Ladies We're Listening To
by Josh Britt
If you haven’t heard yet (where have you been), the Grammy’s absolutely sucked for female artists.
Less than 10% of Grammy nominees have been women from the years 2013-2018. This is in itself a massive problem, but the problem runs far deeper than award shows. Women are often missing from the Billboard Top 100, and 2017 was considered one of the worst times in history for women in the music industry in years. Sure, we got reputation, and “Bodak Yellow,” but other than that, women were left mostly out of the picture this year, at least in terms of the top 100.
In light of this, the team over at T+D has decided to give you a little taste of a few female artists we’ve been listening to. Now, these aren’t going to be your T-Swifts, Beyonces, or your Cardi Bs; we wanted to give you some lesser-known artists to discover all on your own. Don’t get me wrong, our list is definitely not inclusive of all the thousands of fantastic female artists in the industry right now, and it spans several genres. So if you end up hating one of them? That’s cool, just skip to the next, and maybe discover a few women in music for yourself. Check out the T+D playlist to listen to all our fav songs from these artists, as well as some not mentioned below.
Artist: Chelsea Cutler
Fav song: scripts
Why we love her: Let’s start with a gal who’s been on the come up for quite a while. Cutler’s simple yet relatable lyricism, along with a pure pop vibe and an emphasis on killer synth driven bass lines make for windows-rolled-down jams to ring in the season of spring.
Artist: Young M.A
Fav song: walk
Why we love her: Rapper Young M.A. skyrocketed in the charts with her first popular single OOOUUU, but that’s not the only reason why T+D loves her. Not only is she challenging the traditional role of women in hip hop and rap by creating beats much more similar to her male counterparts than those of Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, but she also openly embraces her homosexuality instead of shying away from it in the manner the industry has become so accustomed to.
Artist: St. South
Fav song: Safe
Why we love her: St. South’s effortless and airy voice, unmatched lyricism, and electric guitar and pad-driven sound makes for the ultimate easy listening with just a hint of heartache. With two EP’s in just as many years, we’re all looking forward to a full length album hopefully showing up on the horizon. One thing is for sure, St. South is the kind of stuff you want to listen to on a rainy day when you’re wishing for just a little bit of company.
Artist: Grace Carter
Fav song: Silence
Why we love her: Carter’s impeccable vocals speak for themselves as they resonate in your chest. And when you add in her slow yet well driven beats–which are instrumentally supplemented with piano chord progressions and soulful lyrics–you’ve got a recipe for a superstar in the making. Borrowing from gospel choir vocals, it’s impossible not to join in during those power choruses.
Artist: Sylvan Esso
Fav song: PARAD(w/m)E
Why we love her: Okay so technically this one is cheating, seeing as it’s a male-female duo. But the vocalist and lyricist, Amelia Meath, deserves recognition on this list. The anti-pop, electronic duo challenges the traditional definitions of harmony, while laying down funky (literally the only way to describe them) beats that make it hard not to dance. Be warned: some of their stuff is on the weirder end of the spectrum, but if you can get into it, they’re so worth it.
Artist: Astrid S
Fav song: Such a Boy
Why we love her: This Norwegian pop-star-in-the-making actually had her big break on a talent show in Norway titled, “Idol” (original, we know). Now, her discography might feel a little too ~mainstream~ for some of you hipsters out there, but don’t count her out just yet. Astrid isn’t just the next young pop star who will have a brief moment in the spotlight and instantly burn out. Homegirl’s got pipes. Don’t believe me? Listen to some of her live stuff, her head voice will make your head spin.
Artist: I’m With Her
Fav song: Overland
Why we love her: If you’re looking for a folkier sound, laden with traditional three-part harmonies, this trio is the way to go. The mandolin and fiddle-driven instrumentation bring this Oklahoma boy right back to his roots, and their relatively small discography truly feels like home. Not only do the three women possess superior musicality, but they effortlessly capture the midwestern ache that comes with growing up in the rural United States.
Fav song: More More More
Why we love her: We first heard of Norwegian singer (wait, is there a theme here?) Dagny from her breakthrough single Love You Like That, and now we just can’t stop listening to her pop masterpieces. With incredible instrumental breakdowns, and choruses driven by background vocal tracks, we’re keeping our eyes on this powerhouse who’s about to be making headlines.
Artist: Charli XCX
Fav song: Out Of My Head (feat. Tove Lo and ALMA)
Why we love her: Okay. We know Charli XCX isn’t exactly a newly discovered artist, and we won’t pretend like she is. But her most recent album was just so dang good we had to include her. Plus, a single featuring Tove Lo and ALMA was destined to be a showstopper.
Artist: Miki Ratsula
Fav song: Wishing Wells (Live Acoustic)
Why we love her: For a raw acoustic sound, Miki Ratsula should be your go to. Armed oftentimes with just a six-string, Ratsula’s simple yet elegant lyrical concepts will have you falling in love from the moment you give her a listen. Her stuff oftentimes feels like it’s coming from a girl in her small town home’s basement, armed with her journal and hand-me-down guitar, but we’re definitely into it.
So now you’ve got a few different artists to check out over the next week or so, and hopefully you’ll find a few you love. Make sure to check out the T+D playlist for an even wider selection of ladies we’ve been listening to, and if you think we missed someone, let us know below in the comments!