A Female-Fueled Rock Playlist

Females are the truth behind punk rock. Behind every Kurt Cobain is the ex-girlfriend who scribbled “Smells like Teen Spirit” on his high school bedroom wall. Being a girl in a punk rock scene can be daunting. Being an opinionated, over-the-top, screechy, powerful female can equal one big bitch to the masses.

But behind what might be discredited as juvenile aggression is a female who has a message. For our punk issue, it would be a clear crime not to praise women in punk. So let’s push our way right through the mosh pit, shall we?

Cherry Bomb
The Runaways

For its time, Cherry Bomb was the raunchiest, barely legal “come hither” the world had ever seen. Calling out shameless ownership to their sexuality, “Hello daddy, hello mom, I’m your ch-ch-ch-ch Cherry Bomb,” these fearless girls came together for a brilliant moment before it fell apart – but not without leaving gems and superstars in its wake.

Horses
Patti Smith

Patti Smith is the quintessential female of punk rock stemming from the NYC punk movement in 1975. This lanky lady churns out one of her famous tracks, “Horses,” with a dark storytelling voice that stands in front of a galloping beat. Fearless and famous Patti Smith is a poet of punk.

Hell on Wheels
Betty Blowtorch

Guitar-driven bad-ass band Betty Blowtorch offers a track that you make you want to drink whiskey (straight from the bottle). Forming in 1998, with three original members of Butt Trumpet, Hell on Wheels evokes a bar band biker feeling that is hard to recapture. Lead singer Bianca Halsted tragically passed away in a car crash in 2001 in New Orleans, but her memory lives on in her female-propelled albums.

Deceptacon
Le Tigre

This is one of the most dancy tracks on the list. The fun claps and the chorus offer a sing-song melody: “Who took the bomp from the bompalompalomp?/Who took the ram from the ramalamadingdong?” Who would’ve thought the song is about a girl rejecting a guy who thinks he’s cool because he has a van and a couple of shitty songs with his band?

Skinny
The Dollyrots

This band started with two friends in Florida and relocated to their new hometown in Los Angeles in 2002. Kelly Ogdan is the lead singer and bass guitarist while Luis Cabezas plays lead guitar. They have written three albums together and are soon to release their fourth. “Skinny” is an older track off “Eat My Heart Out.” As the title “Skinny” would suggest, this song is about the unfair standards women have to live up to in the U.S. and how they can lead to eating disorders.

The Young Crazed Peeling
The Distillers

The aesthetic of Brody Dalle goes without saying she embraces punk fully, which is why she is so adored. The Australian native used her distinct brass voice and guitar-playing skills to keep the band alive through the revolving door of members. “The Young Crazed Peeling” is a track off of their 2002 album “Sing Sing Sing Death House.” The song is a confessional in which Brody explains where she’s from and how things might have been tough growing up, but she doesn’t take life for granted, knowing she has everything that she needs.

Who Invited You
The Donnas

The Donnas got together in the early 90s but are popularly known for their album “Spend the Night,” which was released in 2002. “Who Invited You” stood beside tracks like “Take it Off, Dirty Denim” and “Take me to the Backseat.” The obvious theme was females taking control of not only their personal lives but their sex lives as well. “Who Invited You” is a little bit more about rejection: “We don’t care if you think our party’s cool/because we do/and we don’t care if you have more fun at Sunday school cause who invited you?” You don’t have to be a man to be a bouncer – kick them out and grab their beer as they leave.

Violet
Hole

The Donnas got together in the early 90s but are popularly known for their album “Spend the Night,” which was released in 2002. “Who Invited You” stood beside tracks like “Take it Off, Dirty Denim” and “Take me to the Backseat.” The obvious theme was females taking control of not only their personal lives but their sex lives as well. “Who Invited You” is a little bit more about rejection: “We don’t care if you think our party’s cool/because we do/and we don’t care if you have more fun at Sunday school cause who invited you?” You don’t have to be a man to be a bouncer – kick them out and grab their beer as they leave.

Bad Reputation
Joan Jett

Other people write songs, but Joan Jett writes anthems. She is the definition of tough and the longevity of her career and her popularity make that clear. An executive producer for the movie “The Runaways,” Jett continues to tour, not to mention she provided commentary in Sini Anderson’s “The Punk Singer,” a documentary about Kathleen Hanna. “Bad Reputation” is a timeless song that reminds women everywhere to stay unapologetically true to themselves. There are all sorts of ways women get bad reputations and Joan Jett simply lets the listener know that she doesn’t give a damn.

New Radio
Bikini Kill

Refreshingly honest, Bikini Kill led the largest feminist punk rock movement, Riot Grrrl, to date. It was songs like “New Radio” that encouraged females to act out in a boys-rule-the-universe world. Lead vocalist Kathleen Hanna implores “Turn that song down/Turn the static up.” Bikini Kill, a fairly secretive band that declined talking to the press on most occasions, let the music speak for itself.

This article was originally published in Obsessed magazine’s  Punk Issue.


Howling with LOLAWOLF

Interview with LOLAWOLFHowling and stepping out of the shadow of her father, Lenny Kravitz, is daughter Zoë Kravitz, who is not only gaining recognition as an accomplished actress (“Divergent,” “X-Men,” "DOPE") but also for her independent music project, LOLAWOLF, the 3-piece electronic pop band that’s among this year’s list of bands to watch.

New York-based LOLAWOLF consists of Zoë, Jimmy Giannopoulos, and James Levy, who only started playing music a few months ago and already they are making major headway.

Their latest self-released album, “Stay Calm” houses syrup-toned vocals that flare with island sriracha tapering with loose-ended lyrics. Jimmy and James (both also members of Reputante) bring the electronic musical sharpness that hits like a wall of tribal bones while bouncing with delicious 80’s synth.

We caught up with Zoë, Jimmy and James to talk about their new album, “Stay Calm,” their experiences touring with A$AP Rocky and who they think is a bad ass motherfucker.

Your latest track release, “AYO,” bumps with vivacious intensity. Was there anything in particular that inspired the musicality of the track or is it something listeners should be expecting throughout the album?

Recording in the Bahamas influenced the sound of that song and a lot of the other songs on the album. The setting brought out some tribal and playful elements for us.

The video for “AYO” was directed and shot by Trouble Andrew, what was it like to work with him? 

Really fun. His work is raw and honest and he is a bad ass motherfucker.

With your latest album, “Calm Down,” dropping October 21, what are you most excited about?

The fact that our debut album is coming out! We've been playing these songs live for most of the year, so we're excited to have a record out that's representative of our sound.

Is there a particular track that you can’t wait for fans to hear or are you just ready to get on the road and start touring?

We're excited to tour. We just finished 12 dates with Lily Allen, who is just amazing. Then we are going to Australia for some dates with Miley Cyrus and come back and play some shows with Warpaint.

How will the LP differ from the previous 5 track EP release? Or does the vibe remain pretty consistent? 

The new LP has a different vibe from the EP in that it’s got more of a hip-hop production style and R&B vibe.

With all the amazing musical connections you’ve made, such as touring with Miley Cyrus and Lily Allen, and having A$AP featured in one of your tracks, what were some hilarious or standout moments?

The whole experience is just awesome--working with people you respect, developing friendships with them.

LOLAWOLF

Some of your newer tracks seem to have heavy hip-hop and Jamaican influences. What particular artists have had an influence on your sound and direction you wanted to go in?

TLC, Aaliyah, Salt-N-Pepa, Ginuwine, Dr. Dre, A$AP Rocky.

What are the reasons you make music? Is it a personal form of expression or is there a bigger message you hope to get across?

It’s about personal expression both lyrically and musically.

How did you guys meet originally and decide to start playing music together?

We're all friends from Brooklyn. We initially got together for fun to make some music and things just developed, so we've kept going.


Six Stocking Stuffer Alternative Holiday Albums - The Holidazed Issue

It’s the holidays, which usually means that your parents will probably have Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” on repeat during your staycation visit. Just like us,  you’ve probably been hearing this sentimental album every December since you were a kid.  And just like us, you probably need some NEW holiday music in your life.

Here are six stocking stuffer alternative albums for the holidays. Steering clear from the norm, these indie, fierce pop, super soft and punk rock musicians bring a revamped pulse to those toe-tappin' favorites, and some brand new tunes too.

She & Him "A Very She & Him Christmas"

Although this quirky album was released in 2011, it is still highly regarded by music critics everywhere—and for good reason!  The album ranges from the classic sound of Zooey Deschanel accompanied by the hilarious Will Farrell from the film “Elf,” to the melding of Deschanel’s 60's inspired vocals and M. Ward's retro guitar riffs. This album will definitely get you into the holiday spirit.

My Morning Jacket "Wish You A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year"

Also in 2011, My Morning Jacket pulled off a totally original folk-meets-keyboard sound. Hipsters rejoice for this bluesy twist on our holiday favorites. My favorite jam? "Santa Claus is Back In Town."

Sleighed: The Other Side of Christmas

This 2010 compilation is for all you punk rockers out there. The highlights of this album are the silly, satirical spin on all things holidays. Whether it's "You Ain't Getting Shit For Christmas" by the Red Peters singing "You can shove that fruit cake up your ass" or Sonic Youth’s "Santa Doesn't Cope Out On Dope," you are sure to get some giggles at your holiday party.

Compilation Album "Holidays Rule"

This album contains covers from The Shins, The Civil Wars, Paul McCartney, fun., and many more skilled artists. Although it was released in 2012, it is still completely relevant in 2014. This album would make for an awesome stocking stuffer!

Bright Eyes "A Christmas Album"

Flashback to the early 2000s with The OC’s "Best Chrismukkah Ever" episode. If you remember anything about this episode, you will remember Bright Eyes’ rendition of “Blue Christmas” that stole every girl’s heart. Bright Eyes released their Christmas album in 2002, and succeeded in crafting—hands down—the softest renditions of these 11 holiday tunes. This album is my personal favorite on the list.


LISTEN: "Innocence" by Electric Youth

Toronto based synth duo Austin Garrick and singer Bronwyn Griffin emerged from obscurity with their contribution to Nicolas Winding Refn’s "Drive" soundtrack in 2011.

For the film's title track, "A Real Hero," which lit up the iTunes charts following the soundtrack's release, Electric Youth collaborated with College.

As opposed to capitalizing on their sudden attention, Electric Youth took their time to stitch a worthwhile record together. And we're happy to say they're back and better than ever with their album, "InnerwoIrld."

Lending its lyrical ear to a common emotion and the loss of innocence, their latest single, "Innocence," houses the '80s backbone we have come to love from them with a wholly new twist.

I suppose it comes as no surprise that the entire album was inspired by the Fritz Lang-directed 1920s cult film "Metropolis."

The song's lyrics slide effortlessly over Garrick's silky synth, "And now the rain is falling/The truth is bittersweet/A different voice is calling/Where have you gone sweet innocence?"

The vocals bleed into the musicality for a consistent crescendo that falls softly into the leaves when the song has reached an end.

If "Innocence" is any indication, the album might just be worth your while. Watch the video below:


Best in Covers: Johnny Depp's "Mother," Arcade Fire's "In The Air Tonight" and More

Whether it's to launch a new artist, to gain "street cred" or to show off your eclectic music interest/influence, it seems like covers are becoming a thing these days.

From huge pop stars (Miley Cyrus) to movie stars (Johnny Depp), here are five of Obsessed's  favorite covers this week.

Lorde Covering Kayne West "Hold My Liquor"

Who wouldn't trust something coming from the lips of New Zealand's youngest queen of songwriters? Changing an auto tune-centric Kayne West track to a breezy powerful storm is something only Lorde is capable of.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6IerJU-gPE

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Ryan Adams & Johnny Depp covering Danzig’s “Mother"

Ryan Adams & Johnny Depp seem an almost impossible match up but their cover of Danzig's "Mother" is so spot on it's mind blowing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y40FBKX7GTs

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Miley Cryus covering Led Zepplin's "Baby, I'm Gonna Leave You"

Despite the almost necessary hate that much of the public feels forced to harbor when Miley Cyrus does anything; even the hairiest of trolls are a little flabbergasted by her enraged but vocally impressive cover of Led Zepplin's "Baby I'm Gonna Leave You."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLP9-ILqny8

Bon Iver, Arcade Fire,  and Strokes cover Phil Collins "In The Air Tonight"

These different musicians formed a super group in Montreal after a fundraiser event. This conglomeration of talent provides your sensed with a sublime cover of Phil Collins, "In The Air."

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v94l5oxBLRI#t=24

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Katy Perry covers MGMT "Electric Feel"

Last but certainly not least is the always beautiful and often ridiculed Katy Perry with her cover of MGMT's "Electric Feel." Her groovy spin on such an iconic tune never leaves the melody,  but rather  gives the song  new life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPLsWPf3aJY


Playlist: 10 Songs to Get Your Inner Zen On

With the constant stress of our fast paced lives, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to find a "happy place." Meditation and chanting work for some, but for the rest of us, we have our car stereo & a pair of headphones.

Below are 10 tracks that will mellow overwhelming days into a hot cup of tea, a bubbling brook, or the scent of a freshly cut lawn. Take a few of these and add them to the staples like, Jack Johnson and Bob Marley.

(1) The Paper Kites - Featherstone | (2) The Honey Trees - To Be With You | (3) Straylight Run - Existentialism on Prom Night | (4) Dillon - Thirteen Thirtyfive | (5) Daughter - Candles | (6) Duffy - I'm Scared | (7) Nada Surf - Blonde on Blonde | (8) Spill Canvas - This is for Keeps | (9) Cider Sky - Fall & We are in Love | (10) Lady Lazarus - Wonder Inc.

 


Music In Review: Wand's Otherworldly Debut Album "Ganglion Reef"

L.A. quartet Wand has delivered their first album, "Ganglion Reef," and from our first listen, it's clear that their freshman  album effort comes from an otherworldly state of mind.

The 10 tracks eloquently dip from intergalactic transmissions to lo-fi riff driven rock while running parallel with a synth vibe.

The opening track, "Send/Receive" starts out as a wall of sound but, if you are patient,  you will be greeted by the oozy gooey center of a heart beat-paced bass line and delicious reverb.

Front man Cory Thomas Hanson brings a stroke of elegance to "Fire On The Mountain." His vocals kiss while describing the disaster speculations that the "West Coast is falling in the ocean." The song breaks into a sweeter sound near the end, almost like a heavenly embrace of the end of California itself.

If "Fire On The Mountain" is the end, "Strange Inertia (Ctrl Alt Death)" is it's cytoplasmic counterpart. As if a love letter to the strange inertia of the future.

The album plays like a loose ended prophecy that was written from the imaginary "Ganglion Reef." The album captures a musically confusing but enthralling listen that will lure you into an abyss of magic and distortion.

Signed by Ty Segall to his Dragcity Imprint: GOD? Records,  this record holds something that should not be ignored. Get your copy here.


LISTEN: "In Stillness We Remain" by Woman's Hour

Woman's Hour is a four-piece mellow electronic pop band based out of Kendal, London.

Their new single, "In Stillness We Remain," off of their debut album "Conversations," musically soothes while confronting the unrest of a relationship.

The song's retro beat leans toward '80s soul with tones that are reminiscent of XX and Warpaint. Lyrically, it asks the age old question: "Are you going to stay?"

Lead vocalist Fiona Burgess's lyrics offer bits of advice to her unsure lover,  "If I were you, I'd dance around the answer/I'd try to clasp my hands around these thoughts."

The video seems  to have no correlation with the song. Unless, of course,  you remember how awkward it was to tell your 12-year-old crush how much you liked them.

Take a listen to the song below and tell us your thoughts.

 


Sweet Streams: New Music by Zulu Pearls, Bishop Allen, The Juan Maclean and I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness

You can almost feel the autumn air and the crinkle of dry leaves under your feet, and what better way to transition into a new season than with new music?  On that front, Obsessed Magazine has totally got you covered with a few new tracks to add to your late summer listening list.

Safe Things by Zulu Pearls

The Berlin duo, Zulu Pearls, offers a power beat and simple sentiments that make "Safe Things" a tasteful relax jam. The bright guitar reminds us why surf music is so celebrated and how even the calmest of souls may not "want the safe things."

Why I Had to Go by Bishop Allen

Bishop Allen has not released an album in 5 years, and "Lights Out" was well worth the wait (you can listen to the album in its entirety on NPR). "Why I Had To Go" was my absolute favorite track. Lyrically, it is a sweet parting song with fleeting under beats that dance around keyboard and a slow guitar riff. Listen, listen, listen.

A Place Called Space by The Juan Maclean

Grab a bottle of champagne and your best friend and show everyone what you are really made of on the dance floor.  EDM is at it's finest with The Juan Maclean's" A Space Called Space." And with the anticipated release of "In A Dream," due through DFA Records on September 16, we couldn't be more excited.

Faust by I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness

Channeling a haunting appeal with heavy guitar and deep vocals, "Faust," off I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness's new album "Dust," can easily be imagined as the back drop for the latest vampire flick. The new album, to be released by record label Secretly Canadian, will drop on October 26 - just in time for Halloween.


Sweet Streams: NEW Music by Literature, Kevin Morby, LOVE INKS, And Terry Malts

Ahead,  newly-released sounds that we’re crushing on this week.

New Jacket by Literature

Literature has  just released their album "Arab Spring. On it, bursting from the ground with ballad power gusto is a fresh new single called "New Jacket." Housing the jingle jangle of every hipsters' 1960's frug dance moves,  Literature has a special something that hasn't been heard since Vampire Weekend.

We Did It All Wrong by Kevin Morby

Breaking from his bands The Babies and Woods, Kevin Morby is set to release his own 7" single through Suicide Squeeze Records on Aug. 5. Morby summons the spirit of melancholy and its long lost partner hope in this B-side "We Did It All Wrong."

Sky Machine by LOVE INKS

Indie minimalists Love Inks have drawn inspiration from Lennon's love, Yoko Ono, for their scrambled trippy music video for "Sky Machine." Their new album "Exi" will be released on September 8 through Piccadilly Records. Check out their last show before they start their tour at Cheer Up Charlie's in their hometown of Austin Texas.

Let You In by Terry Malts

Channeling the 80's when punk was something you could dance to, Terry Malts has released the mosh worthy "Let You In."  Lyrics like, "I haven't felt this way since/oh/another life"  drone in between salty guitar and drums. Their new 7" "Insideswill be available on September 23 through Slumberland Records.


Music in Review: Sticky Fingers Returns With "Land Of Pleasure"

Hailing from Newtown, Australia quintet, Sticky Fingers, consists of Dylan Frost on vocals, Paddy Fingers on bass, Seamus on lead guitar, Freddy Crabs on keys, and Beaker Best on drums. These reggae rock, pop fusion trend setters have been catching fire - selling out shows in both Melbourne and Sydney.

Sticky Fingers follow up their 2013 debut "Caress Your Soul" with a new album entitled, "Land Of Pleasure," which is set to drop on August 1 through Sureshaker and MGM.

The anticipation begins with the album's first single, "Gold Snafu."

Smooth vocals fuse everything you love about bands like Jet and Sublime sprinkled with relentless whistles. It's difficult not to be instantly enamored.

The second single, "Just For You," (video below) bursts with strong piano and is met with equal parts electric guitar, bass and drums. While the song is fast paced and layered, the meaning behind it makes the song more of a ballad.

The lyrics, "Morning brings me mental/What's the story?/Run my head through/Draw up a mind map/Set for central/Followed a blind man/'Cause we felt the need to move," cast a feeling of restlessness and an ability to ignore all logic for the sake of at least feeling like you are moving forward.

This album is certain to end up on radio rotation.

 


Sweet Streams: NEW Music by Gap Dream, Iceage, LOLO, and Slow Magic

Need a few good jams to start your day (or evening)? Check out a few newly-released, super sweet sounds that we’re crushing on this week.

Shine Your Light  by Gap Dream

Sparkly chimes a synth piano dance behind alien-like transmissions from Gap Dream. You will be snatching up dancing shoes and pretending you know interpretive dance to this song. I promise.

The Lord's Favorite by Iceage

Try no to stare straight into the bright blue eyes of Iceage's lead vocalist, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, as he bellows like the greats of a  '70s punk. The rockabilly guitar strums gracefully shape the lyrics. Just like the lyrics, "100 year old wine/I do believe in heaven/and I do believe it's time," it's time to listen to his song.

Hit and Run by LOLO

Our new favorite criminal accomplice, LOLO, is one na, na, na from being compared to the queen Amy Winehouse. Pop, rock, R&B? I'm not sure, you tell me.

Hold Still by Slow Magic

Reminiscent of background music to a spiritual awakening, you'll find yourself snapping along with Slow Magic. Trancey, dancey, and a little romancey.  The lyrics chant, rightly so, to hold still.


LISTEN: "Jaded" by GRMLN

GRMLN is the product of 21-year-old Yoodoo Park. Born in Kyoto, Japan, Park has lived in southern California since he was a little boy.  His music reflects the duality of his identity and his recent interest in following a sect of Hinduism, Krishna.

"Jaded" is Parker's first single off his sophomore effort album, "Soon Away,"  which is a far cry from his ethereal sound heard on his first album.  "Soon Away" is a more hard-hitting album than his first, and "Jaded"--off his most recent effort--is no exception.

The rolling drums and power punk riffs overpower the vocalist and it's impossible not to be drawn in. Reminiscent of a type of song you might have heard during Pearl Jam's glory days, "Jaded" offers a new  take  on a reinvented '90s sound.

"Go, go, go, outside/be the one you want," the lyrics are daring someone to leave and lead the life they want with or without you in it. So while the song may not sound angry, the message is a clear.

"Jaded" ends appropriately with screeching distortion.

The album is set to be released on September 16 by Carpark Records. You can pre-order it here.


LISTEN: "Tennis Court" by Menace Beach

Menace Beach Tennis Cour 850Menace Beach, the noisy pop duo from Leeds England, consists of Ryan Needham and Liza Violet.

Following their well-received EP,  "Lowtalker," the pair are set to drop a double-A sided single through Memphis Industries label on September 1.

"Tennis Court," a standout song among the two tracks on the double A-side, echos with intentional distortion and static. The balance of the vocals--Violet's feminine, angelic voice, and Needham's raspy and apathetic yet mesmerizing croons--create a grungy melodic track that has us happily hooked.  Take a listen above.


LISTEN: "Shadow Song" Featuring Owen Pallett by Foxes in Fiction

Shadow Song Featuring Owen Pallett By Foxes In Fiction

Toronto, Ontario native Warren Hildebrand, who performs under the stage name Foxes in Fiction, started his music ventures humbly during his sophomore year of high school. He used sound collages to express his drugged, angst-ridden haze, and his debut album,  "Swung from the Branches," was born.  The album's 2010  release inspired Hildebrand to work full-time, and, as a result, he started his own Orchid Tapes record label.

After taking a four-year hiatus from making his own music, Hildebrand has returned to release his sophomore album effort,  "Ontario Gothic."

The album was inspired by the untimely death of his younger brother in 2008,  and Hildebrand's resulting struggle with depression and anxiety through 2011 and 2012. Hildebrand was quoted in an interview saying, “The running theme throughout Ontario Gothic is how I picked up the pieces of my life after the death of my younger brother Drew…but each song references specific and discreet experiences.”

His lo-fi, dreamy synth pop album was only made complete with the help of multi-instrumentalist Owen Pallett, who added his violin talents to create the perfect product.

“Shadow’s Song” is the album's single, and, according to Hilderband,  is “the cheeriest song about panic attacks.” The light discord is riddled with melancholic lyrics that hint at his late brother's memory, “My hand to my chest/drift off from the rest/Echo’s out inside of these walls/Remembering our phone calls/your shadow in time.”

Currently residing in Brooklyn NY, Hildebrand is set to release his seven track album "Ontario Gothic" on September 23, 2014.