This week, you’ll find genderqueer indie pop, no shortage of garage pop, some psychedelic disco, sexy synth dream pop, and much more. For those who don’t know, this series aims to highlight all of the Southern women and non-binary and trans Southerners making the music that allows us to wake up each morning and teach students American history – well, that’s just me, but you understand. It’s the elixir, you see. At any rate, I’ve included the state these folks hail from or live in, a bit of trivia, videos, and a Spotify playlist. Please enjoy.
Georgia: Pale Clear, “Wing”
Atlanta-based Pale Clear describe their music as genderqueer indie pop. Their EP moves seamlessly between all the sounds that label may encompass from gorgeous ballads with haunting harmonies, like this one, to edgier pop numbers. This is strikingly original music dealing with issues within the trans community, and part of their proceeds go to homeless trans youth. Beauty and activism. What more do you want?
Tennessee: Sad Baxter, “The Big One”
There’s a brooding “if loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right” vibe to this Nashville grunge-pop duo’s songwriting, and frontwoman Deezy delivers the angst and authenticity of the lovelorn and angry.
Florida: Funny Bunny, “Hot Mustard!”
I miss Tampa, and I miss it even more knowing this psychedelic-disco trio is roaming around the bay area making such great music. At the helm, Kim Stein-Lepley is magnetic and versatile. This song is from their latest album, but check out all the things they’ve created.
Virginia: Angelica Garcia, “Orange Flower”
Angelica Garcia is a young phenom, Los Angeles-bred, and Accomac, Virginia-primed. You should read how she tells it. “Orange Flower” is cynical, hopeful, and CYNICAL. There’s a strong Courtney Barnett sensibility to what Garcia does, and It’s also the kind of country-ish music you wish those famous ladies in Nashville were writing and singing.
Florida: Wet Nurse, “Belly Hurts”
Y’all don’t even know, or maybe you do, but, regardless, you should. For years now, this garage-pop outfit out of Orlando has been making the music Central Florida should be known for (dangling prepositions aside). “Belly Hurts” leans toward the pop-punk, with harmonies, heavy guitar, and the best drum beats.
North Carolina: Sylvan Esso, “Radio”
The celebrated indie-pop twosome out of Durham just released this brand new song with the tried and true theme of taking down the rotten, garbage heart of American chart-topping pop music. Amelia Meath sings with charm and effervescence even as she brings it home with, “Now don’t you look good sucking american dick/You’re so surprised they like you/You’re so cute and so quick/Singin’ I’ve got the moves of a tv queen/Folk girl hero in a magazine/Faking the truth in a new pop song/Don’t you wanna sing along.”
Georgia: Ruby the Rabbitfoot, “Nicola La”
This Athens-based chanteuse is kind of everything. Sexy, synth-y, and touring with Of Montreal, for crying out loud. I could say more, but Christopher Giurl over at SceneSC has already said it better in his review of their recent show at 40 Watt. This video, though.
North Carolina: Faye, “Chow Chow”
I can’t help but feel a bit of nostalgia when I listen to Charlotte-based trio Faye. To me, they summon the electrifying defiance of some of the harder rocking women of the 90s. But please don’t get me wrong, this is new music, and on this song they take all of the bitterness of growing up in a unsatisfying scene and unleash it on the obvious culprits. It’s short and not so sweet.
South Carolina: Amy Lynne Reed, “After the Party”
I’m not going to put Greer-based Amy Lynne Reed into any kind of a box, but she nails the bluesy soul of the 60s in this song. However, you don’t have to travel too far to find everything else she has to offer. Let me help: here’s her and John the Revelator’s irreverent rendition of “Jackson” and an original from these two at an SceneSC (I’m a fan) recording at Columbia’s Papa Jazz Records.
Louisiana: Tank and the Bangas, “Oh, Heart”
The vocal Olympics from frontwoman and singer/songwriter/poet Tarriana Ball immerses you in a theatrical-pop experience. These perennial favorites out of New Orleans stop the show each time they play.