In a world in which female creatives are snubbed, minimized and held to tight double standards, many powerful women still push through these expectations to create something fresh, moving and from the heart. Editors at the Daily Lobo have collected a few of our favorite female-fronted works for your assured pleasure.
Zara’s Pick: “Burning Farm” by Shonen Knife (1983)
The 1983 debut full-length album of Japanese punk band Shonen Knife is a true delight. It is no wonder that the all-female rock group, inspired by a mixture of ‘60s pop and early punk-rock, is largely credited with bringing Japanese underground music international. Many of their classics are contained within this record, including the effervescent and effortlessly catchy “Twist Barbie,” a deliriously delightful tune guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Sonically, “Burning Farm” is an eclectic blend of straightforward pop sounds and a survey of sub-genres stemming from the punk tradition, making for one of the most unique albums I have ever heard. Shonen Knife is a treasure — effortlessly against the grain, quirky and a true must-listen.
Maddie’s Pick: “High Road” by Kesha (2020)
Kesha Sebert’s most recent album, “High Road,” is equally as devestating as it is erotic. Centering around themes of sexual liberation, loneliness and being unapologetically yourself, the album reaches back to Sebert’s over-the-top pop roots to create an album perfect for listening to while covering yourself in glitter and smoking a joint.
Sebert collaborates with artists including the likes of Big Freedia and Wrabel, and even includes a notable throwback to her earlier music career by featuring “Ke$ha” on the song “Kinky,” that left fans, including myself, screaming when the track list initially dropped. All this creates a cohesive, showstopping listen that talks about sex as something normal and fun rather than shameful.
However, the upbeat nature of the album comes to a striking halt with songs “Resentment” and the incredibly vulnerable “Father Daughter Dance” that details heartbreak and trauma, both of which continue to showcase Sebert’s range as an artist. Witnessing her excellency performing these songs live remains one of the highlights of my existence on this planet.
Spenser’s Pick: “Jubilee” by Japanese Breakfast (2021)
Far and away one of my most repeated albums of the year has been 2021’s “Jubilee,” by indie alt-pop band Japanese Breakfast. In contrast with their previous albums, which primarily explored singer-songwriter Michelle Zauner’s grief at the loss of her mother, “Jubilee” focuses on the moments of joy after loss and the euphoria in the aftermath.
Soaked in synth and snare that sound out of an ‘80s cityscape, the album sprawls over its ten tracks, which range from the explosive lead single “Be Sweet,” to the mournful “In Hell” and naively sweet “Kokomo, IN.” Additional highlights are the slow and sexy “Posing in Bondage” and the biting “Savage Good Boy,” a toxic love song from the perspective of an agoraphobic and greedy billionaire (Zauner’s answer to Elon Musk).
Nowhere is the album’s two-sided joy more strongly displayed than in the show-stopping final track, “Posing for Cars.” The song is soft and lamentative at first, but as Zauner explores her pain and expresses her need for communication with her partner, words turn into a soaring guitar solo that takes the album home and sticks in my mind in the moments I feel the strongest. This is a song — and album — to listen to with the windows down.
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John’s Pick: “Motomami” by Rosalía (2022)
Easily one of my favorite albums of 2022, Rosalía’s “Motomami” finds the Spanish singer-songwriter deep in her element, crafting banger after banger with not a single skip to be found in the somewhat dense 16-song tracklist. Every single component of each of these songs works to perfection, from the heavy synth line on “SAOKO” to the endlessly catchy saxophone loop on “CHICKEN TERIYAKI;” “DELIRIO DE GRANDEZA” easily contains my favorite sample of the year.
But it’s Rosalía’s charismatic and Auto-tune soaked vocals that truly carry the album. The dexterity and sheer skill she demonstrates vocally on the album are truly something to behold. It’s hard not to find yourself becoming completely entranced by her vocal deliveries and the thumping bass behind many of these tracks.
Now that you have gotten a taste of the albums our editors just can’t get enough of, we hope that you take some time to explore everything that women have to offer in the world of music, and maybe add just one female artist to your playlists, for goodness’ sake.
Zara Roy is the copy chief at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @zarazzledazzle
Madeline Pukite is the managing editor at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @maddogpukite
Spenser Willden is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @spenserwillden
John Scott is the editor-in-chief at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JScott050901