girl music.

by Ellen in


Well, this has been a pretty hot topic for me for the past year or so. I consider myself a mild feminist (not a crazy one that doesn't shave her legs or one that won't let a man open a door for her). I simply prefer gender-inclusive language, the same door opening tendencies shown towards ALL people, equality in a relationship, and a call to make a stranger or two understand that he has no right to think that I'm (or any woman) his to look at. I've noticed that my feminist mind manifests itself in the music I've been listening to. I like to call it "girl music", but I'm sure you know it well: the sensitive singer-songwriter in the female form who uses lines like, "I can be alone, yeah, I can watch the sunset on my own," or "I love the way you say good morning, and you take me the way I am." You know the type; some might refer to this music under the genre of "Lillith Fair" i.e. Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls, etc. I think I even love Jason Mraz for his milder voice tones and the way he talks about women in his music, always inclusive and subjective, never seeing a woman as an object or something to be obtained. Take for example John Mayer's smash hit, "Your Body is a Wonderland." Every time he introduces this song before he plays it live, he says, "This is a song about girly parts." I mean, it's a lovely song, and I'm sure he didn't mean for it to objectify "girly parts," because I have no doubt that he really does love and appreciate them, and especially the woman's for whom this song was written. There are some great lines in it too, one of my favorites being "I love the shape you take when crawling towards the pillow case." But for some reason, it incites a feeling of the "male gaze" which I have learned so much about in my art classes. I appreciate that he wrote a lovely song about how pretty he thinks a girl is, but I'm left wondering if John was inspired because she's easy or if her heart was so beautiful that he had to make it a #1 hit.

Anyway, I've been listening to all this girl music because it's more fun to sing along to.

Kate Nash. She's British, beautiful, and totally different than anyone I've ever heard.

Colbie Caillat. She's a little on the cliche side, but her voice soothes me, and I like that she's natural.

Marketa Irglova. I think she's what started it all, actually. She was in "Once" with Glen Hansard, and is one of the most talented song writers ever. She is shy, but her voice is powerful.

Adele. This girl is young, precious, and has a voice that can knock you over. She is also unlike anyone that's popular now, but I hear she's getting more popular. She is just incredible.

Katie Herzig. She's got her own style, and every song is a completely different sound that one before or after it.

Patty Griffin. I think she probably invented music.

The best for last: Ingrid Michaelson. She is weird, probably a little crazy, and totally original. She plays the ukulele a lot, and can do more with her voice than anyone I've ever heard. This song called "The Chain" has changed my life, don't ask why, I can't tell you. It's magnificent. I found out about her from this video, which I also love.