’90s Female Alt-Rock Songs That Spoke To You

Sixteen songs you had on your high school mixtape and what they said about you.

1. Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know”

Reason it was on your playlist: You just had a bad breakup with your boyfriend of three weeks and now he is going out with a prettier and more popular girl.

You lived it, and Alanis just put words to it!

Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know”

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2. Sonic Youth, “Kool Thing”

Reason it was on your playlist: You are a badass. You smoke in the bathrooms, read Sassy, wear X-girl clothing, have your own personal phone line, and use a fake ID. You are the “kool thing” Kim Gordon is singing about!

Sonic Youth, “Kool Thing”

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3. Hole, “Violet”

Reason it was on your playlist: You and Courtney are kindred spirits. You walk around with Kool-Aid-dyed hair, dress in thrift-store dresses, have a lunch box as a purse, and wish you didn’t live in this “fucking town!”

Hole, “Violet”

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4. Liz Phair, “Never Said”

Reason it was on your playlist: You gave a guy a hand job at a house party and somehow it turned into a rumor that you got gangbanged by the JV baseball team. Now all the boys want to take you out and all the girls are ignoring you and calling you a slut behind your back.

This sadly is becoming your anthem.

Liz Phair, “Never Said”

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5. Garbage, “Stupid Girl”

Reason it was on your playlist: Because you hate other girls that do things for attention. Like that slut in your class who let the entire JV baseball team gangbang her. This song should be dedicated to her.

Garbage, “Stupid Girl”

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6. The Breeders, “Cannonball”

Reason it was on your playlist: You are a self-professed music snob and you totally saw the cool-as-shit video on 120 Minutes.

The Breeders, “Cannonball”

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7. No Doubt, “Sunday Morning”

Reason it was on your playlist: Like Gwen, you are not going to let your boyfriend bring you down! You feel her pain and this song is totally written about your relationship. Plus you are also a total “Gwenabee.”

No Doubt, “Sunday Morning”

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8. Belly, “Feed The Tree”

Reason it was on your playlist: These lyrics are all about you! You may be young, but you want to be respected, or at least that’s what you think this song is about (too many metaphors).

Belly, “Feed The Tree”

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9. The Cranberries, “Dreams”

Reason it was on your playlist: This song is ethereal and dreamy, plus you can just hum your way through the lyrics you don’t know.

The Cranberries, “Dreams”

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10. Elastica, “Connection”

Reason it was on your playlist: You’re a total Anglophile and had this song when it was just a single (way before everyone else).

You read NME and Q. You are all about Britpop and you’re always looking for U.K. CD single imports at your local record store.

Also, one day you are going to marry Jarvis Cocker.

Elastica, “Connection”

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11. Bikini Kill, “Rebel Girl”

Reason it was on your playlist: You aspire to be a riot grrrl. You also write and distribute your own underground zine at your high school.

Bikini Kill, “Rebel Girl”

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12. Veruca Salt, “Seether”

Reason it was on your playlist: Because you totally know and dislike girls that are “seethers,” but deep down you wish you were a “seether.”

Veruca Salt, “Seether”

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13. Björk, “Human Behaviour”

Reason it was on your playlist: Because you aspire to be artsy, quirky, and different, but not too different.

Björk, “Human Behaviour”

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14. PJ Harvey, “Down by the Water”

Reason it was on your playlist: You embrace that you are quirky and different.

But the lyrics have you scratching your head: Did PJ really drown her daughter in the river?

PJ Harvey, “Down by the Water”

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15. Fiona Apple, “Shadowboxer”

Reason it was on your playlist: Her voice and lyrics are all the therapy you need!

None of this Chicken Soup for the Soul shit.

Fiona Apple, “Shadowboxer”

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16. Tori Amos, “Silent All These Years”

Reason it was on your playlist: You tend to think of yourself as deeper than your peers, and these lyrics reached down into you, like a Toni Morrison book come to life.

Tori Amos, “Silent All These Years”

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