It’s very rare that Beyoncè is wrong, that’s one of the basic facts of life. So who run(s) the world? Girls. Musically speaking, at least. 2014 is the year of the ladies. My iPod can clarify. And admittedly, a lot of my 2014 favourites are favourites from previous years who are continuing to top my ‘most played’ lists, but I don’t even remember the last time I heard a male voice coming from my headphones, and I can’t say I’d even noticed it until today. Here’s a little about the ladies currently rocking my musical world.
Haim are current favourites of mine and, well, I’d imagine just about everybody who has ears. I first heard of the Californian sisters back in November 2012 when they supported Florence + the Machine on final leg of their Ceremonials tour, and they were mind-blowingly fantastic. Next thing I knew, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, they were everywhere I looked. These girls opened the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2013 almost three whole months before they’d even released a full-length album. And they’re moving from strength to strength. Just a few months after I first saw them, they were selling out venues, and in September 2013 their album Days Are Gone outsold Justin Timberlake’s much anticipated comeback album to enter the UK charts at Number 1. Honestly, this band alone could be seen as well and truly ruling the charts right now, and their success and popularity only seems to be growing. They put on a hell of a show, too, and I highly doubt anybody’s ever left a Haim gig feeling disappointed. On top of all of this, they can count pretty much everybody as a fan, including Harry Potter star Emma Watson.
Brody Dalle, front woman of The Distillers and Spinnerette is branching out this year with a solo album, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been so excited to hear what somebody has to offer. The most exciting news about Dalle’s solo debut Diploid Love? For me, that had to be that the one and only Shirley Manson (of Garbage) would be featuring on at least one track. For those who don’t know me, Manson is essentially my goddess. The two are long-time friends and this collaboration is a dream come true for me. Teamed with the fact that Dalle will be featuring on one of Garbage’s releases for this year’s Record Store Day, I’m a very happy fan right now. But back to Brody herself. She’s currently supporting Nine Inch Nails on their Australia and New Zealand tour, along with husband Josh Homme’s band Queens of the Stone Age, and will be touring the UK in a few weeks (and I can’t wait.)
Lady GaGa‘s album Artpop may have been a 2013 release, but 3 months into 2014 and I’m listening to it more than I did in November. That’s not necessarily why I’m putting her in this list, though. The reason she’s in this list is mostly because, while I knew her Little Monsters would do anything for their Mama, I can’t say I truly understood it until I bought GaGa tickets. Let me say, if you’ve never done the 9am dash for tickets the second they go on sale, I wouldn’t recommend starting with GaGa. It is an experience. I’d all but given up when I finally got mine. I’d always been a pretty casual GaGa fan, but I can honestly say it changed the way I look at things. I realised just how special she is to her fans. Those who’ve known me a while will know I’ve always had mixed feelings about her message, and I’m not saying that’s changed, but I have even more respect for her a musician now than I ever have. And I know Artpop has had some mixed reviews from Little Monsters (at least the ones I know), but it has some seriously brilliant tunes (even if I could do without an R. Kelly collaboration.)
Allison Weiss may not be a name you’ve heard before, but it’s one worth looking up. Weiss has been putting her music out online for years now, and I finally got the chance to see her on her first ever UK tour back in September. Since then, I’ve been to two more shows. In her own words, Allison Weiss likes to sing about her feelings. She also likes to slide across the stage on her knees and play her acoustic guitar with her teeth. Seeing her live is a fun, comfortable experience, and listening to her music sparks feelings you may not have known you had. I promise you that it is worth checking her out. I promise. Go. Now.
Of course, these aren’t the only ladies I’m listening to this year. I’ve been listening to Garbage pretty much non-stop for the past nine years, and Florence + the Machine are always favourites of mine. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with Patti Smith, Blondie or The Pretenders and Paloma Faith‘s newest album is brilliant. Marina and the Diamonds is another favourite, as is Katy Perry and honestly, Miley Cyrus. I also love The Screaming Females, Warpaint, and (another name you’ve probably never heard) Hearts Under Fire – who completed recording their first feature length release a few weeks ago, which I’m sure you’ll hear more about from me. There’s basically any band that Kathleen Hanna has anything to do with, there’s one of my personal favourite people Sheryl Crow. And, of course, Beyoncè herself. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m not even covering half of my own favourite female musicians/female fronted bands here.
The point is, no matter what genre you’re listening to, I’m sure the women are killing it right now. 2014 isn’t the first year that women have dominated my music tastes, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.