If there’s one thing I love doing, it’s gathering a list of underrated female-fronted bands and artists for your listening pleasure. Music is my life — full stop. It’s undoubtedly softened the blow of this ongoing pandemic. Thankfully, said pandemic hasn’t prevented new tunes from traveling down the musical pipeline.
So, without further ado, I bring you 10 more female-fronted bands and artists that should be on your radar.
You may recall hearing three songs from the Amarillo, Texas native’s catalog on Wynonna Earp. “Forever’s Not Enough,” “Gets Me Low” and “You Can’t Leave Me This Way.” Soren Bryce infuses her music with ethereal, distinctive vocals that complement the electro-pop landscape she commands with aplomb. Bryce’s music is best described as a “sprawling dreamscape set to lushly detailed alt-pop, constructed with a profound sense of self-possession.” Check out her full-length album, Discussions With Myself, for a heaping helping of dreamy, escapist, visceral pop. Best tracks: “Aisle Seat on a Rough Flight,” “Methane” and “Stars.”
If you’re in the mood for a post-punk, toe-tapping sound, then look no further than Pleasure Venom. Led by vocalist Audrey Campbell and drummer Thomas Valles, this Austin, Texas band harbors a myriad of influences that catalyze their music. You’ll get a dose of heavy rock riffs coupled with dance beats and melodic lines. There’s a bit of something for everyone. Their songs delve into love, sex, resentment and “the absurdity of it all.” Get yourself some fierce femme-punk by jamming to Hunt, their first EP. Best tracks: “Hive,” “Eddy” and “I Can’t Find My Black Lipstick.” Also, be sure to check out their latest single “Fascist.”
Von Grey is an indie female band hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. It consists of sisters Annika, Fiona and Kathryn von Grey. Their music is laden with cinematic instrumentation, decadent pop hooks and soaring, goosebump-inducing harmonies. Von Grey released a self-titled EP in 2012 followed by a full-length album in 2015 called Panophobia. “Forever Bound,” the album’s single, has amassed over three million listens on Spotify. 2017’s Trinity brought about another popular track: “Poison in the Water.” In 2018, the trio unleashed In Bloom: Acoustic, which boasts a slew of stripped-down tunes. Best tracks: “Poison in the Water (Acoustic),” “Forever Bound” and “Phengophobia.”
I don’t know what it is about Ukraine in terms of music, but they produce some of the best metal bands out there. Exhibit A: Jinjer. Now, here’s Exhibit B — Ignea. Ignea describes themselves as “melodic metal with a modern sound.” The band is comprised of members Helle Bogdanova (vocals/lyrics), Evgeny Zhytnyuk (keyboards/music), Xander Kamyshin (bass), Dmitriy Vinnichenko (guitars) and Ivan Kholmogorov (drums).
Bogdanova provides sweet, ethereal vocals and gritty, monstrous growls in equal measure. She seamlessly transitions between the two with the skill and heft of a pro. Ignea is influenced by folk, symphonic and electronic elements which are present throughout their music. Check out their latest album entitled The Realms of Fire and Death. Best tracks: “Queen Dies,” “Disenchantment” and “Jinnslammer.”
Looking for a soulful, bluesy artist to add to your musical rotation? Arum Rae will take that spot. This Colorado Springs native burst onto the scene in 2005 with her self-titled EP. In 2009, Rae released Too Young to Sing the Blues. It’s an energizing, bluegrass-tinged affair with hints of southern rock sprinkled throughout. Over the years, Rae has dabbled in a wide variety of genres including blues, folk, pop and soul. Her most recent full-length album, Sub Rosa, is a lush, dreamy outing that should be on every pop lover’s list. Best tracks: “Should I,” “Too Young to Sing the Blues” and “Warranted Queen.”
Chances are if you’ve watched the second season of The Umbrella Academy that you’ve heard Daniela Andrade‘s cover of “Crazy.” I had to look her up immediately after hearing said cover. Born in Montreal, Quebec, Andrade made her mark with a bevy of covers from Edith Piaf‘s “La Vie en Rose” to Radiohead‘s “Creep.” In fact, she released an album that solely consisted of covers with 2013’s Covers, Vol. 1.
2019’s Tamale broadens Andrade’s musical scope from her signature acoustic fare with hints of pop, soul and R&B. You can listen to her latest EP Nothing Much Has Changed, I Don’t Feel the Same on Spotify. Best tracks: “Crazy (cover),” “Nothing Much Has Changed, I Don’t Feel the Same” and “I Will Follow You into the Dark (cover).”
Earpers, you’ve undoubtedly heard Dorothy‘s music featured on Wynonna Earp. Notably, “Gun in My Hand.” Named after lead vocalist Dorothy Martin, this Los Angeles rock band encompasses “badass” in every sense of the word. Martin’s powerhouse pipes make her one of the best contemporary rock voices on the scene. Right up there with Halestorm‘s Lzzy Hale.
Their 2016 outing, ROCKISDEAD, boasts some killer riffs and a bluesy, psychedelic rock sound. It’s clear that this band’s heavily influenced by their classic rock predecessors. 28 Days in the Valley, Dorothy’s most recent album, softens some of ROCKISDEAD‘s harder edges and leans into the psychedelic elements. Best tracks: “Missile,” “Flawless” and “Gun in My Hand.”
Heavy metal isn’t dead and Tokyo’s all-female outfit LOVEBITES is proof positive of that. Members include Asami on vocals, Midori and Miyako on guitar, Miho on bass and Haruna on drums. From Asami’s incredible vocal range to Midori and Miyako’s face-melting guitar riffs, this is a band whose talents easily rival some of the all-time metal greats. Each and every member of LOVEBITES can hold their own. Watch this live performance here for just a taste of what these kickass ladies can do.
You can see by the aforementioned live performance that they don’t even miss a note. Every aspect, every chord is finely tuned and a feast for the ears. Don’t let their collective ingénue-like appearance fool you — LOVEBITES can absolutely shred. Listen to their latest EP GLORY, GLORY, TO THE WORLD on Spotify. Best tracks: “Hammer of Wrath,” “Holy War” and “Winds of Transylvania.”
Eclectic, clever indie rock is the name of the game for Toronto, Ontario’s Weaves. Formed in 2013, Weaves is led by frontwoman Jasmyn Burke with Morgan Waters on guitar, Zach Bines on bass and Spencer Cole on drums. Rife with energy and wit, this bold indie band never fails to take the artsy road less traveled. In 2016, Weaves released their debut self-titled album. Their sophomore outing, Wide Open, came about the following year. If you love catchy hooks and a melding of multiple unique sounds, then give Weaves a listen. Best tracks: “Drag Me Down,” “Internet Tears” and “Coo Coo.”
There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with different genres — just ask Arizona native Zella Day. Day made a splash in 2012 with her acoustic cover of The White Stripes‘ “Seven Nation Army.” Surprisingly, Day was only 17 years old then. She’s described as a “free-spirited songstress in the tradition of Stevie Nicks and Dusty Springfield.” Those influences are certainly heard in her full-length album, Kicker, which hit the scene in 2015. However, Day’s sound has incessantly evolved since then.
After releasing a groovy cover of Ozzy Osbourne‘s “Crazy Train,” Day’s most recent EP Where Does the Devil Hide came to the forefront. The outing is laden with 1970s groovy sounds, heavy bass lines and toe-tapping beats. Best tracks: “Crazy Train (cover),” “My Game” and “Only a Dream.”
What are your favorite female-fronted bands and artists that deserve a larger audience? Sound off in the comments below!
This article was originally published on 4/2/21
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