The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Friends Of Mine: Rachel Aggs' Favourite Music
Stephanie Phillips , February 24th, 2021 10:14

Rachel Aggs takes Stephanie Phillips through the albums that made her the musician she is today, from Smokey Robinson to Robyn, Mahotella Queens to Sleater-Kinney. Portrait photo by Stephanie Gibson


Sleater-Kinney – The Hot Rock
I've actually never seen Sleater-Kinney play live. It's so sad because it all stems back to that show I missed. I love this record. I can also remember exactly where I was when I heard this because I was at school when this record came out. I didn't listen to listen to very much contemporary music when I was a kid. I was kind of weird in that way. I liked folk, Motown and things like Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan that my parents liked. I just didn't really connect with a lot of contemporary guitar music that my friends were into like Nirvana and Foo Fighters, shit that I just really didn't like and I still don't particularly like.

It was also Plan B that got me into Sleater-Kinney, and then also, somebody told me they used to go out with each other so as a little queer person I thought this is my music. Initially I didn't know if I liked it because I'd never really heard guitar music like that, there was so much going on. As a young queer person, it was incredible to hear women singing about queer relationships. 'Get Up' was one of my favourite songs. When I was a teenager and having a genuinely shit time at school, like a lot of teens do, I remember that song helped me find a sense of pride and hope that I could leave school and eventually find my people.

That sort of feeling is so important when you're a young person. I hope it's different now. Being a queer teenager at that time, when you found music like that and it was like an escape hatch. It was something to cling on to. I don't know what I would have done without that. And they look so cool on the cover. I think that's important, coolness in that respect. When you're a kid and people are constantly telling you that lesbians are the ultimate social pariah and then you're like looking at these powerful women on the front of the record, you think, 'I don't know what people are on about, these lesbians look cool'.