Staff Picks: Celebrating female creatives to conclude Women’s History Month

Image+courtesy+of+A24.

Image courtesy of A24.

By Morgan Ellis

Listen to this! | Best Coast — “Always Tomorrow”

After a five-year hiatus, Los Angeles locals Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno of Best Coast have successfully re-established themselves with their fourth album, “Always Tomorrow,” released last month. Cosentino is the primary songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist behind the band’s unique indie pop sound with hints of nostalgic surf rock added in here and there.

“Always Tomorrow” allows listeners to explore a full spectrum of feelings through Cosentino’s personal experiences, with optimistic songs like “Everything has Changed” talking about her transition from a previous life of alcohol and substance abuse to a new, more fulfilled one. Another favorite, “Master of My Own Mind,” regards to the relatable feeling of balancing the burdens and inevitable poor choices of life with staying positive and focused on forward progress.

The biggest factor in what makes Cosentino’s most recent musical release so impressive is the genuine quality that can be felt through her lyrics in each of the 11 songs. She transforms her recent journeys of self-reflection and sobriety into an emotionally rich track list deserving of a listen while celebrating female creatives this Women’s History Month.

Watch This! | Lulu Wang — “The Farewell”

Lulu Wang’s heartfelt film “The Farewell” has recently been made available for streaming through Amazon Prime after its wide release in September of last year.

“The Farewell” is an anecdotal film that recounts Wang’s actual experiences through the fictionalized “Billie,” played by Awkwafina. With her performance, Awkwafina made film history, becoming the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe in a leading actress film category.

“Based on an actual lie,” as the opening credit makes clear, “The Farewell” plot follows the matriarch of a Chinese family, who is living with terminal cancer unknowingly. Under the guise of an upcoming wedding, all other members of the family fly to China to be with “Nai Nai” as she approaches her predicted passing.

Wang began making “The Farewell” for cathartic purposes, as she struggled with whether it was morally sound to be keeping such a daunting secret from her grandmother. As an immigrant woman who has been able to experience both Eastern and Western cultures in her life, Wang presents a uniquely insightful and genuine perspective not frequently shown on the big screen.

Wang’s close relationship to the subject matter in the film only makes it stronger; from beginning to end “The Farewell” offers poignant visuals, music, and dialogue about family and clashing cultural ideals.

Listen to This! | Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin — “Unladylike”

Hosts of "Unladylike," Cristen Conger (Left) and Caroline Ervin. Photo courtesy of "Unladylike."
Hosts of "Unladylike," Cristen Conger (Left) and Caroline Ervin. Photo courtesy of "Unladylike."

“Unladylike” is a podcast where hosts Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin aim to educate and deconstruct unfair social norms and stereotypes from a feminist perspective.

Having met on a college newspaper, Conger and Ervin collectively have several years of journalistic experience under their belt as well as podcasting familiarity from hosting their previous podcast “Stuff Mom Never Told You,” fueling their credibility in the field.

Conger and Ervin use a combination of extensive research, engaging conversations with guests, and an overall feel of authenticity to tackle difficult questions in a welcoming manner. Among countless others, some topics that Conger and Ervin have explored include stigmas of mental illness for women, the still-existing taboo of tattoos and even the gender imbalance in the modern hip hop world.

“Unladylike” had its first episode in January 2018 and has been consistently streaming weekly since, so there is plenty of content to enjoy for both familiar and new listeners.