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Riot Grrl: Meet The New Female Faces of Punk Rock

March 16, 20174 min read

It’s been over two decades since female punk icons like Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill), Courtney Love (Hole) and Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) stepped onto the scene and turned the genre on its head. But today, punk is certainly not dead, and it’s being re-imagined for a new generation with new, fresh, female faces and a new sound. These five artists are pushing the genre forward and blasting out speakers in the process.

  1. Bully 
    Bully is a punk and garage rock band founded in Nashville, TN by frontwoman Alicia Bognanno. Bully’s debut album ‘Feels Like‘ was released in 2015, but the sound of the album is beautifully reminiscent of alt-rock groups of the 90’s. Bognanno’s vocals go from soft and feathery to howling in tracks like ‘Trash‘, ‘Picture‘, and the lead single ‘Trying’, in which she sings about individuality, questioning ones ‘figure and sexuality’, and learning to accept one’s flaws.

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  2. Girlpool
    Few bands compare to the rawness and the bluntness that Girlpool has in both their lyrics and instrumentals. Whether it’s the raw, simple-but-effective approach in their music, their to-the-point lyrics in songs such as ‘Paint Me Colors‘ where the girls sing, “I’ll never understand what it means to be a man who is white ’cause he never has to fight”, or the fact the band only includes Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, Girlpool brings a refreshing, unique sound and message desperately needed in music.

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  3. Courtney Barnett 
    Australian rocker Courtney Barnett only has two albums under her belt, but she’s already made a large mark on the music world. Being nominated for a Grammy back in 2016, her second album ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit‘ was released to wide critical acclaim due to her unique way of lyrical storytelling and edgy indie-rock influenced sound.

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  4. Hop Along
    Frontwoman Frances Quinlan has a voice that made a journalist at Vulture beg the question, “Is this the best voice in rock music today?” (Yep, she’s that good.) Hop Along formed in 2004, releasing their debut album ‘Get Disowned‘, but it’s their second release, ‘Painted Shut‘ that grabbed the attention of music fans and critics alike. With the leading song on the album ‘The Knock‘, Quinlan’s sweet-but-edgy vocals drew in new fans by expressing both vulnerability and frustration throughout the album.

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  5. Bleached 
    Bleached are a band who’s humble roots can be traced back to Los Angeles, California. The group is a by-the-book all-girl punk band consisting of two sisters, Jennifer and Jessica Clavin, and Micayla Grace. The band has two full-length albums and one EP released, but it’s their sophomore album ‘Welcome the Worms‘ released in 2016 that brought the band more attention with their lead single, the punk headbanger ‘Wednesday Night Melody.’

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