Although punk was originally founded with the message of inclusion and rebellion against systematic oppression, the scene continues to be made up of mostly white men. Although women have always been active fans of pop, pop-punk, and rock bands, they are rarely represented in the bands that perform. Female artists have worked hard to carve out a place in the scene. These eight artists are evidence of that.
If you like… Classic punk: Against Me!
Laura Jane Grace is the transgender frontwoman of this band formed in 1997. An outspoken advocate for trans rights, Grace’s music is politically charged and discusses queer issues. In 2016, after North Carolina’s passage of House Bill 2, Grace burned her birth certificate at a live show in the state. Seriously, Laura Jane Grace and Against Me! Are so badass.
Their biggest hit: Thrash Unreal (2007)
Deeper cut: Dead Rats (2016)
If you like… Pop Punk: Paramore
Almost everyone has heard at least one Paramore song in their life. The band was formed in Franklin, Tennessee. Paramore rose to fame in the early 2000s when emo and pop-punk were more mainstream. Paramore has a classic emo pop sound and has toured with bands like Fall Out Boy and Jimmy Eat World. Paramore is one of the most successful female-fronted bands of the decade.
Their biggest hit: Ain’t It Fun (2013)
Deeper cut: Brighter (2005)
If you like…Riot GRRRL punk: Bikini Kill
Most music fans are familiar with Seattle’s grunge scene in the 1990s. Fewer, however, remember the riot grrrl punk movement that went on at the same time in Olympia, Washington. Bands like Bikini Kill made loud, abrasive, feminist music and encouraged female fans to come to shows that were typically dominated by men. Bikini Kill’s feminist lyrics are still relevant today, even twenty years after their breakup.
Their biggest hit: Rebel Girl (1993)
Deeper cut: Hamster Baby (1993)
If you like… Pop Punk: Tonight Alive
If you like Paramore, you will probably like Tonight Alive, too. This Australian band was formed in 2008 and is fronted by Jenna McDougall. At the beginning, Tonight Alive had a pop punk sound with influences like blink-182, Green Day, and Simple Plan. However, as the band has matured, their sound has become more ambient and pop-based. McDougall and the band promote a mental-positivity agenda and encourage their fans to meditate a
Their biggest hit: Lonely Girl (2013)
Deeper cut: To Die For (2012)
If you like… Dance rock: Morningwood
Morningwood was formed in New York city in 2001. The lead singer was Chantal Claret, who now has a solo music and acting career (she played Shaun on the Netflix series Love). Morningwood has a poppy, almost disco-like rock sound. All of the songs are very danceable and lighthearted, but the band’s punk influence is evident. The band broke up in 2012 when Claret went solo.
Their biggest hit: Nth Degree (2006)
Deeper cut: Body 21 (2006)
If you like… Alternative Pop: Meg Myers
Meg Myers is a solo artist from Nashville, Tennessee. She has one full-length album, Sorry, which was released in 2015. Myers has widely varied music styles, but has said that she is inspired by bands like Nirvana, and most of her songs feature instrumentals typical of rock or alternative music with more pop and soul vocals.
Their biggest hit: Lemon Eyes (2015)
Deeper cut: Heart Heart Head (2014)
If you like… Grunge: Hole
A combination of feminist punk and the grunge atmosphere the band grew out of, Hole has a revolutionary sound. Courtney Love, the lead singer and songwriter, gave the band a lot publicity through her relationship with Kurt Cobain and her acting career. Hole has an accessible sound and relatable lyrics for the young punk fan.
Their biggest hit: Celebrity Skin (1998)
Deeper cut: Rock Star (1994)
If you like… Goth Pop: PVRIS
Pronounced “Paris,” this band is fronted by Lynn Gunn (Lyndsey Gunnulfsen). PVRIS released their first studio album, White Noise in 2014. The album blends contemporary electropop with post-harcore and clean vocals to create an interesting mix that I like to refer to as “goth pop.” Lynn Gunn is gay uses her music platform to speak out about LGBT+ issues.
Their biggest hit: You and I (2016)
Deeper cut: Mirrors (2014)