Given the fantastic response to last years list, here are seven female singers that I expect (hope) to make a mark on wider audiences than their current sphere of influence in 2012 and beyond.
While the 2011 list had more mainstream artists on it, this year’s list reflects the evolution in my listening taste over the last year that I’ve spent blogging and features a more eclectic mix of female artists.
Some (most) of them will never see the kind of success that say Adele (or even Jessie J) saw in 2011 but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re all seriously talented and are making some of the most interesting music at the moment.
Without further ado here is my list of 7 female singers to watch out for in 2012 and beyond.
Lana Del Rey
The amount of buzz (both positive and negative) that Lizzy Grant aka Lana Del Rey generated in the last few months is pretty unprecedented. The release of her debut album Born To Die in January has done little to abate the debate.
But as I’ve said before, beyond the hype and the carefully crafted persona, there is an artist with the ability to craft great pop songs (anyone who could come up with a song like Video Games surely deserves some credit, right?). And with another album worth of songs ready there is plenty to look forward to from Lana Del Rey.
Buy Born To Die
Lianne La Havas
Lianne La Havas is a 22 year old British neo soul singer who is blessed with a gorgeously smooth voice. In the words of The Telegraph ‘she comes across as an unplugged Erykah Badu, with a confessional lyrical bent akin to Joni Mitchell (but with plenty of humour).’ There is just something very real, earthy and endearing about her which I find quite refreshing.
Lianne has already made an impact in the UK what with a nomination for the BBC Sound of 2012 poll and is currently working on her full length debut album which should come out sometime this year.
If we all lived in an alternate Star Wars universe, 24 year old Montreal based Claire Boucher aka Grimes would be the unequivocal queen of pop. Sadly the isn’t quite the case :(.
Grimes’ ‘future pop’ comes across as ‘quaint albeit pretty sonic landscapes of avant electronic pop music blended with Claires’ childlike vocals’. It’s edgy, experimental, engaging and if you’re in the mood to try out something different you should definitely give Grimes a listen.
She might not sell millions of records but Claire Boucher will always rule her corner of the universe :).
Grimes latest album Visions came out a few days ago and if you’re interested you can buy it here.
23 year old Kathleen Katie Brien or Katy B as she is better known is already huge in the UK. What’s surprising is that her brand of infectious, danceworthy, dubstep pop is not more popular across the Atlantic and in other parts of the world.
All that looks set to change with her debut album Katy On A Mission getting released in the US in Sept’ 2011 and with Katy touring the US and Canada extensively since the beginning of 2012 including dates at SXSW.
At 19 years of age, British goth pop singer Charli XCX is the youngest artist on this list. She has already created a lot of buzz with the few songs she has released to date – prominent amongst those are Stay Away and Nuclear Seasons.
Charli has an album up for release sometime this year and given what I’ve heard so far it’s something to keep an eye out for.
Delilah (real name Paloma Stoecker) is a 21 years old British singer songwriter. She’s got a great voice that reminds me a little of Dolores O’riordan when she hits the high notes and her music is a catchy blend of soul & pop over electronic/dubstep beats.
Delilah has released a couple of EPs – Go, Love You So – to date and is currently working on her debut album From The Roots Up which is scheduled for an end of March 2012 release.
‘Erika M Anderson (EMA) made one of the most raw and deeply personal records of last year in the form of Past Life Martyred Saints’. Her music has an unaffected intensity and she has the ability to make you feel and almost relive her experiences through her songs.
Again EMA’ music is not everyones cup of tea and she may not sell tons of records but she is an unpretentious and extremely talented artist who makes meaningful music.
So what do you think of this list? Would love it if you could share some upcoming female singers that you dig and that I might have missed out on. Do let me know in the comments.
Finally, as always, if you liked what you heard don’t feel shy to share it with your friends.