Once again, Teen Vogue—the young, woke sister of the Condé Nast family—reveals its on-the-pulse badassery with a recent article detailing the shady politics of Coachella bigwig Phillip Anschutz, who has historically donated funds to anti-LGBTQ charities and organizations. As the magazine points out, billionaires supporting right-wing institutions are nothing new, but if you want to try and elicit change, “The most effective way (as the #BoycottCoachella tag demonstrates) is to hit ’em where it hurts: their wallets.”
But boycotting festivals doesn’t mean you have to be without banging tunes. In the article, Teen Vogue champions queercore bands as musicians “who are using their art for more productive means.” And while purists may balk at the term “queercore” in this context, the message is clear: LGBTQ rights matter, and there are a lot of amazing musicians out there willing to scream it from the rooftops.
The inclusion of London band Skinny Girl Diet is a measure of just how right they’ve gotten this playlist—part Russ Meyer vixens, part scrappy girl gang, the band have produced some of the most sublimely, unapologetically feminist punk of the last decade (their most recent album is called Heavy Flow). SGD’s “Silver Spoons” is a rollicking dirgey mess, a wall of sound with an insanely hooky vocal line, while Brooklyn’s Aye Nako champion a more nostalgic, grungy sound. London trio Shopping (pictured) amp up the energy with “In Other Words,” with Rachel Aggs’ inimitable jagged guitar work driving the track. And no queercore playlist would be complete without math-pop dreamboats PWR BTTM’s “Answer My Text.” This isn’t just a list of queer artists; it’s a statement of intent, a journey through genres, and a politically driven (wo)manifesto.
If you like Teen Vogue’s playlist, you’ll also love artists like New Yorkers The Shondes, Pittsburgh natives Rue, and Seattleites Tacocat. And luckily for you, I’ve added a handful of relevant artists to the end of the playlist. Consider it further reading.