This year I resolved to stop comparing bands to other artists in my writing. How I wish I'd stopped myself enforcing that resolution until after meeting Totally. That's not a bad thing, in this case - pleasingly uncategorisable, the band (whose second single, a double A-side featuring 'Moonlit Memory' and 'Ghost Away' was released at the end of 2017) are an exciting work in progress, but one that lends itself to comparative writing in order to fully describe their sound.

So bear with me when I say that Totally are a Venn diagram of the cooler end of '90s girl groups, and the snaky guitar lines of classic power-pop, with perhaps an outlying circle of classic Stax soul, and you're nearly there. Then again, new track 'Sure', tonight's markedly uptempo set-closer, also hints at a more muscular direction.

But which records would they choose from Rough Trade East's formidable selection? I set the band the task of finding one record each, prompting some agonised decision making. When they emerged from the racks with swag in hand, it came as no surprise that the band's record choices reflected their eclectic sound: Massive Attack sit alongside Blank Realm, who rub shoulders with Hot Snakes and Hole.

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Susan - Drums

Blank Realm Blank Realm - Grassed Inn: I’ve chosen Blank Realm’s Grassed Inn. I’m from Brisbane, as are they, and I was also in a band over there called Feathers. I pretty much cut my teeth playing shows with these guys about eight years ago. This is one of my favourite records by them – they have heaps, but this one really reminds me of being in Brisbane; more people should know Blank Realm.


Jade – Vocals

Hole Hole – Celebrity Skin: I listened to this a lot when I was growing up, and actually a lot more recently – I think this is Courtney Love’s best record. A friend and I saw her at a tiny café in east London a few years ago and just cried. She’s got this really powerful, melodic voice which I don’t think she gets enough credit for. I still think this album is really important for a lot of women our age.


Laurel – Guitar, Vocals

Massive Attack Massive Attack – Mezzanine: This was a big record for me growing up as a child / teenager in Devon – it’s an amazing, angsty, dark album. It made me feel excited and worried about life at the same time. I love it.


Anna – Bass, Vocals

Hot Snakes Hot Snakes – Suicide Invoice: Suicide Invoice was a definitive record of my early twenties – it’s such a great, clever punk album, and I’ve just bought tickets to go and see them, so it’s been on my mind.

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'Moonlit Memory' / 'Ghost Away' is available now on Wild Horse Records. As always, thanks to the lovely people over at Rough Trade East for allowing us to take these photos in their shop.

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