Five on it image: cover art for new podcast, On Wednesdays We Wear Black
Ciao! Au revoir! Auf wiedersehn! Sayonara – and goodbye to the Trump era. This week’s inauguration of the new United States president Joe Biden and Madam VP Kamala Harris has been a salve on the blight of the past four years and a reprieve to the world’s current Covid-19 hardship. However, the tears, dancing and tangible joy were replaced by an empty National Mall at the US Capitol – a human void in the face of celebration. It reminded me of how much I miss gigs and the overfamiliar sweaty press of being in a crowd totally immersed in a moment.
Music plays an important role in soundtracking memorable chapters of our lives – especially in our youth, something which I was reminded of this week with the release of new podcast On Wednesdays We Wear Black. Hosted by Kerrang! Radio’s Sophie K and fellow journalists Alyx Holcombe and Yasmine Summan, the show emphatically celebrates alternative subculture and gives diverse visibility to a genre of music that has traditionally been dominated by cis white men.
“As a rock and metal emo kid in my teens who loved live music, I simply would have killed for a show where people who looked like me talked about gigs and a music scene”
As a rock and metal emo kid in my teens who loved live music, I simply would have killed for a show where people who looked like me talked about gigs and a music scene. Especially one I was not only nerdy about, but one that has predominantly snubbed marginalised genders, people of colour and the LGBTQI+ community.
Publicly celebrating minorities in such an homogenous space is important, whether it be in media or onstage. Hearing the opinions of the aforementioned hosts or discovering Black femme rock acts like Nova Twins would have been indisputably validating at the age of 13.
Music – and especially live music – is about the primal thrill of community and unity in the support of one singular love. Nothing is as euphoric as screaming the chorus of your favourite song by your favourite band with a few thousand other devotees! It’s in those moments where you know you’ve found your family of choice – even though you’ll likely never see them again. I know I miss those moments with a passion.
And now, here’s your Five on it.
Dolapo, Ms Banks, Oxlade – ‘Interest’
Rising star Dolapo is back with her first single of the year and it is, frankly, a bop. Teaming up with Oxlade and the ever-impressive Ms Banks, ‘Interest’ is propelled by a compulsive, Afroswing rhythm and is as hip-wriggling as they come.
Kara Marni – ‘Trippin’’
Pause on the second-guessing, for your ears do not deceive you – that is the hook from Amerie’s smash ‘1 Thing’. Back for a 2021 flip by UK talent Kara Marni, this reimagining dials down big pop sentimentalities for a slicker, more sultry vibe.
CHAI – ‘Action’
Written in response to the Black Lives Matter protests, bassist YUUKI found herself moved by how the world came together in support of the cause. Given the fun pop sound, you’d be forgiven for thinking CHAI’s latest would be at home soundtracking a 2k7 indie disco. If you remember CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy – who were also signed to Sub Pop), then you’ll love this Japanese band.
Cariss Auburn – ‘Float’
Wolverhampton talent Cariss Auburn is DIY in its purest form. A self-taught singer-songwriter and producer with a myriad of influences from Mary J. Blige and Destiny’s Child to Arcade Fire, ‘Float’ is a smooth fusion of Y2K pop-meets-R&B with a twist of mystique à la FKA Twigs.
Grove – ‘Ur Boyfriend’s Wack’
Going hard with the drum and bass beats and the blunt aggression of the icy end of hyperpop, Grove’s music is unforgiving and confrontational. Taken from the forthcoming EP QUEER+BLACK, the track is a self-reflective satirical wink at the Bristol artist’s gender fluidity and patriarchy at its basic worst.
You can follow gal-dem’s Five on it playlist on Spotify: