In the past few decades, it’s kind of been a man’s world when it comes to hearing a female voice especially in certain scenes like many rock and heavy metal subgenres due to their inherently formed brotherhood of male fans. And even the ones that we already have had endured a barrage of insults throughout years: being feminist man eaters, not being able to play live, or have too much (or not enough) sex appeal. While today’s female artists are still battling this opposition as their predecessors did 30 years ago even with advances in civil rights, there are plenty of fearless, unpretentious, and fiery female bands who aren’t afraid to stand up and make sone noise—the same noise that has sparked another revival of feminism that birthed some of the greatest female rock groups and inspired the next generation of female musicians.
The songs of the sisterly trio Haim recalls the times when guitars ruled the radios. It effectively channels retro-leaning, summery blend of classic guitar-pop from past decades, extending the style of Fleetwood Mac and John Waite into the present moment. By sticking together through their trials and tribulations, the multi-instrumentalists manage to create something cohesive, authentic, and sometimes even bold with each record. They are certainly one of the most dynamic and enthusiastic names to grace the female rock in the past decade.
9. Ex Hex
By taking roots from a similar musical groove as the vintage acts such as Heart and the Runaways, DC based indie outfit Ex Hex brings a garage rock mentality to the 80s style guitar-heavy rock’n’roll, and show themselves to be a band with an eclectic style. What really makes them stand out is that they don’t fall into patterns that can be hard to avoid. They sing about being let down by frustrating men without making the message sound banal or bitter
8. L.A. Witch
If you like your guitar music sassy and a little sleazy, dominated by cool riffs, then look no further than L.A. Witch. With garage rock, psych-tinged punk, and even dream pop all rolled into one, the Californian trio are solidifying their status as the cursed love children of Black Sabbath and The Shangri-Las. These ladies know how to explore their sound and they do it with style, creating something all of their own at the same time. It’s the sound of abandonment and it’s wonderful.
7. First Aid Kit
If the past few years have taught us something, it’s the boundaries of folk and the country music are much more blurry than we might once have expected. The sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg have worked their way through most of the standard-issue bucket list for young bands, but they’ve handled their achievements with such dignity, and carved out a prosperous musical blueprint so quickly that they’ve undoubtly earned the right to do things on their own terms.
Even though the cultural influence of Spain in music is so immense, people don’t really think of Spain when it comes to indie-rock, but they should start to do so. The Spanish upstart quartet Hinds, prove the world that Spanish indie-rock has the power to take over the listeners with the striking, complex and uncompromising sounds that they deliver in the Anglophone mainstream of the genre. Their music personifies a kind of infectious joy that oozes a giddy excitement and irresistible warmth, showcasing Hinds in all their vibrant glory. These girls know how to rock!
On the surface, Bleached’s forthright rock rhythms are crisply played with a raw energy, but a deeper dive reveals a slightly more complex sound with playful beats and surging guitar riffs. Since their 2013 debut, sister duo Jennifer and Jessie Clavin have been cleaning up the rough edges of their punk-pop. Their music is a sonic commitment to sisterhood, sobriety, and honest life. They don’t hold back any punches as they serenade about struggles of their past lives while trying to find a new sense of self-love.
“When we started, we just wanted to be more radical than any band around us,” Savages’ lead vocalist Jehnny Beth told the New York Times back in 2012. With their acclaimed, Mercury prize shortlisted debut studio album Silence Yourself, the London-based quartet accomplished their said mission, by establishing themselves as unapologetic retro-modern post-punk revivalists combining their affinity for the past with their desire to craft songs planted in the contemporary here and now.
3. Skinny Girl Diet
Skinny Girl Diet’s moniker could be somehow misinterpreted as misogynistic or sexist at first glance. But by naming themselves over the unrealistic beauty standards, they’re actually commenting on it, and so is their music. It’s not sugary and over-the-top, it’s bittersweet and sarcastic, and it’s definitely worth giving a chance to.
2. Chastity Belt
With their big smirks and grandma sweaters, Washingtonian quartet have always been a band in search of something real, something raw. Their discography is a sonic testament of a crazed desire for human connection that leads to a constant series of self-devastating choices. They’re set on doing whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want. Though their earlier projects might come off a bit rough and languishment for the first-time listeners, they’ve grown into a new gentler phase, but their intentionality, honesty and vulnerability stay the same. And they’re still set on doing whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want.
1. Vivian Girls
Once a humble band from New York, Vivian Girls became an overnight sensation in the indie blogosphere after dropping their self-titled debut in 2008. Helping set the table for some pretty major trends in the indie scene for the next few years, very few bands actually managed to capture the sound of the Brooklyn DIY scene better than them. The kind of searing indie rock tinged with punk evokes the hazy moments of past times and forgotten feelings, Vivian Girls show that you can always go back home if you’re willing to relocate where you call it.