Illustrations by Casey Webb
I’ve always loved singing, but sadly, as a female who didn’t much care for female singers growing up, I never wanted to become one myself. I’ve always been more of a fan of male singers, especially those with unique voices like Jack White, Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother, and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. But then these amazingly talented women came into my life and became a huge inspiration to me. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Mathangi Arulpragasam of M.I.A.
With her British/Sri Lankan accent, she has a truly unique voice, which adds that much more to her already unique music. Wikipedia describes her music as having elements of “electronic, dance, alternative, hip hop and world music.”
Maybe you’ve heard her song Paper Planes? My favorites are Y.A.L.A., Boyz, and Jimmy. Listen on Spotify…
2. Sarah Barthel of Phantogram
The band describes their music as “street beat, psych pop.” According to the other member of the duo, Josh Carter, their music has “lots of rhythms, swirling guitars, spacey keyboards, echoes,[and] airy vocals.”
You’ve probably heard their hit songs Mouthful of Diamonds and Black Out Days, but if you haven’t, you should. Also, if you end up liking Phantogram, try Sleigh Bells and Yelle. Listen on Spotify…
3. Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells
Is that moaning? Strangely, it works. Alexis’s vocals generally have a soft but energetic sound to them. Wikipedia calls the duo’s genre “noise pop.”
I’m a huge fan of their first album, Treats, which includes the amazing songs Tell ’Em, Kids, and Run The Heart. Listen on Spotify…
Yelle is a French singer whose music is very playful and fun, and makes great dance music. Wikipedia lists her genre as “Electropop.”
My favorite songs by her are Je Veus Te Voir, Tristesse/JoieIf, and Cooler Couler. Listen on Spotify…
5. Florence Welsh of Florence + The Machine
Florence has a powerful and amazing voice. Some of the things she does with her voice are simply magical. If you like Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane, chances are you’ll like Florence Welsh as well. Wikipedia lists Florence + the Machine’s genres as “Indie rock, indie pop, baroque pop, art rock, neo soul.”
You’ve probably heard Dog Days Are Over on the radio or in movies a million times by now. My favorite song is probably Heavy in your Arms, but it’s tough to say because, honestly, all of her songs are pretty good. If you like Florence + the Machine, check out Feist. Listen on Spotify…
Feist’s vocals are soft and calming. Feist has been releasing albums for quite awhile, most recently releasing a new album in 2011.
You may know her songs 1234, Mushaboom, and My Moon My Man. My favorite song by her is actually a cover she did of song by the band Mastodon, called Black Tongue. If you like Feist, try Norah Jones. Listen on Spotify…
7. Norah Jones
Her vocals are soft and classy. Her music could be described as bluesy, jazzy, folk pop.
You may recognize her older songs: Come Away With Me and Don’t Know Why. She’s been around for awhile, and recently came out with a new album in 2012, which has one of my favorite songs by her on it, titled Miriam. Listen on Spotify…
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