By Erin Hughes
Recently I’ve found my music taste to consist solely of female artists, I would probably describe my current taste as ‘sad Triple J lesbians.’ I obviously started this niche addiction when I first heard Courtney Barnetts ‘Elevator Operator’ in 2016. Having already grown up with and felt the cool-ness of Lorde’s ‘Pure Heroine’ (2013), this new kind of spoken female lead music, with that noticeable Aussie twang made me relate on a whole other level. I was in it, the world of female Australian artists fell over my ears and It’s been difficult to listen to anything else since.
I’ve tried exploring different kinds of Australian female artists, I listened to Thelma Plum, Meg Mac, even a bit of Sia. I found that although they were all brilliant artists, their music was either too soft, too ‘poppy,’ or just not gay enough. I craved that relatable twang that made it sound like I was singing the songs myself. So I became Courtney Barnett OBSESSED. A fellow obsessed friend and I went to every concert of hers we possibly could, even catching the last episode of Tom Ballards short running, evening show, just so we could catch a glimpse of her performance.
It was hard to pull away, but eventually I realised it just wasn’t healthy, I needed to find other sources of this addictive music. Luckily for me, the past two years had seen a huge rise in queer Australian musicians.
I quickly found relief in these artists and found that the niche even exceeds genres. I’ve got Camp Cope for those days when I just hate men, I’ve got Alex Lahey and G-Flip when I need to rock out, there’s Alex the Astronaut for when I need a happy ‘pick-me-up’, Montaigne for a synthy bedroom boogie, and there’s one more, my all time favourite staring out the window, moody mood musician, Julia Jacklin. Now, I know not all of these people are ‘lesbians,’ I think it’s more the queer aesthetic that really grabs a hold of me and says “LISTEN YA BIG GAY, YOU LOVE IT.”
These ladies really helped me overcome my Courtney Barnett addiction, and they even helped open my ears to the wonders of queer and female lead music in general. I now envelop my earholes with other female artists from all over the world, such as the quite gay voice of girl in red, Middle Kids, Ali Barter, E^ST, WAAX, Angie McMahon, SOAK and more. Courtney will always be my main girl, she’s my roots and if I let myself I could listen to her and nothing else for the rest of my life. Though, I am proud to say that I am still in recovery with the help of the incredible female talent that’s growing in Australia and around the world.