Recent queer/socially conscious catchy as hell music
May 16, 2017 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Now that PWR BTTM is off my playlist, I'm feeling the loss. There are few recent bands I've enjoyed as much. I'm looking for a band who is socially conscious, preferably queer, definitely feminist who create incredibly catchy, sing-along-suitable music. Indie, hip-hop, punk rock, ska, probably not so much singer-songwriter but I'm pretty open if I can sing along to a catchy tune! The only example I can think of that scratches this itch is Tacocat. Please give me links to a song or two and tell me why you think I should check them out (i.e. don't just list a band name with zero context!)

Again, please! give me more to go on than just a band name, so I have a reason to actually check them out! Also note that am looking for new or active bands. I'd prefer not to get into a band and find out they're defunct and no longer touring, plus I'm hoping this cuts down on suggestions of bands I've already know/listen to. Thanks all!
posted by the thorn bushes have roses to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
I love Cutters with all my heart. Definitely socially conscious, queer, feminist. They might be a touch darker than you're looking for, though I would still classify their songs as catchy and sing-along-suitable, but YMMV. I'd say the album We are the Quarry is a little more sing-along-suitable than both/neither, but I love them both equally. They are also excellent live. Here's an interview with the lead singer.
posted by dysh at 5:55 PM on May 16, 2017

RVIVR - One Way/Wrong Way
(Descendants of famously feminist and queer-friendly Latterman (who you should check out, but they're defunct)

Tender Defender - Hello Dirt
(Other and same descendants of Latterman, etc etc etc)

Priests - And Breeding
Women (and a dude) rocking out with conscious lyrics and complex rhythms. Here's the Pitchfork on their latest record.
posted by General Malaise at 6:01 PM on May 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

posted by saladin at 6:01 PM on May 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

Do you know Lizzo? Here's a Jezebel interview with her from late 2015. But, to cut to the chase, you'll want to listen to her single Good as Hell, the jam of summer 2016.
posted by mhum at 6:23 PM on May 16, 2017 [11 favorites]

KINKY are a UK queercore band whose album Sissy Mosh has been giving me life lately, they write super-catchy songs about flagging, antifascism, and queer joy.

Aye Nako are a great New York punk band who write great songs about racism and trans stuff and trauma. They just put out a new album, Silver Haze. You can also see a video here.

Perfume Genius makes gorgeous queer pop music with incredibly beautiful and compelling videos.
posted by ITheCosmos at 6:42 PM on May 16, 2017

Dyke Drama

Raw, folky, punky, trans, powerful

Crying in a Bathroom Stall
posted by Cosine at 6:43 PM on May 16, 2017 [1 favorite]


I don't even have words for how this band makes me feel but they have single-handedly convinced me that "the kids are alright" more than anything else I heard last year.
posted by Cosine at 6:49 PM on May 16, 2017

The Downtown Boys got mentioned on the Blue the other day. Horn driven political punk.
posted by Candleman at 6:50 PM on May 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Martha! Warm-hearted queer punk that feels summery and earnest with incredible guitars too. They hit somewhere between the Replacements and folk punk I'd say (and the last song on their wonderful Blisters in the Pit of My Heart is just a string of Replacements references ha.) I was driving around to this song a little earlier tonight and feeling feels! Enjoy :)
posted by elephantsvanish at 7:01 PM on May 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh man, can't believe I forgot Against Me -- 333 from the new record.
posted by General Malaise at 8:08 PM on May 16, 2017

posted by wats at 8:24 PM on May 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

dangerous ponies are the band you seek... one of my favorite ever live bands so the link is to a live video. (their flawless album is here). they unfortunately broke up a couple years ago. several of them are in a band called thin lips that is a little more punk and a little less pop.
posted by noloveforned at 9:26 PM on May 16, 2017

"Tibetan Pop Stars" and "Laments" -Hop Along
It's subtle on the studio albums, but when she sings live, Frances Quinlan's does some pretty rad stuff. NPR says she "whispers with a rasp that feels small one moment, then lets loose a gut-punching howl the next."

"Keep Growing" and "Jet Fuel Can't Melt Steel Beams" - Camp Cope
Hearing cat calls from a construction yard
They’ll say, “Take it as a compliment, they’re only being nice”
Yeah, it’s a far too common lie
And you’ll carry keys between your knuckles
When you walk alone at night

"Depreston" and "Pedestrian at Best"- Courtney Barnett
Wikipedia says she is "known for her witty, rambling lyrics and deadpan singing style."

These are straight from a list my brother gave me. He also included Angel Olsen and Julien Baker, but I haven't gotten around to listening to them yet.
posted by meemzi at 9:29 PM on May 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

the spook school's latest album "try to be hopeful" deals a lot with gender and identity issues, the first single was binary and burn masculinity is another classic. their debut album also has an amazing single and video: i'll be honest.
posted by noloveforned at 9:41 PM on May 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

Mega seconding Perfume Genius, whose recent album is one of my favorites so far this year.

Palehound has an album coming out next month, and they've released a couple singles I really like.

I think Girlpool has a lot of what you're going for, and they released an album last week that exceeded all of my expectations.

And I don't know them too well, but Aye Nako has an Audiotree Live session, which is always a nice way to get acquainted with a band (and here's a link to a playlist of the songs in case you're not into the interview parts).
posted by nvvd at 9:50 PM on May 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

I really like Mykki Blanco. An HIV+ queer rapper/MC/performance artist. She kind of reminds me of a more queer, more Ziggy Stardust-inflected version of MIA. One of the best live shows I've been to in recent years -- super catchy, flowy, queer vibe. Mesmerizing in person. None of the youtube videos really capture that but here are a few songs. Some of these youtube version have long intros, so skip ahead to the song part if you want a glimpse:
High School Never Ends
posted by barnone at 9:59 PM on May 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

Seconding Camp Cope! DIY Australian band, they manage themselves, book their own shows, etc. The shows I've been to are incredible. Everyone is singing along. The band don't hesitate to call out sexism or harassment from the crowd while simultaneously allowing themselves to be really vulnerable onstage. They're touring the US this month with Cayetana and probably a whole bunch of support acts that fit this bill too, so I highly recommend getting along if there's a show near you. Check out Cayetana's "Hot Dad Calendar", it's catchy as all get out!

Or Double White Denim by Good Throb? "Good Throb's sound is raw, primal, ferocious, pissed, crude—like a compressed, anarcha-feminist reimagining of the Fall... Describing their debut 7"s track "Feminazi", the band's vocalist Ellie said, "The song's about standing on the periphery whilst blokes talk about who's fit and who's not, and being made to feel like a killjoy arsehole for raising objections to bullshit." (Pitchfork)

Umm I don't know much about her but maybe Princess Nokia? Tomboy.
posted by trotzdem_kunst at 5:03 AM on May 17, 2017

Shopping! Hits all of your needs... as the Pitchfork review says, "Direct, smart, catchy, and extremely punk". All the members of the band are queer and really talented. They remind me a lot of The Au Pairs and sort of Buzzcocks too, in that clever way. I've got both their albums and really recommend them. Also I just noticed that there's a post on their Facebook page that links to a Teen Vogue article of "4 Queercore Bands to Listen To", Shopping are one of them, and there are the 3 others so that's pretty cool all around.
Wiki, Facebook, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Youtube.
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:09 PM on May 17, 2017

You all are seriously amazing. I haven't had a chance to tuck into most of these and can't wait to keep digging in to every suggestion. For sure Lizzo absolutely NAILS what I was hoping for, mhum, if all the suggestions are as perfect as "Good as Hell" then I am going to have to mail you all handwritten thank you notes... or just pass out Best Answers like candy. I will mark them in a week or so, it's going to take me that long to get through all the excellent suggestions.

Please keep them coming, and thank you all for your generous descriptions and links!
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 1:32 PM on May 17, 2017

This thread on twitter should help!

Includes Climbing Poetree, Pansy Division, Aye Nako, The Shondes, Bonfire Madigan, Mirah, Evan Greer, and Hurray for the Riff Raff.
posted by libraryrat at 12:10 PM on May 18, 2017

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