Are Unisex Bands The Way Forward?

It is indisputable that the music industry is evolving rapidly, as it has done uncontrollably since its inception. Alongside this are the changing wants and needs of its listening masses.

The word ‘band’ in musical terms traditionally means ‘a group of musicians and/or vocalists who play a specialised type of music.’ Pretty obvious, right? And the typical image one would think of when asked to picture a band would be a group of roughly four men or women wielding microphones, guitars and drumsticks. For the most part, the band imagined would be solely male or solely female. Generally, this is correct. However, as is to be expected with music, it is once again time to change our perceptions.

Unisex bands are not a new concept. One of the most iconic of these is ABBA: the Swedish pop group formed back in 1974 which became one of the most commercially successful acts worldwide in the history of pop music. In the same year, we were blessed with Blondie, and since then we’ve listened to the likes of Sonic Youth, Flyleaf, Veruca Salt, Bikini Kill, Eurythmics, Hole and Evanescence.

Promotional photo for alternative rock band Hole's second album (Live Through This, released in 1994). Courtney Love, lead singer and widow of the late grunge icon Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), stands in the forefront.
Promotional photo for alternative rock band Hole’s second album (Live Through This, released in 1994). Courtney Love, lead singer and widow of the late grunge icon Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), stands in the forefront.

One of, if not the most popular unisex bands of the last decade is Paramore: former five-piece and now three-piece alternative rock band from Tennessee. With four astounding albums and 21 awards under their belt, they’re certainly paving the way for upcoming 21st-century unisex bands to follow their lead.

In recent years, it has become clear that electronic, hip hop and pop music have steadily overtaken rock in regards to genre preferences, especially among younger generations. However, this does not mean that the unisex bands of these genres cannot enjoy the same levels of success as their rock and roll counterparts… or even exceed them!

2011 saw the formation of Scottish synthpop band, CHVRCHES, who released their debut album The Bones of What You Believe in September 2013. Electronica three-piece London Grammar have already amassed a loyal fanbase since forming just two years ago. A number of similar bands have also recently bubbled to the surface, such as the Canadian duo Purity Ring and the Brighton-based band IYES. Others to look out for are experimental hip hop trio Hawk House, neo-soul sextet The Hics (both from London) and minimalist pop Brooklyn band Wet.

With that, we seem to have answered our question. There is no doubt that unisex bands are the way forward, and can be predicted to become increasingly prominent in popular culture in the foreseeable future. As a society, we should be ready and willing to embrace this: the coming together of both men and women to create incredible music. There’s actually something quite heart-warming about it all.

Are you ready to succumb to some new sounds? Sample some tracks from the forthcoming bands mentioned below:

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