Since the 2019 release of the spectacular album Songs Of Our Native Daughters we have been following the outstanding and powerful voice of Amythyst Kiah as well as the voices of her fellow musicians that made up the band behind the album, namely Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, and Allison Russell.
Now Kiah has reimagined and reshaped one of the standout tracks on the before mentioned album, a song she herself had been carrying around in her mind for some time before releasing it with the band.
Black Myself is a powerful expression of how it can be to live life as a black LGBTQ+ woman in the Southern parts of the US and one of the singles of Kiah’s newly released album Wary + Strange.
“I don’t pass the test of the paper bag ‘Cause I’m black myself I pick the banjo up and they sneer at me ‘Cause I’m black myself You better lock your doors when I walk by ‘Cause I’m black myself You look me in my eyes but you don’t see me ‘Cause I’m black myself”
Kiah’s voice soars and rips through the song in front of hard hitting drums and groovy strings. This woman is a star in the making and fortunately, it seems she will use her talents, in future projects, to make a positive impact and create change in this world. Check out the song below and be sure to check out her new album via her webpage.
Although all being between the ages 10 to 16, The Linda Lindas are quickly making their appearance felt. They have already opened up gigs for the legends in Bikini Kill and had a song featured in Amy Poehler’s feminist movie Moxie.
Mila is the drummer of the band and she co-wrote Sexist, Racist Boy with Eloise, the bass player. During a recent concert in a public library Mila introduced the song with a short story: “A little while before we went into lockdown, a boy in my class came up to me and said that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people. After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me. Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience.”
Before Eloise then dropped a real heavy bass line she added in a shout:
“So this is about him and all the other racist, sexist boys in this world!”
These young musicians certainly have a successful career ahead of them in music as well as in activism. At this young age, they are using their voices to point out the injustices in the world as well as what is being done to change things for the better. In a recent Facebook post, they noted how they all wore T-shirts from Tees 4 Togo, a company, started by their idol, Kathleen Hanna of before mentioned Bikini Kill, which directs 100% of its income to Peace Sisters, a non-profit organisation that helps girls in the West African country of Togo to go to school. Click the above links to buy a tee for 40$ – that is how much it costs to send a girl to school for one year in Togo.
Internalised is the EP’s first track and behind acoustic guitars, Naz and Ella beautifully cover the topic of queerphobia. From there we hear the duo sing about sexual harassment, the exotification of women of color, speciesism as well as the ups and downs of long-distance relationships.
Their music is something that transcends me to a dim place, with candlelights. I imagine a setting like the Alice In Chains MTV Unplugged concert. Naz and Ella have a lot to say, about a lot of things, but they do so without alienating others in their lyrics. The beautiful part about their music is that their anger can be heard at the same time as their empathy can be felt.
In true DIY fashion, the duo also released a zine on their Bandcamp page which explains more about their personal essays and their music. Check it out!