It goes without saying that we all need a little lady music in our lives. Here is a list of five women who are bound to peak your interest or even just provide you with new lyrics for your Instagram captions.
Christine and the Queens
“Here’s my station
But if you say just one word I’ll stay with you”
– Saint Claude
Everything about this artist appeals to me. I will admit I stubbornly resisted the lure of her successful single ‘Tilted’ after I began to feel it follow me everywhere. When I finally gave in, I was consumed by her music. On YouTube you can track down an interview where she explains that ‘Christine’ is really an androgynous, gender-neutral version of herself and ‘the Queens’ was a reference to a group of kind drag queens that had comforted her when she first arrived in London. The reason behind her stage name alone made me love her.
Additionally, she is French. Therefore she is cool. To delve deeper- she includes French in many of her songs, and if you scratch the surface on her discography you will notice that most of her older songs are completely in French, some of which she has reworked into English. I love looking up the French lyrics and trying to learn them- no better way to learn a language.
Supporting an artist like Christine and the Queens means supporting a woman of the LGBTQ community in the most mainstream genre! It means supporting a woman who explores androgyny in her performance. How many other queer female singers do you know that get on stage, sing in both English and French and perform evocative dance routines? Probably not too many.
“Wild women don’t get the blues”
– First Love/ Late Spring
This woman has my musical heart in knots whenever I listen to her. She combines a sense of female energy, teenage angst and a lovelorn mind to create her beautiful tunes. Mitski embodies a sort of female energy that is both kickass and completely vulnerable – proving that perhaps it is possible to be both.
As a biracial women who grew up moving from country to country, finally settling in New York City, she provides a unique perspective we don’t see enough of in the music industry. Mitski presents many identities, but above all a struggle for a primary identity. In her song ‘You’re Best American Girl’, her concerns in this arena are most obvious. For all the ladies out there who relate to this, check out my woman Mitski.
“Don’t you think? Don’t you think
You should try to do as little harm as you can to the woman that loves you”
– The Woman That Loves You
Japanese Breakfast is the solo venture of Michelle Zauner, also a member of the emo band Little Big League. Her solo career developed while she was visiting home in Oregon, her mother having been diagnosed with cancer. This illness, and her mother’s later death are huge driving factors behind the album ‘Psychopomp’. Channeling some of her grief through her music, Zauner was able to produce piece of work that is both conceptually heavy and sonically upbeat. Michelle Zauner’s Asian-American identity is enhanced by making her Korean mother the emotional focal point of the album. So while initially it might appear that you are listening to a fun alt-pop song, a lyric will hit you and every emotion you’ve ever had will overtake you at once. It’s great, I swear.
“So I’m not gonna cover up the freckles on my faces, I covered all the bases”
– Mother Earth
On your first Banks listening experience, I imagine you will sit back and whisper “damn” to yourself as you try to just take in her honesty in all its glory. She is truly a feminist artist who makes no apologies for her feelings. In her first album, Goddess, her vulnerability and sadness are palpable, but her latest venture embodies confidence completely.
This is an artist you can truly relate to. Banks has openly spoken about her depression (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJgyeXoLFPg), driving home that a badass ladies like her have struggles too. Her recent music videos have taken a turn for the weird, but in a good way. It feels as though she is steering the ship, her artistic vision is growing more specific visually. Everyone needs an artist like Banks in their lives.
“I love you my darling I do!
But I can’t promise I’ll be here to see this whole love through”
I saw Julia Jacklin live in the latter of 2016. It was a cheap show in a small venue, but she filled the place. The Aussie singer-songwriter has an honesty in both her songs and performance that is endearing to any audience.
Julia Jacklin is set to play many more solo shows and festivals in the upcoming months; her success is on the rise and she is garnering the attention she deserves. If you get a chance, catch a show. The best songs to introduce you to her music are Pool Party, Leadlight and Motherland. You can thank me later.