I remember, a few years back, coming to the uncomfortable realization that every band I liked featured male singers, and usually all-male instrumentalists too. I do have love for the boy-bands, but it was so refreshing and exciting to come across some really badass females making music right now. They continue to inspire me with their talent, raw emotion, songwriting abilities and overall attitude. Here are five of my all-time favorites.
This Minnesota-based rapper and singer is easily my favorite hip-hop artist. Her lyrics are clever, emotional, raw, and her verses are spit so quickly you can barely keep up; then she gets to the chorus, beautifully singing hooks so addictive you'll keep coming back for more. In the male-dominated hip-hop world, Dessa is completely refreshing, and amazing in her own right. Favorite tracks: "Mineshaft 2", "Call Off Your Ghost", "Dixon's Girl"
2. Angel Olsen
Olsen's haunting, ghostly vocals and lyrics about loneliness are striking enough to wound you. She can do rock, folk, and everything in between. Her voice soars high and then dips low and gravelly. Her sound is eerie, sincere, and deeply poetic. Favorite tracks: "Windows", "The Waiting", "Acrobat"
3. Hurray for the Riff Raff
Alynda Lee Segarra, the front woman for this New Orleans-based folk/bluegrass group, has a captivating and heartbreaking voice and lyrical capability. Any fans of folk or old-timey bluegrass will love this raw, sincere group. But the sound is completely relevant and contemporary too. Favorite tracks: "The Body Electric", "Blue Ridge Mountain", "People Talkin'"
4. Laura Marling
Laura Marling is my ultimate, all-time favorite musician. Beginning her music career at a very young age, the British singer/songwriter has only gotten more incredible with each album. Her work is unique, dark, haunting, lonely, and beautiful. Her songwriting is unlike anything I've ever heard, and her voice can convey worlds of emotion with quiet subtleties. Favorite tracks: "Rambling Man", "Where Can I Go?", "Sophia"
5. Those Darlins
When you're in the mood for something punkier, Those Darlins won't let you down.Their sound is rough and raw but melodic and catchy, and wildly cathartic to rock out to. Plus, seeing them live is completely awesome; the lead singer, Jessi Zazu, has the most intense death stare I've ever seen.