Selections from Music by Women 2017: The Year in Queer

A new addition to our spreadsheet, the LGBTQ+ table offers an amazing breadth of voices working across all genres, making for some of the most forward-thinking offerings on the list. What follows is a guide through twelve of our highlights from this last calendar year.

Listen to the full Music by Women 2017 LGBTQ+ Playlists: Apple Music / Spotify

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Selections from Music by Women 2017: Singer/Songwriter

The newest and fastest-growing addition to the list, singer/songwriters keep a soft tone of voice, for the most part, but offer some of the most explosive songwriting you’ll find in any genre.

Stream the Singer/Songwriter playlist: Apple Music / Spotify

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Review: Japanese Breakfast, Soft Sounds From Another Planet

Note: This piece was originally published as part of the /r/Indieheads 2017 Album of the Year series.

Over the course of her two albums as Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner has turned the project primarily into an act of world-building. From the family photo that graces the cover of her 2016 debut Psychopomp to the lengthy note and freehand illustrations and accompanying each song in the lyric booklet for its follow-up Soft Sounds From Another Planet, she evokes a highly personalized sense of the world around her. Japanese Breakfast is a space in which Zauner mediates her experience of this world and, through the visual mythology that informs the project, invites the listener to do the same with theirs.

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Selections from Music by Women 2017: Hip Hop/R&B

Our shortest playlist, Hip-Hop/R&B can sometimes be a world unexplored by those accustomed to Indie Rock.  However, this provides you with a chance to reach outside your comfort zone and listen to some truly innovative artists who are pushing the boundaries that their genre has set for them by their male predecessors.

Stream the full Hip-Hop/R&B Playlist: Apple Music / Spotify

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By The Numbers: End of the Year Lists

In our series “By The Numbers,” Mollie takes a look at trends in the music industry to get a sense of how we’re doing.  While looking at statistics can sometimes seem too simplified, it’s a great way to see, in layman’s terms, how things are changing.  Up first, we take a look at how W/T/F people placed on all our favorite publications’ end-of-the-year lists.

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Spotify, Streaming, and the Erasure of Access

Whenever I recommend a lesser-known album to my friends, I get asked the same question right away: “Is it on Spotify?” In a time where fewer people than ever are buying music, and most can only afford a monthly streaming service, Spotify’s near-monopoly of the streaming market gives this question a sinister subtext. When those loyal to a streaming service ask, “is it on [blank],” what they are implying is, “if it isn’t, I’m not listening to it.”

In making the Spotify playlists for this year’s Music by Women spreadsheet, I took note of the releases which were not available on streaming services. When I looked at them, I noticed an unsettling trend: these albums were largely made by LGBTQ+, POC, and non-English speaking artists. While the difference between being on Bandcamp instead of a Spotify playlist may seem like a minor technicality, it dramatically increases the likelihood of these releases being ignored.

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Music By Women 2017

Welcome to the annual Music by Women spreadsheet and playlist compilation!

What you’ll find here are over 500 (!) tediously compiled albums and EP’s, by artists within the Women/Trans/Femme gender spectrum, sorted by genre and identity identifiers.  This year we go beyond genre to help celebrate the diversity in the music we list.  In a year of marches, political turmoil, travel bans, and much more, there’s been so much that makes us feel like the odds are against us.  Through our freedom of expression through music, we come together to form a sisterhood that will help us power through it all.  This is shown through the playlist art – each playlist is a piece of the big picture that is the full list.  We hope through this music you can find artists that remind you of yourself – your nationality, identity and/or language, or find someone that is from a different world than yours.  Enjoy!  Let’s dive in!

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Janis Joplin – A Lot Like Me (1965)

Welcome to Voice Piece.  Since we’re new, I thought I’d let you know what we are all about before we get started.

This is going to be a feminist music blog.  We want to cover music with the feminist eye we use on a day-to-day basis.  This means you’re not only going to find the typical posts you’d see on a music blog – such as reviews and playlists, but also commentary on today’s music culture.

We are also only electing to cover artists that fit in the W/T/F (Women/Trans/Femme) gender spectrum, as bands, solo artists, or front people, with the mission of helping our readers diversify their music libraries.  We think the music you find here will fit in nicely with some of the music you’ve already got in your rotation.

So, what’s next?

In a few days, we will unveil the Music By Women 2017 List – a massive catalog of as much music we could dig up in 2017 released by artists in the W/T/F spectrum.  This project is what inspired this website, so there’s no better way to get us kicked off than this!  It’s our biggest effort yet – we’ve managed to compile over 500 different albums this year!  After the list is posted, we’ll provide some articles and guides to help you dig through it, and then spend the rest of January revisiting 2017.

We’re launching quietly – simple layout, not too many posts, less than a handful of contributors – but I’m really excited to grow this project into reaching as wide of an audience as possible.  This website is named for a Yoko Ono performance piece, where you are instructed to “scream against the wind”, so many artists I’ve encountered that will be featured here do just that, and I’m so excited to get to share them with you.

Peace & Love,

Sara Loebig
Founder of Voice Piece

p.s. Make sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter here or in the pop-up, to make sure you get an exclusive playlist by yours truly in your inbox.