Five absolutely amazing female singers you need to hear right now

Nicole Atkins (1 of 1)

Every once in a while I take a break from my favorite genre—metal—and go on a singer-songwriter kick. This one came after witnessing a slew of incredibly talented female vocalists hit all at once and who filled up my playlist very quickly. These are five stand-out artists that I have high hopes for in 2014.

I think this is the best of the best in the current new crop of records delivered so far in 2014 and I encourage you to check out each one of the amazing songs below. I’m not sure it’s going to get much better than this, my fellow music lovers. So let’s get started.

Nicole Atkins | So yes, it really doesn’t get any better than this. Nicole Atkins is by far the best female singer of the past decade.

Her voice is simply stunning. A mix of Billie Holiday and Fiona Apple with the power of Janis Joplin, no one can touch her, period. Her new album Slow Phaser is her best work yet and a clear front-runner for album of the year, even this early in 2014.

The Skins (2 of 2)

The Skins | I saw this Brooklyn based rock band open for Albert Hammond Jr and Jake Bugg earlier this year and they blew me away. Singer Bayli Mckeithan is a new generation of powerhouse singers fronting a young band that is putting classic rock ‘n’ roll back on the map for their generation.

This girl has a set of pipes on her that would make both Jimi Hendrix and Robert Plant proud. Their debut record is coming soon.


Vaudeville Etiquette | On the other end of the spectrum is Tayler Lynn who fronts the new folky, jazzy, foot stomping Seattle band that is being called Civil Wars crossed with Fleetwood Mac. Her voice blends perfectly with guitarist Bradley Laina delivering the best sounding duo since The Swell Season hit the scene almost a decade ago.

Matt Teske provides the song’s wailing pedal steel, with drummer Bryce Gourley and bassist Sander Vinberg rounding out the lineup. Walking Papers/Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin adds percussion—and he also owns Sunyata Records, the label that has just released Vaudeville Etiquette’s debut album Debutantes & Dealers.

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London Grammar | If this girl’s voice doesn’t move you, then you don’t have a pulse. Check out the track “Strong” and prepare to have your mind blown. There is simply no music out there today that can so quickly evoke a mood.

This entire record is like the soundtrack to the aftermath of an epic battle, the calm after a devastating storm, or even a morning after a night of excess. Take a listen and see where it sends you.


Broods | I bought this record last week and it’s been on repeat ever since. If Portishead made a pop album, this is what it would sound like. Atmospheric, a bit electronic, a bit pop that comes across with ethereal overtones. In other words, it’s just beautiful.

The band will be playing at the Independent here in San Francisco on 5/13. Stay tuned for a recap. This EP has nothing but 5 star reviews across the board and it’s only a taste of what’s to come.

Have any to add? Please join the conversation in the comments below.

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