Last week marked the end of a particularly eventful Pride month, but that doesn’t mean the conversations, or celebrations, have to end. Today we are highlighting one of our favorite queer-rebellious-feminist-punk bands of all time: The Raincoats. That’s right, you can now listen to our newest episode of the Bloomsbury Academic Podcast, where we talk to 33 1/3 author Jenn Pelly about this spontaneous and captivating all-female group and the unapologetic music they created.
Though I’ve only listened to their music on Spotify, there’s still something so personal and mesmerizing about their songs, something that seems to transport you back in time—to a live gig in 1970s Britain or a casual rehearsal in one of the many squats the band members occupied. Especially that first title album, which I’ve listened to on loop since first reading Jenn Pelly’s book. It’s at times both fun and freeing, intimate and independent. Their DIY-sound coupled with the rawness in their lyrics and their lack of general professional training or polishing is entirely unique, providing an authenticity that modern music is often lacking.
This album is also home to The Raincoats’ reinvention of The Kinks’ “Lola,” a cover that was revolutionary at the time of its release. Their rendition was blatantly queer and honest, a group of women singing about kissing another woman and falling for her. And it was a song that fans latched on to as new and radical, but also as inspiring and comforting. This song, along with many others performed by the band, was perceived by critics as unusual, but for The Raincoats their radical music and ideas were perfectly normal, acceptable, and expected.
So if you love The Raincoats as much as we do, want to hear about Jenn’s trip to meet the band, or just need a nice break from reality, this is the episode for you. You can listen to The Raincoats’ The Raincoats with Jenn Pelly on our website, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever it is you get your podcasts. And if you haven’t picked up Jenn’s book yet and can’t wait to learn more about the band, you can order a copy here.
Don’t forget to check out our other interviews with 33 1/3 authors, like Tom Petty’s Southern Accents with Michael Washburn, The Beatles’ Let It Be with Steve Matteo, and D’Angelo’s Voodoo with Faith Pennick. The Bloomsbury Academic podcast releases new content every Tuesday, so be sure to keep an ear out for future episodes!