By: Caroline Murray
Perhaps, I am biased, but I strongly feel 2015 is the year of the girl. I could be wrong, but I am sure I am right. And, I am damn excited about this.
Here is why:
The amount of female artists to emerge out of 2014 was overwhelming and beautiful all the same. Some artists were veterans of the music industry; others dropped their first album and blew us away. All, however, emanate a certain air of confidence and coolness that can only mean one thing; a successful future.
Let’s start with a veteran. St. Vincent kicked off 2014 with a self-titled album, which knocked the socks off of her older fans and helped her acquire a few new ones as well. Technicolor songs such as “Digital Witness” and “Birth in Reverse” earned her a Grammy nomination in December. A poll recently conducted by NPR launched her to the number 1 spot for album of the year. She’s currently on tour, and will be gracing New York’s Capital Region. I plan on attending this concert in March; and hopefully many more after.
On a recent Sunday afternoon, during an impromptu conversation with a former roommate, she mentioned a rapper named Azealia Banks ranking among her favorite artists of the year. Banks is the next hot thing to hit the music scene, she exclaimed. And, she wasn’t lying. Ms. Banks is a force to be reckoned with. For starters, she isn’t a Nicki Manaj or Iggy Azalea – no — Banks is alright on her own. Her beats are electronic, her voice is magnetic and lyrics are honest. According to Spotify, Banks is a Harlem native and had early aspirations of fame and fortune. She released her first EP in 2012, and in 2014 dropped her first fully fledged album titled “Broke with Expensive Taste.” Although, admittedly, I am not in love with every song here; Banks certainly left something to be desired in 2015. But, to me, that is a good thing.
Then, there is Australian singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett, whose mellow tunes often find me in a melodic trance. When she sings, Barnett tells a story that is uniquely her own, and also kind of relatable to those stoners, dreamers and optimists, alike. In 2014, her double EP “The Double Ep: A Sea of Split Peas,” was rereleased to the mainstream world of music. The 12 song record features a popular hit titled “Avant Gardener,” which I think, tells a story about her getting too high to function. I once heard a radio D.J. compare her to a female version of John Lennon. I’m cool with hearing more of that in 2015.
Of course, I have to note and commend big-time artists such as Lana Del Rey, Lorde, Beyonce, T-Swift and Sia, for their musical masterpieces in 2014. I hate to group them all together because these women are not at all alike. But, they are a power-play of a gang. Each dropped albums like bombs, and walked away effortlessly with us to clean up the dust. And, we did. I only hope these noteworthy artists pave the way for more talented females this year and in years to come.