By pure coincidence, the week I launch my latest print 'Play Like A Girl', is the week Grammy nominations have been announced and - for the first time ever - all the nominees for Best Rock Performance are women.
So it seems a fitting time to celebrate some of the queens of music, which is what 'Play Like a Girl' is all about.
As always, there are loads more artists I could have included, but these are my picks and it feels like none of them would be on there without at least one of the others - it's a true sisterhood of music.
(Maybe Sister Rosetta as the original rock and roller is the exception to this statement, but someone had to come first - see Feminist Jukebox for my tribute to her).
Women In Music
I'm really interested to hear what record would be playing on your own version of the gramophone (please tell me!), but for me, it's HAIM's 2020 masterpiece, Women In Music Pt. III.
You don't need me to eulogise the album here, just go listen to it. But it feels like one of those pieces of work that has come together to be even more than the sum of its parts. A combination of pure talent, a broad spectrum of musical influences, originality, creative freedom, a 'fuck it' attitude, and an astute sense of humour.
Looking at that list, I think those are attributes you can probably apply to every artist on the gramophone. Which makes me think they must be essential to a woman's success and survival in the music industry. It's not enough to just be good at what you do.
As depressing as that is, it does mean that throughout all of music history there are a lot of really amazing, kickass women who have broken through, made great music and still constantly inspire the next generation.
Sisters, doing it for themselves
Recently, after uploading a guitar tutorial to Instagram, HAIM reposted video after video of young girls and women playing the newly learnt guitar solo in their bedrooms. That sums up the beauty of it all for me. In the swamp of filtered selfies that young girls find themselves in, it's good to know there are artists out there giving them the green light to be themselves, and showing them that taking the time to learn an instrument is actually one of the coolest things you can do.
It's kind of fascinating to think what affect it would have had on the generation that followed the likes of Joni Mitchell or indeed Sister Rosetta Tharpe if they'd had something like Instagram to interact with. Maybe we'd even be a little further along with levelling the playing field.
And the Grammy goes to...
They've been nominated for album of the year, but I dedicate this particular 2D gramophone to HAIM, because they've already achieved that accolade as far as I'm concerned. Thank you for saving my lockdown.
And to all the women in music, we salute you.