May 12, 2016

EP: ShitKid - ShitKid

Sweden's ShitKid does her feminist post-punk elders proud.

Maybe it’s the legislated gender equality, Pippi Longstocking’s legacy, or something else I’m ignorant of as an American, but dang if Sweden doesn’t turn out some of the most badass feminist music in the world. Jenny Hval and Karin Dreijer Andersson (of The Knife, Fever Ray, and Honey Is Cool) immediately jump to mind when listening to ShitKid, the youngest, brightest one-woman punk act from Scandinavia. ShitKid, both the title of the album and the band name, evokes a state of grimy, dissolute youth that for too long has been the sole property of boys and men. Frontwoman Åsa Söderqvist seems like the kind of girl who owns the night, weaves through it with a beer and a cigarette, making both mischief and sublime music.

The first song on the EP, “666,” sounds like rambling late-night gossip about a hookup, in song form. It’s chorus goes “I was too shy/but also too loud,” words that stand out from the rest of the fuzzy, mumbled lyrics. “Oh Please Be a Cocky Cool Kid” exhorts the listener to play the politics of the night so she can come out triumphant. In the world of ShitKid, kids rule. The album may have been recorded on a broken laptop using GarageBand, but not all the songs on this EP have a grimy, lo-fi sound. The last track, “Hillside,” is a sweet, morning-after chant, evoking the way a sunrise after a long night scrapes at your heartstrings – the way you can wake up after a long, dirty night and realize you’re in love. It’s a direct descendent of Honey Is Cool’s “Something Above The Mountains”– one optimistic refrain sprawling over a jangly beat and major chords. For someone with such an irreverent name and image, ShitKid definitely does her feminist post-punk elders proud. Her music invokes the timelessness of the night, reveries, and crushes; the stories she tells could have happened in the 70s, 90s, or last night. But still, there’s something new in her sound. It’s in the way she bemoans mansplaining (“I need you on my dirty floor/ telling me things I already know”) and the way she moves so seamlessly from the grungy to sublime, from the club to the hillside, without dissonance or contradiction. I bet her foremothers would be (or maybe already are) proud to see how she’s playing with the freedom they won her.


Listen to ShitKid on bandcamp.

Simone Wolff lives in NYC with their grandma, best friend, boyfriend, snake, spider, and two cats. They’re a Cancer sun, Gemini moon, and Capricorn rising.