In light of the recent reappearance of The Spice Girls, I have been overwhelmed with the 90's phenomenon of Girl Power, wait bear with me - throughout the years, we seem to forget that girls can be rock stars too - and pretty good ones at that.
I feel it is important to highlight and support the ladies who break the mould and produce good quality music that puts girls at the forefront of music, without having to dare to bare all in the process. There is a continual conveyor belt of pretty ladies dressing and singing exactly how they are told to and each one is required to be more outlandish than the last in order to gain notoriety.
Talented song writing skills, a good voice and instruments are almost obsolete in the main Pop charts so as long as you have a pretty face.
My list of ladies to listen out for in 2012 are ladies who are not only beautiful but they are true musicians. Woman with something to say, a point to be made, a song to be wrote and they do it all.
These are the ladies who you should be supporting and buying their albums, not as some kind of feminist protest or because I think boys are rubbish but because these girls are ace, and probably deserve a little more musical recognition.
Lana Del Rey: The self-proclaimed Nancy Sinatra - gone gangster pop starlet who has divided critics with her album Born to Die. She hit the big-time when she posted her sweetly vintage "Video Games" a haunting track that became viral on the internet in a matter of days.
Lana harps back to the old days of pin ups and sullen screen sirens through her archaic looks. Her voice is delicate, her videos are vintage-inspired and the lyrics, penned by her, are fresh, mean and melancholic. Lana has a clear direction that is true to her style and taste- she manages to mix orchestral instruments with up to date lyrics and 60's style melodies.
She's today's answer to the femme fatale character but there is a hint of innocence and sadness to her voice. Apparently her sound has been dubbed as "Hollywood Sadcore"
Top tracks are: Born to Die, Radio and Videogames.
Marina and the Diamonds: Marina Diamandis broke out in 2010 with single, Hollywood. She was an indie-pop sensation seemingly epitomising pop-art and in-yer-face lyrics. 2012 has seen Marina return with Electra Heart, a concept album which sees Marina dye her hair and embrace her 50's blonde bombshell alter ego.
The album shifts between sounding typically 90's in opening track Bubblegum bitch to straightforward pop with first single, Primadonna. Much like Lana del Rey, Marina is playing off of the dark side of the American Dream, but in a more bubble-gum pop kind of way. Marina's vocals are class and really stand out on the ballad tracks.
Top tracks are: Homewrecker, Primadonna and Lies.
Laura Marling: On her third album, Marling is still going strong, and improving with age. I say with age, she is still only twenty-one. Her lyrics are insightful and catchy and her vocals are perfectly folky, becoming stronger and huskier over the three albums. Her 2012 offering A creature I don't know seems to be her most mature.
The lyrics are as cryptic as ever and she seems to muddling through adolescent concerns and facing adulthood in all its glory. Her voice is stunning and with just an acoustic guitar in her hands she makes an emotional triumph here.
A confident woman is now emerging from the once pale and sallow young girl- just don't expect any literal meaning; she likes to keep you guessing with her dark lines.
Top tracks are: Salinas and The Beast.
Lucy Rose: Once the backing vocalist with indie group Bombay Bicycle Club this pretty young thing is about to release her debut album, Like I used to. Her vocals are dreamy and sugar-sweet. But this isn't just folky background haze of delicate riffs and soft vocals this girl can pack a punch with playful rhythms.
Check out:Watch Over and Scar.
Delilah: Set to release her album this month this girl has created a storm amongst the dance/trip hop world. She released three tracks last year, including her seductive tune, Go, as well as featuring on the Chase and Status track, Time. Now, her album is being hotly tipped as one to watch for 2012. Yet despite this affiliation with Chase & Status and an apparent collaboration with Skream she is not being labelled as the new queen of drum'n'bass or the dub step duchess.
In fact, it's hard to place Delilah anywhere in the range of musical categories. This singer-songwriter doesn't want to be pigeon-holed like most other female songstresses swiftly are nowadays and she has no problem in making this fact very clear. Delilah writes and produces her own music; which in today's music industry is a bold and innovative step for a young female artist to take. However, although she is undoubtedly a self-determined woman with ideas and ambition about her music she does in fact co-produce her soulful and melodic beats with a trio of masterminds at Hyperdub label.
It's fair to say that although she can't, or maybe won't, be stereotyped there is an element of Dance to her acoustic come chill-out sound. The dance fuelled music is supported well by her expressive and strident voice which creates an altogether atmospheric fusion of different genres. Delilah's single 'Go' has been well-received and created a buzz with its sexy and brooding sound. It samples the lyrics from classic tune 'Ain't nobody' and ripples into heady lovesick lyrics. The song slowly builds with tension and cascades into sweet and breathy vocals from Delilah's haunting voice. The track has a definite chill out vibe yet is strong enough to become a dance ballad anthem.
Check out Go and Breathe.
Make sure you check these ladies out and buy the albums, they are amazing.