It doesn’t take a genius to see the glaring inequalities in the music industry. Whether it’s an internalised bias against women in popular music or the male-dominated festival lineups we see year after year, we need to change the way represent women in the scene. Here are just a few women-led bands that you should be paying attention to right now.
Bad Cop/Bad Cop
The women of California-based band Bad Cop/Bad Cop are among some of the true titans of modern punk rock. Their second album Warriors (2017) gained a lot of attention among feminist hardcore fans, not just for their brash guitars but for their flawless harmonies and empowering messages. Many of their songs have become personal feminist anthems, like ‘Womanarchist’ and ‘Broken’. As songs are written and sang by all band members, they have the ability to present a whole range of perspectives that analyse different areas of the female experience. Their most recent album, The Ride, tells the individual members’ experiences with everything from breast cancer to immigration.
New Years Day
It’s easy for women to feel put off by alternative genres for their frequent lack of diversity, but if you know where to look, you’ll find gems like New Years Day. The goth-metal band are fronted by Ash Costello, a woman renowned for her powerful vocals and brutally honest songwriting. Her stage presence is electric and unparalleled, offering a powerful kind of visibility for girls who want to see themselves represented in heavier kinds of music.
Against Me! show off the best side of the punk community. When lead singer and guitarist Laura Jane Grace came out as a trans woman in 2012 she was greeted by fans and fellow musicians alike with open arms. Their subsequent 2014 album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues stands out as one of the most emotional and raw punk records in the last decade. Defying the limits of rock music, this album was widely praised by critics, and since its release Laura Jane Grace has used her platform as a musician and an activist to work with LGBT charities.
Moving on to a group who are relatively new, The Regrettes have been making waves since they burst onto the scene in 2016. Their latest album, How Do You Love?, showcased their ever-progressing brand of pop-punk. What makes them so impressive is that they’ve achieved all this by the age of 19. With a more established sound than a lot of artists with more years under their belt, The Regrettes are the real-life example of all your teenage dreams of running away and starting a band.
Nova Twins are another brand-new act, having just released their debut album Who Are The Girls? this year. Combining classic alternative heaviness with a modern electronic element, this is a band which should appear on any playlist you use to hype yourself up. Having made a name for themselves touring with the likes of Prophets of Rage, Wolf Alice and Black Honey, Nova Twins are ready to branch out on their own and push the strict limitations set by rock and electronic genres.
The Distillers are a classic outfit from the 90s punk scene, and lead singer Brody Dalle is undoubtedly one of the most badass women in rock music. After a lengthy hiatus, The Distillers have returned to the scene with extensive tours and festival slots. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time before we’re blessed with a new, empowering record.
Photo courtesy of Israel Palacio