With International Women’s Day upon us, we celebrate some of our favourite female musicians and their work. Whether they have shaped a cultural landscape, pioneered new genres and taken an innovative approach to creation or simply moved us, these women are undeniably an inspiration to many.
Patti Smith – Gloria: In Excelsis Deo
Opening the lid on her iconic 1975 debut Horses with the resounding declaration of “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine”, these words instantly framed Patti Smith as the musical revolutionary she still is today. Smith created a track that was truly unparalleled by anything else of the time bringing together spoken word poetry and her now infamous rock and roll band, consequently pioneering the 70s punk movement and influencing many of her future contemporaries. Some forty years later, these powerfully sensitive utterances continue to echo through time, stimulating our thoughts and challenging society.
Blondie (Debbie Harry) – Rapture
As the era of big hair and spandex descended upon us, so did a change in the musical landscape. 1981 saw the first ever song featuring a rap make its way all the way to the top of the US Billboard Chart, a feat which not even Kanye West can attribute to his name. In fact, Blondie’s Debbie Harry actually holds this title with the band’s disco come hip-hop classic Rapture. Surely that’s got to make her an inspiration?
Sonic Youth (Kim Gordon) – Schizophrenia
Recently unveiling her latest project Glitterbust, the Sonic Youth days are long gone for Kim Gordon. But this doesn’t mean she still doesn’t carry that same passion and riot that inspired so many young women to break the mould of convention and be whatever they wanted. Juxtaposing the tender emotions of her hauntingly distant vocals with fervent guitars melodies, Gordon truly embodies what it means to be a Girl In A Band.
Spice Girls – Say You’ll Be There
Although having the potentiality to be seen as the music industry’s attempt to create a feminist cliche with their commercialist slogan, it’s undeniable that the Spice Girls bridged the millennium with their ethos and proved ‘Girl Power’ to be much more than that. Whether or not you had an undying love for Emma, Geri, Victoria and the Mel’s, their playful energy and outlandish personalities has been said to have inspired some of pop culture’s biggest icons.
Lorde – White Teeth Teens
Recently paying tribute to the man who said her music was like ‘listening to tomorrow’, Lorde is one of this generation’s most creative, innovative and inspiring minds. Her fusion of dark yet contagious synthpop with socially conscious lyrical ideas sees 19 year old Ella Yelich-O’Connor captivating the world with her majesty and, if Bowie was a fan, we’re not going to contest that.
Words by William Castile