I want to switch things up a little this week. It’s National Women’s Month and last week was International Women’s Day, so I’d like to celebrate with a playlist of some of my favorite badass female musicians. I could certainly (and may at some point) create a much longer and more extensive playlist, but this offers a pretty comprehensive list of what I love most. I will write a short blurb about each song and provide the link for the playlist itself. I hope you all enjoy it and continue to celebrate all women in your life.
Melanie, “Brand New Key”: This has been a favorite song of mine for a long time. It’s light, catchy, and absolutely adorable. Safka has stated that this song was meant to be a lighthearted and innocent song, open to interpretation, so you can certainly take it as you will. I think it’s simply a wonderful song.
Tegan & Sara, “The Con”: I truly adore Tegan & Sara. They remain one of my favorite female led groups of all time and continue to do incredible work for the LGBTQ community. I really wanted to put one of their more recent, bubblegum pop songs on this playlist, but I truly adore this one and felt it was more important. The Con remains a classic album within indie circles and the title song is a breathtaking display of vulnerability and earnesty. I’d like to think we can all relate to them here.
Vallis Alps, “Fading”: I never would have imagined my angsty little punkass self enjoying electronica and pop in my 20’s, but dogonit, it gets me psyched. Vallis Alps is an awesome electro-pop duo from Australia consisting of producer David Ansari and vocalist Parissa Tosif. They compose chill, whispery little pop numbers that feel like clouds lifting you up to the heavens. Tosif’s vocals are so relaxing, sometimes you forget you’re even listening to music. I recommend it for whenever you feel super stressed.
Noname, “Diddy Bop”: I would be remiss if I didn’t include my favorite female rapper. Some of you may recognize Noname from Chance The Rapper’s epic “Finish Line/Drown” track, but for those of you not familiar with her work, Noname is a Chicago based rapper and poet with a smooth voice and even smoother lyrics. Her debut mixtape Telefone became one of my favorite hip-hop albums of 2016. She takes on subjects such as race, police brutality, and what it means to be a black woman in contemporary America. “Diddy Bop” is a fun and catchy little introduction to her poetic voice.
Jamila Woods, “Holy”: Another artist on repeat for the past month. Jamila Woods is much like Noname in the sense that she uses poetry to speak about issues such as police violence and being a black woman in America, but instead of rapping, Jamila exhibits an R&B style so infectious, you’ll never forget her. I chose “Holy” because it is a fantastic song speaking about self love and dedicating time to loving yourself and the body you’re given. She is fantastic and I would encourage everyone to check out her album.
Jordanna, “Lucky for You”: I could write an entire article based solely on this magnificent woman (and I most likely will). Funnily enough, Jordanna is a dear friend of mine. We were in a band together about four years ago and I have had the pleasure of seeing her grow into the breathtaking musician she is today. Last month she released her first solo EP, Sweet Tooth, and “Lucky for You” is my favorite song from it. Hayley’s voice is smokey and entrancing and her lyrics of sexual empowerment are catchy and essential. This song is going to get stuck in your head forever.
Company of Thieves, “Tallulah”: One of the best live bands I have ever seen, Company of Thieves is one of the greatest best kept secrets of the Radio 104.5 circuit. In 2009, COT was known for their gem of a single “Oscar Wilde” and while they have never truly received the credit they deserve, they remain one of the most inventive indie rock bands to come out of the last decade.
Charly Bliss, “Westermarck”: This band has become one of my favorites in the past year. Charly Bliss crafts some of the best 90’s inspired, saccharine sweet indie rock I have heard in a long time. I wrote an entire review of their debut album for The Keystone, I love them a lot. If you love catchy and punky rock music with a charismatic lead singer, you will love Charly Bliss.
Alanis Morissette, “Thank U”: It was really hard for me to pick one definitive Alanis song for this playlist. I 300% adore Alanis Morissette and she remains one of my favorite singers of the 90’s—but you’ll see who my absolute favorite is in just a moment. I’ve always really loved “Thank U” as a song. There is such a raw earnest in Alanis’ voice and that was always my favorite aspect of her music. It’s just so redemptive to me.
The Cranberries, “Dreams”: I leave this song for last because it means the most to me. Anyone who knows me well enough is aware of my worship of all that is Dolores O’Riordan. The day she passed was one of the more recent times I bawled uncontrollably. She is one of my greatest musical heroines. Her grace, rage, unapologetic activism, and unparalleled voice has captivated me since I was a child. I choose “Dreams” because for a long time, it served as a lullaby to me. Whenever I felt helpless, Dolores’ voice would soothe me and help me to feel like everything was going to be okay. She made me feel strong.