We’ve decided to visit another themed post for you today, as we bring you a Recommender all about the many strong women that have been chucking out some of the cooler than cool tunes in recent years. We want to ‘put em high’ for these superb ladies. We’ve seen an array of superb female soloists over the last few years and as we look ahead to a new year in 2009 we predict the female line ups will be stronger than ever before.
Three of them listed below are proper, well-established scenesters and the last three have only arrived in 2008. All are, however, full of alternative pop tunes of total brilliance.
So many strong female vocalists have come before them, from the perfect voice of Aretha Franklin, to the magic of Kate Bush, to the marriage with synthss that Annie Lennox took up, to the more modern taste-chasers like Ladyhawke, La Roux (see Recommender 17), V V Brown (see future Recommenders), Lady Ga Ga and Alice Glass- the list could go on and on - Today we just wanted to pick out six that we totally adore and that we think truly stand out from the modern soundscape.
Here’s to the ‘Scene-Queens’ >>>
First, to the best established three artists we want to showcase today…This London super-scenester of Sri Lankan descent has been around your block, my block and definitely America’s block several times. Adored in the Dance scenes, lapped up by the Hip Hop scenes, versed in the Dancehall scenes and rooted in the Reggae scenes, this talented leading lady is quite like nobody else you know. As much an individual in her vibrant, colourful fashion as there is in her unique sound. She has that great quality of confidence that all great swaggering female solo artists do. Political and full of comment, she blows out lyrics that simultaneously sting and yet make you laugh. She composes truly great, unique tunes, packed with a mighty power. She’s planting seeds like carpet bomber.
Is there a genre that hasn’t influenced this brilliant New York artist?!? We particularly love the African and Reggae tastes she has flowing through her tunes showing up her musical roots. 2008 is a year that will perhaps go down as the year Santogold blew up in our stereos. She released her self-titled album earlier in 2008 and fulfilled all the promise that had been bleeding through from the excited blog world in the run up. Real name Santi White, she has an outstanding ear for a melody and a selection of chorus’ that make for some truly solid music. Lyrically brilliant and snappy with lines like “we think your a joke, shove your hope where it don’t shine…”. She ain’t one to mess with. Styled like nobody else this side of anywhere, she’s like the flavour of the future - our future. She stands out brilliantly from the scene.
We list below a tune from the irrepressable Uffie that perhaps sums up our rants about the Hip Hop / Electro blend better than any other. Listening to her usual crude, aggressive, empowered lyrics, such as “Is it Hip Hop, is it Electro, damn is she coming from hell?“, she says it better than we ever could. The American-born, Parisian resident from the Ed Banger label is yet another strong female front-person that can truly be called an individual, modern artist. Regularly on stage with Feadz and with link ups alongside some of the world’s hottest DJs she always impresses us. She’s sexy, confident and manages to chop up her tunes like nobody else. She even drops a new phrase to us - ”Webolution“. We all do our bit I guess…
And so to the three newbies…Well, what do we have here then? A fresh face, a culture-shock sound and boy are we hooked. Calling her a female version of The Streets is way out, but yeah she’s raps over warped, wobbling bass with a cockney accent. Her vocals are brutal, occasionally political and sound like Kate Nash, were Kate packing more punch and hooked on crack living life on a sink estate. Her sweet melodies and South London style buzzes through her tunes. She also looks beautiful making her more deadly than you can possibly imagine and a sure fire explosive hit in the making. Her inventive, edgy and aggressive songs give her an irresistible weighty lure. If you don’t know her yet, you soon will. in what seems like a growing scene from her part of the world (with the likes of Master Shortie also recently arriving), this lady definitely deserves her listing here amongst these other killer ladies, as she has more balls than most guys on the scene. She’s very kindly emailed us her mp3 of the totally awesome ‘Kids‘, so sit up and take note…
A true pop star is in the ascendancy. Alongside Goldielocks and Thecocknbullkid she’s one of the freshest of our female recommendations today, she’s currently floating on a tide of interest and I’m pleased to say it looks well worth it. Having been frontwoman for the band Dead Disco, she’s now arrived with a truly modern twist. Showcasing her work by listing homemade videos on Youtube in her pyjamas playing on her home piano, (or now famous Tenori-on toy), she’s belted out her own melodic, electro-pop tunes, with the odd cover of the likes of Hot Chip, or Estelle. It’s been a regular show on Youtube for many episodes now, not because she’s pretentiously desperate for fame or chasing some sort of dream, really because she simply seems to enjoy it. It’s a raw and private viewing, bordering on a voyeuristic experience, watching her in this intimate show -particularly knowing what a star she is now becoming. She has a talent for a tune and her self-penned songs are strong and sung with beautiful vocals. She’s a big fan of the pop world and it shows. She may be pretty and impossibly cute, but her lack of a pretence is what really makes her irresistibly attractive.
Last of my favourite ladies is this Ghanain-Londoner, real name Anita Blay. She plays out an uplifting, smooth set of delightfully light, tuneful pop. Strings, slow one-two beats and simple builds drift over her sweet vocals. Layered, very, very lovely and provocative, she paints us a dreamscape that sits safely in your ears. Like all these highlighted female artists, she has a strong sense of individualism and a unique sound that’s not quite like any other. And we love it! We could have listed any of her songs and you would like them all. It’s delicate, but powerful stuff. It’s given us faith in the constructed pop tune again. Just like Little Boots, Anita is reassuringly and unashamedly re-selling us the world of pop, without the need for the inevitable Madonna or Kylie sex show thrown in as part of the package. Embrace your inner pop child….
We could have easily included the new La Roux, or the even fresher V V Brown, as they too are turning out exciting sounds, but they are only just out of the wrapping and so haven’t released quite as much as those above. That makes it harder to judge. Check Recommender 17 for La Roux. You will find V V Brown on a future Recommender for sure.
It’s great to have so many different scene’s and so many prominent, successful females fronting it. They undeniably have more musical talent in their little fingers than most artists out there. So this one’s for the ladies. They come highly recommended indeed…