The Julie Ruin

Music, Rock, Pop & Hip-hop

In 1997, Kathleen Hanna-frontwoman of feminist punk band Bikini Kill and one of the most prominent faces of riot grrrl-was at a crossroads. That band, and riot grrrl itself, seemed to be coming to an end, and Hanna was questioning her identity. As a way of coping, she wrote and recorded 15 songs in a closet in her Olympia, Washington, home, and released them under the pseudonym Julie Ruin. Plans to tour behind that album never came to fruition, but now, the Julie Ruin is back: Hanna revived the project as a full band in 2010, and the group released its debut album, Run Fast, in September 2013. One song, "Stop Stop," is about the stress of dealing with an invisible illness (sample lyric: "Oh God, I'm getting so tired?/?Can't breathe now, I think I'm gonna die"); another, "Party City," is about euthanasia. Others, like lead single "Oh Come On," confront her riot-grrrl legacy head-on. But as heavy as the songs get, the music is often irresistibly upbeat-which Hanna says was intentional. "I really wanted it to be fun," she explains.

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