I’m always surprised to hear a female singing voice coming through my headphones. By pure coincidence, the bulk of music I own is from bands fronted (and mostly made up of) dudes. It’s just one of those things.
I can’t be the only person out there whose iTunes could use a lady’s touch, so I present to you three bands featuring women who kick ass.
Dead Sara “Test on my Patience” – You might know this band better from their single “Weatherman,” but I think this song is a little more indicative of their overall sound. The core of this band is singer Emily Armstrong and guitarist Siouxie Medley and their music sort of resembles if you were to put your dad’s classic rock collection and all my 90’s alternative rock CD’s into a blender. Emily’s voice is fearless and raw and the rest of the band supports it with call of action in your face playing that is as aggressive as any dude band out there. Also, can’t hate a band who’s made it a point to profess their love for Nirvana.
Alabama Shakes “Hold On” – I have to be honest. I really know next to nothing about this band. That said, I’m going to see them open up for Jack White in May and couldn’t be more excited. I’ve seen the video and I’ve seen them tear it up on Letterman. One of my barometer’s to tell if a band is good is Dave’s reaction to their performance, and he seemed just as impressed as I was. Singer/guitarist Brittany Howard put it all out there, essentially daring you not to get wrapped up in the bluesy-rock story she had to tell.
The Joy Formidable “Whirring” – I was lucky enough to see this band open up for Foo Fighters a couple of times, and it was like nothing I’d ever seen before. A three piece led by Ritzy Bryan, Joy Formidable have a melodic, yet poppy sound that fills up the whole room. At first you ask yourself, who is this pretty girl in the pretty dress playing guitar? Ritzy answers you with a performance resembling Gwen Stefani on crack. She’s been know to beat a gong with her stratocaster… regularly. Just saying. On their album cover, a giant squid is about to be engulfed even more giant waves and when listening to what’s inside, I can’t help but feel like the squid.
First off, thanks for recognizing a great young band like “The Joy Formidable” – I’ve been playing and following music, musicians & bands for many years yet have never come across a group like TJF; as you’ve said, there’s nothing like them! I saw them recently in Philly, and they brought the house down. Lead guitarist / singer Ritzy Bryan is a special talent – excellent musician, songwriter and awesome performer with charismatic stage presence, as with Rhydian (bass) and Matt (drums). The wall of sound they generate for a 3-piece is almost unbelievable. I’ve heard from other hard rock fans time and time again that they’ve never experienced anything like them in concert. They actually blow all the other bands away and are more closely comparable to Nirvana than anyone since (ironic how Dave Grohl discovered them) even though their sound is unique & fresh; they are a band on the verge of becoming huge as “Whirring” was voted best song of 2011 by Mark Hoppus and Dave Grohl, not to mention TJF has the lead song on the “Twilight – Breaking Dawn” soundtrack. Their excellent debut album, “The Big Roar”, was critically acclaimed and the best of 2011, IMO.
All gals (as well as guys) should be very proud to see a frontwoman like Ritzy do what she does – a great role model. Rock on, Ritzy & TJF – I LOVE U!!