This week we were lucky enough to hear from Anna, vocalist of La Bastard and a total gem! Here's what Anna has to say about those who have influenced her and her love of music.
One of the earliest memories I have is sitting in the back of the car while my mum was driving and singing along to some classical music on the radio, trying to match the melodies that were playing with my voice. Singing has always been something I loved and is my 'happy place,' I guess. It's something that soothes me, as well as bringing me great joy. It has been the great influencer in my life and as a result, has created some amazing relationships and experiences which I wouldn't trade for anything.
Having said all that, despite actively trying to surround myself with an inclusive, positive community, there is still a lot more we can do to create safe spaces in the music world for female and non-binary folk. There's quite a lot of discussion about this currently, but Kathleen Hanna was telling girls to 'get to the front' over 20 years ago and we're still banging on about it? We can do more. Inclusion should be normalised - not a novelty - when organising a music line-up or who to work with, or getting people to a show. I'd also like to know that the people I work with haven't been perpetrators of domestic violence or assault as well because I myself would like to feel safe, and it's unfortunate that these are the questions I now think about when navigating the music world - my decision can impact others so it's important to think about.
Anyway, it's hard to write about these issues in a couple of paragraphs, so I hope I make sense. I also have to tell you about some artists I love!
This is one of the first songs I learned to play in the first band I formed with my best friend as a teenager. The thing I love about these guys most besides them playing guitar is the harmonies. I love harmonies. As a singer I dead set LOVE seeing a band who all can sing and contribute to vocal melodies, and I'm pretty sure this band is what started off that obsession.
Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
In my early 20's I used to drive a beat up late 70's Corolla with a CD player in it, which was far superior to the automobile, it was installed into. There was a rotation of maybe 5 CDs in that car and Fever to Tell was definitely one of them. Karen O as a front person was a revelation when I saw her at the Hi-Fi bar. She was a mix of so many things, which connected to me them, and she had a technically awful voice, which still sounded great. Nasally singing (which I'm also prone to) is always bagged out, but combined with the ‘no fucks’ attitude just won me over. Who cares how you sound as long as it's sung with conviction?
If you can find a vocalist who can seamlessly smash together so many different styles of singing in the one record, let alone song I'm pretty sure it would be Alison Goldfrapp. The first 3 records vary so much in sound but are still so distinctly Goldfrapp. Her voice is what ties it all together.
My newest vocal love is Angel Olsen. I was lucky enough to catch her at Howler last year and live she is more amazing than anything. SUCH a mesmerizing performance. It actually gave me goosebumps. You know how there are some artists, whose records are awesome and you see them live and it's disappointing? She's the opposite - I became an even bigger fan afterwards. So much emotion without being showy. I can't wait to see her again.
Jem and the Holograms
I wasn't sure what to do as my other female/ non-binary artist, because there's HEAPS, but one thing I absolutely LOVED as a kid and I think normalised girls being in bands was this cartoon, Jem and the Holograms. I used to borrow the series from the video store (remember those!?) each weekend. There were catchy songs and mini video clips sprinkled throughout the whole show, but the ‘evil band,’ The Misfits, always sang the best songs. The focus of the show was always on the female characters, who had a social conscience and it wasn't weird, it was normal. Side note, if you do decide to look this stuff up, don't watch the movie reboot of the same name that came out last year, it's rubbish.