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LOUD WOMEN releases of 2020

It’s the most listable time of the year!

It’s been a funny old year, and any band who’s managed to release any music during pandemic lockdowns and worldwide chaos – particularly DIY bands whose gigging income disappeared overnight – deserves a big cookie quite frankly.

Team LOUD WOMEN chewed over what we consider to be the best LPs and EPs to have been released in 2020. Here’s our Top 20.

#1. Nova Twins – Who Are the Girls?

This album also scooped the prestigious Hercury Prize this year, so little surprise that this non-stop banger of an LP has also been chosen as LOUD WOMEN’s number one release of the year! It’s not available on Bandcamp but you can grab it from their official website. The dynamic duo have been busily recording, podcasting and campaigning for a Rock/Alternative category to be added to the MOBO Awards. This unstoppable pair are gonna take over the world next year, mark my words.

#2. Dream Nails – Dream Nails

The original punk witches, Dream Nails have blossomed from the DIY feminist music scene (their first gig was the vey first LOUD WOMEN show!) and this year has seen their music burst through to world stages – with their first studio-6recorded album receiving massive plaudits from the big names of the music press. Grab a record and a whole world of merch from the Dream Nails Bandcamp.

#3. The Lovely Eggs – I Am Moron

Such lovely eggs indeed – head to their lovely website for records and more.

#4. Nadine Shah – Kitchen Sink

A stunning album from Nadine Shah, who had recently highlighted in the mainstream media the issue of ridiculously low shares of streaming revenue for musicians. A woman using her platform to raise up others – we salute you Ms Shah!

#5. Dream Wife – So When You Gonna

“Clever, thoughtful, funny, nostalgic and catchy as hell, this album is a slam dunk, a hole in one, and any other generic sporting references you can think of! Each song has an intent and purpose behind it, whether that’s sharing embarrassing memories of a drunken escapade or challenging the place of women within the world. ” – read Katie McFaul’s full review of this fab album here and pick up your own copy on Dream Wife’s website.

#6. Bugeye – Ready Steady Bang

“Speaking for myself I’ve hardly taken this one off the turntable since it arrived – and when I have, it’s mostly been to turn it over… There isn’t space to rave about everything here, but trust me when I tell you there’s not one track that’s going to make you reach for the fast forward button.” – read Tony Rounce’s review here, or indeed Zoe Biggs’ review here (it’s so good our team reviewed it twice!)

#7. Sink Ya Teeth – Two

Get your teeth into your own copy of this excellent album on the band’s website.

#8. Soccer Mommy – Color Theory

“The soft timbre of the voice singing the words may very well be the only thing that gives her youth away; every word displays a wisdom far beyond her years. These songs are deep and introspective and deal with heavy subject matter (like mental health and family struggles). The darkness of the content is cleverly masked by sweetly delicate melodies. ” – Read Maryjo Mattea’s full review here, and visit the Soccer Mommy website here.

#9. Slum of Legs – Slum of Legs

“What strikes this listener most about Slum of Legs is the voice; not just Tamsin’s vocals tonally (although while I was first playing the album someone came in to ask if it was CRASS’ Eve Libertine singing) or Maria’s violin or Emily’s synths, but the sense of being spoken to, or rather with, with an engaged intelligence that much music simply lacks, either because of the people making it, or perhaps more generously because the musicians concerned have found no way to, or desire to, synthesise content and form in this way. Wisdom from experience; humour from pain.” – read Kris Smith’s full review and interview here, and grab this gorgeous album on Bandcamp.

#10. BLOM – Flower Violence

Blóm’s ‘Flower Violence’ is a perfect oxymoron, both in name and in sound. The Newcastle three-piece’s debut album is an angsty five song riot of frenetic noise, dealing with lyrical themes ranging from gender identity and feminism to socio economic challenges. And Dostoyevsky.” – read Jenny Bunn’s full review here, and visit the band’s Bandcamp here.

#11. Sophie Ellis-Bexter – Songs from the Kitchen Disco

#12. US Girls – Heavy Light

#13. Dolls – Eggshells

#14. Grace Savage – Instinct

#15. Pillow Queens – In Waiting

#16. Partner – Never Give Up

#17. Porridge Radio – Every Bad

#18. Eilis Frawley – Never Too Emotional

#19. Charmpit – Cause a Stir

#20. Shopping – All or Nothing


If you like your end of year lists in playlist form, then look no further. This beauty has 11 hours and 31 minutes of LOUD WOMEN’s golden moments of 2020! The

LOUD WOMEN ‘Her’cury Music prize Shortlist announced

For this – the very first LOUD WOMEN ‘Her’cury Music Award – we’ve honoured most of the criteria of our rival, the so-called “Mercury” prize: that is, albums by British-based musicians released between 30th July 2016 and 21st July 2017 (sorry to Deux Furieuses and Crumbs, respectively).

With TWO differences: our ‘Her’cury prize doesn’t care about record formats or industry distribution, and these artists are all LOUD, all female-fronted or female-driven, or just plain all-female. From a pool of thirty options, our scientific poll of the LOUD WOMEN Team has produced this shortlist of 12, given below in alphabetical order.The winner of the ‘Her’cury Music Award will be announced at lunchtime on Thursday 14 September.

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al Crimes – ‘Ceramic Cat Traces

Swansong album from Kirsty (Cat Apostrophe) Fife, Aaron Batley and Ruth Mair. Tense post-hardcore melodies in the music and subtle political undertones in the words, topped with the prolific perzine-ster’s borderline-breakdown vocals.

 

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Desperate Journalist – ‘Grow Up’

Second album from the runaway success story of the London indie scene, pushing all your Britpop/postpunk/pop-goth/80s-indie buttons at once. Soaring vocals, chiming guitars, proper songs and all’s right/wrong with the world.

 

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The Empty Page – ‘Unfolding’


Powerful debut from female-fronted Manc pop-grunge alt-rockers, who contributed key track ‘Deeply Unlovable’ to LOUD WOMEN’s debut compilation album. 

 

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Honeyblood – ‘Babes Never Die’

Brilliant hook-laden grunge pop from this Glasgow duo, with every song a winner; proving that the ‘difficult second album’ is just a problem for other people.

51s5ccRZ0dL._SS500The Menstrual Cramps – ‘We’re Not Ovaryacting’

The Menstruals (well, we can’t really nickname them ‘The Cramps’) hit the ground running earlier this year with this impressive digital debut and a ridiculously-confident live debut on International Womens’ Day for Who Runs the World/LOUD WOMEN.

Nolay-1Nolay – ‘This Woman’

Latest album from the Unorthodox Daughter, and impossible to number because so many of Nolay’s releases have been mixtapes straight from the underground. No pop-grime crossover, no compromise, and no holds barred. Nolay’s definitive feminist statement.

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Oh! Gunquit – ‘Lightning Likes Me’

Second album from criminally-underrated, slightly-uncategorisable (although we’re about to have a go), new-wave surf-garage trash-punks!

 

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Pet Crow – A Simple Guide to Small and Medium Pond Life

Impressively-tuneful debut album from Derby male/female 4-piece, released on vinyl by LIINES’ label Reckless Yes. Dancey, surfy, garagey indie punk fronted by Danielle Cotterill’s powerful vocals.
https://petcrow.bandcamp.com/releases

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Petrol Girls – ‘Talk of Violence’

Debut full-length release from probably the most powerful feminist band in the UK, known to leave audiences genuinely shocked-and-awed with a combination of rock hooks, hardcore assault and uncompromising lyrics. One of two shortlisted bands with a track on the LOUD WOMEN Volume One compilation album.

resizeSacred Paws – ‘Strike a Match’

Definitive musical statement from Rachel Aggs (Trash Kit, Golden Grrrls, Covergirl, Shopping) – possibly the UK’s greatest guitarist – combining what used to be called ‘world music’ with Postcard Records-esque post-punk funk. Scottish Album of the Year, and now LOUD WOMEN ‘Her’cury shortlist!

a4192287913_16The Tuts – ‘Update Your Brain’ 

Widely-acclaimed and long-awaited debut from one of the hardest-working DIY bands in the business, released a decade after they first formed at school. Standout newer tracks ‘Con Man’ and ‘1982’ bring the best punk-pop hooks and ‘Give Us Something Worth Voting For’ delivers the clearest message.

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The Wharves – ‘Electa’

Second album from this all-female melodic post-everything powerhouse follows 2014’s ‘At Bay’, showcasing more of their tightly rhythmic and skilfully harmonic repertoire. https://gringorecords.bandcamp.com/album/electa

 

Runners up

¡Ay Carmela! – ‘Working Weeks’
Bamboo – ‘Live at Café Oto’
Deerful – ‘Peach’
Ex People – ‘Bird’
The Franklys – ‘Are You Listening?’
Feature – ‘Banishing Ritual’
Hands Off Gretel – ‘Burn the Beauty Queen’
Kamikaze Girls – ‘Seafoam’
Little Simz – ‘Stillness in Wonderland’

Grace Petrie – ‘Heart First Aid Kit’

Porridge Radio – ‘Rice, Pasta and Other Fillers’
Rattle – ‘Rattle’
Ravioli Me Away – ‘Living is a Myth’
Skinny Girl Diet – ‘Heavyflow’
Slowcoaches – ‘Nothing Gives’
Teen Canteen – ‘Say It All With a Kiss’
Kate Tempest – ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’
Young Romance – ‘Another’s Blood’

 

The winner will be announced at lunchtime on Thursday 14 September.
All enquiries to loudwomenclub@gmail.com

www.loudwomen.org