Tori Kravitz and Alicia Atout, the dynamic hosts of KNOTFEST’s “She’s With The Band” podcast, have collaborated to create a brand new FemMetal Mixtape. Each host has handpicked four of their all-time favourite songs that hold a special place in their hearts for this specially curated collection and has shared their personal stories about what makes each track so meaningful to them. Tori and Alicia offer a glimpse into their lives and passions through their diverse music tastes and invite us to join them on this musical journey. Prepare to discover new favourites and revisit old favourites as you listen to this exciting new Mixtape.
Side A: Alicia’s Picks
The Cure – Just Like Heaven
This band makes me feel like a warm blanket is surrounding me and everything will be okay. Is that one of the cheesiest things I could’ve written? For sure. Is it the absolute truth? You bet. I can be in my saddest of moods, or my happiest, and their music always provides me with an intense comfort. I’m such a hopeless romantic and “Just Like Heaven” beautifully captures the feeling of being in love. There’s a dreaminess, a flirtation, and an endless wander to the song. The synths soar around that instantly singable guitar riff while pairing perfectly with Smith’s charming vocal performance. I adore every aspect of this song. It’s just like a dream…
Mazzy Star – Into Dust
Spotify has been creating the best personalized playlists recently. There’s one called Chill Mix that I’ve been jamming to almost every day and in that playlist is one of my favourites, “Into Dust” by Mazzy Star. It’s always fascinated me how this track can make you feel so empty, yet at the same time, you feel EVERYTHING. It’s one of the most cinematic sounding pieces of music. It paints a saddened picture in your mind with its gentle plucking supported by gorgeously subtle strings and all of the vulnerability pouring out of Hope Sandoval’s voice. The weirdest part is as disheartening and distant as this song feels, it somehow always stops time for me. Now that’s something special.
The Beatles – In My Life
This is easily one of the most nostalgic songs ever written. The way that Lennon is able to reflect on life, the beautiful times, the hardships, lovers that have come and gone, and the present… it’s truly a stunning piece of music.
System of a Down – Cigaro
I’ll never forget hearing this song for the first time. I was six years old while driving down south in the car with my family on vacation. That crunchy guitar placed up against the loud opening growl and uniquely bizarre high falsetto singing was MAGIC. I had never heard anything like it before. And that was the moment I fell in love with metal.
Side B: Tori’s Picks
Converge featuring Chelsea Wolfe – Crimson Stone
Growing up, my dad’s favorite band was Tesla. Some of my earliest memories are spending time with him and hearing tons of ‘80s rock music – from Tesla to Metallica to Motley Crue to Electric Boys to Ozzy Osbourne. By age 7 I knew every Tesla song that had been released at the time, which was 6 albums worth. Not only did Tesla influence me heavily growing up, but I also would not be where I am today without their longtime guitarist Dave Rude. At 11 years old, I had started playing guitar and had quit playing guitar within a 6-month period. Until I took a lesson with Dave. He taught me my first chords and would go on to teach me so much more throughout my years of guitar lessons with him. I may be slinging 4 strings instead of 6 these days, but I would’ve never picked up a guitar again if it weren’t for him and for that I’m so grateful.
Alice in Chains – Down in a Hole
Back in September of 2022, I worked at a music festival called Sound On Sound in Bridgeport, CT. To be honest I only knew 2 or 3 artists playing, but I was just excited to be there. While the festival was full of talent, there was one artist that really stuck out to me. Brandi Carlile. I had never heard of her, but from the first notes to the last notes she wailed, I was in complete awe. While she may not play heavy metal, her folk rock tunes paired with her gritty, soaring vocals make an amazing result that has not gone unnoticed in the industry. Earlier this year, she performed Broken Horses at the GRAMMYs and that song earned her not one, but two GRAMMYs – Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song.
Flyleaf – Breathe Today
Spread Eagle is one of my all-time favorite bands. As a bassist, I’ve spent countless hours analyzing the basslines on all 3 of their albums. Rob DeLuca (bassist of Spread Eagle) is one of my biggest influences when it comes to bass. His style of playing, his writing, his tone – everything. Switchblade Serenade starts with a straight up open E string, but the groove is just unmatched. This song taught me that it’s not how many notes you play, it’s the way you play them. And that has stuck with me.
Placebo – Space Monkey
A classic. A song recorded by a group of rebellious teenage girls in California in the 1970s that would become an anthem for women empowerment. Without The Runaways, I would not be able to do what I do today. For every beating, every catcall, every beer bottle they dodged and all they didn’t, I owe them everything. Despite ‘Cherry Bomb’ being a little cheesy and simple, it’s lasting impact decades later supersedes anything negative that can be said about the song. To see that teenage girls can tour the world and produce kick ass rock n’ roll music with all the cards stacked against them is just about as empowering as it can get for someone like me.
Alicia and I talk about our favorite music every week on She’s with the Band so please follow/subscribe to the podcast on KNOTFEST for our weekly conversations with the music industry’s leading women and female allies!