With multi-million dollar artists such as Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus who arguably own the radio, it goes without saying women aren’t prey to the music industry—yet, most are still being exploited for their curves rather than their capacities.
Very few female artists come along and break free from the chains of exploitation to become the next America’s Sweetheart. But when they do, they have lyrics that set positive messages for women of all ages.
- Laura Jane Grace. Grace is no stranger to the music industry being the forerunner of the punk rock band, Against Me!. The group has won multiple awards since their coalition in 1997, but it’s their latest album “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” that hogged the charts in 2014. Grace combines raw, uncut, Stevie Nicks-inspired vocals to the tune of poetic songs such as “True Trans Soul Rebel” and “Paralytic States” that both highlight women facing identity issues. There’s a reason Against Me! is a punk band: They don’t sugarcoat anything.
- Rachel Platton. For those in need of a pick-me-up, Platton is an artist that shines. It’s more than likely you’ve encountered “Fight Song” on the radio, but that’s just one of the tracks that sets Platton apart from her pop rivals. While her style may be compared to Sara Bareillas or Vanessa Carlton, her lyrics can’t be underestimated. Her EP “Fight Song”, released this year, includes songs such as “Beating Me Up” and “Lone Ranger” (Maybe I’m selfish, call me see-through/But I’m debating if I really need to/Be tied, tied to someone forever) that not only stress female independence, but are highly infectious.
- Hailee Steinfeld. Like Platton, Steinfeld released an EP this year that launched her onto the radio. You may better recognize her as Emily Junk from Pitch Perfect 2 and find her in other films and guest spots on television shows in her younger days. While Steinfeld is the youngest among the three artists at eighteen, her vocals are far from naïve. With songs such as “Love Yourself” and “Hell No’s And Headphones” that embody a girl’s right to say no to societal pressures such as sex and alcohol, it’s safe to say Steinfeld has more mileage under her belt than most her age.
People will say what they will about the music of this generation, but it seems to breed some of the most intelligent and influential artists yet. Step aside, rookies, and let the feminist movement commence!