Carsie Blanton (screenshot from Fuck Yourself)

Unsweetened’s Guide to New Sounds from the South, Vol. 1

It should now be a tired stereotype that all southern music fits into the country genre helmed by white men who’ve crooned and gaslighted their way to fame and fortune. I grew up with that music, so I know that it’s not just a stereotype; but it’s worth noting that the South is today and … [Read more…]

A New Beat: Athens Hip Hop Artist Mariah Parker Runs for Office

Mariah Parker ii

Last month, we talked to Mariah Parker, front woman of Linqua Franqa and candidate for county commissioner of Georgia’s District 2, primarily situated in Athens, Georgia. The seat is currently vacant with a special election on Tuesday, May 22, after the Commissioner Harry Sims resigned to pursue a mayoral bid. This interview has been condensed … [Read more…]

With a New Kelley McLachlan Song on the Way, We Look Back at The Prairie Willow’s Whiskey

Perrin Skinner, Kelley McLachlan, and Kristen Weber of the Prairie Willows (still from "Whiskey")

The second in our new series of videos highlighting musicians in the South is nearly here. And while filmmakers Josh Rose and Stephen Maluck were shooting the talented Kelley McLachlan, we were reminded of our last collaboration with Kelley when she was in the folky indie rock trio, The Prairie Willows. In retrospect, I think … [Read more…]

Ethel Bolden: Much More than an Astronaut’s Mother

Bolden at Dreher High School

Tonight the University of South Carolina honors astronaut and former Administrator of NASA, Charles Bolden, but we here at Unsweetened, dedicated as we are to the life and times of southern women, would like to remember the life of his mother, Ethel Martin Bolden, who served as an educator and school librarian in the Columbia area for … [Read more…]

All About Our Mothers: A Playlist for a Feminist Future

Promotional photo of Jeannie C. Riley for her single, "Harper Valley P.T.A."

  Mother’s Day is a celebration of mothering with anti-war origins. As a response to the Civil War, Julia Ward Howe, an activist and suffragist promoted a Mothers’ Peace Day beginning in 1872. Howe called for women “to gather once a year in parlors, churches, or social halls, to listen to sermons, present essays, sing … [Read more…]

Reflections of an awkward kid on her hardworking mom

taryn (2)

This particular Mother’s Day, I find myself feeling particularly reflective. With one exception, it will be the first year I’ve lived more than fifteen minutes away from my mom. Simultaneously, a death in my partner’s family has me thinking a lot about motherhood, and my own relationship with my mother.Throughout my childhood and adolescence, my … [Read more…]