The Modern Day Rebel Girls Of Music Demand Attention

By Charlotte Gibson on November 14, 2013

In the early 1990s, the Riot Grrrl movement forever altered the music industry?s perception of the female identity.? The underground feminist punk rock movement revealed raw emotions associated with third-wave feminism, that often times addressed issues such as abuse, sexuality, racism, patriarchy, and most importantly female empowerment.

From Bikini Kill to Sleater-Kinney, the power of the female band began to spark a world-wide revolution and people started to notice these outlandish female rebels.? Not only did these female groups prove their musical talents through their strong vocals, killer instrumentals, and ardent lyrics but they took advantage of their musical presence to articulate feminist thoughts and desires.

The Riot Grrrl movement created an identity for females across the globe and provided a voice for those unable to communicate.? As a result, in today?s music industry, female bands yearn to capture the voice and attention of their Riot Grrrl predecessors and very few properly succeed ??before they sellout and start writing?pop?melodies.

Despite the inability for any present female group to completely mimic the likings of Bikini Kill?s Kathleen Hanna or Le Tigre?s Johanna Fateman, a new wave of young fierce female talent demands the attention of the public with a powerful portion of female empowerment mixed with ?bitchy? and dark breakup/relationship ballads.


With the September 2013 release of their debut album Days Are Gone, the American indie pop band Haim captivates listeners with their eccentric vocals and folky meets nineties instrumentals.? Stemming from Los Angeles, the band consists of sisters Este Arielle, Danielle Sari, and Alana Mychal Haim accompanied with drummer Dash Hutton.

Oftentimes compared to Fleetwood Mac, the Haim sisters are creating their own musical construct and gaining global momentum just within the last year.? Not only are the sisters signed to Jay Z?s US label Roc Nation, they have also toured with Florence And The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, and played with Primal Scream at Glastonbury last summer.

When listening to ?Don?t Save Me? and ?My Song 5? on Haim?s debut album, echoes of the Riot Grrrl movement permeate the undertones of Haim?s somewhat feminist, tortured, and empowered vibes.


What do you get when you combine some sad moments, some dancey moments, some rocking out moments, and lots of harmonies mixed into one debut album?? Well according to bassist Ryan Lamb of Alpine in a July 2013 Rolling Stone interview, the goal of the Australian alternative pop band?s 2013 debut album was to ?display its many facets? and ?represent the different sides of our music,” and the album rightfully succeeds at meeting those demands.

After listening to A is for Alpine, it is evident that the band?s combination of synths with sweet harmonies and bright beats create a masterpiece that stems from the female vocals of Phoebe Baker and Louisa James.? The Australian female vocalists subtly capture a hybrid of alternative dance and post-punk sounds with the addition of truthful, raw lyrics and melodies.

Both ?Hands? and ?Gasoline? from A is for Alpine draw attention to female subjectivity and vulnerability, whilst empowering the female identity.? Alpine represents a modern-day femininity and strength that reflects the power of the original Riot Grrrl leaders and the grace of modern times.

Sky Ferreira?

With the recent release of Sky Ferreira?s debut album Night Time, My Time, the 21-year-old channels her Riot Grrrl predecessors with jagged noise and powerful ballads that reflect her own self-destruction and society?s depiction of female identity.? Despite signing a major-label record deal in 2007 at the age of 15, the release of Ferreira?s November 2013 debut album embodies the singer?s personal and musical eccentricity and rigidity.

Backed with an emotional intensity and unique vivacity, ?Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay)? and ?I Blame Myself? from Night Time, My Time reflect Ferreira?s forceful presence as a female artist with an indestructible voice of empowerment and subjectivity.? Ferreira?s electro-pop jolt spiked with girlish melodies and rigid noise makes for a reminiscent flashback to Kathleen Hanna?s moody, dramatic, and jaw-dropping ballads, and as a result, the 21-year-old is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the music scene.


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