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Listen to these trans women this Women’s History Month

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By Jacob Tate     3/8/22 11:16pm


I never need an excuse to listen to some of the phenomenal music that women make, but I’ll take one when I can get it. The Rice Thresher is celebrating Women’s History Month with a playlist of some of my favorite trans women musicians. Underrepresented in the music world, trans women nevertheless have released some of the best music of the last decade. Ranging from groundbreaking experimental music to bread and butter pop, trans women show that they can both bring a new perspective and thrive in existing norms. 



SOPHIE

For fans of: Charli XCX, Kero Kero Bonito

Listen to: “OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES,” “LIKE WE NEVER SAID GOODBYE”

The flagbearer for both electronic avant-garde and sweaty club PC music, SOPHIE burst onto the scene with song-stealing production for Charli XCX’s “Vroom Vroom EP.” After a run of iconic but scattershot singles, her style coalesced into the glitchy, dreamy wonderland of “OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES,” one of the greatest albums of the last decade. While SOPHIE’s glittery production carries the project, it’s truly her unique lyrical voice on tracks like “It’s Okay To Cry” and “FACESHOPPING” that take your breath away.

Wendy Carlos

For fans of: Tangerine Dream, Vangelis

Listen to: “Theme From Tron,” “A Clockwork Orange Score”

Trans women have been creating the very genres that we now take for granted. As a composer for iconic movies from “A Clockwork Orange” to “The Shining,” Wendy Carlos helped pioneer the Moog synthesizer that would become integral to electronic music. Her compositions excelled at creating the tension and release necessary to sell the eeriness of the movies she scored. Her influence can still be seen in other trans artists like Varien.

Kim Petras

For fans of: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry

Listen to: “Hillside Boys,” “Heart To Break”

With the cutest ad lib of them all (“woo-ah!”) signing off all of her songs like a lipstick print, pop princess Kim Petras has released a steady stream of catchy bops. From summer poolside anthems to black eyeshadow sulks, she’s got all the bases covered. On top of it all, she seems keenly in on the joke, releasing an entire Halloween themed album and a throwaway EP called “Slut Pop.” 

Arca

For fans of: 100 gecs, Bjork

Listen to: “kick iv,” “kick i”

The insanely prolific, insanely progressive musician Arca always keeps her fans guessing. She’s released 100 remixes of the same song, put out an hour long song, and dropped four albums in four days. Throughout it all, she remains committed to both deconstructionist chaos and, contradictorily, pensive articulation. By breaking down genres from house to reggaeton, she provides insight both through music and words into the nature of her relationship with queerness and identity.

Liturgy

For fans of: Panopticon, Deafhaven

Listen to: “God of Love,” “Aesthetica”

Liturgy provides the kind of highbrow academic superego typically assumed to be antithetical to the metal genre. The results are gripping. Haley Hendrix-Hunt’s over-intellectualized transcendental black metal concept has drawn just as much criticism as praise, but she fully commits to the act. The resulting sprawling epics of albums released by Liturgy over the 2010s show why they have a reputation as one of the most controversial and influential metal bands. 



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