The Shiverettes are a feminist punk band from Calgary who will be performing at Amigos Cantina on April 26. Their electrifying new album Real Shrill Bitches drops on April 18. The band recently sat down with the Sheaf to talk about their upcoming album and vision for their music.
When asked about what inspired them to write such an overtly political record, lead vocalist Hayley Muir said, “When we were going into writing it, I sort of had this idea that I was like, ‘I don’t wanna write a political record.’”
However, the band is predominantly made up of women, and they find that women’s experiences are inherently political, and that affects their writing.
Each member has a different favourite track on the new album, such as “Very Cool Dude,” “Hard Bitch,” “Trust” and “Scorpio.” A common denominator among all these tracks is that they each have something that distinguishes them from their previous works. This is expected as a band grows and evolves together, and the Shiverettes are evolving fantastically.
The band’s last album Dead Men Can’t Cat Call is undeniably good. It is a fundamentally punk album with powerful lyrics. Their next album, Real Shrill Bitches, continues to do what made the first one so great, but better. Feminist content aside, the music is intense and well done. Listening to the politically driven lyrics reveals how empowering and moving they are.
The band also shows a genuine punk attitude. As a predominantly female punk band, it is to be expected that they would experience some challenges. According to drummer Steve Richter though, “the girls don’t take anyone’s shit” even if that means that there are certain people, bands or venues that they aren’t able to work with as a result.
Real Shrill Bitches opens with “Bumblebee,” a strong and intense instrumental that lets you know exactly what you’re listening to as soon as it begins. The closing track called “Boys Club” encapsulates the experiences of many women, which is the goal and essence of the Shiverettes’ work.
When asked what they would like people to take away from their music, guitarist and vocalist Kaely Cormack says,
“I want people to see that their voice matters and that people are listening… It’s important for people who are marginalized.”
The majority of people making recognized art are still straight white men, but there is an audience waiting for new voices. The Shiverettes are making music about inherently female experiences and are thriving from it. This is a sign of progress in the music industry, and it should be celebrated by all punk fans.
The music is empowering. As a woman, songs like “Dead Men Can’t Cat Call” and “Shout Your Assault” from Dead Men Can’t Cat Call and “Incel” and “Very Cool Dude” from Real Shrill Bitches resonate. These are very real experiences, and it is validating not only to hear them but to hear them angrily. Anger is often seen as an unacceptable emotion in women, but it is reclaimed here.
Listening to the Shiverettes is a cathartic experience. It provides an outlet for people who have experienced the things they write about. It is very important for people to see themselves represented in art, and the Shiverettes provide this for young women. This is the point of music, and the Shiverettes capture that perfectly.
Amber Adrian Jackson
Photo: The Shiverettes / Supplied