In honor of Womens History Month, I decided to write something about the ladies in music I love...
We need more of Natalie Prass. Her self titled debut, which released in 2015, was written in 2009 and recorded in 2012. Her record label had to delay the release due to Spacebomb Records being a small outfit and just not having the funds and manpower to release more than one or two albums at a time. “And I remember my stomach dropped,” Prass says in an interview when she was informed the record would be released in 2013 (and later on, had been pushed back even more,) , “I just pictured myself standing on that mountain again, a year later. That just seemed like an eternity to me at the time.” In between the date of her release however, she wrote more songs and went on tour with Jenny Lewis to play in her backing band. She writes and composes all of her own songs, hires her own musicians for tours and is as far as I can tell, in charge of her career and destiny. That's definitely killing it in the music industry.
I might be a little biased because I just saw Valerie June in Philadelphia and she was insanely good. She has so much energy on stage and does the perfect amount of talking during songs (even though she thinks she talks too much). She dances like no one's watching, dresses however she wants and has total ownership of her career. Her songs are enigmatic and interesting but somewhat familiar – very reminiscent to 70's soul and Blues in its heyday. Her new album The Order of Time just came out yesterday (March 11) and it's pretty fantastic. Go listen to it!
Like Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette before her, this midwest farmer's daughter is writing about her life in a sincere and relatable way. The Illinois born, Nashville, Tennessee transplant is keeping busy with touring right now (just found out she's going to be in Albany this Summer! Yes!), but I'm really hoping she'll get back in the studio soon.
This might be a controversial choice, but I really like Sia and dig her songwriting abilities, regardless of her weirdness just for being weird. She writes some of the catchiest, consistent and authentic pop songs of today. In a world of rap degrading women and saying the “n” word every other sentence that's sprawling all over pop radio, Sia is a breath of fresh air and one of the only surviving legitimate pop song writers who not only writes for herself and other people, but maintains a career that she takes ownership of.
Well, duh. Jenny Lewis is just the shit. She's honest and raw in her songwriting, her instrumentation is usually experimental with every album she writes and she's always collaborating with other artists, finding a sound that's their own. She's still riding pretty high on the success of The Voyager, released in July 2014 (it's a really good album, okay?), but like Price, I hope she comes out with some new music soon.