As it’s International Women Day and women are awesome, I felt the need to celebrate 15 brilliant female bands and artists out there right now. There are a lot of them and they each bring something new to the table. No doubt I will have left some amazing acts off the list, so please send me your recommendations. I want to hear them all!
Kicking off the list is Brighton-based, Maltese alt-punk quartet Ġenn. The band have released one album, Titty Monster, so far and have announced the release of a new EP, ‘Liminal’ via London independent label Everything Sucks Music, on 30 March 2021. Here’s their latest single, “Feel”.
DIY Essex duo, THE MEFFS, are Lily on vocals/guitar and Lewis on drums. They are noisy and have a lot to say. THE MEFFS continue to excite audiences across the UK with their socio-political lyrics, three chords and breakneck drums.
wych elm, after the folktale namesake, birth a macabre string of stories built on a foundation of their own suffering and mental illnesses. This becomes evident in Caitlin’s wailing and screaming, especially when accompanied by shrill, piercing guitars. wych elm will be supporting IDLES on their UK tour, which has been rescheduled for January 2022.
Also supporting IDLES on tour are Manchester-based all-girl punk grunge band Witch Fever. Angry and honest, bringing grungey riffs, a heavy beat and an eclectic mix of clean and shrieking vocals. It’s against the law not to play it very loud.
Melkbelly sculpts their signature sound between subtle melody and frantic noise on their 2020 album, PITH, their second for Carpark Records/Wax Nine. The Chicago-based foursome is fronted by Miranda Winters and are one of my favourite discoveries of 2020 and mates with Meat Wave, possibly the most underrated band in the world right now.
Saint Agnes frontwoman Kitty A. Austen is like a mix between Karen O and Iggy Pop, with the bands sound conjuring the classic hard rock of bands like AC/DC and the early industrial noise of Nine Inch Nails.
Beginning as Dana Margolin’s sadcore bedroom project, Porridge Radio developed into an idiosyncratic post-punk 4-piece after she moved to Brighton and met her future bandmates. They inelegantly knot together Margolin’s vicious, furious emotional outpourings with beautiful pop melodies.
They’ve definitely got some punk spirit to them, but Goat Girls’ music is a little harder to pin down by genre. Dabbling with psychedelic dance, country and garage rock and just pure loveliness, their recent album On All Fours is a triumph.
Mamalarky combines doe-eyed vocal melodies, cerebral keys, dynamic finger-picked guitar, ebullient bass lines, and hard-hitting drums to create an intoxicating elixir, entirely their own. It’s a psychedelic-garage-punk-chilled fusion. Summer epitomised.
Pop music at its best, Lucia & The Best Boys 80’s take inspirations such as Madonna, Stevie Nicks and New Order, and combining them with a fierce, 90’s grunge twang.
Fast becoming trailblazers in their own right, London punk-rap duo Nova Twins use their platform to champion inclusivity and diversity with a high-octane, genre-warping approach; one that is present in every song they write and every performance they deliver. They create a huge depth of sound via a myriad of bass and guitar pedals – a secret recipe they have tweaked and refined over the years.
Brimming with adrenaline and playful excitement, heavy garage-punk riffs and dance party pop, they take a driver seat in the ride to gender equality, joyful body awareness while taking on hard-hitting topics such as miscarriage, abortion and gender equality.
Already celebrated as the “Heart of Chicago’s Music Community” along with Melkbelly, OHMME (aka the duo of Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart) amalgamate the aggressive and the meditative with their stunning harmonies.
Oozing inspiration from Depeche Modes “Shake The Disease” with her latest single “, The Art of Losing”, The Anchoress is the moniker of Welsh producer Catherine Anne Davies. Catherine plays a variety of instruments, including piano, guitar, flute, omnichord, mellotron, Wurlitzer, glockenspiel, and celeste, as well as sampling church bells, and an orchestra of typewriters, with the genre-hopping, expansive production draws on influences as far and wide as Prince, Roxy Music, The Carpenters, and David Bowie. How could it not be good?
Saving probably my favourite to last, Death Valley Girls are a Los Angeles-based garage rock/psych-pop/proto-metal troupe who emerged in 2013 with a self-described “California doom boogie” style that combined Manson Family/B-movie theatrics and occult-themed lyrics. How could I love them more?
So there you go. Fifteen of my favourite girl bands and artists of the moment, though I could easily have tripled that list. Honourable mentions to Pussy Riot, Wolf Alice, Savages, Pillow Queens, Dream Nails, Shopping, Big Joanie, Billy Nomates, Amyl & The Sniffers, Pale Waves, Pretty Preachers Club, Actors, Sprints, Cheerbleederz, Gustaf, Wye Oak and so many more.
Let us know which women in music are making your world a better place in the comments. Big love to all women, you rock!