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Feminist Music Roundup: 12 Great New Songs for Fall

Angel Haze with text: Hell Yeah, feminist music

Angel Haze photo via Consequence of Sound. 

Autumn is a glut of new music and bands on tour, so it's precisely zero surprising that our new music roundup for October is our longest yet. This month, we've got the world premiere of a new video by Julia Weldon, a song by a band called Hand Job Academy, and much, much more. What are you listening to this month? Let us know in the comments!

1. Julia Weldon - "You Never Know" (WORLD PREMIERE)

Our new music round-up this month starts with the world premiere of the video for "You Never Know," from Brooklyn artist Julia Weldon's new album Light Is A Ghost. Without context, the video is a gorgeous sylvan vignette, following Weldon's body as it is prepared for burial at sea. The distortion on the track, Weldon's melancholy voice, and the sound of film spooling in the background add to the ethereal ambience. With context, however, the project takes on a powerful second story; one of Weldon's grapplings with trust and identity. Here's what she had to say about the project:

Most things about this song and video have an element of magic in them [...] A bunch of us Brooklynites drove up to the shores of Maine to film this video with director Charlotte Royer and her unbelievable creative team. The whole weekend was full of magic and amazing creative energy and Charlotte pushed me to embrace some previously uncharted terrain of my own gender. As a queer and genderqueer performer, I feel comfortable embodying my more masculine/boyish side, which is heavily represented in my music persona. Normalizing my own queerness through music and performance is actually very important to me politically. But this video was about opening up to the more vulnerable and tender side of my music. Charlotte and her crew found the most beautiful Narnia-like locations to film and I let myself go - I was soft and unguarded and open. And that's exactly what the song is about - letting go, giving up what we let drag us down.

Director Charlotte Royer added these thoughts:

We talked a lot about androgyny, more as a spiritual thing than a political thing, although it is so inherently political, this was supposed to be more of an exploration. I think of androgyny being a magical middle ground where gender doesn't create a boundary for the audience, and it's equally accessible and relatable to men and women and anybody who is someplace in between [...] just really feeling something as a human.

No matter the lens, the video is gorgeous and a perfect point of entrance into the quietly powerful album Light Is A Ghost. Weldon's voice and guitar work are beautiful without being showy, and impeccable production by Saul MacWilliams add momentum and indie pop sensibility. Check out our exclusive premiere below: 

2. Anoushka Shankar - Traces of You

World music superstar Anoushka Shankar was never not  going to be a big deal. She made her professional debut as a sitarist at the ripe old age of 13, and went quickly on to be the youngest (and first Indian female) nominee for a World Music Grammy. She's the level of talented where she got so good at performing that she took up composing as a side project. Genius loves company, and her sister, father, and husband are all pretty good at their jobs, too. But her talent, not her bloodline, is indisputably at the center of her celebrity. Traces of You, her seventh album, was halfway finished when her father Ravi Shankar died, and the album is marked profoundly by her grief ("Fathers" and "Traces of You" in particular). But joy bubbles up unmistakably in the video for the title track, which features her sister and was directed by aforementioned husband. Shankar is on the road this fall, and if you're lucky enough to live near a pit stop, grab the chance to watch a living legend in action.

3. Maxine Ashley - Mood Swings

20-year old singer and YouTube phenom Maxine Ashley is, as they in the biz, BLOWING THE %&# UP. Her channel has more than 9 million views at last count, and the first single from her new EP (available for free here!) was produced by professional Grammy-collectors Krucial Brothers. Basically, she's about to get rill famous, so quick, before she does, watch one of the dozens of lo-fi gems, recorded in her bedroom, that got her started. My favorite is this one, because a) this is still the best song ever, RIP Aaliyah, and b) her swagger is infectious. But they're all golden.

4. Lady - "Good Lovin'"

There's not much to improve on when it comes to soul singers (and Missy Elliot/Def Jam protegees) Lady, as we discovered when they stole the show at Pickathon this summer. So instead of making "Good Lovin'" better, think of the new DJ Spinna remix, released this month, as a new carat in the Lady diamond. The original's sexy lyrics and delivery are perfectly suited to the dirty house mix Spinna came up with. Imagine doing a soul train in the basement of a house party, and you've got this remix.

LADY - Good Lovin (Dj Spinna Old School Acid Vocal) by Lady the Band

5. Hand Job Academy/ Peelander Z

Real quick, though, here is a video about menstruation called "Shark Week", by a band called Hand Job Academy, and a song by a Japanese "Action Comic Punk/Metal" band who dress like Power Rangers (BUT BETTER) and made a tribute album to Hair Metal. YOU'RE WELCOME.

Peelander-Z - Ride On The Shooting Star by FanaticPromotion

6. CocoRosie - "Gravediggress"

Perennial provocateurs CocoRosie released a new album, Tales of a GrassWidow, earlier this year—their first since 2010. The video for the first single, "Gravediggress," was explained this way by lead singer Bianca "Coco" Sierra:

Shot in Southern France, spanning several different seasons, The Gravediggress emerges from the imagination of the clown, played and danced by Biño Sauitzvy... Our mother plays the masked Gravediggress who’s stuffed hands struggle at menial tasks such as picking wheat and taking laundry from the line. The narrative is a loose journey through the psyche of a lonely outcast who finds ecstasy and company in nature.

Labeled "freak folk" in 2007, CocoRosie exist solidly on the other side of the edge to polite society, which makes them divisive, musically, but also gives them the freedom to explode any and all pesky genre labels or sound comparisons music reviewers might try to peg them with. The sisters are on tour this fall in support of Tales of a GrassWidow, and, if the live footage is any indication, the show is as strange and wondrous as the video below. Including creepy clowns? WHO KNOWS.

7. Lucius - Wildewoman

Remember how much I love Lucius? I do. I remember. I've spent the last year keeping them to myself, sneaking their irrepressible, harmony-laden pop songs onto mix CDs. This month, the jig is up. With the release of the band's first full-length album, Wildewoman (pronounced like wildebeest, not Oscar Wilde), it's safe to say they belong to the world now. Seeing the always-matching lead singers Jess Wolf and Holly Laesig sing a cappella to the crowd from the aisles of a cathedral very late at night was not a dream, as it turns out. It was the beginning of what will surely be an illustrious career for the group, no matter which wigs they're wearing. Find a free sampler of their music here, and get a taste of what all the fuss is about with the video to "Turn It Around" below.

8. Tangerine - "Mars"

Led by sisters Mariko and Miro Justad, Seattle quartet Tangerine have only been together for a year and a half, but they're built to last. Many is the new band who have a great singer, but whose musicians were clearly thrown together before learning how to play their instruments. Tangerine flies valiantly in the face of that trend; Mariko's vocals are smooth and affecting, young but not juvenile, Miro's drumming is perfectly controlled, and the guitar work by Tony Kuhn and Ryan Baker is excellent -- just far-out enough to give funky angles to an otherwise round, smooth soul-pop sound.

9. Super Wild Horses - "Alligator"

Ezra Pound might have loved Australian garage-rock duo Super Wild Horses. Amy Franz and Hayley McKee use instruments we know and chords we recognize, but, as the best punk does, they make it new. "Alligator," off their brand-new album Crossroads, is gritty and pretty, dark and bright. It also must be said, after watching the stark, mod video below: Holler at whatever makeup they're using that stays put after getting whipped cream smeared all over it. Nevermind Cindy Crawford kissing a bald guy, where's THIS commercial for color-stay??

10. Morcheeba - "Gimme Your Love"

This month's Head Up High is British trip-hop band Morcheeba's eighth studio album, but settling into a sound is clearly the furthest thing from vocalist Skye Edwards and  multi-instrumentalists Paul and Ross Godfrey's minds. Head Up High is more uptempo, more radio-friendly, and more extraterrestrial than any of their previous work, and "Gimme Your Love" is downright sexy. Feast eyes and ears on the video below.

11. TECLA- "Wake Up"

New York singer, producer, and DJ TECLA released a video for "Wake Up," the latest single from her spring album We Are The Lucky Ones at the end of September. Alongside TECLA's fun vocals and bouncy, summer-splosion Tropicalia-indebted beats, you'll notice she has what looks like the coolest parties on the planet, and also a pet duck. Everything about this is the best thing. (P.S. Note to Miley: This is how ass-tapping as dance move is supposed to look.)

12. Angel Haze - "Same Love"

Last March at SXSW music festival in Austin, I called rapper Angel Haze a game-changer. The performance I watched her give was heart-stopping, and I've been refreshing the internet ever since, waiting for any and everything else she has to offer. Last week, the world and I were rewarded for our patience, AND HOW. Haze, who exploded onto the scene with her cover of Eminem's "Cleaning Out My Closet," has released another cover that blows the original out of the water. This time, the openly queer 21-year-old has covered Macklemore's "Same Love." Haze goes for the jugular, no matter the subject matter, and her discussion of her sexual identity (“No, I’m not gay/ No, I’m not straight/ And I sure as hell am not bisexual/ Damn it, I am who I am when I am it") is no different. Angel for all major leadership positions.

Same Love - Angel Haze by alaskayxxng 

More music! Check out our new music roundups from September, August, and July


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Comments

4 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Shira E.!

Great to have awesome suggestions for my playlists. I'd love to add the feminist, queer bundle of amazingness that is Shira E. to this list! Her latest video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryqR1O79VYE. You can check her out on FB at https://www.facebook.com/shiraEEEE.

Angel Haze!

I love this Angel Haze song, but I have to say I think she's taking some Andrea Gibson poetry and using it in her rap... “No, I’m not gay/ No, I’m not straight/ And I sure as hell am not bisexual/ Damn it, I am who I am when I am it" is from Andrea's poem "Andrew." Regardless, beautiful poetry! Give credit where it's due, Mz. Angel!

Hand Job Academy

That isn't the official video for Hand Job Academy's 'Shark Week'. The real link is here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDDHfmC-AgE

Alika ....Kenny Arkana

This month I'm loving Alika....here is one video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2Ynym7J78I
and Keny Arkana is another muse, having a new very nice album.