A bit of background for this; I have recently read the first edition of LOCK magazine – the self-proclaimed ‘advocate for female musicians’. Upon reading, I reflected on my own music taste only to realise just how many female-headed bands and artists fill up my music library. In the past I feel that, when commenting on rock stars, people would speak of Oasis, The Verve, Blur, Arctic Monkeys, Queen, The Beatles, etc., etc. All male bands and artists. Whilst there were still female artists prevalent in those musical eras. I feel their impact was less significant than those of today. As a former sociology student, I could draw from this and lecture about the oppressive culture of hyper-masculinity and patriarchy that reigned in the pre-millenial era.
However, you’re not here to read a feminist lecture.
Although, I believe the rising impact of feminism has had a huge influence on today’s music scene. Which brings me to my first artist that really paves the way for female artists of today.
I first discovered GIRLI when she featured on ‘Breaking My Phone‘ with Oscar. Safe to say, I have been captivated by her music ever since! GIRLI has very recently released her latest EP, ‘Hot Mess‘. The first track, which the EP is named after – ‘Hot Mess’, is a feminist anthem. It speaks of all the expectations placed on women to present themselves in a particular way and, in true GIRLI style, it aggressively tackles this regressive preconception.
'Stop telling me to grow some balls, I'm happy as a woman'
GIRLI a.k.a Milly Toomey is undeniably an outstanding role model for young girls nowadays. That’s not to say every girl will be running round with pink hair and skateboards. But, she inspires them to do whatever the fuck they want, as that’s more or less her entire philosophy.
The Big Moon
The Big Moon have been hitting the big time lately! Playing a string of shows across the UK as well as playing big festivals such as Reading and Leeds. This London all-girl four-piece have released some monumental tracks such as ‘Cupid‘, ‘Sucker‘ and ‘Formidable‘. They’re set on to leave an even greater mark on the indie-rock scene if they carry on churning out tracks as great as those already released.
Their fun, yet powerful sound really sets them apart from other artists. It’s nice to see a band really enjoy what they’re doing and not taking themselves too seriously.
I’m very excited to write about this one, as I am unashamedly one of the largest Black Honey fans going!
Izzy Baxter Phillips a.k.a Black Honey is a huge style icon, rock star, role model and all-round weirdo. Weird compliment, right? But, Izzy celebrates all things weird and wonderful. She is something pulled directly out of a hypothetical Tarantino-halloween-American style movie. If you’re not avant-garde, she’s not interested.
I’ve met Izzy twice now during my musical adventures. The first being at Mama Roux’s in Birmingham where she kindly signed my T-shirt (which I can no longer wear) and posed for a picture. The second, in Leeds O2 Academy, after their Live At Leeds set. I came across a stray red rose on the corner of the stage. So, of course, I seized the opportunity and nabbed it to give to Izzy. My actions were greeted with an ecstatic and long hug, which honestly made my day.
Anyway, not to digress too much. Black Honey started out as an extremely secret band. There were no pictures to be found online of them, or anything. They performed for the sake of loving the music, they didn’t want fame. Izzy often wishes they could stay a secret band. However, over the last 18 months or so, Black Honey have soared with success. Selling out UK tours and touring Europe. Despite their success, I know they will stay true to their roots as their heart belongs on the small stage.
Dream Wife – Iconic, Icelandic and intoxicating. This punk-rock trio first came to my attention when I saw them fill the support slot at the Black Honey show at Mama Roux’s.
Their music is angry. A cathartic release. The soft vocals juxtaposed with an outlandish chorus, supported by heavy electric guitar makes for a perfect indie-punk recipe. Despite punk not being my usual genre of choice, with a few exceptions, there’s something extremely enticing about Dream Wife that leaves me unable to turn away.
'I spy with my little eye, bad bitches, Dream Wife for life'
Ellie Rowsell – front woman of Wolf Alice, is another on the list of style icons. Her musical style is unparalleled. I’d easily describe listening to a Wolf Alice album as a journey. There is so much range in style throughout the album, each song differs from the last, leaving you unsure of what to expect next. All you know is that you’re going to enjoy it.
I first discovered Wolf Alice nearly 2 years ago when I first heard ‘Moaning Lisa Smile‘ off the ‘Creature Songs EP‘. Although, much to my own shame I hadn’t heard much else until the release of their second album ‘Visions Of A Life‘, which I thoroughly enjoyed. To the point where I met Wolf Alice at the album signing, which I wrote about in an earlier post (here).
To round off this post, I figured it would be good to post my all time favourite photo of two of my favourite female musicians; musically, aesthetically, visually, everything. Izzy B Phillips and Ellie Rowsell, photographed by Emma Swann, (shown above). As well as this, I’ve devised a playlist featuring the artists mentioned and more female rock/indie icons, enjoy.
Ross Carley x