1. Modern Girl by Sleater-Kinney
I’ve been getting really into riot grrrl music this month, and Modern Girl is one of the cornerstones of Sleater-Kinney’s discography. The lyrics make me feel seen, the song is gorgeous despite it being relatively stripped down, just vocals and light instrumentation.
2. I’ve Got All This Ringing in My Ears But None on My Finger by Fall Out Boy
This one is just a classic. It’s from Infinity on High, which is one of my favorite Fall Out Boy albums. Infinity has zero skips and if you haven’t listened to it, you should. The beat of Ringing is infectious and swinging, and the first line alone is absolutely killer in terms of lyricism. “You’re a canary/I’m a coal mine.” Are you kidding me? Incredible.
3. New Radio by Bikini Kill
This is another cornerstone of riot grrrl music from the band that basically invented the genre. I have no notes, and I don’t know what to say – this song just unequivocally bangs.
4. (forever?????????) by glass beach
This song is way more chill than anything else on here so far, and I love it. I know virtually nothing about this band other than that an old coworker showed me this album – the First Glass Beach Album – several years ago and I’ve had it on repeat ever since. The whole thing is wonderful.
5. Anniversary by Autoheart
Every couple months I remember that Autoheart exists and listento the album Punch over and over until one song gets so stuck in my head I have to stop. This time it’s Anniversary, and I’m not even mad. Autoheart’s music has this odd quality to it that, despite being solid pop-rock, still makes me feel like my feet are floating off the ground. This song makes me feel like I could go anywhere.
6. Look Like That by Violent Femmes
This is a perfect sing-along-in-the-car-with-your-friends song. It just slaps. It’s a really good song, and I honestly cannot get enough of it.
7. Death With Dignity by Sufjan Stevens
I only found this song this week from a random Tiktok, and it’s reigniting my love for Sufjan Stevens that’s been slumbering since middle school.
8. Wasted by the Donnas
I recently read Sellout by Dan Ozzi – a very good book, which I highly recommend – and in it I was introduced to the Donnas, an all-women punk band from the 90s. So far, every Donnas song is a good song, and this is no exception. I turn this one up to brain-damage volume every time it comes on in the car.
9. GET OUT by Pinkshift
I’m not sure what genre Pinkshift is considered right now, but in my head, it’s kind of the spiritual successor to riot grrrl. Pinkshift is currently making music – go listen, they’re really good – and this song is my absolute favorite kind of song: solid rock with a woman angry at the patriarchy and screaming about it. It’s awesome.
10. Ugly Heart by G.R.L.
This song was my anthem in middle school and I just recently rediscovered it. It absolutely holds up and it seems to be a song that everyone knows when I put it on, even if they don’t know why they know it – and for good reason. It’s a bop.
P.S. If you’re a fan of my picks, I DJ an hour on KNDS 96.3FM – NDSU’s own radio station – every Thursday from 11 am to noon. And if you’re not a fan, don’t worry – I promise I won’t write about music again next week.