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Femmes Fatales - the fiercest women in music

Honestly, it kind of pisses us off that we even had to make this playlist.

You might've heard the phrase "female musician", "female guitarist", or "female hyperbass flute player" before (maybe not that last one), and never really batted an eyelid. Perhaps you're still wondering, what's wrong with that? It's great that women are getting involved with music! Think about this: have you ever heard anyone say, "gee, that Alex Turner is a great male musician," or "he's great, for a guy,"?

Imagine you've played an instrument all your life, mastered your craft, are pulling some mad Jimi Hendrix style shit on stage every night, and Twitter user @zeppelin_meister01 (Darren, 28, from Bolton) tells you you'll never be good enough because you're a woman! At least 17 Darrens are probably typing out something like that as you're reading this. It happens constantly.

Public reception isn't the only thing women in the industry have to worry about, either. A 2019 study which observed the gender and race of artists, songwriters and producers between 2012 and 2018 uncovered that for every 3.6 men working in music, there was only one woman. This becomes even more shocking when we look at production, where the ratio is a whopping 47 men to 1 woman. If we take it a step further, for every 218 producers, there was only 1 woman of colour. Clearly, representation is a huge issue.

The same study noted other barriers for women in music: objectification, being the only woman in the room, dismissal, and environments in which drugs and alcohol are normalised as part of the "creative process". It's not easy, but there are still a fuck-tonne of kick-ass women out there jumping over these hurdles like the cast of High School Musical, and making some of the most brilliant noise in the process.

We wanted to help guide you towards some of our favourite ladies on the rock scene, so we've made a lovely little playlist to start you on your journey towards enlightenment. We'll be updating it as and when we find more artists we love, but for now our (all UK based!) favourites include:

  • Black Honey - fronted by absolute queen/icon/girl-crush Izzy Bee Phillips, this Brighton based 4-piece remind us that music is art and art is music - in the most surreal, pop art-esque, nightmare-fuelled of ways. Their upcoming album - Written & Directed - a Tarantino inspired LP that flips the male gaze on its head and sparks a new era of "vagina rock" will be released on the 29th of January. Pre-order the album here.

  • Nova Twins - the fierce London duo comprised of Amy Love and Georgia South were called "the best band you've never heard of" by Tom Morello, so if that doesn't convince you, nothing will. They've taken the best aspects of punk rock, added a dash of grime, a sprinkling of metal, and cranked the noise up to 10. Listen to their latest release, Play Fair, here.

  • YONAKA - another Brighton based delight, this time fronted by Theresa Jarvis, whose voice will knock you to the floor. Dead. In a good way. Cited as "British rock's great hope" by NME, the band's 2019 debut album Don't Wait 'Til Tomorrow is an ode to female empowerment that makes you wanna kick a fucking door down. A perfect listen to psych you up for those Christmas dinner quarrels.

  • The Mysterines - this 2-piece is Liverpool's finest. Yep, I know that's where the Beatles are from. Fronted by the vision that is Lia Metcalfe, (who I once directed to the nearest Superdrug before a Royal Blood gig, rock n roll) a truly powerful force, both vocally and on-stage. Listen to their latest release, the Love's Not Enough EP, here.

  • PROJECTOR - Brighton really wins the fucking game here, doesn't it? Bassist Lucy Sheehan takes the helm of this grunge-rock duo, who draw their inspiration from the likes of Pixies and Radiohead - but with their own modern twist. We love the collab they did with firm Rock Coven favourites Sick Joy, Live Thru U. Listen to their latest single, Superstar, here.

We hope you love our Femmes Fatales playlist as much as we do - if you find your new favourite band, you're welcome.

Article by Courtney Myers

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