I don't believe in "good" or "bad" years when it comes to feminist music.
Someone, somewhere is always making good, smart, emotive, political music that promotes respect, education, and equality (or the out-and-out misandrist revolution, which is a record I will always, always buy). It's never a bad year to be a feminst. Some years are harder WORK than others, and this year has certainly been THAT, but here we are at the end of it, and I had the easiest time I've ever had putting together this list of great female and/or feminist music from the last 365 days. (And one from the tippy end of 2013, because SOME OF US had already written up our lists by the time it came out, thanks a lot, Beyonce.) There's sex, death, breakups, solidarity, and poetry on here. There's songs that are happy and sad, lustful and rageful, quiet and as loud as it gets. Hope you like it.
I was born in 1986 and feel like I'm clueless about basically all music from around the mid-'70s to the mid-'90s. For this mix, I asked my friends to tell me all the music from that era I should know about but don't.
As queer folks, it can be hard to find music that resonates with our experiences of crushing and intimacy. Thanks to the folks operating the Tumblr directory "Girls and Nonbinary Folks in Music,"my quest was a lot easier. After searching through this treasure trove of mostly independent artists, I made this mixtape full of tunes that explore the emotional wilderness of crushes. It includes women, nonbinary folks, and queer artists, with music ranging from shoegaze to hip-hop to pop punk (because crushes transcend genres, duh).
The holidays are here, which means we’re smack in the middle of six weeks celebrating colonialism (hi Thanksgiving), capitalism (hello Black Friday), and really terrible music coming out of every speaker in every public place (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”). In other words, it’s the perfect time to tune out the noise and pump up the feminist jams. Let us be your Oprah this winter: You get new feminist music! And YOU get new feminist music! EVERYBODY GETS NEW FEMINIST MUSIC!
There's no denying that Palestinian-born Merna has pipes of gold. The dynamic singer-songwriter, who first made a name for herself collaborating with Jazzy Jeff, recently shed her long-time stage moniker Ayah. Her first album under her given name, The Calling, just came out in November.
This mixtape highlights some of the music reviewed and discussed in our latest print issue: (Re)Vision. We’ve got a track from Icelandic hip-hop girl troop Reykjavikurdaetur, a new track from the legendary Vashti Bunyan, and some good old fashion girl band magic with tracks inspired by Hannah Steinkopf-Frank’s article "They’ve Got The Beat: Surveying Girl Groups Through the Ages." Happy listening!
For this mix I wanted to shed light on the versatility of hip-hop. From Baths' warped vocals to Flying Lotus' soulful drum breaks, the music in this mix embodies the middle ground, where all cultures and eclectic music lovers can vibe. It stretches from jazz to R&B to hip-hop to alternative and back.
Under the pseudonym of Grouper, musician Liz Harris creates mysterious, multi-layered sonic landscapes. On her 10th studio album, Ruins (which debuted on Kranky Records at the end of October), Harris’ voice floats delicately above a mass of sounds: twinkling piano notes and low-octave synth drone and swarm like a hive of busy bees
This year's Siren Nation festival wrapped up in Portland on Wednesday, with a great show from Mirah and Luz Mendoza. Siren Nation is a Portland-based organization that showcases women in the arts all year long—check them out! We put together a mix of our favorite music from this year's festival, featuring songs from Mirah, Lemolo, Natasha Kmeto, Fault Lines, and Edna Vazquez.