Whether the big screen, awards stage, galleries or airwaves, 2013’s cultural platforms and critics have happily (and rightfully) showcased the star-studded line-up of remarkable females who we, as listeners and fans, will want to keep our tabs on in the coming year. Online buzz and summer festival line-ups are chock full of powerful, mystifying and fierce women ready to lead the charge with force-to-be-reckoned-with talent and creative ingenuity.
While five is only a mere dent in which leading ladybugs come to mind for a list like this, here is a sweet little sample of women in music who you should have your ears on in 2013. Stay tuned, there’s plenty more where this came from…
1. HAIM: San Fernando Valley sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim are without a doubt the most buzzed about girl group of the last half year – nailing a spot on BBC’s Sound of 2013 list and MTV’s Brand New for 2013 nomination before they even release their first EP. Fancying their parents’ records has done them well; the Pretenders-meets-Blondie pop-rock repertoire has handfuls of infectious and harmonic singles, including “Don’t Save Me,” “Falling,” and a pleasantly reminiscent whack at Fleetwood Mac’s “Hold Me.” If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will after watching the swarms migrate their way at all of this season’s biggest music festivals.
2. CHVRCHES: No one really knows where the hell these guys came from. Well, they came from Scotland – that’s where they came from – but this Lauren Mayberry-led electro-pop collective went from being unknown, to mysterious, to a musical phenomenon overnight. Armed with the perfect concoction of Mayberry’s sprite-like vocals over the edgy dub-thumps of the keyboard, CHVRCHES (pronounced Churches) have already been on the whirlwind ride of their life this year – one that will no doubt rev into overdrive when they release their first album in the coming months.
3. BOY: With just a little momentum under their wings from one 2011 album and a wildfire catchy single, this Swiss pop-rock duo know what it takes to write likeable ditties fit for coasting either below or smack dab on the commercial airwaves. It’s probably no coincidence that their new single is called “Little Numbers,” the adorable kind of song they’ve got down pat – the Aimee Mann-esque bouncy tune has already made appearances in a number of commercials, and has a sweet little video to boot.
3. LITTLE GREEN CARS: Well, the newest single from this band just might be one of my favourite singles of 2013 so far. Featuring a jangly stomp and layers of mighty harmonies, Little Green Cars’ “The John Wayne” is seconds away from rocking the airwaves thanks to co-leading lady Faye O’Rourke’s formidable Florence Welsh-goes-Americana holler. On the “The John Wayne,” an honest rock ballad that powers into high gear quickly, her voice is one of the tickets to the full-bodied, gorgeous experience – the other being one of the sweetest lyrical messages I’ve heard in months.
5. WIDOWSPEAK: Molly Hamilton and her sidekick Robert Earl Thomas have been heralded as the next Beach House (I disagree out of pure devoted love for the House) thanks to their breathy indie shoegaze brand and dreamy melodies. Invited to every big stage of the summer, also – Hamilton describes the soft psych tunes on their second album, Almanac, as “like moving into a big old house in the woods with sheets covering all the furniture, and then taking all the sheets off.” Sounds accurate.