In recent years, the underground music scene has slowly become more and more dominated by a plethora of female-fronted bands. And it’s not that there are just a lot of them — they’re also making really, really good music. From lo-fi bedroom pop to revamped ’90s inspired grunge to power-pop to full-on punk rock, female-fronted groups are doing a little bit of everything and making you feel a whole lot of something. Amongst countless contenders, here’s a list of thirteen up-and-coming female-fronted bands who are doing big things right now. Given the odds stacked against women working in rock, these bands deserve the extra, focused shine. Check them out.
1. Diet Cig
Diet Cig, the duo of Alex Luciano (vocals, guitar) and Noah Bowman (drums), create some of the most infectious pop-punk songs out there. And while they may seem like they are just a band that is really good at having fun and making catchy songs while they are at it, Diet Cig is so much more. Luciano’s songwriting starts with her very personal emotions and expands outwards to approach political and societal issues that she feels need to be addressed, and rightfully so. She calls out the patriarchy in “Tummy Ache,” a single off Diet Cig’s most recent album, Swear I’m Good At This, in singing “I’m starting to get real sick of / Trying to find my voice / Surrounded by all boys.” Diet Cig is currently on a nationwide tour in support of Swear I’m Good At This, which was released on April 7 with Frenchkiss Records. Check out an interview we did with Luciano about the new record.
2. Retirement Party
Chicago-based pop rockers Retirement Party, fronted by the whimsical Avery Springer, just released their debut EP Strictly Speaking back in January via Tilde Records. The EP is a collection of honest power pop songs and fast pop punk tracks that discuss “existential doubt,” “shortness of breath,” and “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.” Coming out of the Midwest emo and punk DIY scene, Retirement Party takes their roots and literally turns them into a “party” with their upbeat, pop-centric songs. The band, which includes Springer, Kevin Mandell, Nick Cartwright, and James Ringness, is currently playing shows in Chicago and the surrounding areas in continual support of the EP. Springer also slows it down with her acoustic solo project called Elton John Cena.
3. Slingshot Dakota
Carly Comando plays the keyboard and harmonizes with drummer Tom Patterson for the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based indie rock duo Slingshot Dakota. Being partners both in life and in music, Comando and Patterson “stop pretending [they] have nothing in common” and master the cohesion and chemistry that every band strives to achieve. Their united, yet fuzzy sound is better than ever on their fourth full-length album, Break, which came out in March 2016 via Topshelf. They followed this up strongly with a 7-inch called Broken in February of this year. Slingshot Dakota will be doing a UK tour in May with Petal and then will return for a series of shows in the Midwest. Get tickets here.