Artist spotlight: Wrong Kind of Girls
Vamp sat down with Canada’s preeminent queer feminist comedy ukulele band Wrong Kind of Girls last Friday before they opened for Rae Spoon at festival hall during Pride. There we asked them about scissoring (“the sex act, not the crafting activity”), writing music that is both hilarious and thoughtful and what it’s like filling a very specific musical niche.
“For me there’s been something so special and amazing about writing these songs about something that [I have] experienced or these kind of oddities that seem unique.” Easy Annie explains. “If ten people showed up to our show I’d be like, amazing, that’s ten more people that find the same stuff that I find funny, funny.”
Wrong Kind of Girls began after they got together to write a song for their feminist comedy group’s event called Girls Gone Wilde (as in Oscar Wilde). What started as three friends trying to write a song about feminism turned into a much bigger project.
“We couldn’t cover what we wanted to say in just one song,” Pam of Green Gaybles explains. “And we had a lot to say.” Shirley Payne interjects.
The ukulele trio hasn’t had a difficult time booking shows. It’s their second year performing with Pride and they have previously played with the Coming Out Monologues as well. This year’s Pride was no different, as they opened for Rae Spoon, and hosted their own show Saturday night, never failing to fill seats. It may be because they sing about topics often ignored by mainstream music, like street harassment, coming out, and even scissoring.
They describe their writing process as always fun but the difficulty lies in “processing an experience in a way that is cathartic, funny, rhymes and [doesn’t] dilute the message.” Shirley Payne says.
What’s most important to them about their songs is that they don’t write any jokes at the expense of themselves or others. They want to be “funny because they are clever not because they are hurtful”.
The goal for Wrong Kind of Girls is to write music that “refuel activists” and “to be the cheerleader” for people with similar experiences. For many queer people, their love is not something that they frequently get to hear listening to the radio, so to create music that lets them feel seen or heard is their top priority.
There is a solidarity in the shared experience that their music is vocalizing. When people come to their shows they want to be able to have a “shared experience, shared silliness and a shared vulgarity” with their audience, says Easy Annie.
Their music says “fuck the patriarchy”, as Anne of Green Gaybles says and in Calgary it looks like queer feminist ukulele comedy is here to stay.