International Women's Day

The Soundtrack: Music For International Women’s Day

Welcome to The Soundtrack, a column where we plumb the depths of our musical knowledge to bring you the best* (subjective) music to listen to for very specific life situations. In our first column of the year and on International Women’s Day, we bring you tunes to celebrate and appreciate the women, femmes & non-binary lovelies in your life.

Miss Blanks – Fuck Real Slow

Miss Blanks is not on Spotify, but she is one of the most important voices in Australian music right now. Her crowd-pleasing tunes are a combination relentless and wholly justified bravado and sticky, sweaty beats. Miss Blanks doesn’t just put sexuality & sexual expression on display, she struts confidently all over it with a wry grin to the camera. In a political and social climate where women – particularly WOC, and more particularly trans women – are consistently shamed, degraded and much worse for daring to be sexual, Fuck Real Slow bears a timely and important message. That being said, it’s entirely possible you’ll be too busy grinding to this to reflect on that too hard because it’s a CERTIFIED GOLD BANGER.

Crime Mob – Stilettos (Pumps) feat Miss Aisha

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that women are consistently made to feel that they are lesser if they have interests that line up with what some consider to be “feminine”. We are constantly made to feel like we are worth nothing unless we decry things like manicures and high heels with gusto, declaring ourselves to be “not like the other girls”, when in reality there is nothing wrong with other girls or being like them. Miss Aisha & ex-Crime Mob member Diamond do not give a fuck. They gets their nails and hair done, they wear stilettos, they go out to the club with their girls, and they know they look damn good doing it. If you’re someone who enjoys these things, you deserve to feel good about that, so this is for you. If you’re someone who loves pizza and video games, that’s awesome too, because it’s what you like! Of course, it is very possible and very common to enjoy ALL these things, but don’t anyone tell cis men that. Their heads might explode. (Just kidding, PLEASE TELL THEM)

Rachel Maria Cox – A Phone I Can’t Use

Rachel Maria Cox is the founder of the wonderful Sad Grrrls Club, a DIY record label/bookings agency that began in 2015 and has a commitment to working with non-male artists. Their songs are intimate, anecdotal and cuttingly relatable – perfect for when you really need to have a good cry (which we all do, sometimes). There’s some really lovely guitar work here, all clean and chime-y, but it’s the raw, honest exploration of longing that really draws you in. Being vulnerable is a radical action in a society that aims to stamp it out, and it’s easy to forget to nurture that side of you when the goings-on of the world call so consistently for armour and biting your tongue.

Sampa the Great – F E M A L E

How many modern, local tracks boast a bloody upright bass? That is cool as heccc, and that’s to say nothing of Sampa The Great and what she unpacks on this track. Sampa is a certified badass and she’s all about shouting out to empower others. This song will help anyone who identifies as female celebrate on all the things that make you such an untouchable boss. The adversity you’ve overcome (and keep overcoming every day)? I can’t speak for everyone, but that shit feels like water off a duck’s back while I’m mouthing along with Sampa: F E M A L E, F E M A L EEEE. Would recommend screaming the same at anyone who ever gives you grief over the course of your life, honestly (please do not do this in a TERF-y way, gender and sex are social constructs).

Grimes ft Aristophanes – SCREAM

This collaboration, off Grimes‘ objectively perfect LP Art Angels (yes, objectively – fight me) features kick-ass Taiwanese artist Aristophanes, who spits dark, gory bars in Mandarin over the top of heaving production. It does not even matter a little bit if you don’t speak or understand Mandarin. What makes this track so cathartic is its ability to be completely unapologetic about being loud, messy, and angry; three things women & femmes are historically Not Allowed To Be. The release comes in the chorus, made up of piercing, prolonged screams that culminate in guttural growls – and what a release it is. Have you ever been spoken over by a man? Have you been cat called or otherwise objectified? Does your boss constantly undervalue you? Do you watch men get showered with praise for things you never get recognition for? Are you carrying trauma with you? It’s not my place to tell you how to deal with any of these things, but personally I find it very therapeutic to SCREAM.

Image: The Odyssey Online