10 Sweet Albums You Should Buy on Bandcamp Today to Support Trans Rights
Vote with your wallet and help Bandcamp raise funds for the Transgender Law Center!
Bandcamp first publicly situated itself as social justice-minded entity as well as an incredibly useful music platform back in February, when it announced that it would be choosing a day and donating 100 percent of that day's profits to the ACLU. By all accounts, they raised a staggering amount of money, and that was well before the the Trump Administration and its bigoted, white nationalist, homophobic, transphobic, racist, misogynist, ableist, classist, xenophobic, all-around no good, very bad agenda had had a chance to kick into high gear.
Now, six or so months later (has it really only been that long?), Donny and his pals have gotten settled and are now steadily chipping away at the rights and liberties of everyone who doesn't look like them. Their latest target? Transgender folk, who on top of being one of the most marginalized, over-policed, and at risk communities in the nation, are now being told by the Commander in Chief that those of them who are ready and willing to die for this country will no longer be welcome in the armed forces. Once again, Bandcamp has stepped up, and made their stance known.
Today (Friday, August 4, 2017 for those keeping track at home), they will once more be donating 100 percent of their share of every sale to the Transgender Law Center, a nonprofit organization that does critical policy advocacy and litigation on multiple fronts, fights for healthcare for trans veterans, defends incarcerated trans people from abuse in prisons and detention centers, supports trans immigrants, and helps trans youth tell their stories and build communities.
As Bandcamp said in a statement, "Bandcamp is a platform for artistic expression, and all manner of variance in experience and identity, including gender and sexuality, is welcome here. We support our LGBT+ users and staff, and we stand against any person or group that would see them further marginalized. This includes the current U.S. administration, and its recent capricious declaration that transgender troops will no longer be able to serve in the military. That this announcement was motivated in part to help fund the border wall exposes it as part of the administration's cynical, discriminatory agenda."
So, with all that being said, the Noisey staff has cooked up a hodgepodge of favorites that we hope you'll enjoy—and then, of course, buy, because voting with your wallet has never been so crucial. If these don't suit, that's fine, too—here's a list of 200 other labels, bands, and artists who have joined Bandcamp's mission.
COUCH SLUT - CONTEMPT
Couch Slut's Contempt is one of the most punishing things that have come across my desk (and burrowed into my eardrums) this year; it's far too early to make predictions about Best of 2017 laurels, but if I was financially solvent enough to be a a betting woman, I know where my chips would lie. There's already a significant buzz around this record, and for good reason; not only have the NYC quartet made the jump to the eminently respectable Gilead Media, they've somehow pushed themselves even deeper into the fetid, feral recesses of the psyche that power their gruesome Hellhammer grooves, AmRep squeals, and Megan Osztrosits's enraged vocal performance. Contempt is sweaty, violent, visceral—all the things that any respectable extreme music album should be, but somehow, more. Do they play metal? Or do they conjure up jaw droppingly brutal noise rock? What are they, anyway?
Fuck you, that's what. - KIM KELLY
SUNROT - SUNNATA
We premiered this album yesterday, but I wanted to lavish a little extra ink (e-ink?) on it, because not only is it one of 2017's finest heavy music releases and a shot across the bow from from one of the area's most promising young bands, the band (whose vocalist and noise manipulator, Lex, is transmasculine) are dedicated to staying outspoken about issues of mental illness, addiction, and recovery, as well as their leftist worldview. The talk the talk, walk the walk, and scream the screams so sorely needed within this current incarnation of the metal community. Samples, spoken word, and Lex's own tormented howls provide narration for the pitch-black dirges that blossom around them to form the backbone of Sunnata, an album the band refers to as "Neurosis worship" but know full well is a beast entirely of their own making. - KIM KELLY
Open Mike Eagle – Brick Body Kids Still Daydream
Open Mike Eagle's next album, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream, doesn't come out until September 15, but you would wildly remiss not to use this Friday to cop it in advance. Let's talk about why. For one thing, Mike is currently developing a TV show for Comedy Central, which means that this is your last chance to get in on the ground floor and tell everybody that you were a fan before he was famous. Additionally, lead single "95 Radios" is an instant classic, one of the most beautiful songs about listening to rap music on the radio you will ever hear, the perfect blend of silky nostalgia capturing the sweet spot "in between PM Dawn and Sun Ra." And Brick Body Kids Still Daydream is a concept album about the destruction of Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes and rebuilding the lives of the people in them, so it will make you smarter and more human by listening. Finally, it's the long-awaited solo full-length follow-up to Mike's 2014 album Dark Comedy, one of the most brilliant rap albums of our era, so it's worth buying just to make up for how badly you slept on that one. Speaking of which, if you really want to catch up, you can get the whole OME discography on Bandcamp in one easy payment. Talk about the perfect occasion to… open a whole new world of rap. - KYLE KRAMER
THE SECRET SISTERS - YOU DON'T OWN ME ANYMORE
Back in May, Noisey interviewed The Secret Sisters, aka Alabama born Laura and Lydia Rogers, who make gorgeous Gothic Americana. If their slick harmonies, airy melodies, walking bass lines and murder ballads don't do it for the folk fan in you, the production by Brandi Carlile (one of the few out lesbian country artists) will. Their sound is reminiscent of the bluegrass that A.P. Carter brought to the mainstream when the record industry was just getting itself together, and that old-school flavor intensifies with Hank Williams-like yodeling and jazz influences on songs like "Tennessee River Runs Low" and"Kings Cotton." - ANNALISE DOMENIGHINI
KAREN AND THE SORROWS - THE NARROW PLACE
Karen and the Sorrows is Tami Johnson Karen Pittelman and Elana Redfield, and together, they make up one of the fiercest LGBT bands in the Northeast right now. They don't just rewrite classic country music tropes in songs like their latest single "Take Me for a Ride," they've created an entire community around them. A few years ago, they founded the Gay Ole Opry, the first ever queer country music festival, in Brooklyn NY and continue to organize quarterly queer country shows for a rabid fanbase in the north. This is about as real as country music can get.
CLUB CHAI - CLUB CHAI VOL. 1
According to its creators, the name of the recurring Oakland party Club Chai is a reference to the communal role that drinking tea plays in Middle Eastern culture. 8ULENTINA, one of the party's founders, explained earlier this year that "the ritual and space is a time for discussing politics, storytelling or relaxation and a distraction from day to day anxieties." They say their nights are meant to offer a similar space for discourse and escape, which they underscore by booking producers and DJs who favor "non-Western and diasporic" sounds, as well as women, trans people, and people of color.
Musically though, that can mean basically anything, which Club Chai's January compilation demonstrates. Across 20 tracks, there's giddy reimaginings of ambient ballads (like Moro's Oneohtrix Point Never edit), brittle spoken word (like Marceline and Sunatirine's "A Spell, a Rare Sound"), anxious club marathons (Jasmine Infiniti's "Hapocalypse"), and sleepwalking techno (The Creatrix's "Love Is No Time"). The tracks can be scalding or floral or earthy or even a little bit sweet. It's everything you might want in a good cup of tea.— COLIN JOYCE
MACY RODMAN - THE LAKE
On her debut full-length The Lake, Macy Rodman crafts an apocalyptic sort of pop music that leans heavy on wheezing synthesizers, dusty drum breaks, and menacing, pitch-shifted whispers of simple refrains like "I want to see you die." It can feel kinda grim—she's said at least one of the tracks was written last year in response to the "threat of a fascist regime." But she balances it out with moments like the alternate universe jock jam "Grunt," which features the chorus "Respect the cunt/I'm a full grown woman I do all my own stunts," over a squelchy synth line that'd make DJ Mustard jealous. Elsewhere she makes room for joyful abandon, existential terror, twisted Springsteen covers, and a spoken word piece about transforming into a smelly baby. She contains multitudes, basically.— COLIN JOYCE
TURNOVER - PERIPHERAL VISION
As you prepare for Turnover's new album Good Nature on August 25—which, let me tell you, is going to pump all your jangly indie rock veins full of joy—step back and remember just how good they are. Peripheral Vision, which was released by Run for Cover back in 2015, is a record that captures that sweet spot between Slowdive and Real Estate, the kind of album that can amplify whatever mood you find yourself in. Rainy days sound rainier. Beach sun feels brighter. It's an LP that walks the rare line of somehow being obnoxiously pretentious yet harmlessly innocent, occupying that complicated space in between that we all look to fill with indie rock. Ask yourself: how do you feel about getting older? It's beautiful and shitty. That's life. - ERIC SUNDERMANN
CAR SEAT HEADREST - "WAR IS COMING (IF YOU WANT IT) [MARCH MIX]"
Ok, this isn't technically an album, but it is a cool demo version of a forthcoming Car Seat Headrest track that'll only be available for 24 hours. It's a nice little gem for all you Headrest heads out there, and a deceptively infectious standalone tune for those less acquainted. The unpolished cut sees Will Toledo doing what he does best—taking astute stock of existential flux and anxiety—but this time with an appropriate, and even uplifting, get-off-your-ass nudge as a foil to our armchair laments about the world going to shit.
"Last night I dreamed that you'd murdered some kids / gone up towards the border where the freaks live / I couldn't tolerate it, yet somehow I did," Toledo lilts over a winding bassline. The track offers a little more breathing room from the intensity of last year's Teens of Denial, harkening back to the scuzzy reverb and psych synth melodies of the self-released Bandcamp work that got him here. And hey! Speaking of which, you can buy those today for a good cause too. 2013's Nervous Young Man is essential listening worthy a weekend deep dive. - ANDREA DOMANICK
SHABAZZ PALACES - QUAZARZ: BORN ON A GANGSTER STAR / QUAZARZ VS. THE JEALOUS MACHINES
Seattle hip-hop duo Shabazz released not one, but two sci-fi-centric albums this past June, and they sound like something you'd listen to on a trip to space. With a unique mix of funk, rap, electronic, and jazz, the hip-hop group's pair of releases sound like nothing else out there right now. In a conversation with Noisey earlier this summer, the group's Ishmael Butler talked about the idea of "expanding the now," and though that's an esoteric concept, when you press play you really start to understand what he was talking about. The albums push the limits of what other artists are doing, and expands the limits of the standard hip-hop fare that is so familiar. If this is what the future sounds like, it doesn't sound so bad. - LESLIE HORN