INTERESTING BITS: Women Are Making the Best Rock Music Today — Bands That Prove It
Where, exactly, have the guitars gone? Sure, there’s never been a shortage of traditional rock bands — say, a mostly male, mostly white four-piece. But in the face of increasingly diverse musical tactics, their cultural impact is beginning to wane. Many indie-rock groups have started to feel rote or even parodic, as if they’ve run out of ideas or exhausted the passion to develop new ones.
But a new generation of female and non-binary performers — punk in style or spirit, coming from the all-ages warehouse and D.I.Y.-venue ecosystem — is taking their place.
These singers and musicians, working just below the mainstream, are making music about tactile emotion, rousing politics and far more. To take stock of this vibrant moment, and to spotlight these artists’ work, we spoke with them about why they make the music they do, and what obstacles the industry, and society at large, have thrown in their paths.
Turn on your sound to hear 25 bands that prove women are making the best rock music today — then listen to an extended playlist of standout songs from 25 more.
● Lindsey Jordan, still a teenager, pours her soul into resolutely unhurried songs for Snail Mail, a sinewy trio of guitar, bass and drums.
“I think when people see me onstage they tend to assume I’m cold or bitchy, because I stay pretty serious when I play music.”
— Lindsey Jordan, Snail Mail
● Aye Nako: In what they call “sad punk songs about being queer, trans, and black,” Aye Nako leans on uneasy vocal interplay to create perpetual urgency.
● Cayetana: The singer Augusta Koch can be casually devastating in lyrics or just with a voice-crack, when her downtrodden monotone breaks with feeling.
● Mannequin Pussy: This quartet captures all flavors of emotional torment in short bursts that range from ferociously thrashy to delicately melodic.
By Joe Coscarelli, Caryn Ganz, Jon Caramanica and Jon Pareles
Produced by Antonio De Luca, Alicia DeSantis and Umi Syam
Go to the website for descriptions and music from all 25 bands…
[Thank you to Alex Teitz, http://www.femmusic.com, for contributing this article.]