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Trophy Wife, Paper Lady, and Other Boston-area College Bands You’re Currently Missing Out On

Are you in need of some fresh, female-led bands to add to your playlists? Look no further! I’ve got you covered. Read on to hear about up-and-coming bands from the Boston area!

Earlier this summer, I found myself in a dirty basement in Allston for a concert of an artist I had never heard of. Upon arrival, I was lost in a sea of just about the coolest college-age kids. People with tattoos, lip piercings, niche hobbies, and fabulous clothing surrounded me in all corners. Then the first band hit the stage. That night, which I will fondly look back on in a clouded haze, I was enveloped into an underground scene of grungy, college bands in Boston.

Here are some of my favorites.

Reggie Pearl

She is by far one of my favorites of 2021; even as I write this article, I am listening to some of my favorite songs from her. This indie rocker’s music features beautiful vocals that swoop from airy to heart-wrenching on tracks such as “DAIRY LOTTERY TOBACCO” and “Say It Back.” With plucky guitar riffs and a handful of songs that feature a viola, her songs will be stuck in your head for days. I definitely recommend the album she wrote with the band The Public, which I have also been loving recently. My top tracks include: “Ode to Neptune,” “Winter’s Greed,” “Pussy Weed,” and “Slap the Bag.” Give her a listen if you’re looking for music that makes you want to get up and groove.

Instagram: @regggiepearl

Where to listen: Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, YouTube Music

Trophy Wife

On that fateful night where I was introduced to these artists, Trophy Wife was the opener for Reggie Pearl. After her set, I remember my friend turning to me and saying, “I think music was literally created just now.” With the speakers on full blast, every guitar strum echoed through the air and bounced off all the sweaty bodies moshing in that basement. Most of what the band played came off of their most recent EP, Bruiser. Every lyric rang out with beautiful longing about themes involving growing up, which was artfully paired with indie rock instrumentals that complemented the lead singer’s vocals so well. My top tracks by Trophy Wife are “My Own Damn Bed,” “Guts,” and “Knife Fight.”

Instagram: @_trophy.wife_

Where to listen: Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Soundcloud

Paper Lady

With more of a chilled-out vibe to her music, Paper Lady is a lovely band, featuring Alli Raina, that reminds me of the kind of lo-fi music that’s in right now. Her gentle singing floats atop groovy bass riffs and her soft, guitar style. In some of her songs she even opts for a more folky style, like on “Eternity.” In her Spotify bio, Paper Lady is described as “the immortal crone, casting spells and wreaking havoc in Boston MA”. That is just about the only description that you need. Listen to this bad-ass, witchy lady with absolutely no caution! My favorite songs right now (which are really putting me in the fall mood) are “Absentee,” “Charley,” and “Return to the Lake.”

Instagram: @paprlady

Where to listen: Bandcamp, Spotify

If you decide to give these lovely bands a listen, I know for a fact that you will not regret it. If you would like to listen to my playlists with these artists and others with similar sounds, you can visit my Spotify account here and listen to “The girls are talking, pt. II”.

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Julia DeFilippo

U Mass Amherst '23

Julia is a junior biochem and women's studies major at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She enjoys listening to music, spinning, and painting.
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