By Alex Dulude
As a music junkie, I always find myself drawn to female vocalists who have unique voices and a great, attention-capturing sound. Narrowing it down was difficult to do, but here is a list of six artists whose styles range from folk to hip-hop. Not only do these women have interesting voices and sounds, they have excellent lyrical content as well.
1. Melody Gardot: This soulful songstress got her sound after being in a severe car accident and started using music as therapy. Her first two albums are beautiful and her music is classic, pretty consistent with a modern day Ella Fitzgerald.
2. Florrie: Though she’s never released a full album, this multi-talented musician from the United Kingdom still has some great songs, all of which are perfect for driving with your windows down in the summer. Her music is poppy and fun with an electronic feel.
3. First Aid Kit: As someone who’s recently fallen more in love with folk music, the Swedish sisterly duo that is First Aid Kit really hit the spot for me. Their lyrics are as beautiful as their music and they’ll definitely appeal to any country music fans out there. They even do a terrific cover of Fever Ray’s “When I Grow Up” which is another song by a unique female artist.
4. M.I.A.: Many people remember M.I.A. for her song “Paper Planes” but she just released her album Matangi which is chock full of great songs to get you pumped up. The beats on it are awesome and perfect for the gym. It also connects a bit to her Sri Lankan roots.
5. Agnes Obel: I first heard Agnes Obel’s song “Riverside” on a TV show and immediately looked her up. Ever since then, she keeps impressing me with every song I hear. This Danish pianist has poetry for lyrics and her voice has a slightly haunting quality to it. Her latest album Aventine really is a work of art.
6. Angel Haze: With a pretty significant internet following, Angel Haze is not only a talented female rapper, but she also proves her vocal ability by doing covers of songs such as Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness”. Her latest album Dirty Gold keeps up her intense, catchy beats along with her personal lyrics. Definitely good workout music.
There are some honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the list, but that is mostly because my own iPod needs more music by them. There’s the Alabama Shakes with their female frontwoman, Brittany Howard, whose bluesy voice is a powerhouse. Or sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady of CocoRosie whose ‘experimental folk’ is strange yet compelling. Either way, all these women have carved a name for themselves off the beaten path of some of the bigger names, and their talent is undeniable.