2009 is shaping up to be an impressive year for the ladies of music. Through the mass feed of new & upcoming albums rise a number of undeniably kick ass women who exude innovation, personal truth and perspective. Below are a few top ladies in music who have made some waves this year.
The Bat For Lashes front woman has set quite a stir with the band's latest album Two Suns. I've had this album on steady rotation and would safely say its one of the best compilations I've heard in a while. Tracks float like daydreams within themselves as well as collectively. Khan's sound is a method of escapism that bares resemblance to Bjork's soft and wondering "All is Full of Love" era. The album haunts as much as it uplifts, all the while invoking a sort of surreal, higher state of being. Khan radiates qualities of a dreamer and the purity of a woman deep inside her own soul. This girl is timeless and a personal comfort.
Its Blitz is probably one of the most hyped albums of the year thus far. Some loved, some not so much, but after a series of live performances and the debut video of "Zero"... one cannot deny Karen O is still 93 times cooler than everybody else. She continues to rock her insane stage costumes (Footage from Coachella shows her in some sort of mirror suit with wings) while displaying weird and slow moving dance moves (I've seen deep set lunges on more than one occasion). I love this woman-- she proves such versatility within YYY the discography, but always emanates the same raw, kill-your-idols kind of attitude. Stemming beyond today's pop culture superstars, she's more likely to channel rockers of times past: Patti Smith, Kathleen Hanna, Siouxsie Sioux. Karen O is oldschool cool.
Alison Mosshart of The Kills is an obvious choice. The Kills hype exploded a while ago but flakes of awesomeness continue to sprinkle down upon us. Mosshart has been expanding her repertoire, as she has joined forces with Jack White in the band, The Dead Weather. I've only seen a bit of live footage, which didn't give me the best sense of their sound... however, the collaboration of these two individual talents smells like a win.
The Kills also have a new EP out titled Black Balloon... which is great but also strange, since Black Balloon was a track on their last album. (My favourite!) Perhaps it was a song flew under the radar? Not ready to let it go? Whatever the case, Alison Mosshart writes word magic, makes mmhmm musical sounds, and keeps us guessing. 'Nuff said.
Well duh. I won't even get into it... the woman is L-E-G-E-N-D. But I will say this: Sonic Youth will never die... literally. Their 16th(?) album, The Eternal, will be released in early June. The band has been popping around the UK, performing with the likes of Klaxons and YYYs, and will follow up with a summer tour through North America. (No Canadian dates yet..) The free download track "Sacred Trickster" features Kim killing it on vocals. As if we needed anymore proof that she owns all of our souls.
Through the years, Kim has always stood out as a woman of substance and autonomy, which is such a positive thing considering there have been certain limitations for women in music. She was able create a career as a female rocker-- in the male dominated 80's no wave scene--- and develop a strong image & commentary to place her on equal footing with her peers. As a hip, hip lady-- we can all take a little something from Kim Gordon....
The lead singer of Metric is a woman of many tasks. Between her solo work, Broken Social Scene and Metric, Emily Haines provides an interesting range.
The new album, Fantasies, is what the fans might hope for. Its got the airy, rockable-movable, patent Metric vibe but with more emphasis on drums, bass, guitar and a newfound melody at the forefront. This album parallels with the easy lightness of summer months and I think I'll keep it on hand. [Suggested Track: Satellite Mind]
The Breeders waited a solid 6 years in between albums, but it looks like they are making up for lost time. Kim Deal and the band have followed up last year's Mountain Battles with a brand new EP titled Fate to Fatal.
And its a pleasant surprise. Much more experimental this time around, the title track [Fate to Fatal] plays like a Velvet Underground classic with its chaos and self destructing form. Pixies fans will likely appreciate the direction of this album, as Kim brings it home but continues to evolve. Good album. Pixies Rule.