10 Queer Female Bands and Musicians You Need to Know Right Now!

10 Queer Female Bands and Musicians You Need to Know Right Now!

One of my favorite things to do is go to live shows for bands that I love—especially girl bands. My adoration for queer female bands definitely started with Tegan and Sara. I was a young teen marathon-ing all of their songs on YouTube with no luck at ever finding myself at one of their concerts. Thankfully, my best friend and I finally got the chance to see them live when they opened for The Black Keys at the Staples Center in LA in 2012. And then we took the plunge and put down a payment for pit tickets at their solo show at the Nokia Club for their Heartthrob tour. While I do love huge shows for big names, there's something wonderful about seeing musicians that buzz at the local level. It's the intimacy that I love. The chance that you could easily make eye contact with them, and show how much you enjoy their music by bobbing your head along and singing their lyrics right back at them.

Now, of course, whether or not a musician is out and proud doesn’t necessitate talent—but it’s always nice to be able to identify with those that are because we share that integral experience. You may find that you already know all of these and say, “duh,” or look at a bio and say, “who?” – maybe delving into one of these bands’ discography will help you find your theme song for the summer, or a song that reminds you of the happy days, or the perfect song to keep you strong for the sad days. Check out the list and let your ears take it all in.

1. Allison Weiss

My earliest memory of Allison Weiss was stumbling onto one of her covers on Tumblr, which brought me down the wonderful YouTube-hole of Weiss’ channel. I loved listening to her live cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend,” as an acoustic rendition that is just as good as the original. I even learned to play her song, "I Was An Island," on the ukulele to seranade my partner. Weiss had a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2009 for her first full-length record—which met its $2,000 fundraising goal in ONE day. She is definitely a pioneer at making music on her own terms by utilizing the fanbase she’s created over the internet within these last few years. Since then Allison has continued making music, and expanding her fanbase as she puts out more records. Allison Weiss will be joining Warped Tour this summer from July 20 to August 3.

2. Life Down Here

This is a rock quartet fronted by 22-year-old Michelle Blanchard who is always identifiable by her vibrant purple hair. The band’s sound is just as intriguing, mixing a bit of hardcore guitar riffs with melodic verses into screaming choruses. At shows, you’ll find Michelle belt out a cover of “Somebody Kill Me” from The Wedding Singer, giving Adam Sandler a run for his money. Life Down Here plays many shows within the So Cal area, trekking between venues like The Roxy in West Hollywood, to smaller shows at Di Piazza’s in Long Beach.

3. Kimya Dawson

You’re probably familiar with Kimya Dawson through The Moldy Peaches, whose song, “Anyone Else But You” was featured in Juno. Well Dawson also does wonderful solo work that is just as sweet with her folk vibe. What I adore is her innocent voice, paired with compelling lyrics that seem so simple but makes you feel good either way: “We’re just dancing, we’re just hugging, singing, screaming, kissing, tugging on the sleeve of how it used to be.”

4. Mal Blum

Whenever I listen to Mal Blum’s songs, I think of one of the first times I hung out in my partner’s bed, while “Baltimore” played on the laptop. Blum is a singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York. She also gets awesome points for graduating cum laude from SUNY Purchase College for Music Production, Spanish and Gender Studies.

5. Mount Sharp

For a chill indie vibe, Mount Sharp, is your band. They call their style, “fuzzcore” on their website, and it is a fitting name. The trio is comprised of Sarah Wood on vocals and guitar, Bryan Bruchman on guitar, and Ryan Zumsen on bass. This Summer they are releasing their EP, Weird Fears.

6. Sick of Sarah

A five piece band of queer women who know how to get the crowd going. I've personally seen them twice along with another favorite band of mine, Hunter Valentine, and I've been in withdrawals ever since the last time. While they haven’t toured recently, they have been working on recording a new record as well as finishing a kickstarter-funded film called “You’re What I Want Wrong With Me,” directed by J. Reuben Appelman. When it comes to their music, expect contagious vocals by frontwoman Abisha Uhl, who knows how to engage the crowd with her dance moves and sports bras. Guitar players Katie Murphy and Jessie Farmer, bassist Jamie Holm, and drummer Jessica “Juggs” Forsythe all help sing harmony, too.

7. Spare Parts for Broken Hearts

Long Beach, Calif.-based alternative/grunge band. The two female singers, Sarah Green and Laurita Guaica, can be found jamming out their melodies and swapping guitar and bass between songs in their set. Yes these girls play multiple instruments and sing! Brenda Mejia, drummer, joined the band this year after the second EP, I Love You, was released. Though this band is only a three-piece, their sound can engulf you. Both Green and Guaica are able to belt out their songs with fiery passion. Recently, Spare Parts for Broken Hearts shared the stage with Killola at a few venues in southern California. The first time I saw them was at this venue in Long Beach called MadHaus, where they played a show with The Dollyrots. Ever since then, I've tried to catch them at their local shows. They are set to perform at She-Fest this July, as well as the OC Fair.

8. Stars at Night

This trio has energy that I love, and they’re an LA band so I hope to get the chance to catch one of their gigs soon. Stars at Night is the product of lead singer and keyboardist, Irene Quiles, guitarist Seleste Diaz, and drummer Joana Rubio. Whenever I listen to their music I feel a mixture of Le Tigre and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs—and it’s a great combination to listen to.

9. Vanity Theft

Although I haven’t seen or heard updates from this Columbus, Ohio-based band in a while, their dance-rock band is still worth listening to. I had the pleasure of seeing these gals twice while they were on tour with Hunter Valentine and Sick of Sarah. I have the pleasing memory of standing right beneath frontwoman Alicia Grodecki’s feet as she bent over in front of my camera, and her hair frazzled in the best way while her lungs filled the walls of The Roxy. If you love keytar synthesizers, Alicia’s your girl. Brittany Hill sings back up while also playing guitar, and Elyse Driskill knows how to play the right beat to make you wanna shake your butt.

10. WASI

WASI, formerly known as We Are/She Is, is an electro-pop band based out of Fullerton, California. On their website, they describe themselves as a “riot-pop trio that blends ‘Closer’ era Tegan and Sara with the reminiscent melodies of Blink 182 to create a soundtrack to those So Cal nights of skinny dipping and angsty-garage punk shows. I was first exposed to them at a GSA fundraiser concert at CSULB, and they didn't even have a drummer. And you know what? They still killed it and got the crowd to dance. WASI is the brainchild of guitar/synth-playing/singer Cosmo, and bass/synth-playing/singer Jess. The band found their final piece with Carlo Ribaux to drive their dance-inducing songs on the drums. They’ve recently played select dates on the Vans Warped Tour and have a handful of shows locked in for July. If you’re gonna watch this trio play, be ready to get your dance on with their infectious melodies.

Tags: Music