In the words of Fiona Apple, “ladies ladies ladies ladies ladies ladies ladies ladies.” The music industry has always been flooded with talented, passionate women. It makes my head spin (and my blood boil) when I hear people still saying “festival lineups can’t be equal, there just aren’t as many women in music.” Like… pardon?? Where have you been? How are you missing all of the life-altering art that we’ve been out here obsessing over?? Women are holding their own, if not raising the bar to extreme heights for everyone. We made you a playlist with just some of the women that make our world go round — it’s seven hours long and still only scratches the surface.
But to dive further into that, let’s show off ten of the artists you’ll find on this playlist featuring women in one or more roles. If you discover a new band to love today, we’d love to hear about it on Twitter!
Charlotte Sands – Special
That first dash of guitar fuzz made me think maybe I was heading into a hard rock song, and then I ended up knee deep in empowering early 2000s pop rock — think the Freaky Friday soundtrack with a modern twist. Every time we reach that “special” at the end of the chorus and the whole song shifts into an alternate reality, I get chills through my entire body. If VEVO was ever considering bringing Charlotte Sands in for a DSCVR session, this video gives a great example of the power she’d have over the space.
Command Sisters – Rain On My Parade
I love the Command Sisters and their lyrical wordplay to such an extreme amount. Everything just sounds so smooth and perfectly timed, while also feeling natural and effortless. The harmonies, the perfect production, the way the song feels like it goes through Act I, II, and III like a play… it’s a whole spectacle. Charlotte and Sarah have figured out their aesthetic and sound, and they’re running with it. Also, when talent runs in families like this… why did my bloodline just get autoimmune disorders?? I want to make a family band. 🙁
Yellow – Harlequins
This track from Yellow just dropped this week and it has such an interesting energy behind it. Every time my brain starts to feel like it’s comfortable predicting where the song is going, the song takes a harsh left turn into uncharted territory. I love when it seems like every potential song idea has to have happened by now, and then a band still catches me off guard. I’m so excited to dive into the whole EP — which also dropped this week — and see what other surprises this band has in store for me.
Abby Cole – The Speed of Time
Abby Cole fills the void left in my life when Grimes left Canada to encourage a billionaire to fly to Mars. However, she quickly reshapes that space into her own with a more subdued sound and vocals that have an almost indescribable quality to them. It’s like she voice is both sharp and to the point, and so warm and enveloping at the same time. Everything feels simple, nothing is overdone or trying too hard, but it creates such a soundscape that you can get lost in.
The Sonder Bombs – Crying Is Cool
I go from chronic cryer to emotionless void, back and forth throughout my life… no explanation as to why. I’m going through a no cry zone, but The Sonder Bombs are making me consider tricking myself into a good weep session by watching the “I don’t want to go” scene from Infinity War. Their music is so bright and cheerful, perfectly modelling what to say to a friend if you catch them crying and don’t plan on the ol’ “I did not see anything actually” response. But along with being a mature and informed response to feeling your feelings, this track has some of my favourite production I’ve heard all year. Every time I listen, my brain picks out more elements that I didn’t notice, but add to the song’s expansive atmosphere.
Tishmal – Bed of Roses
Tishmal means “hummingbird” in Luiseño, the language of Rachel Brockbank’s Native American heritage. And this song lives up to it, flitting between being deeply in love and potentially heading toward disaster over electro-pop beats. She has one of those crystal clear voices that I can see carrying the year’s earworm on a DJ collab track. And with the artists she’s worked with in the past, it’s clear that I’m not the only one who feels that way. I’m really excited to see what 2021 brings to Tishmal.
No Jure – M.H.M.
No Jure has been renting out the top floor unit in my brain (the one with the nice ocean view) for at least the last three weeks. Taegen’s voice haunts me in my dreams. Going from such a comfortable mid-tone to delicate falsettos and biting loud choruses, it hits like… every possible mark. The band floats between grunge, shoegaze, and post-hardcore for the most part, and absorbs the best elements of each. Truly a force to be reckoned with.
The Parity Complex – Lucky Me (You’re So Naive)
I could listen to The Parity Complex‘s latest single on a loop for the rest of my life. The Swedes in general have had a habit of writing the catchiest lyrics, and this electro-pop track can hold its own with the best of them. However, the video takes things to another level with a dark twist that I never would have expected based on the song alone. The way the song title is sung throughout the track reverberates around my head constantly, and I’m really hoping it doesn’t turn me into a murderous man-eater too on the next full moon.
Melby – Somewhere New
Melby brings us another taste of Sweden from a more indie dream-pop perspective, and Matilda Wiezell’s voice is to die for. Singing about a place where “we can be immortal” combined with the warmth of the guitars makes me practically feel the sun on my skin. When the track starts picking up speed near the four minute mark, it feels like running toward the finish line. It feels like this point in the pandemic, feeling like maybe we’re getting closer and closer to hugging our friends again.
THALA – Takemeanywhere
THALA makes 80s pop look easy, especially for someone who just started performing a year ago. “Takemeanywhere” is dreamy and wistful, and the music video is somehow able to capture both in one perfect snapshot. She says the track “creates this feel of longing to actually be able to go somewhere at all. Out of your own apartment walls to wherever. Basically anywhere.” and I have to agree. But instead of feeling confined to my four walls, this track makes me feel excited for all the places we’ll go and the things we’ll do when the roaring 20s are back up and running again.