February has thrown me for a loop.
The news today that Larkin Grimm has accused Swans’ Michael Gira of rape got me. Kesha’s court ruling, trapping her into an affiliation with her accused rapist, Dr Luke, got me. The refusal of Miami Police to protect Beyoncé after her SuperBowl performance of Formation got me too.
But what also got me was the outpourings of ‘I believe you’ I’ve seen all over social media to both Larkin and Kesha, and the people standing up for Beyonce’s right to use her platform to say when she knows something isn’t right. However dark things seem, and however far we have to go (which is still very, very far), there are people who’ll lend a hand. It’s just pretty hard to see it sometimes.
These high profile cases are a reflection of what’s happening on an everyday basis to all kinds of people, and that’s why they’re so crucial. Seeing others stand up, and seeing others stand with them, is unspeakably important.
Here are a handful of bands who are also making themselves heard.
Sheer MagCan’t Stop Fighting
“All my life I’ve felt the eye of the catcall,” sings Christina Halladay on single Can’t Stop Fighting. “We’re striking back baby, and you can find me in the vanguard.” As well as talking everyday microaggression, the song references hundreds of unsolved murders of working-class women in Ciudad Juarez, as explained perfectly by Pitchfork.
This isn’t the kind of music you’d usually associate with feminist anarchy – the guitars are pure classic rock, and you wouldn’t blink if the lyrics were replaced by the usual boy-rock bluster, but this tired genre is breathed new life by Halladay’s knack for placing oppression into another frame and instilling them with hope.
G.L.O.S.S.Give Violence a Chance
G.L.O.S.S. are a relatively new addition to the Olympia hardcore scene but they’ve made themselves completely indispensable with their uncompromising take on social justice. On this cut from Not Normal Tapes’ excellent Not Normal Presents… Hardcore compilation, the band outline their anti-police frustrations turned vicious: “When peace is just another word for death, it’s our turn to give violence a chance.” Fuck tiptoeing around something that’s killing us, they scream.
Systematic, normalised violence enacted against disenfranchised minorities of all kinds is given a screaming, thrillingly savage anthem for murderous equality.
You can read a short bio of G.L.O.S.S. here, too.
Big UpsHope for Someone
Big Ups are back. On Hope for Someone, the third peep into the forthcoming Before a Million Universes, the band don’t feel the need to comment on the abstract idea of the world’s injustices as they did on 2014’s 18 Hours of Static: they concentrate far closer to home, on singer Joe Galarraga’s mum, and the sacrifices she made to bring him up. With lines like “Why live in the moment, when the moment is broken? There could be hope for someone – if we fix it,” it feels like a wish for families trapped in much the same scenario.
Pink Eye are my amazing random Bandcamp find of the week. This eponymous LP is the only thing they’ve released so far and the selection of sub-two minute pop songs tackle anxiety, smoking weed, and flipping off the system (“Society is driving me crazy… and I’m not gonna do it your way”). Save a listen of Pizza Girl for a special moment: any love song that has the lyrics, “I’m just a pizza girl, living in a pizza world” is excellent stuff in my book.
Atta GirlFuck the Sun
Richmond, Virginia’s Atta Girl make lovely, jangly guitar pop featuring glittering guitars and bratty, ascendant vocals that each vie for attention. The four-piece channel a bunch of relatable insecurities into their six-track EP, but also offer solutions: “if it all goes sideways, we’ll figure it out!”
Slowing it aaall the way down is Sun Dummy, whose LP, Bunny, premiered today. The eponymous opener is a gorgeous candle-lit, self-care loveletter to the songwriter herself (“And if I could, then I would be someone else… Take care of yourself, when you want to be someone else”), and is a beautiful indicator of the super lo-fi, layered folk-pop treats lined within.