Happy International Women’s Day 2020 everyone! To commemorate the day I thought I’d make a little playlist of some of the most badass bands and singers around right now who I love! It’s tre cool to be able to spend a day recognising artists I admire and lifting up my female friends by telling them how ace they are (although really today is just an excuse and it’s grand to do this every day!) Hope you enjoy and find something you’re in to! – Han xx
The Opener- Camp Cope
An invigorating call to arms to women in the music industry who are fed up of discrimination- Australia’s Camp Cope serve up an incredible playlist opener. I’ve seen the band play Cardiff a few times now and they’re always class. SHOW EM KELLY!
“It’s another man telling us we can’t fill up the room
It’s another man telling us to book a smaller venue
Nah, hey come on girls, we’re only thinking about you!
Now look how far we’ve come not listening to you”
Age of Consent (New Order Cover)- Cayetana
I got reminded of this rad cover whilst having a guilty pleasures Netflix watch of To All The Boys P.S I Still Love You. No judgement here please. As soon as this came on I jumped up and air guitared around the living room and had such a joyful moment how could I not include this in the playlist?! Great band with so many great songs of their own that I implore you to explore!
Hey Girl- Lady Gaga and Florence & Welch
A powerhouse of a collab for the 2010’s! There were a fair few tracks by both artists I would have liked to include but here we are- combining both for a wonderful certified JAM. Grab your best pal, go for a drive together and get belting! Any one ask for a side of empowering lyrics? YOU BETCHA!
“Hey girl, hey girl
We can make it easy if we lift each other
Hey girl, hey girl
We don’t need to keep on one-in’ up another
Hey girl, hey girl
Hey girl, hey girl
If you lose your way
Just know that I got you”
The Steps- Haim
I feel like Haim just being Haim is a goal in itself- I mean surely every girl wants to be in a band with their sisters or best friends? Although the lyrics aren’t about girl empowerment this song makes me feel like a badass. Sometimes you just need that right?
Separate Houses- Press Club
When I’m in a bad place I love putting this song on and singing along at the top of my voice. Some of you might interpret the lyrics in a negative way, especially the final refrain of “I keep on pretending that I am getting better”. But sometimes it’s nice not to sugar coat things and just have a song you feel like you can empathise with. It kinda spurs me on to work on myself more instead of faking it till I make it. And the song is just killer too!
Maybe Next Year- Jenny Owen Youngs
One of the presenters of my fave Buffy The Vampire Slayer podcast (Buffering)- of course- Jenny Owen Youngs beautiful heartfelt lyrics really resonate with me on this track. As someone that gets really bad Christmas and Birthday anxiety I feel this really encapsulates that yearning that maybe next year will be better. This song is sad but carries an important message. Check in with the people that you care about. Make that little bit of extra effort to incorporate people that make you feel awesome into your life. And if you miss someone let them know.
“Haven’t seen you in a while
Hope you’re alright”
Cinnamon- Hayley Williams
Such a tune! I’m mad in love with Hayley Williams’ solo work and this song is super good and powerful. She’s an incredible ambassador for mental health and being a woman in a male dominated world through Paramore. Seeing her strike out on her own is inspiring and empowering for me- especially when the songs are this good. The imagery in her videos that accompanies the tunes is expressive and shows an artistic awakening which i am HERE FOR!
“I’m not lonely
I am free”
Unstoppable- Lianne La Havas
A formidable artist with song writing prowess and a powerful voice. This song makes me really feel a connection with my fellow women and makes me want to walk together with them through this bonkers World. The repetition of the lyric “We are Unstoppable” reminds me of the strength of women and makes me feel like I can do anything. I really need this in moments of doubting myself, so I hope it resonates with some of you too!
“We’re weak and getting stronger
I know it’s taking the time to heal
We’ll be unstoppable”
Sincerely Overwhelmed- Orchards
Hi there, unofficial president of the Orchards fan club right here! Rumour has it we might be making an appearance at their secret album launch show next Saturday in London (we’ll be there selling our merch- this is a v unsubtle hint- come down and say hi!) Orchards are super summery mathy fun and cover mental health issues often in their lyrics so we had to include one of their new tracks. Roll on Summer because this track oozes hanging in the park in the sunshine with your mates, but also lyrically resonates with the struggle of feeling like you’re letting people around you down when you’re feeling low. (Spoiler alert, you’re not- you need to put yourself first sometimes and hopefully they’ll understand and be compassionate if you explain to them.)
Closer- Tegan and Sara
This is exactly the song you need for getting ready to go out with your girlfriends: It’s uplifting and beautiful. If you’ve never listened to Tegan and Sara then I recommend you give them a whirl- an incredible identical twin duo from Canada, they have garnered a truly loyal fan base over the years and their shows are always moving celebrations of the self. Amazing women singing amazing songs.
Like A Girl- Lizzo
Please excuse the bad language in this song but I felt like I wanted to include this tune as an anthem for women everywhere. Lizzo, although she has her detractors, has released some awesome songs that really speak to me as a woman and encourage me to love myself and appreciate every part of my body and personality. This is hard but I’m getting there, and having a Lizzo soundtrack to these moments of self appreciation is really nice.
“Woke up feelin’ like I just might run for President
Even if there ain’t no precedent, switchin’ up the messaging”
Badass band alert! Tricot are phenomenal live and exude cool on record. This is a great song that makes us feel like we wanna start a band ourselves again. Just a jam we had to include.
I will rave about Fresh till the end of my days. What a band! Kathryn the singer is endlessly cool and we were lucky enough to meet them at 2000 Trees last year. Lyrically so inspiring and connective and sonically so chilled, fun and summery. There isn’t a bad song by these folks and I just know they’re going to get so big- I mean how can they not with songs like Willa and Revenge! I apologise that you will never ever get these tunes out of your head after hearing them once but it’s totally worth it! Excellent band!
“When I’m on stage
I feel safe
You can’t hurt me up here, you can’t hurt me up here
You can’t hurt me
I just want to be acknowledged, please”
Apocalypse Now (and Later)- Laura Jane Grace and The Devouring Mothers
I couldn’t do this playlist without featuring my musical hero Laura Jane Grace. Her new project with the Devouring Mothers is a fresh alternative to her other band Against Me! where I feel like she has the freedom to express herself and sing about what she’s going through. Although this song isn’t about mental health or empowerment I love the message of feeling awesome with someone- which is kinda my vibe for today- feeling awesome with my fellow women, my best friends, family members, co workers and women that surround me that I look up to.
“You make me walk away from the hate I carry”
We Could Run- Beth Ditto
Just a great play list finisher from the Queen Beth Ditto- our feminist icon. Pure. Banger. You’re welcome.