Recently, I have been getting into female-driven musical acts. It’s not so much that I don’t like listening to a female sing as much as a male, I just tend to listen to male acts more often. That makes sense, considering that the music industry is very much male dominated.
I personally have a soft spot in my heart for female music groups because they have to do a lot more to “stay relevant” or even find success than a male group has to do. Ask anyone who has ever gone to a One Direction concert: they run around the stage and goof off and make millions. Girl groups like Fifth Harmony have to look great and have flawless choreography in hopes of having the same amount of success as their male counterparts.
I discovered the following musicians just in these past few months (and even this week), and I am so incredibly impressed with their musicality and songwriting skills. I thought that in itself deserved it’s own blog post.
I heard The Staves for the first time a few months ago when their song “Steady” appeared on one of my “Discover Weekly” playlists on Spotify. While studying in the library a couple weeks ago right before finals week, I realized that they would be performing at Lincoln Hall (a venue just minutes away from where I live), in a few days. I bought tickets without really hesitating and am so happy I did so!
I had listened to their discography a couple times – and found out that they had recently released a new EP. I am proud that I jumped on the opportunity to see them perform, especially in a very small and intimate venue like Lincoln Hall. Their 90 minute set was honestly one of the most impressive live performances I have ever seen in my life. Not to sound too obnoxious, but I’ve seen a lot of musicians live in my last eight years or so, and not many can sing as flawlessly on pitch as these three sisters did, without sacrificing putting heart and soul into their performance.
I listen to folk, but not as often as other genres, and I appreciate when a group can do folk really, really well. They have absolutely beautiful harmonies together and despite their very sad lyrics, I felt extremely content and hopeful seeing them perform live. I would absolutely recommend this group to anyone who likes folk music – or really to anyone, because genres don’t have to be binding.
For Fans Of: First Aid Kit, Fleet Foxes
The second I stumbled across MUNA (I believe they also appeared on my “Discover Weekly” playlist – s/o to Spotify for being great), I absolutely fell in love with them. If they sound familiar, it’s because I wrote about them in my Lollapalooza post – they’re a must see.
These three women – Katie, Naomi, and Josette – are all self-producing their music straight out of their bedrooms. They also write and record their own tracks, which is impressive in its own right. MUNA has quickly gained an internet following after having a few shows in L.A. and will be supporting St. Motel and BØRNS this summer. I get to see BØRNS and MUNA in about a month and I know it’s going to be a great show.
Despite only having one EP released as of right now, these women are showing a lot of promise based on the success that they have had with just four songs on the internet. Their song, “Winterbreak,” was recently remixed by Tiesto.
Their website states “MUNA is a dark pop girl band based in Los Angeles, CA blending the brooding sensuality of R&B, rhythms of funk, and audacity of synthpop with raw, unbridled lyricism,” which is a statement that I definitely agree with. Something about their style of music is very interesting to me and they have clearly been influenced by a variety of different styles to music. I look forward to a full-length release, hopefully in the nearby future.
Genre: Dark Pop (taken from their website)
For Fans Of: Lorde, Sky Ferreira
Ugh – another family band: my weakness. Three sisters by the name of Natalie, Allison and Meegan – formed their band just a couple of years ago after growing up in a musical household, but never singing together. Once they realized that they could in fact make music together, they formed their band, Joseph. The name is based off of a town in Oregon and their beloved grandfather’s name.
Similarly to The Staves, Joseph is very much a folk band, but with more pop infused melodies and beats in their music. They have been influenced by the likes of Paramore, James Vincent McMorrow, and Ellie Goulding – an interesting mix of genres.
Their newest single, “White Flag,” is finding success on Spotify: their first release since their 2014 album, “Native Dreamer Kin.” Joseph recently performed at Bonnaroo and will be performing at a few other festivals this summer. They will also be touring with James Bay in the U.S. this fall.
They recently announced a headlining tour this fall, with a stop in Chicago . I definitely plan on being there. Their newest album will be released on August 26 and has named them as a 2016 Spotify Spotlight Artist.
Genre: Indie Folk
For Fans Of: HAIM
Their website says they’re “Four girls about to rule the world,” and I can’t say that I disagree with them. The Aces is quite arguably the newest girl group to hit the internet, with their debut single “Stuck” being released on May 17 and already having half a million plays on Spotify, one month later.
Their song was debuted on Nylon and received positive reviews from music blogs all around the world. I’m really digging this whole Josie and The Pussycats meets Spice Girls vibe I’m getting from these women and I can’t help but picture them making it big later this year.
“Stuck” is perfect for windows down, driving on the highway vibes and is the perfect combination of bubblegum pop meets Tegan and Sara. I also find it to be someone inspired by the 80’s and I picture people dancing to it at prom with puffy dresses, wearing giant shoulder pads.
The Aces are already scheduled to play a few shows in Utah this summer (where they are from), and I would love to see them tour nationally this fall once their EP drops. Until then, I will continue to play this song on repeat.
Genre: Indie Pop
For Fans Of: Betty Who, Charli XCX
Bahari means ocean in swahili. And once you listen to this band, if you can’t tell that this band grew up by the water, you haven’t been paying attention. These three talented young women – Natalia, Ruby, and Sidney – make up this talented trio of musicians.
Bahari makes me want to watch every single movie that Mary Kate and Ashley starred in growing up – in the best way possible. Something about their sound reminds me of the 90’s when girl groups were on top and they could sing about whatever they wanted without fear of being judged or not taken seriously enough by the music industry.
I hear rock, soul, pop and folk influences in their music, which pretty much encompasses their hit song “Wild Ones,” which has a whopping 25 million plays on Spotify. Their debut EP, “Dancing on the Sun,” was released on Spotify last month, with the title track gaining swift popularity.
Did I mention that they are all under 20 years old? Quite impressive.
Bahari has been on tour with Selena Gomez for the past couple months and will wrap that tour up in July.
For Fans Of: Alessia Cara
Let me know if you decide to check out any of these artists!