Since the days of Joan Jett and Kathleen Hanna, "girls to the front" has become a rallying cry in punk music and beyond. But progress, as always, is uneven and incomplete. As punk splinters into several scenes—some of them unreconstructedly heteromasculine—and as thoughtful folk fight on for womxn's rights, we need femme-fronted DIY bands more than ever.
St. Augustine's Bedsweater is one of those bands. The most recent project of songwriter, singer and guitarist Teresa Rose (AC Deathstrike/Curious Markings), Bedsweater melds down-on-your-luck lyricism with garage rock and dashes of erratic, introspective indie. Joining Rose are drummer Kensley Stewart (Kenny & The Jets) and bassist Christiana Patterson (Ghost Tropic).
The band was founded in September 2018. Rose and Stewart had forged an earlier friendship at work. Rose was a server at the Casa Maya restaurant; Stewart regularly performed there.
"We quickly formed a friendship over music, cats and feminism," Stewart told Folio Weekly. Over the course of four years, the two would collaborate on different musical endeavors, slowly coaxing Rose onto the stage.
"[Stewart] has always supported my music and encouraged me to play," said Rose. "She even booked me to play my first show in St. Augustine."
The goal was to ultimately form an all-female band, but—ask any local band—drummers are hard to find. Taking matters into her own hands, Stewart decided she would be the drummer. She started drilling last spring, using Rose's new songs as practice material.
"We quickly realized we needed a bass player," explained Stewart, "and Christiana Patterson, violin player of Ghost Tropic, scientist and pedal welder came to mind first."
After a few band practices, the trio became close friends. The refinement of their sound followed in short order. Speaking of the Bedsweater sound, it's hard to pin down, and that's exactly how they want it. One might hear The Breeders, The Cranberries … More