Since catching a truly amazing supporting act earlier this week (be patient), I have been mulling over women in the music industry. Not so much their involvement in A&R but those actually performing, singing and playing instruments. We all have our lists of favorites and the reasons why they resound in our noggins as being special can be quite personal.
The first time I was really impressed by a female musician was when I saw Aimee Mann’s Carnegie Hall outburst in the “Voices Carry” video. In 1985, prior to my knowledge of women like Siouxsie Sioux and Kim Gordon, this piece of theatre, despite who wrote/directed it and its popularity on MTV has stuck with me. Since then my roster of keepers has grown exponentially. More times than not, in the rock and roll/pop/indie genre at least, I’ve found that women seem to be by their lonesome in a band, or at best, with a partner. All-girl bands seem to be an anomaly, The Go-Go’s notwithstanding.
Make no mistake; this isn’t about feminism or, for lack of a better phrase, girl power. With or without the likes of Lilith Fair in musical history I feel powerful. Aside from a few blips, I always have. Having the talent and successes of Chrissie Hynde, Miki Berenyi, Kim Deal, Lætitia Sadier, Santigold (need I go on?) having done/still doing projects with or without male colleagues proves, not that it needs proving, that women have something to contribute to the greater musical good and that the public wants it. Looking at the big picture spanning the last 20 years, however, I was surprised to find so few girl-only projects. The short of it: very little lies between the all male/one-two female indie entourage and the singular female folky singer/songwriter producing what can only described as Angry Vagina Music.
Enter Kim Ki O.
These pretties from Istanbul knocked my (The) Radio Dept. loving socks off this past Monday. Actually, they blew the Swedes out of the water. Kim Ki O (“who is that anyway?” in Turkish) consists of Ekin Sanaç and Berna Göl – two women – a drum machine, keyboards, loops, beats and a bass guitar. That’s it. Inspired by the likes of Bikini Kill and Fugazi they have produced some of the most refreshing music I’ve heard in a long while. Watch their genius videos. Do some research. Download their music. It was like New Order and Lush had a baby on stage – a gorgeous, bouncing baby GIRL.
[Abby’s Road is a Knox Road feature published every other Friday.]