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The Sound of Sapphism

The Sound of Sapphism

Update: 2022-11-08


Tegan & Sara and King Princess have found themselves placed under the banner, "sapphic pop," a term recently coined referring to music by and/or for sapphics (a.k.a. women or femme folks attracted to other femme folks). Journalist Emma Madden defines the folk-inspired sound as having a “soft tactile approach” that’s “more sensual than it is sexual.” This umbrella folds in everyone from indie pop veterans Tegan & Sara to nonbinary artists like King Princess; even artists like Hozier and Sufjan Stevens are, improbably, considered sapphic pop, with their music having the same sonic qualities of other songs dedicated to feminine yearning.

From articles popping up in multiple news outlets to the majority of Taylor Swift’s openers for this upcoming tour (looking at MUNA, girl in red, and Phoebe Bridgers, specifically), the terminology of “sapphic pop” has come to define a scene almost out of nowhere.

This week on Switched On Pop, we explore exactly what sapphic pop is, where it came from, and how artists feel about it – even asking Tegan & Sara and King Princess directly. You can listen wherever you get podcasts.

Songs discussed

  • Clairo – Sofia

  • King Princess – Talia

  • girl in red – i wanna be your girlfriend

  • Hozier – Cherry Wine (live)

  • Alex G – Sarah

  • The Velvet Underground – I Found A Reason

  • Sufjan Stevens – To Be Alone With You

  • Cris Williamson – Shine On Straight Arrow

  • Jaylib, Madlib, J Dilla – The Red

  • Taylor Swift – betty

  • Brittany Howard – Georgia

  • MUNA, Phoebe Bridgers – Silk Chiffon

  • Tegan & Sara – Call It Off

  • Tegan & Sara – Smoking Weed Alone

  • King Princess – 1950

  • King Princess – I Hate Myself, I Want To Party

  • King Princess – Pussy is God

  • Kate Bush – Why Should I Love You?

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The Sound of Sapphism

The Sound of Sapphism