Have yet to find your song of the summer?
We have listened to all of the top, new tracks from women and femme artists over the past few months. Here is our comprehensive lists of tracks to get you through the last week of warm weather.
"Stay Down" by boygenius
Boygenius is the love child of indie goddesses Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus. Baker brings her well-known, emotionally raw lyrics to the mix, taking lead vocals in “Stay Down” (check our her album Sprained Ankle for a good taste of heartbreak). The group met at similar points of vulnerability in their career and soon became close as musicians and friends— an intimacy one can feel when listening to their EP. Boygenius as their title seems to nod at their own autonomy as female artists, and the male-dominated industry that undermines it.
"Holy" by King Princess
Fresh off her debut EP Make My Bed, Brooklyn-native King Princess is already well on her way to becoming a gay/genderqueer icon. Born Mikaela Strauss, her moniker is a clear reference to her gender identity, and in songs like “Talia”, sings about her relationships with women, something you don not always get in the pop genre.
"Nobody" by Mitski
“Nobody” is the essential bop from Mitski’s 5th album Be the Cowboy (read last week’s review!). There is no way to make a female-centric playlist without her and this indie/pop track.
"Hunger" by Florence + the Machine
Florence Welch is such a solid, well-received jam provider that I feel like she often floats under the radar. This single from Welsh’s latest album High as Hope of course meets all the interpretive dancing, flower-crown banging expectations you may have for FATM. Welsh’s lyrics really strike a chord, addressing her own eating disorder, the painful effects of vanity and the “Hunger” we all share.
"Give A Little" by Maggie Rogers
“Give a Little” is the newest single from NYU grad Maggie Rogers and what will be her first full-length album. From rural Maryland, Rogers builds on her folk rock roots with electronic elements, creating a sound that is both indie and pop (but 100% danceable). She became well known from a viral video of Pharrell praising her song “Alaska” in 2016 — her senior year at the Clive Davis Institute.
"She" by Alice Phoebe Lou
Live versions of this song have been floating around for awhile, but it was only just recently released by Lou, a South-African, Berlin-based singer-songwriter. “She,” which was featured in Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, was added to the Oscar’s shortlist for Best Original Songs. Known for her humble style and ethereal voice, Lou is for the most part independent — turning down record deals and selling out shows throughout Europe.
"Running Up That Hill" by First Aid Kit
Hailing from Stockholm, Klara and Johanna Söderberg are the sister-duo forming First Aid Kit, who made up their name by randomly opening the dictionary. Although their latest album gravitated towards pop, “Running Up That Hill” harkens back to their American folk and country influences. They attribute their early interest in music and 70’s vibes to Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, and Simon and Garfunkel, who are all nodded to in their song “Emmylou” and cover of “America”.
"Pristine" by Snail Mail
“Pristine” is the indie rock hit of Snail Mail’s debut album Lush. At only 19, Lindsey Jordan is signed with Matador records and has toured with Beach Fossils, Girlpool, and Waxahatchee. She brings a fresh voice to a little older, more male-dominated scene, with lyrics like “Don’t you like me for me?/Is there any better feeling than coming clean?”
"Teenage Fantasy" by Jorja Smith
The British R&B singer was a Starbucks barista when she released her song “Blue Lights” on Soundcloud, following it by self-releasing her first EP Project 11 in 2016. She went on to tour with Drake, win a Brit Award, and release her debut studio album Lost & Found this summer. Smith says she wants to be a role model for younger women, which you can feel in her song “Teenage Fantasy” Listeners can connect through her lyrics and know they are not alone in feeling disillusioned by the lost ideals of womanhood.
Hear the full playlist here.
Hannah Calistri is a second-year anthropology student at NYU and a Copy Editor for The Rational Creature.