Playlist: An introduction to Kansas’ thriving music scene

Kansas Playlist
Left to right: Addie Sartino (photo: Zachary Gray), LK Ultra (photo: Mia Robinson), Kat King (photo: Kailee Karr)

Writer Miranda Roberts takes us on a tour of Kansas’ thriving music scene, from singer-songwriter to outspoken and patriarchy-smashing rock to living room pop and beyond. 

My name is Miranda and as a big fan of words, melodies, and gender equality, Pass The Mic grabbed my attention. Colleen graciously passed the mic my way for this one, and I cannot thank her enough.

Female, trans, and non-binary voices are rockin it out all over the place and I am here to bring some attention to what is going on in the Kansas music scene.

I have been living in Lawrence, Kansas for just three and a half years and it already feels like home. From all-ages music venues, local music showcases, and a girls rock camp devoted to “Shredding the Patriarchy,” this town is a welcoming, creative haven. Artists from all over the state travel to Lawrence and Kansas City to showcase their talents.

Before I feature a few of these acts, I have a quick disclaimer. There are some Kansas City, Missouri-based artists in the mix, but when even the President doesn’t know what state Kansas City is in, things get a little blurry.

While you may not have heard of Addie Sartino, as a music lover, odds are you may have heard of The Greeting Committee. Addie is their lead singer, but has been releasing angsty indie-pop anthems on her own since 2014. She is a self-proclaimed no-bullshitter, and brought that energy to life in a piece about queer pride in Rookie Magazine.

Kat King is another KC queer female who has been making music since she was a little girl. Beyond writing songs and playing guitar and piano, she has produced an album, three EP’s, and several singles in her early twenties. The local scene cannot wait to see where she takes things going forward.

LK Ultra is the result of friendships formed between Lily Pryor, Inez Robinson, Aoife Conway, and August Hyde at the annual Girls Rock Lawrence camp. Despite being (mostly) in highschool and meeting at a camp, this isn’t a band to soft-pedal. LK Ultra is trans, femme, indigenous, queer and ready to be heard. Each member shares marginalizing experiences in “Boys Club” between the refrain of “You’re done, You’re done, fuck your boys club.” Things haven’t been simple to say the least, but they won’t go down without a fight. On “Dwop Out,” Robinson sings “Let’s talk about this so we’re on the same page. This systems ableist and may never work in some people’s favor.” Don’t shy away and take a listen.

Jordana’s Spotify bio puts it simply, she’s a “girl who makes music in her living room.” Her frankness and vulnerability is reassuring. If you’ve ever been embarrassed about what pops into your head, you are not alone. If you’ve been blindsided after discovering a crush’s sun sign, you will be seen. Jordana gets quirky, but gets down to business. We’ve all been there — let’s embrace it.

Miranda Roberts is a senior studying marketing and journalism at the University of Kansas.



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