On many occasions I have proclaimed myself as “not a fan of female vocals.” That deceptive blanket statement comes when I think about things like Lilith Fair.
I actually really do enjoy some female vocals, but I tend to be very picky about them. That’s normal. Plus, I forget I’m not a Depeche Mode-obsessed 16-year-old anymore.
Several weeks back, I stopped into Urban Lounge to see the experimental synth band Cold Cave. After reading up on the opening act, I immediately became enamored with Austra’s operatic voice dripping over catchy synths. A new obsession was unleashed and I can’t get enough of the lead vocalist and her two backup singers.
Looking at recent shows I’ve attended — Katy Perry and Lady Gaga — it’s unfair to say I dislike female vocals.
As a sort of apology for said blanket statement about female singers, I’m sharing the list of female singers I adore.
Alice Glass • The frontwoman for Crystal Castles and she can belt out a gut-wrenching scream in one minute then whisper like a raspy angel the next.
Sina Hübner • Nina Hagen isn’t the only hot German musician to warm my heart. Sina, aka S.I.N.A., sings for Pzycho Bitch and is as small in size as she is big in powerful screams.
Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo • These gals sing for the electropop quartet known as Ladytron. Both have a smooth seduction in their voices that melds gorgeously with the synths.
Siouxsie Sioux • Her name was written on every band name collage I made on my notebooks in high school. Siouxsie, who fronted Siouxsie & The Banshees from 1976 to 1996, has rich vocals that made her famous in the post-punk/alt-rock genre.
Karen O • The vocalist for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has the moodiness and fashion sensibility similar to that of Siouxsie Sioux.
Peaches • She’ll wear spandex and strip down to her panties onstage while singing songs with titles like “F—k The Pain Away” and “Shake Yer Dix.”
The list could go on and on. There’s Beth Gibbons from Portishead, Kim Deal from Pixies and Breeders, Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth and I can’t leave out Bjork.
The truth is I can’t think of any female musician I don’t admire in some way.
Like the girls in this week’s cover story, I would love to be onstage sharing my talent. If I could sing or play an instrument, I would do everything I could to rock it.
I’m happy I can eat my words now and talk about chicks who rock and the local ladies who are at the forefront of the local music scene.
This originally ran at nowsaltlake.com