[PLAYLIST] Leading Ladies
I think the reason I'm drawn to female fronted acts is because the (super subdued) rock goddess in me is fighting to live vicariously through these leading ladies. Some are old favorites and others, new finds, but all of them, regardless of genre, know how to own a mic, command a stage and move a crowd. #girlpower
List-en up if you will -
G A L P A L S - "For Our Sake"
Lauren Marie Mikus and Jillian Talley make up this drum and guitar duo from my current stomping grounds of Austin, Texas. They're about to make the big move to the great El Lay, but I caught their SXSW set at my lovely venue Empire Control Room, and let me tell you, they packed that space with people and overflowed it with their infectious, grungy garage-pop. I'm sad to see them leave, but I can't wait for them to take another town by storm.
TOVE LO - "Not On Drugs"
Shoutout to all the Scandinavian songbirds who are killing this dark indie electropop game (MØ, Elliphant, FAYE, Beatrice Eli...)! I feel absolutely blessed to have had our stage host the Neon Gold showcase during SXSW. After having the hook of Tove Lo's debut single "Habits" stuck in my head for the past year and reeling after the release of her EP 'Truth Serum,' I was the definition of fan-girl hyperbolized. That whole showcase was expectedly amazing, but her set was out of this world.
TORI KELLY - "Paper Hearts"
Even though I know every single one of her songs and covers inside and out, I still feel compelled to see Tori Kelly live every chance I get (which equals 3 times within the past 7 months). Each time is like watching a Ripley's Believe it or Not special on how many riffs and runs the girl can pull off effortlessly or how she's able to strip down the tracks of her super produced EP into even better acoustic versions with just her voice and guitar. My favorite part of her shows are when I find myself holding my breath before every trick (even though I know she's going to stick the landing) all the while shaking my head in disbelief throughout each soulfully written and composed song.
KELELA - "Bank Head"
There's no gimmick when it comes to Kelela. She's incomparable. She could rock a stage in a midriff and sweats with lights so dimmed they might as well be off and no one would make the slightest fuss because her flawless falsetto acrobatics over progressive electronic beats would hypnotize you to the point of not even noticing (first hand account). Try not to lose yourself in the headiness of it all for too long because Kelela is also an amazing lyricist - whatever you do, don't miss those lines that pack a punch.
CHLÖE HOWL - "No Strings"
Sometimes when I should be working, I instead plunge into the lovely welcoming abysses of the Internet and pour over new music for hours on end (or I Skype my friends). While I didn't have to dive too deep to discover Chloë (because chick is blowing up), it still felt like striking gold when I pressed play on her 80s synthpop beats meets full, rounded vocals sound that first time. Also, I just found out she's 19 so I'm going to go cry a bit/a lot in a corner.
LONDON GRAMMAR - "Metal and Dust"
Before I get into it, I just want to say Hannah Reid is gorgeous and I would do unspeakable things for her eyebrows. Now that I've got that off my chest, I'm going to compare her voice to memory foam - No, really. Hear me out; Her voice is firm where it hurts, in the deep resonance of her low notes, and soft but still supported in the billowiness of her piercing falsetto, all coming together by her seamless transitions that just makes it so easy to sink into every verse... C'mon, that was pretty good.
WILSEN - "Dusk"
Speaking of beautiful British songstresses, everyone needs to know about Tamsin Wilson immediately. We shared a desk during one of my internships back in NYC so I can personally attest to the fact that not only is she gifted in a slew of musical mediums, but she's also one of the most hardworking and goodhearted people I've ever met. Shame we haven't kept better in touch, but alas, she's been too busy with her band to text me back. They're off traveling the globe, playing shows and supporting the likes of Daughter, London Grammar, Bear's Den and San Fermin (and also the upcoming Matthew and the Atlas UK tour and The Great Escape in Brighton). Unforgivable, I know ;P
MEG MYERS - "Desire"
In her sultry single, Meg Myers asks over and over, "How do you want me?" and I would have to say rocking out on stage, front and center, bass in hand. Myers' confessional style lyrics are risqué, dark and brooding... basically the opposite of anything Taylor Swift. However, a Meg Myers' anthemic hook will stay in your head in very much the same way, but you won't kick yourself over it.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't list the following:
BEYONCÉ - anything