We’re widening the scope now to an international selection. Here goes y’all:
Angèle – Belgium
This Belgian songstress is goals, and her music helps me learn les nouveaux mots and enjoy feminist beats at the same time. She is feisty, and she is extremely hawt and she is also a badass.
Her song Balance Ton Quoi refers to the French equivalent of the #metoo movement, Balance ton Porc, translating to #SquealOnYourPig, i.e. confront and call out the douchebags who are perpetrating sexual harassment and violence.
My Top Picks: Balance Ton Quoi, Flemme, La Thune, Tout Oublier, Victim des Réseaux
Be Steadwell – USA
Be Steadwell is a Washington D.C. based singer songwriter. With roots in jazz, a capella and folk. So much groove, and so much queer and POC representation – ugh it’s dynamite. They self-describe their genre as Queer Pop.
Be often uses loop pedals to layer up their tracks, often using their vocals to make up chord progressions and harmonies that compliment the melodic line. Be’s original music features earnest lyricism, and proud LGBTQ+ content.
My Top Picks: Ambidextrous, Black Girls Who Can’t Dance, Deleted You, ExFriends, Greens, Gay Sex, Love Song for a Dom Stripper, Netflix, New Girl, Fuccboi, Precarious Place, Sage, Sometimes, Succulent, Thirst Trap, Wear it Low, Witch
Corinne Bailey Rae – UK
Probably best known for her 2006 hit Put Your Records On, Rae is an incredibly talented lyricist and vocalist. My personal fave album would have to be The Heart Speaks in Whispers (2016), though I also adore her self-titled debut album (2006).
Trouble Sleeping got me through my childhood and adolescent insomnia (I say that as if I don’t still have it lol) and made me feel like I wasn’t alone in it. I mean let’s be real, it’s about not being able to sleep because you’re in love, but tbh I’m pretty sure that on some level twelvie me related to that aspect too, even if she wasn’t fully cognisant of it at the time.
My Top Picks: Been to the Moon, Breathless, Call Me When You Get This, Green Aphrodisiac, Horse Print Dress, Like A Star, I’d Like To, Trouble Sleeping, Tell Me
Feist – Canada
Feist is a dream and an ethereal human in general. She sings in both French and English, and her voice is so easy to listen to.
She featured on Sesame Street with a reworked version of 1234, which is the cutest thing ever. Disclaimer: lol, I only know this because there’s a kid at the school I work at who is transfixed by and enamoured with this song. It is the one thing that will get them to actually participate in circle time. ❤
Also, I Feel It All perfectly summarises how I experience hypersensitivity on a day to day basis.
My Top Picks: 1234, L’amour Ne Dure Pas Toujours, Gatekeeper, Tout Doucement, I Feel It All, Mushaboom, The Water, So Sorry, My Moon My Man
Lily Allen – UK
I was introduced to Lily Allen at 8 years old. I learned her whole debut album Alright, Still off by heart, singing along about a weed-smoking brother (Alfie), turning drunk boys down at the bar (Knock ‘Em Out), sabotaging an ex (Smile), critiquing the housing market, celebrity culture and general dissatisfaction with life (Everything’s Just Wonderful). I had no idea what I was singing about, but I sure enjoyed the rhythm, the rhyme, and the new words I was learning about, as well as the new concepts.
I am actually such a big fan of her discography in general, and I have faves on every album, but No Shame and Alright, Still are probably my top two.
As an adult*, I immensely enjoy the satirical nature of her music. Her lyrics are littered with puns and quirky quips:
*debatable as to whether I am one yet, haha
Oh Jesus Christ AlmightyEverything’s Just Wonderful – Lily Allen
Do I feel alright? No not slightly
I wanna get a flat, and no I can’t afford it
It’s just the bureaucrats that won’t give me a mortgage
I look at The Sun and I look in The MirrorThe Fear – Lily Allen
I’m on the right track, yeah I’m onto a winner
Baby, I fucked half the boys in ParisMy One – Lily Allen
I’m in New York; so embarrassed
‘Cause I need my one
Also, titling an album It’s Not Me, It’s You has to be the biggest power move ever.
She came to New Zealand for her No Shame tour and oh my goodnessssssss – worth the wait. Also… probs unpopular opinion, but I pick this weird hill to die on:
My Top Picks: 22, Apples, As Long As I Got You, Everything’s Just Wonderful, Family Man, Knock ‘Em Out, Not Fair, Our Time, Him, Insincerely Yours, URL Badman, Shame for You, Trigger Bang, Three
M.I.A. – UK
M.I.A. is a badass rapper from London. My current obsession is Galang. Just 11 years late Abby, no biggie. I remember when I was around 9 or so, her songs Sunshowers and Paper Planes were quite popular, but she seems to have flown under the radar a bit recently, idk.
My Top Picks: Bad Girls, Come Around (feat. Timbaland), Galang, Paper Planes, Sunshowers
OOHYO – South Korea
OOHYO is a fairly recent addition to my music rotation – probs within the last year or so? She’s definitely easy listening, and I suppose she’s K-Pop, but her sound seems a bit more melancholic than the mainstream bubble? I don’t know, this is all new territory to me. I love how she often creates two versions of her songs, like Vineyard for example. I can sing along in English, then admire and try to match up the sounds in Korean until I can sing both.
My Top Picks: Pizza, Honey Tea, Vineyard (Korean Version), Teddy Bear Rises, This Is Why We’re Breaking Up, Girl Sense
The Final Movement: Rebirth
Could I BE any more melodramatic? (Couldn’t help a Chandlerism xoxo)
I am still working through the order here, and this playlist has a mammoth 400+ songs – which is at least a hundred more than the second biggest playlist – but the beginning sets the scene for what first year at uni was like and what I was listening to ❤
There were so many MORE artists on this list that I wanted to write about, so I might need to do a follow up post later…
Also, if you’re at all interested in perusing all four playlists (or “movements” lol), I’ll be making them all public and putting them up under my cool stuff/mea pārekareka tab soon, bc why not.
Any faves from this list? Or even better – any recommendations for me? ❤
Peace and love, homies x