Empowered Through Music: Female Fronted Punk Bands

The punk scene is supposed to be one that is welcoming for all those who feel like they don't belong. However, in recent years, it has been dominated by aggressive men making it a threatening place for women. These few angry women have had enough of that and are ready to transform the scene into a more welcoming scene for young girls.

1. The Regrettes

The Regrettes is an LA-based four-piece that creates infectious punk driven music. Their music is heavily influenced by acts such as The Strokes and Bikini Kill with a 50s aesthetic. The band consists of 18-year-old frontwoman Ldia Night, 21-year-old guitarist Genessa Gariano, and 21-year-old drummer Drew Thomsen. They also have Brook Dickson as their touring bassist after their original bassist, Sage Chavis left to continue her education. Despite their young ages, The Regrettes have made their name in music. They are currently on tour in Europe with Twenty-One Pilots and are set to tour America with fellow Bayside punk rockers SWMRS only 9 days after their European tour ends.

Their song “Seashore” is an angry pop-punk anthem about the way men talk down to women. With lyrics like “You're talkin' to me like a child/ Hey I've got news, I'm not a little girl” and “ I'm not a helpless baby/ Not waitin' on you to come save me/ I'm like nobody else, so you can just go fuck yourself” it’s hard to miss the point!

Additionally, their song “Poor Boy” addresses the #metoo movement. The song includes lyrics like “Tellin' you to close your eyes/ Just keep your secrets in your thighs” but it maintains an empowering tone throughout by incorporating the following lines “What you gonna do? These girls are coming for you!/Poor boy/ What you gonna do? Us girls are coming for you!”

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2. Mitski

Self-described emotional loser, Mitski Miyawaki is a Japanese-American singer who started her musical career while studying studio composition at Purchase College’s Conservatory of music. She released two full-length albums in her dorm room while at college. Shortly after graduating, she released her third album Bury Me At Makeout Creek. This album defined Mitski as a punk artist through its excessive use of raw impulsive guitar riffs and distanced her from her classical and orchestral training. Mitski’s music tackles her racial identity as there is a sense of feeling lost and wanting to belong, she describes herself as “half Japanese, half American but not fully either.”

Her music is emotionally intense and extremely vulnerable and requires you to lose yourself in it while reflecting on yourself. Her songs are made for girls. Although it’s quite possible for men to relate to her songs, she focuses on love and longing from her own perspective. Her voice is emotionally turbulent and it seems that she’s always on the brink of screaming, and she does on “Drunk Walk Home.”

Check her Spotify and Apple Music pages for lyrics like “I don't know what to do without you/ I don't know where to put my hands/ I've been trying to lay my head down/ But I'm writing this at 3am”, “If your hands need to break/ More than trinkets in your room/ You can lean on my arm/ As you break my heart” and softer ones like “I will wash your hair at night/ And dry it off with care/ I will see your body bare/ And still I will live here.”

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3. Sløtface

Slotface is a Norwegian punk rock band that started releasing music in 2014. They were formerly known as Slutface but had to change their name due to online censorship. They chose this name to draw attention to their feminist messages while also reclaiming the word “slut.” The four-piece is known for the political activism for a multitude of causes but most importantly, environmental protections and gender equality. In their most controversial move, the band released a music video for their song “Sponge State” that shows them performing on top of Norway's Førde Fjord mountain. This was during a three-week protest against Nordic Mining Company as they planned to dump over 250 tons of chemical waste in the valleys surrounding the mountain. After this incident, they were arrested but we released within 24 hours after paying their fines.

Their song “Magazine” criticizes how women are compared against models in media and are made to feel insecure if they deviate from the norm, “Thunder thighs keep reaching for the measuring tape” and “Now I got you/ Staring back at me from the cover of a magazine./ And I'm not getting roped in.”

Additionally, they focus on the importance of female friendship and the innocence of young girls in their song “Slumber”. “Even as a child I know/That I'll never have friends like these again/ Even as a child I know/ And I'm giddy with companionship/ Hot blankets zipped against the cold”

4.The Tuts

The Tuts is a relatively new band originating in London. Their music style is “DIY pop-punk”, it’s punk music but it’s very simple, using only three chords in most of their songs. This isn’t to say that their music is boring or even easy. The easygoing music allows the listener to focus on the feminist lyrics. Additionally, they made their name in the DIY scene of their hometown. They funded their most recent album through a PledgeMusic campaign, which is similar to a GoFundMe. They have built their fanbase on political activism, their 2017 tour was called the “Give Us Something To Vote For” tour.

Like the Regrettes, the band uses an older aesthetic to personalize their style. Moreover, the lead singer and frontwoman Nadia Javed is a proud Muslim woman and is hellbent on demanding more representation for brown and Muslim women in media.

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