Powerful Feminist Musicians to Save Our Souls

Featured photo from SAMIA via Facebook.

Welcome back from Spring Break, Dukes! Personally, I always need a pick-me-up at this time of year, when final exams loom around the corner but I just want to drink iced coffee and fantasize about summer concerts. On that note: what better pick-me-up than some badass feminist musicians to spice up your Spotify (or Apple Music, or YouTube if you’re *that person*)? Without further ado, please enjoy me pretending I have extensive musical knowledge as I share three of my rockin’ femme-faves of the modern day:

Samia

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage
Photo from @samiatheband on Instagram, credited to Kevin W. Condon (@weirdhours).

“If I wanted your opinion, I would’ve written you a song. But this one’s for me.”

Samia, “The Night Josh Tillman Listened To My Song”

An up-and-coming indie pop-rock artist from New York, Samia Finnerty didn’t set out to become a feminist icon. She had just gotten her start in the music industry when her upbeat tune “Someone Tell The Boys,” which slams the infuriating practice of mansplaining, rose to fame because of its fitting placement on a Spotify radio titled “Badass Women.” Now with just a handful of songs released, Samia has touched on important feminist topics including addiction (“Welcome to Eden”), eating disorders (“Milk”), and the sexual exploitation of young girls by their peers (“Lasting Friend”). Her lyrics are quirky and zoom in on colorful details of existing as a young woman who knows her power but also feels the pressure to gain approval from men and society- from “I’m in the bathroom seeing how far my two fingers can fit ’round my thigh” to “It’s nice to be a hero, but it’s better to be anything that anyone could want in a woman.” Samia’s voice and lyrics are raw and honest, and I want to see her rise to the indie stardom she so deserves!

Top feminist recommendations from Samia: "Someone Tell the Boys" and "Lasting Friend"

Marian Hill

Image may contain: one or more people
Photo from @marianhillmusic on Instagram.

“Trying to cut me down, you better reconsider. You know my skin is thicker, so just ease up off that trigger.”

Marian Hill, “Sad Song”

Y’all might be familiar with this duo’s hit song “Down,” which I lovingly call “the OG consent song” because it pairs electronic and jazz vibes together in the sweetest, sexiest escapade of asking someone if they are, well, “down.” Since this absolute banger, Marian Hill has released a total of three albums: Act One, Sway and Unusual. Singer Samantha Gongol promotes unapologetic female confidence, and her voice never wavers as she sings about attraction (“Subtle Thing”), regaining self-worth after break-ups (“Good”), holding the upper hand in broken friendships (“Sad Song”), and excellent sex (pretty much the majority of their songs) with the support of production artist Jeremy Lloyd and the occasional talented jazz saxophonist. What I find empowering about Marian Hill is Gongol’s ability to deliver lyrics about topics women are frequently told to be embarrassed over with pride, beauty and conviction. She holds a spirit I hope can become accessible to all of us, and maybe jamming out to some of these songs can serve as the first step.

Top feminist recommendations from Marian Hill: "Down," "Good," and "One Time"

Terror Jr.

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup
Photo from @terror.jr on Instagram, credited to Millicent Thailes (@millicentthailes).

“My heart breaks, but I don’t.”

Terror Jr., “Heartbreaks”

When Terror Jr.’s song “3 Strikes” appeared in a Kylie Jenner lipstick commercial, no information could be found on the mysterious group, which called itself a “social experiment” and released EPs piece by piece until their first full album, Unfortunately, Terror Jr., dropped earlier this year. Founded by former Cataracs band members and singer Lisa Vitale, Terror has no fear of getting absolutely weird with their music’s structure and lyricism. Vitale’s soft, falsetto voice creates an exciting juxtaposition as she sings about taboo topics like drugs (“Little White Bars”) and sex (“Fight and Fuck”), painting streaks of feminism into unarguably explicit electro-pop. Many of Terror Jr.’s songs tackle feminist issues outright, like “Pretty,” which offers a painful and realistic take on body hate and self-destruction. Others slip relevant issues into songs that could easily be misinterpreted as single-storied. For example, “Caramel” references attacks on reproductive healthcare with the line “They want to shut me down like my pussy’s fucking worthless,” and “Maker” uses she/her and he/him pronouns interchangeably to reference God. On Terror Jr.’s new album, Vitale passionately sings “I can be my own favorite bitch,” and I wish I could tell her that she’s my favorite bitch, too.

Top feminist recommendations from Terror Jr.: "Come First," "Pretty," and "Isolation"

What artists/bands bring out YOUR inner feminist (or just pump you the fuck up)? PLEASE save my soul and share them with me in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Powerful Feminist Musicians to Save Our Souls

  1. I LOVE ALL OF THESE ACTS SO MUCH. Marian Hill specifically makes me feel powerful and sexy, and Terror Jr. is one of my favorite acts right now. I’d recommend Kim Petras if you’re looking for similar musicians, she’s a trans pop singer who has some bubblegum pop sensibilities and OWNS her femininity with total control.

    Liked by 1 person

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