Right now, girls are running the punk/alternative music world with such dominance I’m surprised Beyoncé hasn’t put some clothes on and strapped on a guitar.
So, as a thank you to all these awesome ladies and their awesome tunes, here’s a little list of who you should be listening to right now, especially as girls are usually always right…
New York’s Laura Stevenson, accompanied by her band The Cans, put out one of my favourite records last year, the awesome Wheel. There’s this steely fragility to her voice that just passes through you like some B-movie ghost, freezing your blood but melting your heart at the same time. Don’t ask me how, just listen yeah?
Jenny Owen Youngs
Another from the east coast, Jenny Owen Youngs has this casual, off the cuff vocal style that just sounds so natural and easy. Songs like “Fuck Was I” show an honesty and straight forward lyrical approach that wades through the drivel and hits right at the target. JOY has also put out plenty of rad covers such as versions of Weezer’s “Getchoo” and plaster wearing, Porsche-buggering Nelly’s “Hot In Herre”.
We Are The In Crowd
Very much drawing on the poppiest of pop-punk, We Are The In Crowd have just put out a record that is about as fun as it gets, Weird Kids. Singer Tay Jardine is pretty much the full package, a front-woman capable of dominating and owning the stage so much you’re desperate to be her friend. There’s a pluckiness in her lyrics and vocals that feels refreshingly authentic and alongside her band their popularity seems to increase every month. I fully expect WATIC to be a lot of kid’s gateway group into punk music.
This unruly Philadelphia group have a raw, awkward and bristly energy that is pure basement party punk. Their recent full length preview EP Hot Dad Calendar is full of restless chords and quick-as-you-can drum rolls dictating end of adolescence, yelping vocals.
Brooklyn bawlers Chumped fire out blasts of uncompromising pop-punk littered with resonate-able lyrics that take the everyday mundane and turn it into something more special. Singer Anika Pyle yearns like a female Blake Schwarzenbach, a notion echoed by the chaotic Jawbreaker-esque instrumentation swirling and crunching behind her.
Against Me! have been one of punks most consistently brilliant and evolving bands since their first release back in 2002. A no-holds barred attack on punk, politics and personality problems charge through all their releases, both independently and briefly on a major label. The bands transition into a straight up aggressive rock band has brought the best out of singer Laura Jane Grace’s anarchic, throaty vocals that have really reached their full potential on their latest record Transgender Dysphoria Blues; a grippingly punishing reflection on transsexuality.
Featuring scorching riffs and Courtney Love at her best vocals, London’s The Kut generate an expansive, Deftones influenced sound that is pretty much destined for the radio. Picking out the best bits from early Alt music the all-girl group’s sprawling and impressively composed clamour seems to be attracting plenty of deserved attention from some pretty big publications.
Hop Along, fronted by Francis Quinlan, creates some of the most truly unique and infectious melodic hooks I’ve heard in a long, long time. Quinlan has so much variety in her voice it sounds like twenty different voice boxes have collided together in some beautiful explosion that’s enough to make you reconsider creationist theory. The vocals are also perfectly matched by the chaotic imagery and fragmented instrumentation that flashes and dips so hard you feel it in the pit of your stomach, like one of those roller-coaster rides I’ve always been too scared to go on.