These are the Trans Music Artists You Should Be Listening To Right Now!

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Photo by Susan Mohr on Unsplash

She/Her/Hers

According to their Bandcamp page, “She/Her/Hers is Emma Grrrl and sometimes friends. Sad grrrl pop-punk.” And that about sums it up. Her best known songs are “Gender is Boring,” and “Kill the Boy Band,” but I love just about everything Emma has written. It often feels like I am at a transgender support group put to music, especially on songs such as “Family,” “Nvr Pass,” and “I’m Not Supposed to be Anything.” But this one from her first album, Hopeful/Scared, is one of my favorites:

The Worriers

Singer/songwriter Lauren Denitzio (they/them) has a voice reminiscent of Delores O’Riordan of the Cranberries, but with a power punch of a power pop band backing them up. If you listen to current queer punk and indie music it is hard to escape hits like this one:

G.L.O.S.S.

G.L.O.S.S. stands for “Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit,” and from the first power chord, it’s obvious this trans hardcore punk outfit means it. Driving bass, distorted guitars, banging drums, and, over it all, Sadie Switchblade screams lyrics about toxic masculinity, transmisogyny, and standing up for themselves while staying feminine. This song tells you all you need to know about them:

Dyke Drama

Even before G.L.O.S.S. went on hiatus after turning down a big-time record deal in 2015, front woman Sadie had already started her side project, Dyke Drama. Releasing Tender Resignation in 2015, Up Against the Bricks in 2016 and Hard New Pills (12”) in 2018, Dyke Drama’s alt-rock Replacement-meets-Exile-on-Mainstreet-era-Stones is huge departure from G.L.O.S.S., but I absolutely love it! You really can’t beat tracks like “Thing I Do Best,” “Thelma & Louise,” “Rolling Tears,” or “Up Against the Bricks.” And “Cis Girls” is the song most of us queer trans women have been waiting all our lives to hear. Warning: do not listen too long if you are already depressed. Many of the songs even reference tears or crying, like this one, my favorite:

Mal Blum

It’s sad that it needs to be said, but Mal Blum’s website points out that, “*Mal Blum is a non-binary transgender individual. Please use they/them pronouns or simply their name when referring to them.”

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers/ Against Me!

This is actually two bands with one person in common — Laura Jane Grace. She founded Against Me! and was the front woman for decades. It was with Against Me! that Laura recorded The Ocean, the first real hint of her being trans. After coming out, she went on to pen the songs on two more albums — -Transgender Dysphoria Blues and Shape Shift With Me.

Left at London

According to her website, Left at London (stylized as /@/) is the stage name of Nat Puff (she/her), indie pop artist, trans lesbian, poet, & comedian from Seattle, WA. Her best known songs are Revolution Lover, and I Don’t Trust You Anymore.

Schmekel

In case you thought trans punk groups were all perpetually serious WASPs, there is Schmekel to put you right. The word schmekel means “little penis” in Yiddish. Once you learn that guitarist, vocalist, and founder Lucian Kahn thought up the idea of an all transmasculine, Jewish band by that name, you are in on the joke. Two of his friends, bassist Nogga Schwartz and keyboardist/vocalist Ricky Riot joined the band on the spot, and Simcha Halpert-Hanson rounded out the quartet as it’s drummer a few weeks later. What’s my favorite song by them? Hard to say. Genderqueer Lovesong? New Men with Old Man Names? Probably this one, FtM at the DMV:

Polythene Pam

Polythene Pam are Anna Dickenson, Coda Gardner, and Jenn Cuddigan. A unique country-folk-punk mix with some of the most hilarious lyrics I’ve ever heard. Although brilliant, they don’t seem to want any of us to take them seriously. Even their name is a play on the old Beatles song (“you should see Polythene Pam. She’s so pretty but she looks like a man).

Size of Sadness

A band out of Chicago, best known for their song “Trans Punx.” The song reminds me of a queer/trans telling of the Misfits’ “Where Eagles Dare.” The first line is even almost the same!

Namoli Brennet

Namoli is a singer-song wrier who has been around since the early thousands. How to describe her sound? I’ve always thought of her as the trans community’s answer to the Indigo Girls.

Written by

Educator, writer, LGBTQ+ advocate, avid reader. Novelist in progress. Website: http://janelleswritemind.com/ Empowering the LGBTQ+ community one word at a time.

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