The alternative music scene, from the early days of rock and roll to present day post-hardcore, punk, metal etc… has always been focused on lyrical and instrumental prowess. For a majority of rock history, female musicians within the genre have not been taken seriously or were considered to be novelties and novices in the male-dominated scene. In the last few decades, this disparity has become less prevalent and women in the scene definitely hold their own.
This being said, the numbers indicate that female-musicians are still few and far between compared to the horde of established and up and coming all-male bands. This list is meant to highlight some, but definitely, not all, of the all-female and female-fronted bands in the scene and is in no particular ranking order. The badass women in the list to follow represent different stylistic elements of the alternative music scene and all deserve their success.
So without further ado, here are 10 all-female and female-fronted bands you should definitely know.
1. Doll Skin
A personal favorite of mine, if you haven’t heard of these ladies from Phoenix, Arizona then I suggest you check them out ASAP. Their sound combines those core elements of punk, hard rock, and pop punk that draws influence from other all-female outfits like The Donnas and The Runaways. Paired with meaningful lyrics and dynamic stage presence, the ladies of Doll Skin are truly a force to be reckoned with. Check out their singles “Shut Up (You Miss Me)” and “Persephone” for an idea of how their sound can range from their self-proclaimed “jumpy” pop-rock beats to a more hardcore bass.
2. Cherri Bomb/Hey Violet
Although no longer together- Cherri Bomb was everything you could want in an all-female band. Strong vocals and musicianship set these ladies apart from the rest of the scene. Their music drew influence from bands like The Foo Fighters and Garbage. Originally led by singer/guitarist Julia Pierce, the band features drummer Nia Lovelis, bassist Rena Lovelis, and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Miranda Miller. Pierce left the group in 2013 and the remaining members went on to rebrand themselves as the pop-punk focused Hey Violet. Check out their single “Guys My Age” below.
3. Honey Blood
Hailing from Glasgow, Ireland, Honeyblood consists of Stina Teedale (guitar/vocals) and Cat Myerrs (drums). Their sound is reminiscent of the signature indie rock/ No Wave sound that Sonic Youth and Throwing Muses were known for a few decades ago. Check out their single “Walking at Midnight” for a sense of their sound!
4. Ex Hex
Straight out of Washington D.C., Ex Hex is a female power trio consisting of Mary Timony (guitarist/lead vocals), Betsy Wright (Bassist), and Laura Harris (drummer). These ladies go back to the basic elements of garage rock bands of the past setting them apart from the rest of the bands on this list. Check out their single “Don’t Wanna Lose” below.
5. Stand Atlantic
Stand Atlantic is a female fronted band reigning from the suburbs of Sydney, Australia. Their melodic lyrics blended with powerful musicianship set them apart from the multitude of other bands in a genre that is easy to get lost in. Bonnie Fraser (vocals/guitar), David Potter (bass), and Jonno Panichi (drums) have definitely made their mark on the Australian pop-punk/rock scene. Check out their single “Coffee at Midnight” below
6. Milk Teeth
The teenage angst that defined a decade is now in its next incarnation with Milkteeth. This British punk band land on the 90’s era grunge and indie rock end of the spectrum. Check out their single “Owning Your Okayness” below.
This post-grunge/ metal band has become one of the most successful female-fronted groups in recent memory. Lzzy Hale and the rest of Halestorm perform at full energy and their unforgettable stage presence and charisma have solidified their place in the genre. Check out there song “Uncomfortable” below.
Another amazing band out of Glasgow, Chrvches sound is a synth-pop/ Indie-rock amalgamation that works really well. Another personal favorite of mine due to their unique sound. Check out their song “Miracle” below.
9. Against the Current
This pop-rock band hails from Poughkeepsie, New York. Comprised of lead singer Chrissy Costanza, guitarist/singer Dan Gow and drummer Will Ferri, Against the Current started their journey on YouTube and garnered a dedicated fanbase online (myself included). Check out “Strangers Again” below.
Would this list be complete without mentioning Paramore? Of course not. The fan in me says, “ let this one speak for itself!”. The writer in me is satisfied with that answer.