I'm sitting at my desk anxious to write about 5 all-female or female fronted bands that need attention all while that great quote about pop(ular) music from High Fidelity keeps rolling around in my head. Ya know the one, Rob is sitting with headphones on listening to LPs contemplating "it all" and he starts with "what came first - the music or the misery?" Here I sit, facing a list of bands that I must now dwindle down, all of which are important, all of which will rock your face off in different ways. The following five acts are exceptionally unique, adept musicians that I'm excited for you to listen to.
01.Habibi (Brooklyn, New York, USA | Psychedelic Rock / Garage Rock)
- Out from the hipster underbelly of Brooklyn is Habibi, a psychedelic pop rock band with a lo-fi sound that illicit a strange familiarity. Looking at the group of four women, they seem like the types who spent their adolescence daydreaming about opening for The Ramones at BCBG and frankly I kind of want to be their best friend. Habibi - meaning "my love" in Arabic - are still fairly new on the scene but have masterfully created a sound of their own. It would be ridiculous not to point out the obvious sixties girl group feel, what with the always prevalent, fantastic drum beat to go hand in hand with poppy harmonies. I’m sure I am not the first to make the clear comparison to early Smashing Pumpkins as well. While it seems they’ve inherited a map ranging sound, what sets them apart on their self-titled album released 4 years ago, is that the Kim Gordon-esque vocals that weave within somewhat Iranian-inspired music all while still holding that do-it-yourself garage rock flow.
02.Shannon and the Clams (Oakland, California, USA | Garage Punk / Rockabilly / Doo-Wop)
- This trio fronted by Shannon Shaw is excellent. Self-classified as indie, garage punk Shannon and the Clams are in actuality so much more than that. How Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes revitalized vintage southern rock & soul, Shannon Shaw is doing the same for 50’s style rockabilly with a doo-wop influence perfecting a nostalgic sound. Their most recent album release Gone by the Dawn (2015) features a slew of love songs all performed in the vein of Elvis Presley punk, with a Martha Reeves & the Vandellas feel, and while that sounds like a stretch, throw in some Dick Dale surf rock guitar licks for good measure. Trust me, it completely works. Amidst their great sound also lives poignant lyricism that is easy to miss due to the catchiness of each tune. But don't just take my word for it, stop what you are doing and go listen to Shannon and the Clams.
- Badass mavens Jenny Lewis, Erika Forster and Tennessee Thomas - no rookies to the world of music collaboration - joined forces to create Nice As Fuck. They released a 9-song album last year, complete with NAF theme song, with so little publicity it is still finding the light of day. Everything Jenny Lewis touches is refreshing and guaranteed quality work. This album in particular, rife with breakup songs, is unsurprisingly passionate, evocatively encompassing sentimentality. Sounding very much like work inspired by the ladies of Fleetwood Mac, Nice As Fuck is a wonderful mishmash of experimental, indie, post-punk, and rock. Where it differs in Jenny Lewis’ normal style of storytelling the album compensates with paunchy disco-infused vocals. The seemingly lack of over ambition only adds to the charm of Nice As Fuck.
04.Babymetal (Tokyo, Japan | Kawaii Metal / Heavy Metal / Avant-garde Metal / J-Pop)
- This group fronted by three teenage girls out of Tokyo intrigues the hell out of me. Babymetal has been around for almost ten years but are recently gaining more attention due to their touring with Red Hot Chili Peppers. Classifying themselves as "kawaii metal" - which after listening to them makes total sense - their brand of heavy metal is expectedly melodic backed with rapid fire instrumentals which work in contrast to their almost childlike sounding J-Pop, with guttural growls sneaking in here and there. It’s such an interesting mix of sounds that works quite well, making a person feel as though they are lost in the centre of Shibuya… or having just stepped out of a video game.
05.Cherry Glazerr (Los Angeles, California, USA | Noise Pop / Garage Rock / Indie Rock)
- Named after a radio host, Cherry Glazerr is an alternative, indie group with range. With new music coming out this year and the first two tracks sounding raucous Cherry Glazerr is something to get stoked on. They are an alluring mix of fuzz pop with a punk attitude imploring eerie undertones, un-shy using the kinds of arrangements that are typically reserved for garage rock. Though I must say, Cherry Glazerr is proof that punk takes on many different forms. Can we call this millennial punk? Or is it punk for millennials? Whatever it's deemed, its provocative instrumentals offset by playful vocals and current lyricism display that these guys are not a group to sleep on.