Guest Playlist: Julie Hawk

Any regular Gigslutz follower will know Julie Hawk as front woman of one of our most favourite bands, HAWK. However, now – in addition to continuing to create powerfully enchanting music – she has started a new creative venture, ‘Female Fronted, Drawn Together’. 

Putting together a playlist of wonderful female artists, new and old, who have inspired her in some way, she has created a unique illustration to accompany each song. Including some of our favourites – Bitch Falcon, Dream Nails, Skinny Girl Diet, PINS and The Julie Ruin – here Julie has told us a bit about why she’s chosen each track, and the different ways these female artists have inspired her. 

Buke and Gase- ‘Hiccup’
I just love the industriousness of this band. They sound like the inner-workings of a haunted roller coaster. I’m a huge fan of their industrious attitude – their name is taken from two instruments they-actually-fricking-invented! I was so hungover when I heard them live and it totally broke me.

Beverly – ‘Honey Do’
We played with Beverly last Autumn at the The Roundhouse and hung out a bit back stage. Their music reminds me of how excited I was to grow up before my teenage years – prime pop territory. I love how excited I was to grow up – basically be a teenager on American TV where nobody has backpacks and there are lockers with stickers on them.

 PINS – ‘Young Girls’
I’m pretty much fan-girling over this band fullstop. I caught them supporting Sleater Kinney at The Roundhouse and again on my first day Berlin last year – so it was a pretty memorable moment for me and the HAWK guys.

 Skinny Girl Diet – ‘Yeti’
I’m obsessed with their album, Heavy Flow. I find myself snarling along to it when I go for a run, and I’m pretty sure people can hear me, and I’m pretty sure I’m okay about that. These women are singing about so many things that speak to my heart – they are unafraid to be political and satirical, and I’ve been truly empowered listening to them.

Bitch Falcon – ‘TMJ’
Something extremely special happens when these guys play live. I saw them first at The Hanger in Dublin in 2015 and this was the song that made me shout “HOLY FUCK” into Matt’s ear that night. He agreed. ‘TMJ’ stands for Temporomandibular joint, which is apparently the muscle that allows your jaw to move, and I guess shout, scream, sing, and curse, by proxy.

 BARQ – ‘That Thing You Love’
We spent a whole tour dancing and nerding out to BARQ this year. ‘That Thing You Love’ is high up on my favourite BARQ moments. Jess calls it an angry song about meditation. I love the honesty of this message; in a society which can be so oppressive towards admitting negative feelings, putting pressure, especially on women, to tame our emotions. Fuck that, let’s dance.

September Girls – ‘Love No One’
Any band who pays homage to Irish mythological women pretty much has my love and respect immediately! These guys have also written a bunch of tracks about the Repeal movement in Ireland which is very close to my heart.

Waxahatchee – ‘Air’ 
To me, Katie Crutchfield is a poet. Her lyrics capture some of the mundane, everyday and even selfish moments of life and relationships – she gives them beauty and validity. When I listen to her music, I feel like I can picture every inch of her apartment or the street she’s walking down.

 HAWK – ‘Ghosts’
Oh hi, this is my band! I included ‘Ghosts’ as it was written in solidarity with other women. It’s about the objectification of the female form and imagining how we would carry ourselves in a world without these norms and expectations, and the entitled gaze.

 Sleater Kinney – ‘A New Wave’
If I had to be left alone on a desert island with one band, it would be Sleater Kinney. I remember exactly where I was standing when I first heard them – in my parents’ kitchen with my ex, whose taste in music I am still grateful for today, as I’m sure they are for mine. We listened to The Woods. I just remember hearing Corin Tucker wailing “LAAAAAAND HO” and being genuinely amazed that anyone’s voice could do that. It was strange physics and I didn’t really trust it. But oh man, I could not stop listening.

 The Altered Hours – ‘Way Of Sorrow’
Do you ever have something you’re about to face or you’re not feeling confident, and you need something to trick your body and mind into regaining its sass? Well this is that song for me. When I have to wipe my brain from bullshit in order to crack on and face the world, this is what I listen to.

 Sharon Van Etten – ‘Give Out’
This song can drag the most honest emotions out of me even when I’m totally in denial. I first heard it, and frequently had it on repeat, about five years ago in London during a pretty challenging time. There are a few songs in the world that I will turn off if I’m not emotionally ready for it – ‘Case of You’ by Joni Mitchell, ‘Sleep’ by Eric Whitacre – this is definitely one of them.

Joanna Gruesome – ‘Wussy Void’
I dare you to listen to this band and not want to jump on your bed. I dare you.

Cherry Glazerr – ‘Had Ten Dollarz’
I love the effect of the line “I feel your gaze”. It seems so simple that we can still be feminists and want to be desirable and feel good in our bodies, however we choose to present ourselves, but it can feel so muddy and gross, and cross so many lines. I love this song for cutting right through that mud for a few minutes. A moment of self-awareness, clarity and intention.

 Colleen Green – ‘Deeper Than Love’
I just adore the anxious perfection that is Colleen Green’s existential pop! Her music reminds me of a robot who is chirping along in the world, trying find place and meaning, trying to fit in, but unable to compute the selfishness and irrationalities and contradictions of human beings.

The Hundredth Anniversary – ‘After I Was Thrown into the River And Before I Drowned’  
We had the total privilege of playing with these guys in Brighton back at the beginning of our spring tour. Their music is so smoggy and energetic at the same time, and each songs builds and builds in such a captivating way. I love that their music tells stories and the way Eleanor is almost speaking and reciting at times, rather than singing.

 St.Vincent – ‘Marrow’
First I had Buffy. Then I had Annie Clarke. I truly believe she’s changing the world as a musician and a queer icon and making it a better place for young girls who are growing up today. This is my favourite St. Vincent track but there are many close joint-seconds.

 Æ MAK – ‘I Walk By’
Æ MAK create something that is more than sound – it’s an entire visual and sound experience, hyper-choreographed and stylised to the point that it loses all sense of era. It’s so beautifully thought-out. And they have so much positive energy that I honestly can’t be in a bad mood when I hear them.

Maria Kelly – ‘Torn Into Two’
We met Maria about three years ago when we played with her in Ireland. She’s now big part of our circle, both as a musician and a freaking boss human being, Her music is simply beautiful and has evolved into such an honest and unique artform. ‘Torn Into Two’ is the most broken I’ve ever felt listen to her music, which is fitting because that is exactly what the song is about. The fragments of ourselves that we lose when we try to please the people we love.

Sophie Jamieson – ‘Waterloo’
Sophie is responsible for one of the most emotional and electric live moments I’ve ever experienced. A couple of years ago she announced that she would be playing her last headline show at The Lexington, having just completed recording an EP that never made its release. Friends and fans packed out the room and on top of all the emotion, it was fucking boiling hot. By the end I couldn’t tell which parts of me were crying and which parts of me were sweating. I only heard the new tracks that one time but they totally blew me away – they were heavier, messier, more experimental and darker than anything I’d heard from her. I sincerely hope I hear them again someday.

 Skunk Anansie – ‘Hedonist’ 
Can we take a few minutes to celebrate a hard rock band fronted by a bisexual WOC breaking through in the ’90s in the era of lad-fronted brit-rock? Fuck yes. This band are powerful on so many levels. They have never shied away from brutal honesty and aggression, whether making a political statement or a love song. I have such admiration for Skin. She was a huge influence on me as a vocalist, performer and a female role-model.

Sunflower Bean- ‘Come On’
I cannot listen to Sunflower Bean without smiling. Such perfect summer vibes, any time of year. Their music has this quality of rebellion and misunderstood youth, which is a feeling I don’t think I will ever grow out of. I don’t really want to. I adore Julia’s vocal – how it contrasts and contends so effortlessly with all of the fuzz and friction of their instruments.

 Aye Nako – ‘Patricle Mace’
Aye Nako are making really important punk music about being black, being queer and being trans. It’s sad music you can dance to. It’s berserk lyrics with beautiful and serious poetry and politics behind it. And it’s a voice and a platform for visibility. I cannot wait to get chance to see them live someday.

 Warpaint – ‘Set Your Arms Down’
I can get so lost in this band. Warpaint make such layered and visual music, like the most realistic dream. For me this band has always been a symbol of sisterhood and self-love. This song makes me wanna slow dance with myself.

 Jennifer Evans – ‘Bakkos’
Jennifer Evans’ live set is absolutely next level awesome. She does something with her voice, with her prowess on guitar and with her unpredictable body presence that I’ve never seen before. It baffles me that I’m not seeing her on world tours and festival bills yet, but I can only hope that she’s locked away chainsawing and sewing up her next murderous pop record, and I cannot wait to hear it.

 Girlpool – ‘123’
I was confused when I heard the term ‘folk-punk’, but hearing GP live put it all into context. Their music might be stripped back, but their queer positive, honesty, rebellious positivity and DIY rigour is what makes these guys two punk heroes of mine. They have this stomping, demanding way of performing that takes away any shyness you might associate with the word ‘folk’. Plus, they are hilarious.

Chastity Belt – ‘Different Now’
This song kind of took me aback when I heard it, like a friend noticing that you’re not doing great when you feel like you’ve been covering it up quite well. The song reminds me of struggles I’ve had to find the right words for when talking to friends who need someone to be there for them. The simple act of telling someone that their feelings are valid and that it’s okay to feel sometimes.

 Big Joanie- ‘Dream No. 9’ 
These women make music that honestly transports me to a different decade. Their sound is so guttural and minimal – you can hear every fragment of the instruments and vocals like it was recorded in The Slits’ basement. They are black Feminist punks creating music and space to empower black women. They are radical songwriters, fighting for social causes – a beautiful and powerful example of DIY in action and the value of creating safe space to create as women.

The Julie Ruin – ‘I’m Done’
I’ve chosen ‘I’m Done’ by the Julie Ruin, but really this is a dedication to the punk wonder-woman that is Kathleen Hanna. She has been demolishing the patriarchy with music, wisdom and unparalleled force since Bikini Kill! Her lyrics and performances are a ripe outcry against domestic violence, systematic misogyny, and censorship, and I am convinced she’s paved the way for thousands of women and girls to have their voices heard, to have their experiences vindicated and to find a safe space to express themselves.

 Dream Nails – ‘Deep Heat’
If I had to tell you the reason I started this project in the first place, I’d say Dream Nails sum it up. I’ve been so inspired by their message as feminists and punk musicians, to define their own way of fighting inequality and making space for women. Their positive punk mandate is armed with messages of self-care, body positivity, inclusion, and DIY energy and encouragement. They recently described their dream to be “the band that launched a thousand bands”. The world needs more of this.

Listen to Julie’s ‘Female Fronted Drawn Together’ playlist below, and check out all her fantastic illustrations on Instagram now.


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Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.