PWR BTTM and the Music Industry’s Skewed Priorities

I discovered PWR BTTM only a month ago, and they probably wouldn’t have crossed my radar without a little stoking from Apple Music. One Friday in early May, a raw punk thrasher called “Big Beautiful Day” from their new release “Pageant” found its way onto my New Music playlist. I was immediately enamored. As I began to read about their image of queer advocacy, the hook sunk deeper. Here were a pair of gender non-conforming musicians rocking drag, while howling out songs about bodily autonomy. I dug it in a big way, especially since the DIY punk scene I’m fluent in is built on the back of white privilege and hypocrisy.

I immediately set out to tell all my friends about them. These were artists I considered important. I wanted their music, image, and message to reach as many people as possible.

Then, something bizarre happened. I typed their name into the search bar of my iPhone and nothing populated the screen except the spinning march of the loading wheel. Even the songs I had downloaded became a dull, unplayable grey. A quick look at Spotify revealed the same. PWR BTTM had all but disappeared from the Internet. Total erasure.

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