Here's The Music You Need To Hear This International Women's Day

8 March 2024 | 3:40 pm | Mary Varvaris

From pop to metalcore to country to dance music to woozy folk, here are The Music's picks for this International Women's Day.

Alice Ivy, Tia Gostelow, Kim Gordon, Cass Hopetoun, Ricki-Lee, Elsy Wameyo, Eves Karydas, Jinjer, Maggie Lindemann

Alice Ivy, Tia Gostelow, Kim Gordon, Cass Hopetoun, Ricki-Lee, Elsy Wameyo, Eves Karydas, Jinjer, Maggie Lindemann (Source: Supplied, Marina Hunter, Macami, Danielle Neu, Nicole Matthews)

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This International Women’s Day, The Music is highlighting music released by non-male artists today (and earlier this week).

Like any other publication, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to celebrating women, transgender, non-binary and gender-fluid artists in music, but this is a start.

The Music has explored new music playlists updated on Spotify and Apple Music today, dug through our inboxes for albums and tracks released this week, and mined social media for any surprises. Ariana Grande’s new album, Eternal Sunshine, won’t drop until later this afternoon, so we’ll update this article later – see what we mean about keeping up with surprises?

This list highlights excellent music in all genres, from pop to metalcore to country to dance music to woozy folk. We’ve chosen some amazing Australian artists, as well as international favourites.

Read on to find out more about the music you need to hear this International Women’s Day.

Kim Gordon – Psychedelic Orgasm

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When Sonic Youth founder Kim Gordon released her debut solo album, No Home Record, in 2019, it’s unlikely that anyone expected it to be as wildly experimental, abrasive, and hip-hop-influenced as it turned out to be.

Well, her follow-up album, The Collective, out today, follows that trend and then some. New single Psychedelic Orgasm threatens to blow up your headphones and burst your speakers with its deep entrancing beats and Gordon talk-singing above the mix.

At 70 years old, Kim Gordon absolutely rocks and inspires all her listeners to pursue whatever the hell you want, no matter how old you are.

girl in red – DOING IT AGAIN BABY

Norwegian singer-songwriter and producer girl in red has unleashed her latest banger, DOING IT AGAIN BABY, an infectious tune set to bring fans to the dancefloor.

DOING IT AGAIN BABY is in-your-face with its quirky energy and speeds up to the point your head spins when you least expect it. And, it’s the title track to her upcoming album, due for release on Friday, 12 May. A song you can use as a pick-me-up, girl in red has called her latest tune “the most playful and fun track [she’s] made”. Hard to argue against that.

Eves Karydas – Sunday Drive

Eves Karydas is back, and she’s bringing the cruisy vibes with her. Sunday Drive is the first taste of her upcoming “indie-emo-yacht-rock” album, which mirrors the sounds of The Beach Boys, the summery energy of Jimmy Buffett, and the signature dreaminess she harnesses so well.

Teaming up with Swedish producer Jens Resch and American producer Chris Zane, Sunday Drive is Karydas’ first single as a fully independent artist – it’s only the beginning of a new era she’ll share more information about soon.

In a statement, she said about what’s to come, “My goal is to get people to know me better, and I’m also just sick of doing things a certain way because that’s what women in music/media are expected to do. I’m not chasing pop-stardom.

“I’m doing everything that I can to take every bit of this process into my own hands, and I've done all the artwork and videos myself, which is a significant milestone personally as a fully self-managed, independent artist. I felt I needed to prove a point, to myself more than anything, that my legacy as an artist is more than the influence of middle-aged men in management and at record labels.”

Ariana Grande - bye

Ariana Grande has shared her seventh album, eternal sunshine, her first album since 2020’s Positions. A team effort between the singer and producers Max Martin, Ilya Salmanzadeh and Oscar Gorres, the LP finds her stretching the minimalist expressions she tested on her last release.

On bye, Grande playfully sings about a failed relationship (“boy, bye”) as dance beats keep things catchy as she performs from a vulnerable state.

Ricki-Lee – I Was Made For Loving You

Today, Ricki-Lee released her long-awaited fifth album, On My Own – her first full-length in ten years. The latest single doesn’t just share a title with the KISS song but interpolates that classic rock track’s chorus after getting clearance from KISS to use the song.

As a result, Ricki-Lee has released her most uplifting song to date, a bright, summery pop song made for singing along on your road trips. For the first time, Ricki-Lee has released music under her own label and officially owns her masters – what’s more empowering than that on International Women’s Day?

Maggie Lindemann & Jasiah – taking over me

taking over me is just one of the highlights from American singer-songwriter Maggie Lindemann’s new release, HEADSPLIT, out today. Marketed as an EP, the eight-track release follows her 2022 debut album, Suckerpunch and dials up the t.A.T.u. inspiration up to 11.

A dark, rocking track that follows Lindemann as she asks, “voices in my head telling me to stop/ Why do I take shit over the top?” she channels youthful angst into a banger.

King Hannah ft Sharon Van Etten - Big Swimmer

This week, Liverpool duo King Hannah – led by the soulful, rich tone of Hannah Merrick – announced their new album, Big Swimmer, will be released on Friday, 31 May. In addition to the announcement, they shared the title track featuring indie rock favourite Sharon Van Etten.

Stripping back the trip-hop influence of their 2022 debut album, I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me, Big Swimmer starts off completely acoustic, with Merrick’s vulnerable vocal front-and-centre. Drums and an electric guitar come in later, with Van Etten harmonising beautifully. It’s too gorgeous to resist.

Tia Gostelow – All Ur Sorrow

Queensland singer Tia Gostelow has shared the slick new track, All Ur Sorrow, a track she wrote for someone she loves to help them through a “horrible breakup”, per a statement on Instagram.

All Ur Sorrow is chill, incorporating synths and live instruments for a heartfelt atmosphere. As it turns out, Gostelow is the friend we all need.

In addition to releasing All Ur Sorrow today, Gostelow has revealed that she’s releasing a song a month this year: “Lots of songs that have been sitting in the vault for years, including this one. I'm so glad it’s finally seeing the light of day,” she wrote. We’re glad it’s finally out of the vault.

Cass Hopetoun – To Be A Lady

Australian country singer Cass Hopetoun has released the perfect track for International Women’s Day. To Be A Lady is a call to arms: you don’t have to do anything you’re supposed to do as a woman just because of those expectations.

To Be A Lady dismisses the pressures put on women always to look nice—putting on makeup every day, “glamour and poise,” wearing uncomfortable high-heeled shoes, and a need to be lazy. Flanked by banjo, guitar, and a full band, Hopetoun has offered a catchy, ultra-relatable tune that serves as a reminder to be a bit rebellious sometimes.

“I was sick of doing makeup,” Hopetoun admitted in a press release. “Why do I have to just because it’s the norm? Sometimes you just can’t be bothered.”

Alice Ivy ft. Låpsley – Popstar

Australian multi-instrumentalist and producer Alice Ivy is back with a grooving pop-rock number starring London-based songwriter and producer Låpsley.

Different from the electronic music both artists are known for, on Popstar, they become rock stars, with noisy guitars, commanding drums and a guitar solo to boot. The vocals are enchanting and rich, with Alice Ivy calling back to her work on Mallrat’s Teeth.

“I went in thinking we’d probably write something electronic or dance,” Ivy admitted in a press release about the writing sessions, “but for one reason or another; we cranked out a massive angsty rock song, which is ironic because it’s called ‘Popstar’.

“I guess we were both just feeling super empowered in the moment. My favourite lyrics in this one are, ‘Tell the people what they’re hearing, let the algorithm take it’ and ‘My face is only aging, but my ego needs the stage’. Those lines hit hard!”

Elsy Wameyo – Piny Lara

Led by handclaps and an incredible choir – acting to introduce Elsy Wameyo’s stunning vocals, Piny Lara is a statement by one of Australia’s finest. As she wrote on Instagram yesterday, “‘piny lara, kayuda man malo lemona’ translates to the world hates me, but the Lion of Judah intercedes on my behalf.”

A beautiful song with an equally memorable video, Piny Lara isn’t a song you’ll forget soon.

Jinjer – Call Me A Symbol (Live)

Ukrainian metal band Jinjer will release their first-ever DVD/Blu-Ray, Live In Los Angeles, on Friday, 17 May, giving fans who have seen them an opportunity to re-live the experience while offering fans who haven’t seen them live a chance to at least watch on their televisions.

The lead single for the release is the riotous Call Me A Symbol. Led by vocalist Tatiana Shmayluk – who performs the brutal screams and growls and the beautiful singing, Jinjer are known for their raw power, advocating for Ukraine as the war in their country continues, and breathtaking live shows.

Elly-May Barnes – No Good

Elly-May Barnes launched her solo career with an arresting cover of Radiohead’s classic Creep. Today, she shares her second single, No Good, a nostalgic pop-rock tune written alongside Davey Lane (of You Am I fame) and Shane Nicholson.

Sharing a screaming technique akin to her dad, Jimmy Barnes, Elly-May Barnes is already an impressive young performer. In a statement, she described the track as “a short and not-so-sweet number about a super toxic person who has messed someone around, and I believe the song makes it pretty clear in no uncertain terms that the relationship will not be continuing under any circumstances.

“Everyone knows that someone who is just no good. But it’s super fun and upbeat! It’s gotta be upbeat. It’s all about finding and knowing your worth and standing up for yourself, which can be a journey, but a journey worth celebrating!”

King Ibis – Cooling Embers

Fresh off opening for Coldplay in a support slot last year, Perth’s King Ibis are back with an entrancing, melodic new rock rune, Cooling Embers.

Vocalist Nadene Burchell glows amongst groovy instrumentation, making the resonant new tune feel bright and absolutely massive – an instant playlist addition. Having shared the stage with the likes of Spacey Jane, Jebediah, Thelma Plum, Tash Sultana and many more, it’s time for King Ibis to enjoy their moment in the spotlight.