wears the trousers magazine

interrupting yr broadcast: dum dum girls
February 26, 2010, 2:34 pm
Filed under: feature, interrupting yr broadcast | Tags: , ,

This week marks the UK live debut of SoCal’s Dum Dum Girls, the solo project turned all-girl outfit fronted by Kristin Gundred – or Dee Dee as she’d prefer to be known – and “of course!” she’s excited to be hitting our shores, despite an earlier propensity for crippling stage fright. The moniker, which she adopted from the beginning of the Dum Dum Girls journey, is part of a semi-persona created to protect a rather shy individual from the on-display world of musicianship and ever-peering fandom. Her early online presence was marked by a desire to remain anonymous, and the very few pictures that surfaced made sure to obscure some of her face, a romantic, partial aloofness that gave her dreamy, lo-fi-ish punk a coveted, secretive aura.

Continue reading

interrupting yr broadcast: dessa

If you didn’t catch Dessa’s song ‘Dixon’s Girl’ in our December batch of Free Music Friday giveaways, you are strongly urged to get on the case. Even better, though, would be hunting down a copy of her recently released debut album, A Badly Broken Code [review], which came out in January on independent hip hop label Rhymesayers. It’s a layered, searingly honest debut filled with the kind of poetic wordplay you’d expect to find in works of literature, which is really no surprise since Dessa is both a published author and slam poetry victor. She’s currently on tour in the US with fellow Doomtree crew member P.O.S., but spoke with us in between shows about everything from gender dynamics in hip hop and the growing pains that come with earning touring spurs, to her recent fascination with Brits winner Florence Welch and a desire to perform over here in the UK; an offer we simply shouldn’t refuse.

Continue reading

re:generation #7: martha & the muffins
February 23, 2010, 8:20 am
Filed under: feature, special | Tags: , , , ,

re:generation #7: martha & the muffins

Re:Generation is a monthly column about yesterday’s heroines today, revisiting some of the women who have helped map out musical history but have since, for one reason or another, fallen out of the spotlight. Over the coming months, Wears The Trousers will be speaking to these influential figures as they make their way back into the public sphere. For our seventh piece, Val Phoenix speaks to Martha Johnson, singer and keyboardist for Martha & The Muffins.

Continue reading

interrupting yr broadcast: gaggle
February 22, 2010, 11:41 am
Filed under: feature, interrupting yr broadcast | Tags: , , ,

As a choir of 22 women dressed in tribalistic coloured robes singing anthemic, assertive, multilayered choral harmonies about love and loss, getting drunk and being a woman in a male-dominated world, Gaggle is certainly not something you see every day. Wears The Trousers sat down with Deborah Coughlin, formerly of 586 and Gaggle’s founder and leader, in the George Tavern in London’s East End (the “spiritual home” and rehearsal space of Gaggle) to ask her what it’s all about. The majority of the other members, flushed with delight after another epic rehearsal, joined us over a few beers and chipped in as we went along.

Continue reading

interrupting yr broadcast: jesca hoop
February 17, 2010, 2:02 pm
Filed under: feature, interrupting yr broadcast | Tags: , , ,

“Are you from She Wears The Pants?” asks Jesca Hoop when I arrive to interview her at Glasgow’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy. For an artist who has recently moved from Los Angeles to Manchester, maybe language nuances are something that she’s still getting used to. Despite this initial mix up, her transition has been otherwise smooth and Hoop does not seem to be the fish out of water that I was expecting. Huddling against the draught in a large green faux-fur collared coat in Sleazy’s tiny office cum storeroom, she looks tired but focused. She’s part way through a 21-date tour building on the enviable critical response to her second album, Hunting My Dress, a record that defies simple description and provokes curiosity about her intriguing background.

Continue reading

words in edgeways with laura veirs
February 11, 2010, 2:01 pm
Filed under: feature, words in edgeways | Tags: , , ,

“Playing in here could turn me into a religious woman!” Laura Veirs jokes from the stage of the majestic Union Chapel in north London. It’s the last UK show of her tour to promote her seventh and, in the eyes of many critics, best album, July Flame. It’s a fine venue with, naturally, incredible acoustics and imposing architecture. And, tonight at least, it’s really cold. Lip-numbingly cold. The entire audience is clad in hats and scarves; they’re even selling hot drinks alongside the merch table in the foyer. For this entire leg of the tour Laura and her band have been travelling through a country in the grip of its biggest freeze for a hell of a long time. In stark contrast the album she’s showcasing every night on stage evokes a totally different atmosphere. Taking its name from a variety of peach, the album serves as a springboard into a sultry, sun-saturated world full of the magic of midsummer: Will o’ the Wisp, fireflies, Chinese lanterns and heady, sweltering nights. It’s joyous.

Continue reading

voice on the verge #46: katey brooks
February 11, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: feature, voice on the verge | Tags: , , ,

voice on the verge #46: katey brooks

visit Katey on Myspace

Katey Brooks just keeps on impressing us. First it was with her True Speaker EP way back in 2006, its deep, soulful beauty confirmed by a performance at one of our live showcases; then came her contribution to Beautiful Star, the Wears The Trousers tribute to Odetta, for which she turned in a stunning a cappella version of ‘What A Friend We Have’; and now she’s set to do it all over again with Proof Of Life, an album that’s all her own. Released through her own label True Speaker Records at the end of the month, it finds the Bristol-based singer-songwriter exploring all the quirks of what it means to be human in that husky authoritative voice which never fails to capture our attention.

It seemed a little ridiculous that we hadn’t already done an introductory feature on Katey so we belatedly sent her our trusty questionnaire. In return we discovered why she’s embarrassed by Westlife and a certain hairstyle, and how an inadvertent CD mix-up could have gone horribly wrong…

Continue reading

words in edgeways with allison moorer
February 10, 2010, 2:54 pm
Filed under: feature, words in edgeways | Tags: , , ,

Released this week, Allison Moorer’s seventh studio album Crows finds the Alabama-born singer-songwriter in rejuvenated form, turning in a thematically rich set of songs that take her into a sonic space she hasn’t really explored before. Produced once more by Nashville producer R.S. Field, who helmed her stately 2002 release Miss Fortune and contributed to its follow-up The Duel, Crows is a classy collection that, at its very best, exudes reflective Southern soul and a sensual grace that mainstream country artists just can’t rival. Wears The Trousers caught up with Allison over email recently to find out more…

Continue reading

voice on the verge #45: the langley sisters
February 7, 2010, 11:31 am
Filed under: feature, voice on the verge | Tags: , , ,

voice on the verge #45: the langley sisters

visit The Langley Sisters on Myspace

With The Ditty Bops, The Puppini Sisters, The Good Lovelies and now The Langley Sisters, there’s no shortage of ladies breathing new life into the nostalgia-driven league of close-harmony vocal groups with a hip-swaying surety. What’s more, behind the bright costumes and hairpinned coiffures, these women are all accomplished musicians and songwriters. London trio The Langley Sisters may not have the striking androgynous visuals or eco-warrior aspect of The Ditty Bops, or the unbridled wink-wink cheek of The Puppini Sisters, but they have a modish appeal of their own. Unlike the Puppinis, they are actually related, and their music is characterised by a mingling of classic-era Hollywood romance and fantasy with rootsy Americana production (applied so expertly by Ed Harcourt) and a very British vocal sensibility.

Gita, Rose and Edie recently released their first physical release through Velvet Blue Music, a limited edition white-vinyl 7″ fronted by the brilliant, feisty ‘Queen Bee’ and backed with the sensitive ‘Someday In The Past’. To mark the occasion, we sent them our trusty questionnaire. In return, we found out the recipe for ‘Trampagne’, which Langley thinks R Kelly is “a modern-day Mozart”, and for whom their songs might be musical Viagra.

Continue reading

an experiment on a bird in the air pump split

According to their blog, An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump have called it quits after two short years together. Their short-lived run saw the all-girl trio storm the London indie scene, earning rave reviews from underground zines and mainstream rags alike, and, with two EPs and some pretty special singles under their wings, they seemed destined for great things. All things considered, the split comes as rather unexpected news, especially since they recently returned from Chicago with new material for their would-be debut album.

The short, bittersweet statement they have posted doesn’t give much away, though the fact that C-Bird and X-Bird have posted a joint paragraph next to D-Bird’s seems to point somewhat towards possible divisions. And, while the first two are reassessing their situation, D-Bird continues with her recently formed side project Blue On Blue.

To mark their demise, here’s a previously unpublished interview we did with D-Bird and X-Bird just before Christmas.

Continue reading