On the last Friday of every month, She Shreds shares our staff picks of what we’ve been grooving on lately. Here’s our October staff favorites!
Jazzy Romero’s Instagram that features beautiful landscapes accompanied by blissed out guitars, the women of Les Filles de Illighadad’s first tour in the US, Miya Folick covering Death Cab for Cutie, Michelle Zauner (of Japanese Breakfast) and “Crying in H Mart” for The New Yorker, and the ever-amazing Kadhja Bonet—we’ve got you covered with our October Staff Favorites.
Fabi Reyna | Founder & Editor in Chief
She Shreds monthly staff picks is, to me, is all about discovery and giving a cyber *fist bump* to anything and anyone that inspires me to want to create. As a Mexican American guitarist, I’m always influenced by the landscapes, traditions, and rhythms of my homeland in Mexico and am always seeking to share this experience with other Latinx women and non-binary musicians.
All of that to say, I follow an amazing creator who currently resides in NYC, named Jazzy Romero (@jazzygirl___). She’s an incredible guitarist in her own right, but recently she published a three part “Water Song” series featuring short clips of landscapes (seemingly from Mexico) accompanied by her own soundtrack and “produced on a miniature classical guitar.” Here’s my favorite of the three:
Cynthia Schemmer | Managing Editor
Les Filles de Illighadad
Yeah, I know… I’ve covered Les Filles de Illighadad for She Shreds in the past (read the feature/interview here), and I’ve listened to their self-titled record on repeat ever since I found it at Autumn Records in Vermont while on tour with my band Radiator Hospital—but it wasn’t until I saw them live this month that I truly understood the power behind these women!
Led by vocalist and guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghal—one of the only Tuareg female guitarists in Niger—and including Alamnou Akrouni (vocals/calabash), Mariama Salah Assouan (voice/dance), and Ahmoudou Madassane (voice/guitar), Les Filles de Illighadad are from a secluded commune in a village in central Niger, way off in the scrubland deserts at the edge of the Sahara. The band toured the U.S. for the first time this September and October, and I was lucky to catch them at The Lounge at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, where they played to an intimate crowd who fell under their tende trance.
The four women of Les Filles de Illighadad use the traditional drum, the pounding calabash (a gourd half buried in water), the Tuareg guitar, hand claps, and beautifully meditative vocals. I picked up their 2017 album, Eghass Malan, which, aside from having some of the most incredible album art I’ve ever seen, is my latest obsession. I dare you not to fall in love with the music of Les Filles de Illighadad.
Hannah Soffa | Creative Director
Miya Folick is the real deal. It’s rad to hear pop-ish music that’s relatable and empathetic—that gives value to the mundane, the everyday. I admittedly swoon over just about everything Miya puts out and her cover of Death Cab for Cuties “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” is no different. It’s perfect for a moody fall day, or if you’re stuck inside with a cold (like me). Miya brings her unique perspective as an artist and gives us a fresh take on an old favorite.
Ashley Vaughn | Social Media Director, Junior Designer
“Crying in Public” by Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast
Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast wrote a piece back in 2018 for The New Yorker called “Crying in H Mart.” It’s the beginning of what will become Zauner’s memoir. I’ve found myself re-visiting this piece occasionally, and this past month, I’ve re-visisted its words quite often.
“We sit here in silence, eating our lunch. But I know we are all here for the same reason. We’re all searching for a piece of home, or a piece of ourselves. We look for a taste of it in the food we order and the ingredients we buy. Then we separate. We bring the haul back to our dorm rooms or suburban kitchens, and we re-create a dish that couldn’t be made without that journey, because what we’re looking for isn’t accessible at a Trader Joe’s.”— Michelle Zauner, “Crying in H Mart”
Peter Condra | Operations Manager
Kadhja Bonet, whose IG bio reads “Music Reject,” has been open about her struggles within the music industry, and this year has vocalized uncertainty about if and when she’ll produce a new album. As someone who sees her as one of the greatest songwriters of our time, this is absurd to me and further proof that the world makes no sense. She has suggested potentially crowdfunding the next album (please do), and in the meantime I’m watching closely for signs of life.
To that effect, Kadhja has given us three gold nuggets this fall:
- 1. A new track and mega collaboration “On Sight” featuring Free Nationals, JID, and MIKNNA.
- 2. A cameo on the song “New Sky” from SiR’s excellent new album Chasing Summer.
- 3. Kadhja, who authored the song “Mother Maybe” on her last album, has announced that she is pregnant: “First I’m abducted by the wrong aliens, now this.”
Congratulations Kadhja—we are rooting for you always!