Frontwoman Faith Holgate for U.K.-based band PINS
Frontwoman Faith Holgate for U.K.-based band PINS

By Pauline France

NPR’s weekend edition of All Things Considered featured music writer Lizzy Goodman showcasing three bands that are part of a wave of all-female British bands.

The story explores how society typically points out the fact that an all-female band is made up in fact all by women, instead of focusing on the band’s musical abilities.

“For as long as rock ‘n’ roll has been around, women have been in the mix, as songwriters, performers and muses,” said Goodman. “But even in the ’90s, which saw the rise of Riot Grrrl culture and the mainstream prominence of powerhouse female rockers like Courtney Love and Gwen Stefaniand PJ Harvey, the first thing generally mentioned about any band fronted by or entirely comprising women was that it was fronted by or entirely comprised women.”

The bands highlighted during the show are PINS, Chvrches, and Savages, all from the U.K. and all part of a rising wave of female-fronted bands.

“The collective rise of PINS, Chvrches and Savages does not indicate a sudden lack of sexism in rock ‘n’ roll,” added Goodman. “And I’m not suggesting that the gender demographics aren’t interesting. That image of PINS is powerful in part because it features four rocker women in a version of a pose typically struck by four rocker men.”

Goodman wraps up the story with a powerful statement, and one that indicates hope for women in music.

“The fact that these artists are women, in other words, is not beside the point,” she said. “It’s just not the only point being made. And that’s a good sign.”

Watch music videos for PINS, Chvrches, and Savages below, and listen to the story on NPR here.