Update your rock and indie playlists with tunes from these all-girl bands
All-girl bands have always been around making waves and raging against the patriarchy. As early as the 70s, The Runaways took over the airwaves. Even Bikini Kill ushered a revolution on their own back in the 90s. In the era of experimental music, there seems to be a lack of all-female bands in the mainstream scene. Bands that, possibly, give us the same thrill in our bones when Cherie Currie (or Dakota Fanning, take your pick) declares into the mic “Hello, world! I’m your wild girl!” during Cherry Bomb.
Whether you need fuel for your solo dance party, a Cool Girl monologue or simply looking for inspiration to kick discrimination in the ass, here are old and new bands made up of women to join you.
Nasty Cherry makes music that could be the soundtrack of a strong woman. Fierce, feisty and looking for any opening to start some trouble. Nasty Cherry is a combination of four different personalities but they all are unapologetically up in your face. From singing about their violent need to win or warning you about their emotional availability, this is the band we would’ve listened to in our young(er) ~maybe more rebellious~ teens.
The Aces is a group that serves the feeling of freedom; the kind you see and hear in coming-of-age films when the characters, well, come of age. Think: leather jackets, road trips in the middle of nowhere and getting drunk off cheap booze. Their sound hits the sweet spot between indie pop and alternative rock. In an interview with BBC UK, they explained that their single, 801 was a nod to Provo, Utah’s—a commonly known area populated by conservatives—underground LGBT scene. Put the Aces on play when you’re feeling passionate and unashamed because that’s exactly what their music is all about.
If you’ve watched Alex Strangelove, you’d probably be familiar with the song I Know A Place. MUNA’s sound doesn’t fall under the genre of rock or indie like the rest of the bands in this list, but they offer a safer space with their songs. It’s like a collective of people trying to get over exes and painful heartbreak, a reminder that you’re not alone. Also trivia, this “queer pop” trio also opened for Harry Styles in the North American and European legs of his 2018 tour.
If the 90s had Bikini Kill, young girls (maybe even the gays) of the 2010s had Tegan and Sara. It’d be impossible to leave them out of this list. Their indie pop sound is distinctly theirs, most especially when riddled with lyrics about the push and pull of love like in Closer or some half self-deprecation and half self-awareness in You Wouldn’t Like Me. If anything, Tegan and Sara keeps bringing us back to when we were probably a lot more brazen about new love.
You might recognize SCANDAL as the singers of closing themes for well-loved anime shows that defined our childhoods: Shunkan Sentimental from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Shoujo S from Bleach. But don’t be fooled, these four women have been going strong since their debut way back in 2008. Their songs have definitely matured from brushing off annoying boys with mixed signals, but what’s nice is that you can revisit a part of your youth in each album.
We’re closing off the list with the all-women OPM band, Flying Ipis. Don’t let their name deter you, they’re going to have us screaming for a completely different reason. When you think about a band that’s raw, loud and electrically-charged, that’s Flying Ipis. There’s some sort of exhilaration in your bones when you listen to the guitar riffs and repetitive snares. Their songs like Past Is Past, Bitch and Sssikreto will have you raging alone in your room, pretending you’re moshing in the middle of Route 196 (which we already miss).
Got bands with front women that you think we should listen to? Drop them in the comments below.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver