Jess Baxter suggests four man-free indie bands that are definitely worth a listen.
This article was originally published in Issue 10, December 2015. To read the full print magazine, visit:
If you found yourself reeling in shock from the tragic gender imbalance of Reading Festival’s 2015 line-up: do not despair. Even though the indie scene is teeming with a plethora of skinny, long- haired boys with bad postures, there are some amazing woman artists amongst the all-too-common indie boy bands. So buckle up and tighten your seatbelts ladies, here are some all-feminist, all- lovely indie bands that can be sprinkled on your Spotify playlist.
Girlpool sing about crying in the rain, punching boys who don’t shut up and not crossing their legs like ladies should. The drummerless duo of Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad came into being when the girls felt that the oppression of the male-dominated music scene pushed them aside and undervalued their artistic creativity. Released last year, their fantastic self-titled album is beautiful and melodic and addresses issues like slut-shaming, cheating ex-boyfriends and the struggle of asking for oral sex while watching American Beauty. Amazing.
What they sound like: Shrill, raw, energetic and sunny tunes enveloped in sing-song nursery rhyme harmonies that can be and should be played full-volume in your car.
They’re here, they’re queer and they are music to your ears. Bianca and Sierra are two sisters who craft spectral, magical, sparkling music about witches, werewolves and Shaman women. A must-listen is ‘Childbride’, a harrowing story about a five-year-old girl married off to an adult man, inspired by the many real-life events happening all the time in so many cultures.
Concert-wise, Bianca identifies as queer and often performs in drag, pencilling in a moustache or dressing like the progeny of a Pre-Raphaelite goddess and a pirate. Overall: 10/10.
What they sound like: You’re on horseback. It’s midnight. The desert winds are blowing wildflower-scented veils from your strong, sunburnt body. It smells like incense for some reason and panflutes and drums areplaying softly in the distance.
3) Chastity Belt
They have a song called ‘Pussy Weed Beer’. What more could you possibly want from a band? Nothing.
What they sound like: For fans of soft, crashy, hazy songs about girl power and empathy of feeling lame at parties.
Is catcalling a harmless and effective way to compliment a woman on the street? Are you worried by the rise of misandry in today’s society? Do you think vaginas are gross? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you probably won’t like Tacocat. You probably shouldn’t be perusing a feminist society magazine, either. Anyway, Tacocat are a real treat for your ears. Their song ‘Crimson Wave’ is a period-positive, surfer- girl hit that is perfect for blasting out on a cool, sunny day.
What they sound like: Being in a fluorescently lit ice-cream shop in LA that sells ice- cream in flavours like Skittles, cherry cola and hyperrealism.
5) Little Comets
Admittedly, there are no girls in this music group. Little Comets is made up of three white males (in the indie music scene? Shocking! Completely unheard of!), but their lyrics are consistently tinged with feminism: a positive, male-based feminism that doesn’t obstruct the voice of women. Their song called ‘The Blur, the Line and the Thickest of Onions’ satirises the poetic
pop hit we all know and love by Robin Thicke. The Comets dig at the patriarchal state: ‘You write about a non-existent blurred line/ But not about abortion rights.’
What they sound like: Upbeat yet nostalgic, it feels like you can take down the patriarchy and dance at the same time.
There you have it. The next time someone tells you there can’t possibly be more girl bands on festival line-ups because there aren’t any, hit them with these 4 gold nuggets of delicious indie tunes.
Illustration by Leyla Reynolds.