Written by Brooke Beck
Photo of the band MUNA
In a music scene already struggling with lack of representation, having sexual assault allegations rise against one of its most prominent bands can be very detrimental to the scene itself. Due to homophobia and transphobia, many bands in the Queercore community never get the attention they deserve, despite how capable and talented they may be. As the allegations against queer punk band PWR BTTM become more prevalent in mainstream media, it further corrodes at the credibility and vital force of other bands in the queer community.
The horrific allegations against Ben Hopkins of PWR BTTM have shook the queer community to its core, as many fans saw Hopkins and Bruce as icons they could confide in. The band began to receive acclaim after successful showcases at SXSW in Austin, TX in March, and were quickly approaching a release of their sophomore album, “Pageant”. Feeling betrayed, many members of the the Queercore music scene are searching for other queer bands to listen to. Fans shouldn’t have to look far, because there are a number of bands with members in the LGBTQ+ community that don’t have sexual assault allegations against them.
Here are a few deserving queer bands to pay attention to:
Adult Mom is the stage name of Stephanie Knipe, queer-identifying indie pop artist from Purchase, New York. Adult Mom released their second full length record “Soft Spots” on May 19, 2017. Adult Mom was friends with the members of PWR BTTM before the allegations surfaced, and has chosen to speak out about the issue and has distanced themselves from the band as a whole.
MUNA is an all girl queer band from Los Angeles. The synth-pop trio tend to speak out about what it’s like being in marginalized groups, while also being in a band. MUNA released a record titled “About U” earlier this year, and the album is doing quite well. MUNA rose to acclaim after opening for Grouplove in 2016.
Ellen Kempner fronts the band Palehound, previous tourmates to PWR BTTM. Palehound breaks boundaries with raw vocals, shredding guitar riffs, and lyrics about everything from being queer to overcoming doubt. Palehound’s 2015 record is phenomenal, featuring gritty songs like “Cinnamon” and “Dry Food”. The Boston-based band will be touring with Waxahatchee, who is signed to Merge Records, this summer and will be returning to Dallas at Club Dada August 5th.
Sub-Pop signed artist, Marika Hackman, has taken the music scene by storm with her new song and video “Boyfriend”, which is about a girl on girl relationship, and is full of sardonic remarks.
Hackman’s new sound creates a stark contrast from her earlier work, and her new album I’m Not Your Man, will be released on June 2.
Melbourne singer-songwriter, Courtney Barnett, uses twangy guitar and deadpan vocals to define her sound as an artist. Barnett’s most recent single “How to Boil an Egg” was released on May 16, 2017 on Mom + Pop Records, and is said to be in the studio with Kurt Vile as of now. Barnett has received much attention from Pitchfork for songs like “Avant Gardener” which was released in 2015. Barnett has been married to Jen Cloher, another Australian singer-songwriter, since 2011.
The horrific allegations of PWR BTTM is not the death of LGBT people in music. Queercore is alive and well, and it finds comfort in bands like Adult Mom, MUNA, and Palehound.