Deap Vally: Feminism in Music

Back in 2011, Lindsey Troy wandered into The Little Knittery, a knitting shop owned by Julie Edwards, wearing a stained shirt and no bra. Edwards thought she was ‘pretty badass’. Little did the LA duo know a year later they would become Deap Vally – punk-rock’s very own head-banging, hair-flipping feminist icons, and an inspiration to angry teens everywhere.

Fast forward three years, and the duo have come a long way from their unorthodox meeting, with a record deal with Island Records, two singles and their highly acclaimed debut album, Sistronix, in the bag. But their primal, unapologetic melodies, are simply the backing track of an even stronger message of female solidarity and pride.

Donning their staple denim shorts, ripped tights and bare feet, Deap Vally throw two fingers up to a slut-shaming culture with patriarchy-bashing anthems such as ‘Walk of Shame’, where Troy declares she’s ‘Gonna take a walk of shame / Baby I don’t feel no blame / Imma take a walk of pride / I got sunshine in my stride’. It’s through lyrics like these that Troy and Edwards are encouraging and inspiring girls everywhere to point blank refuse to feel guilty for enjoying themselves, no matter what the old granny walking her dog past at nine AM on a Sunday morning thinks.

Similarly, ‘Raw Materials’ sees the pair charging at male entitlement full on – an issue which is arguably even more relevant in the music industry today than it was when the song was written. Feminist social media campaigns are becoming more and more prominent with movements such as Girls Against battling the issue of sexual harassment at live shows, and citing the band as an inspiration. It’s not hard to understand why the duo have become such icons, as their first single sees Lindsey proudly announcing, ‘They say marry a rich man / Find a rich one if you can / Daddy don’t you understand / I’m gonna make my own money’, which is a brave message to attempt to break into a male-dominated industry with.

However, the risk clearly paid off as their 2012 track ‘End of the World’ was christened ‘Hottest Record’ by Radio 1 presenter Zane Lowe, preceding a string of wild festival appearances and live shows supporting fellow feminists and ‘I Wish I Was a Girl’ singers’ The Vaccines. Currently on tour in America with one of the most prominent figures in the support of women’s rights – Canadian artist Peaches – Deap Vally’s dedication to the feminist movement is unwavering. Although, as fans learned from a recent Instagram post, the duo always manage to find time, when they’re not too busy slaying the patriarchy, to pop back to The Little Knittery to in stock up on wool and remember how it all began.

Abigail Herbert

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