Welcome back to Lightning 100’s Intern Picks of the Week! This week, we’ve chosen to celebrate our favorite women in music – women who are gamechangers in the industry, women who are trendsetters in their genres, and women who straight up rock!
“Hours and Hours” – Bully
When it comes to women who rock, Bully should be a household name. Nashville-based Alicia Bognanno writes powerful rock anthems that transport any listener back to the 1990’s garage-rock scene. Bognanno, admirably, is not one to sugarcoat life’s hardships in her music. Her lyrics are real, raw, and refreshing. Sometimes, certain scenarios really do just “feel like trash.”
“Hours and Hours,” from Bully’s 2020 album SUGAREGG,is a haunting song from the artist’s catalog. While it still incorporates some Bully staple sounds, it effectively exhibits the duality of Alicia’s songwriting. The verses are soft and longing, while the chorus is loud and frustrated. It’s one of those songs where the emotional build and musical build are perfectly in sync, and the result is chilling. The song discusses Alicia’s strained relationship with her mother, which resolved over time and turned into a friendship.
Bognanno writes lyrics that are relatable to all types of people, but is also making an effort to ensure the punk scene can be enjoyed in the same way. “If you look around and it’s only dudes who are pushing each other around, we’ve got a problem,” writes Bully on a social media post concerning her 2021 tour. “Anything that’s going on during the shows should be inclusive”
Oom Sha La La- Haley Heynderickx
For this week, I chose Oom Sha La La from Portland folk artist Haley Heynderickx. Serving as the lead single from her 2018 album I Need To Start a Garden, Heynderickx delivers an introspective look at the anxieties and chaos that are innately attached to your mid twenties. The song also highlights the appreciation in the sillier, little things in life that serve as an escape from the craziness.
Heynderickx talks about the silliness of the song as well as the importance of being silly sometimes in an interview with NPR. “When you are in an active pursuit of creativity, we can’t forget how necessary it is to create those embarrassing pieces of poetry/music/art/writing that humbles us”. You can check out the video for the song below!
“Man’s World” – MARINA
My pick this week is “Man’s World” by MARINA. This was the first single off Marina’s fifth studio album Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land. The ethereal tune was created and produced by an all female team, ranging from Sia, Clairo, and Haim. When introducing her plan on Twitter, Marina said “I’m creating my next project…and this story can only be told by women.”
In an interview with Vogue, Marina discusses her influences for “Man’s World.” She says, “The original idea for the song was to write a snapshot of how women and LGBTQ+ individuals have been subjugated and discriminated against throughout history going back to the Salem witch trials, where any person who was deemed abnormal or slightly alternative was singled out.”
“The Hypnotist” – Melody’s Echo Chamber
My pick for this week’s theme is “The Hypnotist” by Melody’s Echo Chamber. “The Hypnotist” is the fourth track off Melody’s latest and third album, Emotional Eternal, which was released in April of this year. Melody’s Echo Chamber is the psychedelic music project of French multi-instrumentalist Melody Prochet. Prochet released her first self-titled LP as Melody’s Echo Chamber in 2013, partnering with Kevin Parker (Tame Impala). For her second (Bon Voyage, 2018) and third projects, she confided in members of Swedish psych-rock powerhouse Dungen as co-writers and producers. Emotional Eternal is Prochet’s ode to motherhood and childlike wonder, recorded in a small town in the French Alps to escape the modern society she had become so disappointed in.
“The Hypnotist ” is a beautiful song reflecting on how our days are numbered on this Earth and the importance of constant fascination with life. Strong hints of inspiration from bands like Radiohead and Stereolab are very present throughout guitar and drum parts, and Melody’s vocals sound as if they could instead be lost recordings of the iconic French singer Jane Birkin. The song’s ending features Prochet softly speaking poetic French while a prominent bass slowly drifts the song to a soft halt.
“Letter to the Past” – Brandi Carlile
My pick for this week is “Letter to the Past” by Brandi Carlile. The song comes from her latest album In These Silent Days. This track is so beautiful and really reflects what we’ve all been through the past few years. As a student who moved clear across the country for school, I know all about feeling like you’re stuck in a tough situation with no way out. This song perfectly encapsulates the saying “it’s not okay now but it will be soon” and I think that’s something we all need to hear every now and then. “You’re a stone wall, in a world full of rubber bands,” Carlile sings. “You’re a pillar of belief, still fightin’ your shakin’ hands.”
When I think of my favorite female rock stars, Brandi Carlile is always at the top of the list. She sings with such emotion and power. This album in its entirety is the perfect follow up to 2018’s By the Way I Forgive You. And of all Carlile’s songs (and there are some phenomenal ones) “Letter to the Past” always sticks with me. When you’re in the middle of the maze and can’t find your way out, it helps to have those songs that remind you of your own strength. “It’s a game, you know it’s okay to lose a game,” she sings. “But always remember your name and have no shame because you’re built to last.”