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Female Power – 30 vinyl records from my personal collection

Female Power – 30 vinyl records from my personal collection in honor of International Women’s Day

In 2024, women are still underrepresented in the music industry, you only have to take a look at the line-ups of major festivals. There are far more talented female musicians out there than just Taylor Swift (no offense!).

Last year, albums by artists such as Arxx, Blondshell, Berlin 2.0, Brutus and Wednesday were among my most listened to in 2023. Artists such as Marika Hackman, The Last Dinner Party and the impressive Lime Garden have already received the ‚Vinyl of the Week‘ accolade this year.

In this article, I want to introduce you to particularly noteworthy albums by and featuring female musicians that I find interesting for any record collection. Despite archiving my collection on Discogs, I may have overlooked some great records (I already notice, as I write this introduction, that I forgot to list ‚The Scream‘ by Siouxsie And The Banshees below), but never mind… I’ve also created a corresponding playlist on Spotify.

Fiona Apple – Tidal

Fiona Apple is my absolute favorite singer-songwriter. Period. Since she emerged with „Shadowboxer“ or „Criminal“ back in 1996. Since then, she hasn’t released a bad album or a bad song. I was also completely enthralled by her comeback album „Fetch The Bolt Cutters.“ The only thing missing now is a tour in Europe.

Deutsche Laichen – s/t

Deutsche Laichen made a huge impact on the punk scene and my ears with their debut album in 2019. In their angry songs, they denounce the power of the patriarchy. Titles like „Emanzenlesbenschlampe“ or „My Cunt My Business“ speak for themselves. I hope there will be more releases in the future because we have too few bands in germany that point fingers so prominently and provocatively.

Petrol Girls – Talk Of Violence

Another furious punk band that has directly entered my ears. „Touch Me Again“ is a true feminist anthem. Overall the lyrics touch on various feminist topics. The first single from their latest album, released in 2022, was titled „Baby, I Had An Abortion.“ On stage the band generates an incredible live energy, in my opinion even outshining Refused as the opening act.

Svalbard – When I Die, Will I Get Better

A lot of frustration and anger can be heard in the hardcore-infused post-metal of Svalbard. Singer Selena Cherry addresses personal topics like depression, an eating disorder or an abusive relationship in her lyrics. Unfortunately, the band also experienced its share of turmoil, canceling a planned release on Holy Roar Records after abuse allegations against label boss Alex Fitzpatrick and finding a new label.

Bikini Kill – Revolution Girl Style Now

Do I need to write much about this band? With their debut album, Bikini Kill brought furious feminist punk music to the musical map. With ‚Rebel Girl‘ on their second album „Pussy Whipped“, they created a true anthem. If you want to see the band live again, they are playing a single concert in Germany at Columbiahalle in Berlin in June.

Anna Calvi – s/t

Another singer-songwriter whom I absolutely admire. Her debut album was a revelation! I read somewhere that it’s like PJ Harvey meets Edith Piaf. Even Brian Eno is a fan. The concert in 2011 at the Astra Kulturhaus in Berlin was one of the most impressive performances I have ever seen and heard from a musician on stage.

Soap & Skin – Narrow

I also had the chance to see Soap & Skin live at the Astra Kulturhaus in 2012 – the year I moved to Berlin. One of the most intense and emotional live experiences ever. Anja Plaschg’s voice always magically captivates me.

Björk – Post

I still remember finding this record on a sunny day at the flea market on the RAW-Gelände in Berlin. Of course, I had to take it home. It’s simply a classic, not as experimental as later albums by the Icelandic artist. Simply fantastic!

Scowl – How Flowers Grow

I discovered Scowl by chance. They opened for Touché Amoré during my trip to Brighton in 2022 and I was instantly in love. Especially with the stage presence of frontwoman Kat Moss. The debut album is a collection of fantastic hardcore punk songs. Hope to hear more from them in the future!

Knef – Knef

For a long time, I only knew Hildegard Knef as the singer of „Für mich soll’s rote Rosen regnen“. Until a friend played „Im 80. Stockwerk,“ one of the probably grooviest german-language songs ever recorded. With this album, the singer shows that she was miles ahead of her time. I’m glad this masterpiece was reissued on orange vinyl in 2022. A must-have in any well-sorted collection.

Gouge Away – Burnt Sogar

My favorite album of 2019. An accumulation of intense hardcore songs, carried by the distinctive voice of frontwoman Christina Michelle, who is now also the bassist for the great band Nothing. The songs deal with her depression and anxiety in brutally open lyrics. As luck would have it, there’s new material coming next week with the new album „Deep Sage.“ The expectations are high!

Dover – I Was Dead For 7 Weeks in the City of Angels

Finally! This album was released on vinyl just a few weeks ago. When I finally held it in my hands as an LP, years of waiting for this pressing came to an end. Since the album is not available on streaming platforms, playing it on vinyl almost felt like the first time I heard the band from Barcelona almost 20 years ago. And their punk-infused garage rock still works perfectly in 2024. Simply a fantastic record!

Tracy Chapman – s/t

Songs like ‚Fast Car‘ or ‚Talkin Bout A Revolution‘ are simply timeless. A great album. When Tracy recently performed with Luke Combs at the Grammys, I actually got chills. What a voice!

Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man – Out Of Season

Albums by Portishead could also be mentioned in this list, but the solo album by frontwoman Beth Gibbons stands out even more for me. Songs like „Tom The Model“ or „Mysteries“ are simply brilliant. A new album is on the horizon soon (I’m very excited!), considering „Out Of Season“ is already more than 20 years old.

Slowdive – s/t

Technically, any album by this legendary band could be mentioned here. However, the self-titled album was my introduction to the sonic universe of Slowdive. I am still grateful that I got to see the band live at the Festsaal Kreuzberg because the sound they unleash live is truly powerful. I still often drink my coffee from the cup I bought at their merchandise stand.

A.A. Williams – Songs From Isolation

One of the most impressive songwriters I have discovered for myself in recent years. Especially through their collaboration and touring with Mono, one of my absolute favorite bands. On this album, she covers songs like „Creep“ or „Where Is My Mind?“ in a beautifully stripped-down manner.

Scout Niblett – It’s Up To Emma

Somehow, Scout Niblett never really achieved a big breakthrough. Not understandable to me because her grunge-influenced melancholic songwriter sound should not be ignored. The album includes a fantastic cover of TLC’s „No Scrubs,“ which I even own as a 7″ single.

Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle

By now, Julien is probably better known as a member of boygenius alongside Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, whose works could also be mentioned here. However, I chose Julien Baker’s debut album because her emotional and stripped-down songwriting has always touched me deeply.

Distillers – Sing Sing Death House

I know many women in my circle who absolutely adore Distillers frontwoman Brody Dalle. Understandable, in my opinion. The band’s gritty punk rock captured my heart over 20 years ago. ‚Sing Sing Death House‘ is an absolute classic of the genre.

Paramore – This Is Why

What applies to Brody Dalle is at least as true for Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams. Even today, some songs by the band belong in every well-sorted emo playlist. The band’s latest album turned out surprisingly well (I didn’t necessarily expect that), especially the title track is an absolute banger that spreads good vibes every time I listen to it.

Lingua Ignota – Caligula

The music of Lingua Ignota is not for the faint of heart. Kristin Hayter’s experimental noise sound is certainly no music you can listen to constantly. But, especially on headphones, it’s perfect for forgetting the world around you. I saw her live as the opener for Amenra, which was simply breathtaking. Last year, she released an album under the name ‚Reverend Kristin Michael Hayter.‘

Hole – Live Through This

As a grunge kid, this is naturally an essential band and album that still works wonderfully 30 years after its release. Songs like ‚Violet‘ or ‚Doll Parts‘ are absolute hits that should still be played at any (indie) rock party today.

Rainer Maria – A Better Version Of Me

Since a friend included the song „Ceremony“ on a mixtape, I’ve been hooked. I adore this song and the complete musical work of the band from Wisconsin, which is often categorized into the emo genre. All six studio albums of the band rightfully stand in my collection.

Janis Joplin – Pearl

Perhaps the first singer who truly touched me musically. I believe everything that can be written about her voice has already been written. The first notes of ‚Cry Baby‘ still give me occasional chills. Unbelievable that this album is now 52 years old!

Rilo Kiley – The Execution Of All Things

This album is still one of my favorites ever. And one of the first I ever owned on vinyl after buying my own turntable in my early twenties. My LP is now so worn out that it’s probably time for a reissue.

Circus Trees – Delusions

A few years ago, these three sisters suddenly appeared on the scene. The grungy sound of the album immediately captivated me. Considering the maturity of the compositions, it’s almost unbelievable that the sisters were between 14 and 18 years old at the time of the release. I’m curious to see what the future holds for the band.

Heart On My Sleeve – In The Midst Of Hope And Nothingness

In my ears, one of the best screamo albums of recent years. If not the best. Everything is just right here, and I always enjoy putting the record on when I want it to get a bit louder!

Pretty Girls Make Graves – The New Romance

For me, an absolute classic in terms of indie and post-punk. And essential for my collection. Therefore, I was very happy that the album was reissued on white vinyl for its 20th anniversary last year.

Nina Hagen Band – s/t

After Hildegard Knef, another German icon who has influenced numerous artists here. The album was not insignificant for the later development of ‚Neue Deutsche Welle‘. For the 45th anniversary last Black Friday, it was reissued on red-black vinyl. I own the original pressing from 1978.

Momma – Household Name

Since its release not even two years ago, it is probably the album I have listened to the most. I just can’t get enough of their sound influenced by 1990s alternative rock. Every single song is a hit. I bought the vinyl during my trip to Brighton at Resident Music (a great record store!) as a fancy Dinked Edition. If you don’t know the band yet, definitely give them a listen!

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