2019 was one hell of a year for women in music. Although we often get ignored by mainstream media, we are definitely still being heard. Our peers are the ones who tend to be our biggest supporters. In honor of that, I have put together an amazing girl gang to discuss their favorite 2019 releases. Ger ready for an amazing playlist!
Emily Highfield aka SULDUSK - @Suldusk
Her Pick: DAYDREAM FLIGHTS - WHISPER
Daydream Flights with Sofia Tishanskaya on bass is a post atmospheric black metal from the Soviet Union. This is black metal with experimental variation, their 2019 album "Whisper" mixes pain with euphoria. It has black gaze elements which I greatly enjoy. Just a style of music that can be dreamy and ambient and also very cutting.
Sabine Schuster - @_sabine_schuster_
Her Pick: KONVENT - Puritan Masochism / Napalm Records / 2019
This all female death doom band has such a surprising dark sound, which pulls the audience straight into hell. Although I don't know whether Rikke Emilies guttural voice sound is natural or modulated by a voice effect, and even though I missed the gig in my hometown (what a mistake…) I’m absolutely impressed by the power and sovereignty of this four very sympathetic Danish girls and I can’t stop listen to the current release. Especially the main track puritan masochism touches the doom heart with an existentially darkness and despair combined with a warm and deep guitar sound. In addition to this they present a wonderful cover art work - I like!
“ROCK IT DOWN” (Peter Laughner box set, performed by Peter Laughner and Adele Bertei):
- Ilka Erren Pardiñas, founder Fly PR: @flyprbuzz
There are sooooo many acts I loved obsessing over this year including Acid King’s 20th anniversary of the epic Busse Woods; seeing Lisa Bella Donna at Monolith on the Mesa; catching the Venomous Pinks in DTLA… I also love cranking Rose Kemp whenever I feel like I’m at the end of my rope. And so many others! But if I have to pick a single track for 2019, it has to be “Rock It Down” from the Peter Laughner box set released by Smog Veil Records featuring Peter Laughner and Adele Bertei. The power and nuance of the track is riveting. The visceral quality of Adele’s voice conveys exactly what it feels like to fall in love with rock’n’roll. That song embodies it for me. I also remember being so electrified by rock music that nothing else would do "rock'n'roll saved my soul" — and that feeling still thrills me today.
Song Preview not available but you can hear more from this box set at this link:
"DORITO DREAMS" (The Giraffes):
- Tara Edwards, Fly PR: @slushthepoem
Hannah Moorhead’s bass work on The Giraffes' newest album is out of this world. Her bass lines are somehow hypnotic and driving, while still interesting and ear-catching, so, as a listener, you're always engaged. Moorhead has said in interviews that she sees the bass as a zen instrument- which seems to be completely at odds with the high intensity of The Giraffes' shows- but it pays of because she holds it down. As a bonus, seeing Bella Novela live at Alex's Bar was such an incredible experience- especially watching Jannea McClure smash the drums. The band delivered lady rage at its finest.
"FLICKER AWAY" (Solvej Schou)
-Mackenzie Mason, Fly PR: @kenzieemason
A current favorite of mine is Solvej Schou’s new album, "Quiet For Too Long". “Flicker Away” is definitely a standout track. Her political lyrics coupled with her strong vocals deliver the perfect balance of blues and punk. The track addresses all the frustration and rage I feel in our current political climate with an intelligence, wit, and authenticity that is truly refreshing. Also a shout out to Nikki Blank of The Blanks- absolutely love her new wave keys on their recent record.
"REAR WINDOW" (The Tissues):
-Rachele Liba, Fly PR: @r.liba
A mostly female act that's caught my attention is the LA-based group, The Tissues. Their latest single "Rear Window" off their upcoming album "Blue Film" is a mesmerizing blend of late 70's punk and mid-90's shoegaze, that's raw, dynamic, and political.
Ashley Cackle (Whore With Knife, Sengende)
Her Pick: CALIGULA BY LINGUA IGNOTA
My album of the year is CALIGULA by Lingua Ignota. This album, along with her previous work, All Bitches Die, are both massive influences on my solo project Whore With Knife. The first time I saw Krysten perform, I was taken completely by surprise, having not listened to her before at all. I wept and wept when the Aileen Wuornos samples came on. This was the first musical performance that ever touched me so deeply and intensely. Over the next year I found myself playing All Bitches Die over and over and over again, in awe of her flawless juxtaposition of beauty and ugliness and rage. I was swept away all over again when CALIGULA dropped. I could not have been prepared for such a powerful and evil-sounding, yet angelic follow-up. When Krysten returned to Montreal and performed CALIGULA in full, she went from opening a well-attended show for The Body to headlining and actually selling out that venue, so her show had to be moved to a larger venue. Again I wept, but it was different this time. These were not tears of sadness or misery but tears of joy, because in the year between these two sets, Krysten has taken on a whole new energy. She is glowing, radiant with happiness and health. She has shown me the raw healing power of rage and music in a way I never could have imagined. And that's exactly what I needed, and I only hope I can help inspire other women to find their voice the way she did for me.
Elyse Howell - Vinyl Junkie, Guitar Player, Super Mom
Her Pick: LOW DOSE - Self Titled
Prior to releasing the album, Low Dose dropped a few tracks from the record. I didn’t have to listen too long before I made up my mind that I’d pre-order. I loved the energy and after hearing the remainder of the album once released: they nailed it. Not a skippable track on the album. As a big Bikini Kill, Nirvana, and Melvins fan, Low Dose fused everything I love about heavy grunge with punk undertones. Itarya’s vocals are perfect, at times reminding me of Kathleen Hanna, but Itarya delivers with her own unique intensity. It’s a whole mood and I’m here for it!
Pull The Plus Radio - Los Angeles based metal radio show airs Fridays 4-6pm.
Her Pick: RITUAL MOON - DEMO
Ritual Moon began as a duo from other Los Angeles area, all female, bands. This demo has Bee on vocals, bass, and guitar and Mars on drums with elements of traditional, old school black metal, as well as, an obvious thrash influence. Bee brings in that traditional guttural style on vocals in combination with Mars heavy hitting beats and thrash style drumming. The guitar ties it all in with fast riffs that set the tone and the low, slower, bass notes complete each song by setting the mood. All in all, this demo is excellent if you're looking for something fast and heavy. Ritual Moon is an extremely talented, all women trio with the addition of Rachel from death metal band, Harlequinn, on bass. Ritual moon comes from the depths of LA and have joined forces to bring that raw black metal sound with such authenticity and ferocity they are a must listen, must see!
Samantha Schuldiner - Guitars and Vocals for FERUM - @ferum_death
Her Pick: Orificial Purge - VASTUM
Ever since I listened to “Hole Below” I was amazed by how crushing Vastum are. Then they have totally blew me away with their performance at KillTown in Denmark this year, which was undoubtedly the best show of the whole festival in my opinion. That’s why I was craving for more and expecting their new album, that came just one day after my birthday: what a present! “Orificial Purge” is crushingly hypnotic and massive. 6 tracks where horror and pleasure are skillfully mixed, where rapidity mixes up with lugubrious melodies. A slow and painful slaughter. There is a constant sense of tension that bonds the songs, striking from the deep, and it keeps me hanging from the beginning to the end. The cavernous atmospheres and mid-paced tempos are entwined with contrasting guitar exchanges. Riffs are sharp as a knife – or following the lyrics we could say that Vastum themselves are the knife. A riffing knife made up by clear Incantation and Bolt Thrower influence, a definitely easy win to me, along with the shattering dueling vocals between Shelby and Leila. She is unbelievable. On stage and on records, her way to unleash darkness is a big source of inspiration to me. May death metal be forever enshrined by women like these! Put simply: I can’t help but fall in love for a record like “Orificial Purge”, because it has everything I look for in an album: death, doom and destruction.
And finally....Our girl Sonia Anubis Nusselder. Now, Sonia didn't exactly follow the rules of choosing an album featuring a woman. After seeing her choice though, we couldn't not include it. Especially after seeing this band kill it every night with King Fucking Diamond. We love you Sonia, I guess rules were meant to be broken :)
Pick: Idle Hands - Mana
As my favourite album of the year, I pick Idle Hands debut release ‘Mana’.
It’s an album that speaks to me not only in a musical way, but also in an a VERY emotional way. I tend to bind personal emotions on an album which in this case is because I felt in love, when an album gives me a good feeling I tend to put that certain album daily on repeat; and that pretty much what happened with this album.
Every single song is so incredibly memorable and catchy, the sound of the clean guitars is new and refreshing for me in this kind of heavy metal. The vocals are sometimes bittersweet and destructive; so are the lyrics, but always very powerful and memorable. Gotta love the occasional AUUUUUUU’s and UUUHH and EEEOOO’s ! Haha.
I have a huge appreciation for a great sense of melody, and all of the songs have this. Featuring dreamy guitar leads; What else do you need?
Favourite songs: Blade and the Will, Jackie, Give Me to the Night and Nightfall.
Hear She Roars wants to thank everyone for their support this year! 2020 Is going to be even better.