So far, 2019, has been pretty rough—for politics, for the planet, for Game of Thrones, and lately for women. With the spotlight on women’s fight for reproductive rights, women are more vocal than ever about their anger with gender inequality. In music, this movement is lending itself to some fire tracks. Here are six fierce female artists who are fed up with the status quo, and are ready to sing (or scream) about it.
Outspoken feminist Halsey is back to her rock roots with this raw, powerful track. The singer has been involved with the #MeToo movement and the Women’s March for years, and “Nightmare” benefits from her experience hearing so many women’s stories. Fuelled by palpable anger and defiance, she yells about busting down society’s narrow stereotypes of women. Keep this one in mind for when you need to scream-sing the frustration out.
Realest Lyric: “I could play nice, or I could be a bully / I’m tired and angry, but somebody should be”
If “Nightmare” is for the mad girls, “Cheap Queen” is for the sad girls. King Princess is an expert at pulling on heart strings, and this new song will have you really feeling her pain. In the chorus, KP grapples with the pressure of society’s expectations while feeling shamed for being disagreeable. She captures the real struggle of trying to be “a Real Queen” when everyone wants you to be “cheap.”
Realest Lyric: “And I can be bad sometimes / I’m a Real Queen / I can make grown men cry”
If anyone has a right to be mad at rich, straight, white men, it’s definitely Kesha, and she holds no punches in her latest wacky track. She sings about what the world would look like without straight white men, with pointed examples like free healthcare to no border walls. In keeping with her trademark psychedelic quirkiness, the song sounds like it was pulled off a Tim Burton soundtrack, full of bouncing circus music and dissonant sound effects. Only Kesha could pull off something so equally bizarre, charming, and political.
Realest Lyric: “And if you were a lady, then you own your lady parts/ just like a man goes to a dealership and then he owns a car / Vroom vroom / Fuck you”
As the title indicates, Miley’s new EP SHE IS COMING is about being a strong woman. Its first track, “Mother’s Daughter,” is a classic female empowerment anthem with tons of swagger. For anyone with a fierce mama, this song celebrates being as unapologetic as the woman you were raised by. Bookmark this for next Mother’s Day.
Realest Lyric: “Don’t fuck with my freedom / I came up to get me some / I’m nasty, I’m evil / Must be something in the water or that I’m my mother’s daughter”
If 2019 gives us nothing else, at least it brought us Lizzo at the top of her game. Every song she releases is a self-love banger, but “Exactly How I Feel” carries the very specific anger of a woman who has been told she’s too emotional just one too many times. Lizzo is going to feel all the feels, and she is not here to apologize for it.
Realest Lyric: “Can’t hold back my tears / That would be a crime / ‘Cause I look pretty cryin’”
Billie Eilish belongs on this list solely by virtue of existing. Everything from her quirky wardrobe, grotesque video aesthetics, and so-over-it attitude make her the ultimate Fed-Up Female. This song is a musical eye-roll at the idea of trying to be a good girl by any standards, since the world has got way bigger problems. She also calls God a woman, so between her and Ariana sounds like we’ve settled that debate.
Realest Lyric: “Man is such a fool / Why are we saving him?”