Art / Sounds

6 Badass Female Bands/Musicians to Take You Into Fall


Image: Still from “Everyone Else” music video / By Stephanie Gould and Jordan Doig / via Heliotropes’ Facebook page


I’ve been listening to Valerie June nonstop recently. June grew up along the Mississippi-Tennessee border, moved to Memphis at age 19 and Brooklyn three years ago. I don’t know how to describe her music other than awesome. Endlessly listenable Southern, country, bluesy awesomeness. See?


Heliotropes are four women in Brooklyn who met via Craigslist and now play grungy, energetic psych-rock. The band’s first album, A Constant Sea, came out in June (you can stream the whole thing here). Lead singer/guitarist Jessica Numsuwankijkul sounds something like Hope Sandoval and can veer nicely between a drone and a growl, and songs unfold in a druggy but feminine noise- haze


The Julie Ruin is led by Kathleen Hanna, formerly of 90s riot grrrl heroes Bikini Kill and feminist electropunks Le Tigre. The band also features Bikini Kill alum Kathi Wilcox, guitarist Sara Landeau and drummer/performance artist Carmine Covelli, playing powerful, infectious dance punk.


Chelsea Wolfe is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter who channels P.J. Harvey and David Lynch. Her fourth album, Pain is Beauty, was released Sept. 3. Its full of dreamy, distorted goth-folk ballads that I know you Luna Luna ladies will love. (listen here).


I was so into it from the first few moments of the first song on Potty Mouth’s new album Hell Bent. Liz Phair-flat affect, DIY surf punk energy. Recorded, the songs all start to sound the same after a while, like punk songs tend to. But whatever–you know they’re badass live (as evidenced below), or put on Hell Bent while you’re working, getting ready or fucking for a perfectly energizing but not-too-distracting soundtrack. You can stream the whole new album (out Sept. 17) on NPR. Here’s a good Bust interview where the women about ageism and sexism in the way the band is covered.


I love what a weirdo Janelle Monae is. Her new album, The Electric Lady, is eerie, funky, retro-futuristic R&B–oh, and a concept album about a human who falls in love with an Android. It also features Prince. Here’s “Q.U.E.E.N.” from it, featuring Erykah Badu.

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