Sexism in the Indie Music Scene

by Nick

Last weekend I saw David Byrne and St. Vincent which sparked a conversation with my partner about women in indie music. That inevitably led to our responses to Pitchfork’s People’s List from earlier this summer. I regularly use Pitchfork’s scores to determine what I listen to along with Stereogum’s recommendations and Anthony Fantano’s recommendations over at The Needle Drop. I don’t slavishly follow any one of these people but if they give a highly favorable review I’ll listen. I don’t have time to listen to a ton of music that I may not enjoy so this makes sense. However given the weekend’s conversation I’ve decided to seek out more female fronted bands and musicians. I’m not positive that women are being discriminated against in the scene (I don’t count myself as knowledgable enough to make that call) but in my own listening I definitely have not heard a ton of female artists. That said here’s a musicians of the female persuasion list so far and if you think I should check someone else out please comment.

PJ Harvey

Joni Mitchell (I’ve only listened to Blue)

Liz Phair (probably just Exile in Guyville)

Tegan & Sara

The Pretenders

Kate Bush

Laurel Halo

Cat Power

Jessie Ware

Sharon Van Etten

St. Vincent (everything before Strange Mercy)

Kimya Dawson

Elle Varner

Janelle Monáe


Joanna Newsom

Fiona Apple

Anaïs Mitchell

Anyway that seems like an adequate start but more will be needed…and hopefully I’ll actually start listening to music and forcing myself to write about it here in the near future. Thanks for reading!

EDIT: Artists added along with more links and tags.