S YOUR ROLE IN THE BAND, STRUMMER? Strummer: “I mix the pot. I make sure all the ingredients are there and make sure everyone’s putting in the right stuff and the right amount, putting it all together.” WHO WOULD YOU SAY YOUR MAJOR INFLUENCES ARE? Strummer: “I think everyone just kind of brings their own taste. The guitar player [Dan Serre] is super into metal, the bass player [Mitch Decaire] is super into groovy stuff. So, you know, someone brings a riff and then everyone adds their

own flavour too. I think we all kind of listen to different stuff.” HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE PUNK SCENE IN CANADA? Strummer: “It feels alive and well in the likes of Montreal, but in and around Toronto, there’s not too much going on. We formed in London and all the venues we used to play there are closed.” YOU MUST BE EAGER TO PLAY LIVE SHOWS AGAIN? Cat: “Yeah, we’re really looking forward to that and putting out the energy. I think the energy of the collective society right now is pretty buzzing and hypedup. I just hope they’re ready for the Shitbats.” IN YOUR PROMO IMAGES YOU’RE ALL WEARING EYEPATCHES, IS THERE ANY SPECIFIC REASONING OR SYMBOLISM ATTACHED TO THAT STYLISTIC CHOICE? Strummer: “We always like dressing up or painting our faces for live shows, or photoshoots. If we’re going to put on a show, might as well put out some weird shit for it.” COULD YOU TALK ABOUT THE PROCESS OF MAKING YOUR DEBUT ALBUM, ‘GUANO’? DID COVID-19 IMPACT ITS MAKING IN ANY WAY? Strummer: “We’ve been a band for a few years [since 2014], we just never really got around to recording, but we always wanted to. So we just got together and said let’s just do it. Fuck it, who cares? So, we just kind of scrapped all our old songs and wrote a

whole new album. And then the other two members of the band just came up to our little studio here [Secondprize Studio] and we recorded in the dead of winter for five days with no heat, and it was very cold. We pumped out the record really quick. In terms of Covid, it gave us the time to put it out how we wanted and put everything together properly. The only thing we’re missing is playing live shows. I think with an album like this, you kind of have to hear it live.” Cat: “Everything we do is kind of like that, it’s always last-minute, on the edge. Like, oh, we have this idea, let’s do it. And I think recording the album was very much like that. Covid and everything gave us time to actually, stop and be like, okay, let’s put all our things together and really push it out proper. So that was good.” WHAT CAN NEWCOMERS EXPECT WHEN THEY SEE SHITBATS LIVE FOR THE FIRST TIME? Strummer: “We just want to put on a show full of theatrical, tall tales with movement and interpretive dance.” CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE YOU IN THE UK, ONCE IT’S SAFE TO DO SO? Cat: “We don’t really have anything planned right now just because of the whole pandemic but I think in the near future would really love to come to UK and really love to do a real tour and play a bunch of shows and get real greasy.”

‘Guano’ is out now via Secondprize Records. See www.shitbats.com for info.




eed an easy pattern to try out your knitting skills? BIMM’s very own Academic Administrator for MA Postgraduates, Sherelle (@strings_sings) will help you get in the loop with this ‘throwing the horns’ coffee cozy design specially created for LDN. Words/photography: sh e re lle ke lle h e r

SIZE: Approximately 12 x 11 cm laid flat. leve l: Beginner mate rials: Any DK yarn in a colour you like! Works especially well with colour changing/rainbow yarns. 3mm circular or straight knitting needles, tapestry needle for seaming and sewing in ends. gauge: 5 stitches and 8 rows in Reverse Stockinette (Purl) stitch. Design e r's notes: Don’t worry too much about achieving the exact gauge for this pattern. It has a nice, stretchy border and none of my testers officially made a test swatch (don’t tell anyone ) This is knit back and forth using a combination of knit and purl stitches to form ‘the horns’. The border is a simple k1, p1 rib. Once completed and blocked with ends weaved in, the cozy is seamed together using mattress stitch. Have fun!

Stitch Glossary:

CO = Cast On St(s) = Stitch(es) K = Knit P = Purl Rep = Repeat BO = Bind Off

get creative / 31


CO: 50 sts with dk yarn and 3mm needles Rows 1-4: (K1, p1) × 25. (50 sts) Row 5: Purl Row 6: K11, p8, k15, p8, k8 Row 7: P8, k8, p15, k8, p11 Row 8: K10, p10, k13, p10, k7 Row 9: P7, k11, p12, k11, p9 Row 10: K9, p11, k12, p11, k7 Row 11: P7, k12, p11, k12, p8 Row 12: K8, p13, k10, p13, k6 Row 13: P6, k14, p9, k14, p7 Row 14: K6, p15, k8, p15, k6 Row 15: P6, k10, p1, k4, p8, k10, p1, k4, p6 Row 16: K7, p2, k2, p10, k9, p2, k2, p10, k6 Row 17: P6, k4, p2, k4, p13, k4, p2, k4, p11 Row 18: K11, p3, k4, p3, k13, p3, k4, p3, k6 Row 19: P6, k3, p4, k3, p13, k3, p4, k3, p11 Rows 20-23: Rep rows 18 - 19 Row 24: Rep row 18. Row 25: P7, k1, p5, k3, p14, k1, p5, k3, p11 Row 26: K11, p3, k20, p3, k13 Row 27: P13, k3, p20, k3, p11 Row 28: K12, p1, k22, p1, k14 Row 29: Purl. Rows 30-33: (K1, p1) × 25 BO: All sts. Join edges using mattress stitch


t r u o C c Lucy M

Good Vi brations For our chosen charity this issue we’d like to introduce you all to Lucy McCourt, creator of Vibe Excel. Lucy is best known for her work on removing acts from festival posters to show how many female artists are playing and her work with Vibe Excel is to make the music industry a more safer and equal place for all as well as making a musical career more accessible. Words: Dan i Wi llgress


hile spending time scrolling through social media you may have seen the viral post removing all bands without a woman or gender minority member from music festival line ups, including Reading and Leeds music festivals, the results are pretty startling. The creator of these posts, Lucy McCourt, has taken it upon herself to try to reduce the gender imbalance in these line-ups as well as in the industry in general. “I didn’t just want to highlight the issues without actively trying to change them. Putting practical solutions in place was important to me from the moment I realised I had the platform and contacts to do so.” Recently Lucy has launched two major projects trying to tackle these issues as well as women’s safety at shows. She started with ‘Artists Against Harassment’ (#NotAtMyGig) a movement aimed at encouraging band’s and artists to speak out about sexual assault and harassment at music events. Branching from this is Lucy’s latest project ‘Vibe Excel’ aimed at providing musical instruments for young womxn and gender minorities to help them access a musical career. “They need that extra push and positive role models to show them that it is possible. The more girls and gender minority kids we can encourage to take up an instrument or show interest in the industry is amazing!” It’s hard to deny the fact that there are still issues with a gender bias in the music industry. “We need to diversify every sector of the industry, we need more women and gender minorities in positions of power who can then ensure that the imbalance is being tackled.” Despite the issue being rather glaringly obvious there is still a stigma around talking about these subjects. “I don’t doubt for a second that I have ruined many possible working relationships for myself,” Lucy says, “A lot of the industry are still trying to pretend that gender-based discrimination isn’t an issue.”

To support Lucy’s amazing projects please follow @artists_against_harassment and @vibe_excel_ charity on Instagram to find out more about this important work set to shape the music industry.

34 / se lf-care

the therapy


When you’re in lockdown there tends to be a certain madness about staring at the same four walls day in, day out. There's no better tonic than getting out into the fresh air. WORDS / photography: E M I LY CLI FF

“Exercise has a range of benefits, and it’s as simple as going for a walk.”


gets to the point where you can play a drinking game during the midday news, taking a shot every time a politician says, ‘unprecedented’ or ‘national effort’. But when you get tired of the same four walls, when you’ve baked enough bread to put Warburtons out of business and when you’ve officially watched all of Netflix, you should try going on a lovely self-care therapy walk. One thing Mr Boris hasn’t taken away from us this time is unlimited exercise outdoors with one person outside of your household. If you are anything like me, the only

type of exercise you have done this past month has been running to the fridge to make sure no one has stolen your left-over Domino’s. Exercise has a range of benefits (which you’re probably tired of hearing about on your wellness check-ups) but it doesn’t have to be going for a run or miraculously turning into a gym lad overnight. It can be as simple as going for a walk. So call up or text that friend you haven’t seen in a while and go on a socially-distanced therapy walk. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel afterwards. Use this

time to talk to chat with someone who isn’t pretending to be HMRC, selling you life insurance, or a family member or pet eyeing up your freshly made sausage sandwiches, and get some things off your chest, because sometimes communicating over Zoom just doesn’t cut it. Go on your walk with purpose, and who knows you might even get something tasty out of it at the end if a local farm cafe or similar is open for takeaway. Enjoy the fresh air and feel refreshed and happy when you get back.













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SAFE AND SOUND music and culture, curated by creative women


Profile for LDN Magazine

LDN Music Magazine, February/March 2021  

Music, arts, culture and more in this free magazine made by media students from BIMM Institute, London, and beyond. In this issue we celebra...

LDN Music Magazine, February/March 2021  

Music, arts, culture and more in this free magazine made by media students from BIMM Institute, London, and beyond. In this issue we celebra...