I’ve been playing around with this concept over the past several weeks. Since it’s almost the end of 2013, I’ve been seeing plenty of great top albums/top music lists for 2013, including this list which I think is pretty solid. So for my top album list, I wanted to do something a bit different. There are plenty of talented and popular female vocalists and musicians out there. My goal with this list is to highlight some of my personal favorites of the year – female musicians who’ve dropped some noteworthy albums – that I hope my readers will check out. They come from a variety of backgrounds and musical styles, so I’m sure there’s something for everyone. Read on for the full details!
CHVRCHES: The Bones of What You Believe
CHVRCHES is a breakout synthpop group with some seriously electronic and synth-heavy sounds. Think of the likes M83 and Passion Pit, except this band has a lead singer with an angelic, child-like voice that makes even the most dreary days feel like a perfect sunny day. Groovy basslines, uplifting melodies, catchy beats – this album is solid from beginning to end. Definitely a band to look out for in the coming year, especially in the live setting.
Janelle Monae: The Electric Lady
The first time I saw or heard of Janelle Monae was on Saturday Night Live. To put it simply, I was blown away by her electrifying performance and psychedelic soul sound. At one point during the song she tilted the mic stand just a little too much so that it started to teeter over – and then I realized I had been played as she caught it in the nick of time. The album as a whole really captures the different styles and amazing voice this young musician has, with an interesting premise and funny skits to boot.
Lorde: Pure Heroine
Yes, “Royals” brought her into the spotlight. But if you listen to the entire indiepop album, you’ll soon realize that the combination of insightful lyrics, simple yet catchy production, and jaw-dropping vocal talent are just a preview of the potential for this 17-year-old pop starlet. I’ve never identified so much with a pop star – I love how she’s brazenly honest, wise beyond her years, and genuinely different. But then again, she’s not your typical teen pop star.
Haim: Days Are Gone
I saw this sister trio perform live at this year’s Treasure Island Music Festival, and apart from the hilarious sister banter that would go on between songs during their set, they could absolutely shred! From some wickedly rockin’ guitar licks to a three-sister tribal-style drum solo at the end, Haim were a pleasure to watch. Better yet, their new album – a mix of rock, folk, and pop – offers a glimpse into their lives and worldview and features a solid selection of catchy and lighthearted songs.