Alimony Hustle have just released their new single Miss GB (listen here) and to celebrate they curated a playlist of their influences behind the single.
Alimony Hustle are Leah Pritchard and Matt Mndolo, a guitar and drums duo based in Sheffield and Bristol. They have previously described themselves as “the non White Stripes”, which is to say they do not represent overly serious, introspective visions of what ‘real music’ is. They bring this inclusive, irreverent attitude to every song they write and every show they play. It’s through this playfulness, and these little acts of subversion, that they can – as two people of colour in a predominantly white music world – tackle topics as diverse as racism, queerphobia, mental health and Miss Great Britain.
Leah: Frankie Cosmos – Embody
I think this song captures perfectly the feeling that you only need to achieve small, humble moments of magic to feel good and whole and like you’ve got a place in the world. It’s something I think about a lot, and something a lot of my anxieties relate to, but I really want to believe in this.
Matt: Bon Iver – I Can’t Make You Love Me/Nick of Time
I’m obsessed with this song. I must have heard it before but a few years ago I stumbled across Bon Iver’s 4AD sessions on YouTube where it’s just him and Sean Casey both playing massive grand pianos. Up until this point I’d never been bothered by Bon Iver but something about the performances in this video captured me and opened me up to the music in a new way. When they got to this song it just broke my heart, it’s sooo achingly sad but also beautiful. Sometimes I just watch it on repeat until I feel absorbed by it. Bonnie Raitt is obviously a legend and her original is equally awesome.
Leah: Fat History Month – Bald History Month
I don’t remember where, but I read once that pretty much everyone who ever saw Fat History Month live has a Fat History Month tattoo. I totally believe it. I think they’ve stopped playing now but this song is an absolute staple whenever I get my girlfriend to cut my hair at home – it’s this and Pavement’s Cut Your Hair on repeat. Maybe Little Mix’s Hair sometimes too. But there’s nothing better for making you feel renewed than the bit where he screams “I LET THE DEAD CEEEELLS OF DEAD SEEELLVES FAALLL AWAY!”
Matt: Football etc. – Safety
We’re not the type of band to play every show we get asked to, or any old show with any old band. We really look for each show to be an enjoyable experience for ourselves as well as everyone else. I’d never heard of this band until a few years ago when a friend asked if we would support them in Bristol. We googled em, played the first song that came up on their bandcamp and within 20 seconds looked at each other said “Let’s play this show”. We ended up opening for them in Bristol and London. Not only were they the nicest of people but they’re a super awesome band. I definitely feel like I learned a lot about how to contribute to the feel of the song from watching them.
Leah: Cymbals Eat Guitars – Have a Heart
This is pretty much my favourite band, and in my eyes like the most underrated band playing right now lol. Their songs are so rich with imagery and story and heart that I feel like I’m reading a book if I focus on the lyrics, but then you’ve got the most solid, interesting rock band backing it up. Love them.
“I felt dead the whole year
But I’m living in hope and
I begin to forget
Things I did when I was young and evil
And I have a heart I want to put to use”
Matt: Modern Baseball – Your Graduation
I was introduced to this band by the documentary they did about the making of their last album, Holy Ghost. I was totally enchanted by the honest and raw way they discussed singer Brendan Lukens’ mental health struggles and how it was dealt with on that album. Having been opened up to it I couldn’t understand how I’d not come across their music sooner. I feel like they have kept all the joyful youthful abandon that makes pop punk and emo great, while also having a thoughtful and considered approach to their lyrics. It means when they’re talking about their crushes, relationships and break-ups, nothing in me is cringeing or feeling uncomfortable. I saw them in Bristol on their latest tour and while it was sad to not see Brendan with them, the way the band and their fans were so fully supportive of him taking care of himself was so heartening. They got a member of the audience up to sing Brendan’s vocal in this song and even though that sort of thing is kind of a punk cliché, it was still genuinely beautiful. You had this somewhat shy-looking kid come up, just overcome with being asked to sing with the band. I started balling, I couldn’t help it.
Leah: Sad13 – Get a Yes
This reminds of Robyn in that it absolutely bangs but it never really takes off? Wonderful. I love that it’s tackling such a huge topic (consent) through such a personal angle. Fun, smart and good. A+.
Matt: Caves – 3 Koala
I first heard this song cos the bass player had posted it in a bass gear forum, in a thread about the pickups that were in the bass he used on it. I didn’t even realise that they were a Bristol band until after I heard the track, I loved it from the first second. Some of my favourite all time gigs have been Caves shows. They’re just one of the best bands ever. Hearing this made me wanna play fun music, and music with heart and that just all-out rocked, ya know. It sounds like the instruments are exploding out your speakers.
Leah: Trust Fund – Football
I was actually trying to work out how to play Trust Fund’s ‘Cut Me Out’ when I wrote the riff for our last single ‘BNOC’, but please do not tell him it’s a total rip off. This is one of my favourite Trust Fund songs but I really do love them all. I think he’s got such a knack for putting so much heart into his music, and the songs are often so detailed and personal, but he has so many anthems. This being the number one anthem! You will learn the words very quickly.
Matt: Thundercat – Them Changes
I got into Thundercat through To Pimp a Butterfly. The jazz sounds on that album blew my mind and made me pay attention to jazz again and want to see what those cats were up to. I’d like to think he’s influenced my bass-playing but that’s probably a massive overstatement since I rarely practise or play. I’m fascinated by what these contemporary jazz cats are doing, and the spill-over between jazz, hip-hop and even punk rock music that musicians like Thundercat and Esperanza Spalding are leading the charge on. This song has such an awesome groove, melody and harmony. The three essential elements I guess.
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