This year has seen so much incredible new music, but we often don’t appreciate or recognize our female artists, across all genres, as much as we should or as much as they deserve. As women are stepping up, taking the lead, and having their voices heard across politics, media and Hollywood, 2018 (but really every year) is the year of the woman. So, let us not overlook the amazing talent and work female artists are putting into making music either. We often make efforts to be inclusive and highlight diversity in our schools, student organizations, and workplaces. Why not in our music and the voices we hear everyday? Many of us music geeks know you can tell a lot about someone by what they listen to. So, what does the absence of female artists in your music library say about you? Just as important as it is to have female representation in other facets of society, it is also important to take their work seriously as artists and listen to what they have to say and contribute with music. With finals season in full swing and summer around the corner, take some time to kick back and relax with some fresh finds!
Bishop Briggs, Church of Scars
Bishop Briggs is a fairly new artist, but she already has some great hits with her singles, “River,” and “White Horses,” which are both included on this debut album. Her rough and raw voice is absolutely beautiful, and the way she blends folk/rock, pop, and electronic sound in her music is unique and brilliant. The attention her singles, and this newly released album, have already gotten definitely shows some promise for Briggs as one of the best up-and-coming artists of 2018. The album shows her diverse range and blend of genres, with “Tempt My Trouble,” “Wild Horses,” and “Hi-Lo,” being my personal favorites from the album. She’s been compared to Adele, but Bishop Briggs is undoubtedly paving her own way and Church of Scars is definitely worth a listen. Click here for the Spotify link or here for Soundcloud.
Elohim, another L.A. based artist, is an electronic artist who does it all – singer, songwriter, producer, and musician. Her self-titled debut album was primarily influenced by her struggles with anxiety, mental health, and medication. Dealing with heavy topics, the album manages to still have a light and vibrant energy. The unique production is definitely unlike anything you’ve heard before. Elohim recently played at Coachella, and has toured with Alison Wonderland, whom she’s rumored to be doing a collab with soon. She is also touring with The Glitch Mob this summer. Check out her Houston date at White Oak Music Hall. Some of my favorites from the album are “F*ck Your Money” and “Sleepy Eyes,” both of which make me a bit teary-eyed. Click here to listen to her album on Spotify, or here for Soundcloud.
Janelle Monae, Dirty Computer
Janella Monae, a singer-songwriter, producer, actress, and model from Kansas City, recently released her third studio album Dirty Computer. The power her voice carries is electric, and this album shows masterful production/style. Monae identifies as pansexual, and has spoken out about her place in the LGBTQ community recently. Her album and lyrical content have themes of sexuality, femininity, race, and her place within those intersections. The album also has some diverse feature artists, from Grimes to Pharrell Williams. Some of the songs that stood out to me most were “Crazy, Classic, Life,” and “Django Jane,” where she hits us with some fire verses while also addressing some really important issues. During an era of mumble rap and misogynistic R&B, Monae’s voice and music is more necessary than ever. This album shows depth, vulnerability, and brings light to issues of queer, black women today. Click to listen to Dirty Computer on Spotify, or here for Soundcloud.
Sevdaliza, The Calling
Sevdaliza is an Iranian-Dutch singer, songwriter, and record producer. Born in Tehran but raised in the Netherlands, her unique identity is reflected in her style. Her music crosses genres, as she’s typically classified as ‘trip hop,’ ‘avant-pop,’ or experimental electronic. She has gained a strong fan base in Europe since the release of her two EPs in 2015. Additionally, she has a strong base with fans in Iran, as she released a song in Persian in 2017. Her absolutely brilliant production, style, and artistry makes her stand out. Her music won’t be like anything else you’ve heard. The Calling, her new album, has some traditional Persian music influences, along with strong themes of femininity, contrasting/balancing dark and light, and astrology. Her music is influenced too by poetry and European art/dance. Her powerful and strong voice, balanced out with the gentle and soft sounds of her music, is striking. Some of my personal favorites from The Calling are “5d,” “Voodoov,” and “Observer.” Sevdaliza also has a cool new simulation called “Majora” on her website to go along with the album. Click here to listen to The Calling on Spotify.
Alina Baraz, The Color of You
Alina Baraz, the American singer and songwriter from Ohio, recently released her anticipated debut album The Color of You. She first became known after her EP and collaboration with electronic artist Galimatias on Urban Flora, which was successful and streamed around the world. She has also released a single with Khalid, that is included on the album. Her soft and beautiful voice, combined with quality production and a soft feminine energy, has accumulated her a good fan base. She has played many shows and festivals over the past few years. Her music brings vibrancy and is the perfect soundtrack for a chill, sunny drive. I know this will be one of the albums I bump all summer, as it is also great music for reading/studying, or just relaxing. Some of my favorites from the album are “Fallin,” “High,” and “Floating” ft. Khalid, as these in particular show off her vocal range and fit perfectly with her relaxed indie-pop vibe. Click here to check out The Color of You on Spotify, or here for Soundcloud.