Founder and artist Jack River introduces us to the lineup of her own all-female tour, Electric Lady, which kicks off June 30.
Ali Barter – ‘Girlie Bits’
This track was one the standout Australian songs of 2016. I don’t think Ali intended it to become the girl power anthem that it did, but regardless, it became an Australian contribution to the sentiments coming out of the US and wider Western world, about the zeitgeist of women and men demanding equality in all facets of life and society. Ali also created ‘History Grrllls’, where each few weeks she posts about a woman in music history. These posts are inspiring, powerful and so necessary.
She created them after realising her music degree’s musical history class was about 80 per cent taken up by stories of male musicians. Her ’90s grunge world and her willingness to write songs with that societal grit (as well as being romantic and love-filled) made her top of my list to have involved in Electric Lady.
Alex Lahey – ‘You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me’
From the early months in 2016, I pretty much only heard one name, and that was Alex Lahey. It took me a while to listen to the chatter and dial into what Alex was doing. Once I did, I realised that the fuss about Alex was all for very good reason. Her production and lyrics come with an up front ‘take it or leave it’ attitude. To see her live is to be blown away by old-school, gritty as fuck talent, and a real rock show (seriously so bloody rare these days). And to top it all off, Alex as a person is just as real and unapologetic (in the best kind of way) as her music. She is down to Earth, caring, but badass and super involved in every part of her career. How could I not want Alex on our lineup? She is the beating heart of young Australian rock music, and damn she can play a guitar.
Gretta Ray – ‘Drive’
Gretta Ray brings the intrigue, softness and poetry to Electric Lady. Gretta awoke something in Australian music last year, reminiscent of our Paul Kelly, Crowded House, Missy Higgins past – a wordy and earth-bound sound of folk, poetry and classic melodies that could be played alongside anything. Gretta is the youngest on the lineup, coming in at age 19 (she is the winner of Unearthed High if you were hibernating last year). She has a sense of fearlessness that roams way beyond her years (and all our years) and she is avidly passionate about women making the music they want to, sticking to their own rules… this all reflects in her music and this is why she is a number one Electric Lady in my eyes.
Body Type – ‘Ludlow’
“You know that every move you make makes my heart break, but you’re still moving, aren’t ya, aren’t ya.”
I might be wrong but this song sounds like it’s about a New York love affair that is slowly breaking apart. It has the emotional buzz of autumnal leaves crunching against boots and cold winter breezes against pressed together jackets. Born last year, Body Type are an all-girl band who don’t seem to care too much what anybody thinks – like the other acts on the lineup, last year, whenever I heard a Body Type song on the radio I found myself asking Siri which artist it was. This attitude and soft grit is why I wanted them on board Electric Lady.
Bec Sandridge – ‘High Tide’
I have known Bec for many years, we both played the smallest venues together in Sydney way back when we both played pure folk music, alongside pals like The Preatures and early projects by DMA’s bro’s. It is fascinating to watch all our sounds evolve – but especially Bec’s. Her electricity is spooky and holds the power of somebody with a huge secret inner world that is slowly emerging as each song is released. In ‘High Tide’, there are notes of The War On Drugs, and the howling tremolo of Roy Orbison, mixed with the grunge of soft Warpaint or something. Her striking visuals and smoked out clips bring imagination to the Aus music scene – she is the mysterious and bold Electric Lady on the bill and I am so thrilled we will get to share the stage again.
Rackett – ‘Ready Or Not!’
SWEAT, GLITTER, LOUD NOISES. Remember those Machine Gun Fellatio days, or Joan Jett, or Janis Joplin? The crazy wonder of frontwomen who dive into their live performance like it’s a ring of fire they are completely committed to dancing in? Rackett are the new kids on the block but they come with the confidence of a F18 jet roaring through an EDM-flooded sky. I love this song and this clip and their spirit, and this is why we asked Rackett to come on board Electric Lady!
And I self-indulgently booked myself, old Jacky Rivs, cause how could I miss out on this night of ultimate bae electricity and fun times?!
Electric Lady takes over the Metro Theatre on Friday June 30 and The Corner Hotel in Melbourne on Saturday 1 July. Tickets are on sale now.
This article originally appeared on The Brag.