Hell hath no fury…

It is my opinion that there has been somewhat of a battle of the sexes in music in recent years, and the outcome? Women. Have. Won. I remember when the Best Female category of the Brits was the lull of the ceremony, with little known nominees like Beth Orton and Alison Moyet receiving the kind of slow confused applause that is reminiscent of one David Brent would receive. Things have changed though, and for the better. And rather than it simply being a case where women are clocking up more awards than the men, it seems that women are ‘winning’ in regards to pushing the musical envelope.

Current male acts, whether solo acts or bands, tend to fall neatly into the mould of either a Ben Howard-esque singer/songwriter, a four-white-boys-with-guitars band or a boy band. In particular regards to the solo male acts there is something much less theatrical about these acts in comparison to their female counterparts. The past decade has seen female artists become more and more the interesting, controversial, and unusual members of the music scene. I think Amy Winehouse has to emphasised as some sort of starting point in this. Although she first received some attention with debut album Frank, it was her follow-up Back to Black that brought her superstardom. And what better way for a jazz-blues singer with a rock ‘n’ roll spirit to kick off her second album than with its debut single Rehab, where she simply… refuses to go to rehab. Amy Winehouse made a lot of mistakes, and we all know too well from her untimely death that she was true to her songwriting; but when she had it, she had it…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUmZp8pR1uc]

The obvious immediate alumni who were influenced by Winehouse include Adele, Ellie Goulding, and Florence + The Machine. It seemed that the gates opened for female artists in the UK and the envelope began to be pushed with Florence in particular, reminiscent of a modern-day Kate Bush…

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWOyfLBYtuU]

In recent years on the UK music scene, we have seen some underground female artists such as Mz. Bratt and some breakthrough examples like Bat for Lashes. Mz. Bratt is a grime artist from Bow in London (for a change), and has been releasing singles since 2009 with a debut album hopefully being released this year. Falling somewhere between Electro and R&B, she has the potential to gather both South London grime-lovers and East London hipsters in her camp. Bat for Lashes, on the other hand, is the synthpop moniker of Natasha Khan who recently released her third album The Haunted Man. Both her first two albums were nominated for the prestigious Mercury Award back in 2007 and 2009. Although very different acts, Bat for Lashes and Mz. Bratt are two of my favourite female artists on this side of the pond of recent years. Check them out…

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMKYXIvRYRQ]

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UznHTBZIa8E]

And it seems the net has only been cast wider with time as new and exciting female artists are coming from the States, Canada, Germany and beyond. The American alumni include the ridiculously cool Santigold (pictured), Azealia Banks, and Lana Del Rey. santigold_002-1024x682Check out Azealia’s 212 and Lana’s Video Games below. Beyond the States we have MØ, who I blogged about before, Dena (tune in next week), and Grimes – one of my personal favourites from the past year. I first saw Canadian-born Grimes on Jools Holland last year performing her tune Genesis, though I prefer her single Oblivion, as below. Some great videos here, enjoy and keep checking in for the next crop of women musicians in 2013…

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3Jv9fNPjgk]

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cE6wxDqdOV0]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtH68PJIQLE]

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