Over time, there have been so many incredible all-female bands and groups from all over the world! Here, we discuss just a few of our very favourite women in music.
(G)I-DLE, a South Korean girl group formed of members Soyoen, Miyeon, Minnie, Yuqi and Shuhua, have been dominating the world of K-pop since their record-breaking debut on May 2, 2018 with ‘Latata’. Dubbed as ‘monster rookies’, they signalled the beginning of the 4th wave of K-pop, breaking the then record for fastest music show win 22 days after their debut, a record previously set by fellow girl group BLACKPINK.
Their success has continued with each impatcful, self-produced comeback, even following the departure of ex-member Soojin. Most recently, their comebacks ‘Tomboy’ and ‘Nxde’ heightened their status in the K-pop industry, with songs that empower the confidence of women, whilst reflecting on the position and portrayal of women in media. ‘Nxde’ is an exceptionally poignant example of this, fighting stereotypes and the male gaze that is placed on women. This was a message very well received as the song topped all real-time charts in South Korea and gave the group their second perfect-all-kill of 2022 (the first being ‘Tomboy’).
In an industry built on the exploitation of women, specifically their image, it is remarkable and encouraging to see (G)I-dle use their position to bring to light a rarely spoken about problem. Not only are their songs being used for important messages, but they are also genuinely good songs that offer something different with every comeback. ‘Latata’, a moombahton pop song, is completely different to hip-hop single ‘Uh-Oh’, which feels completely different to their dreamlike synth pop ‘Hwaa’. All in all, they have a refreshing discography that all feels distinctly their own, and that promotes female empowerment, whilst being an all-rounded group with amazing singing, dancing, rapping and composing talent!
By Megan Eynon-Daly
It is not very often that people from the Isle of Wight see other Islanders make it big. We have had the late director, Anthony Minghella, and actor Jeremy Irons winning Oscars, the band Level 42 producing several hits in the 1980s, and yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur breaking the world record for the fastest solo sail around the world. However, in recent years, the Isle of Wight’s claims to fame have been limited.
That was until Wet Leg burst on to the scene.
Wet Leg was formed several years after Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers met at the Isle of Wight’s music college, Platform One. Being born on the Isle of Wight, and knowing several people that attended Platform One from my secondary school, it is mind-blowing to think that two former Platform One students have managed to make it so big.
Although they are typically accompanied by their three male band members – Henry Holmes, Ellis Durand and Josh Mobaraki – officially, Wet Leg’s lineup is that of a female duo: Teasdale on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, and Chambers on lead guitar. It is also Teasdale and Chambers that feature in the band’s music videos, photoshoots and debut album artwork.
Seemingly from obscurity, Wet Leg’s debut single ‘Chaise Longue’ went viral, with almost everybody I graduated with in 2022 using the track’s “Mummy, Daddy, look at me, I went to school and I got a degree” lines as the background music to their graduation Instagram stories. Their second release, ‘Wet Dream’, is not only my personal favourite (probably tied with Angelica), but was covered by none other than Harry Styles.
Wet Leg’s musical style is quirky and fun, and there is not a single bad track on their debut album (which they announced in an advert in the local Isle of Wight paper, no less!). Whilst some tracks are sadder, and others more danceable, what they all have in common is an insane charisma, both lyrically, vocally, and musically.
In the last few months, Wet Leg have won two Grammy Awards, and two Brit Awards. Coming from the same small island as the duo, it feels insane that two island women could have so much success. Long may it continue for them. I will back them all the way!
By Mollie Potter
I will be honest with you all, I don’t really listen to that many girl groups. I grew up with the likes of Girls Aloud, The Saturdays and others but the main groups I listen to are either all-male or female-led. The Smiths, Beatles, Cure, Paramore and Blondie come to mind. So, when this prompt came up, it made me think, what is my favourite female band? It would have to be The Supremes.
Back when I was 15, a clause that makes me sound very old, I started my first job at a local cafe. This is something that I have been feeling a fair bit of nostalgia for lately and much of this nostalgia is exemplified by the music that used to play there, especially when I started. The girls I initially worked with, Zoe and Nat, would play a 1960s playlist and, above all other songs, ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ has always been the one I associate with that time.
The songs of The Supremes have a lovely warm feel to them, perfect for summer really. They are uplifting anthems which are a consistent joy to listen to. Diana Ross’ vocals are still impressive to this day, but the music of the early 60s just hits different. It is light, almost bubblegum pop-esque (this was the decade of The Monkees and The Archies), but it, musically and abstractly, has soul.
By Susanna Robertson-Sheath
Now a decade on from their 2013 debut album Days Are Gone, LA sisters HAIM are still continuing to hit new heights. It’s always been tricky to place the trio into a box, and that is now more true than ever. Their most recent album ‘Women in Music, Pt. III’ tackles a range of styles, from folk, indie pop, and jazz, yet their output always feels uniquely HAIM.
But what exactly is it about HAIM that makes them so special? For me, it is their frequent combination of upbeat, breezy instrumentals combined with introspective, vulnerable lyrics. However, sometimes it is just simply pure, fun, free pop. Songs such as 2017’s ‘Little of Your Love’, my introduction to the band, perhaps wouldn’t sound out of place at any usual pop radio station, yet their instrumentation and musical ability allow such ‘bangers’ to shine brighter than they perhaps would from more mainstream artists. In particular, 2019’s ‘Los Angeles’ is a shining example of their ability to create a perfect slice of pop-jazz with its vibrant, shimmering saxophone perfectly capturing the mood of walking down a city boulevard in the height of Summer. However, while this instrument could have been into a bombastic yet slightly generic modern pop hook like that of Sigala’s ‘Came Here for Love’, its subtle, raw production style makes it sound like a thoughtful, hidden indie gem from the 70’s in the best way possible.
Far from ever being a mere flash in the pan act, HAIM are always going from strength to strength – and the past few years have shown this more than ever through their commercial success. From contributing songs to the major soundtracks of ‘The Croods: A New Age’, ‘Barbie’ and ‘Trolls World Tour’ to opening for and collaborating with Taylor Swift, it’s clear that HAIM are close to entering the sphere of popularity that separates the indie world from the mainstream – and I can certainly see their upcoming fourth album being their biggest to date.
By Callum Joynes