There’s no denying that women are absolutely slaying it in Aussie music now more than ever – and not just in the higher reaches of pop stardom to where they were once widely confined. No, everywhere from the punk scene to a new order of forward-thinking hip-hop acts we are seeing girls surging with more ferocity and fervour than ever before. What better time to start a mentoring program for young women to help them build and refine their performing chops?
This is precisely what Victorian youth music organisation The Push Inc are doing with a program called SQUAD. Aimed at women aged 18-25, SQUAD will take 10 budding performers under their wing, pairing them with industry professionals and providing them with resources and classes where they can hone their skills under the watchful eye of a range of experts.
Grace Kindellan of Melbourne garage punkers Wet Lips is one such performer who will be a part of the program, mentored by the likes of Thelma Plum, Ainslie Wills and Karina Utomo. We thought she’d be one of the best people to ask about who some of the best women in Aussie music right now, so she put together a playlist. Happy listening.
Right of the verge of her induction to SQUAD – a mentor program for talented young female performers – we had Grace Kindellan of Wet Lips put together a killer playlist of awesome Aussie female bands.
“So this is a playlist of my favourite femme-fronted bands at the moment but it’s really just a playlist of my favourite bands going round right now. Women and gender-non-binary people are absolutely slaying it in the music scene! Gigs with femme-focussed line-ups are selling out venues, new record labels are starting up to represent the community and basically everyone’s being like OMG rocknroll is not just for white guys with guitars and insecurity issues. Here’s a playlist to get you psyched for the new world order xoxoxoxox:”
Lazertits – Shonen Knife
Disclaimer: this is not a song about the Japanese band that only sings about food, it’s about when things go together real good. Like you and your best mate. Or Lazertits and your ears.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2002137677 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=4067308290]
Terrible Truths – See Straight
I always say that watching Terrible Truths live is like the moment in a movie when everyone’s on a boat and there’s a massive storm raging and everyone’s like “I don’t know if we’re gonna make it!” and then all of a sudden a streak of sunlight bursts through the clouds and everyone’s like “I think we’re gonna make it!” But yeah they’re phenomenal whether the boat metaphor works or not, just do yourself a favour and go see them.
Sampa the Great – F E M A L E
Sampa the Great absolutely blew the roof off at Golden Plains last weekend. She is a legend and her music is really inspiring. To paraphrase my friend Daisy, a lot of hip-hop artists have this, “I’m great because I’m the artist and I’m up here on the stage and you’re down there in the audience” vibe, whereas Sampa the Great is like “I’m great, you great, we great” vibe which is way more inclusive and fun.
Girl Crazy – Bored Kids
Girl Crazy’s new tape Go Dictating is jam-packed with three minute garage-burners that will have your head nodding and your feet stomping. Get amongst it.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=463936732 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=1682396276]
Loose Tooth – Bites Will Bleed
Loose Tooth write absolutely exquisite garage-rock tunes filled with the catchiest hooks and most heart-wrenching vocal harmonies going round. My band Wet Lips was lucky enough to sing back-up vocals for them at Camp Nong and a couple of us even make an appearance in the video clip for this song. They are launching a bloody ripper of an EP on Milk Records at the Gasometer on April 22 so come down and get yourself a luscious, multicolour vinyl copy. (Get there early to see Wet Lips if you want, no big deal, whatever, shameless self-promotion over).
Simona Castricum – Allegiance
This is a banger off Simona’s new album #TriggerWarning40, which is out on the sick new label LISTEN Records. It’s as much an exploration of personal identity as it is a soundtrack to dancing your heart out at da club.
Pillow Pro – Deadbeat
Pillow Pro make dreamy, synthy rnb and they wear matching costumes on stage so they’re pretty much the best. They have a residency upstairs at the Tote this month on Wednesday nights so have yourself a hump-day treat and check them out.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=153309747 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Two Steps on the Water – Thunderstorm for One
If you need an antidote to all the bands that get on stage and look bored and play music like they have never felt emotions, then Two Steps on the Water is the act for you. They play beautiful, melancholic, cathartic songs and if I had to pigeon-hole them into a genre I would say folk-punk but the title of their EP “Having pop punk feelings in a country-western body” pretty much sums it up. I really like this song because it reminds me of crying on public transport and then going home to my housemates and eating choc-bits and watching Ab-Fab and not giving a fuck.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1831184938 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=2142114224]
Alex Lahey – You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me
Another tight af pop-song from Alex Lahey. She is smashing it at the moment and the cover artwork for this song is a cat in a bag so I probably couldn’t love it anymore if I tried.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/247952575″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
The Pink Tiles – Independence Days
This is a classic track from The Pink Tiles, a legend convention who are all about playing up-beat pop-music, eating cheesy snax, doing shots of fireball and sticking it to the man. We love them.