For my first write-up for our LxListening features, I was trying to think of an overarching theme for much of the music I have listened to as of lately. Then, bouncing through my recent played albums, that I had been listening almost exclusively to female lead bands, both old and new. Being a blog run by three dudes, we thought it would be good to pump some feminine flavor into the blog once and a while. So here you are.
1. Twin Sister- “Bad Streets”
This song has been out for quite a few months, but I can’t seem to shake it. The jagged guitar, steady percussion, and synth flourishes serve as a great base as this song slowly takes on new forms. Lead singer Andrea Estella’s over emphasis on every syllable makes her vocal stylings all the more unique as the song makes for great pop psychedelia.
2. St. Vincent- “Northern Lights”
If I was to pick one new song from 2011 to see live, it would be “Northern Lights” off of one of my favorite albums this year, St. Vincent’s Strange Mercy. The intense drum build of this song and extreme distortion is almost nerve-wrecking as this song is just waiting to burst at the seams.
3. Girls- “Vomit”
Ok, so I’m cheating my theme here since Girls is an all-male San Francisco band. But it at least works somewhat. I love how the first four and a half minutes has a dark, unrelenting storm clouding the song until finally the sun bursts through in the final two minute refrain with lead man Chris Owens perfectly backed by female gospel vocals and a heavy dose of Hammond organ.
4. Austra-“Lose It”
Canada may get a bad wrap, but they sure do churn out some excellent musicians. Toronto’s rising trio, Austra, is just one of many bands that have shined a light in the name of the Maple Leaf. I especially love “Lose It” for the contrast in the incredible humanity in Kate Stelmanis’ voice against the glassy, robotic framing of the song as if she is “stuck in a glass case of emotion!”
5. Kate Bush-“Running Up That Hill (Deal With God)”
I love modern female artists with a flair for the dramatic; My Brightest Diamond, Bat for Lashes, Bjork, etc. The one common thread with all these artists is their clear love and recognition of 80’s art-rocker Kate Bush. One listen into “Running Up That Hill” you will hear some of that theatrical style you hear so often nowadays as well as just an enjoyably dark drudge of a song that slowly ascents to be great heights.
For more songs fitting with this theme: check out my Spotify playlist with 10 other female lead bands worth a listen: LxListening Spotify Playlist