I've had a particular affinity for solo female singers for quite some time now. Whenever I see an article about a new female artist that's favorable or I just see the album in the record (no more records! showing my age! shoulda said, music) store I'll buy it. Examples: I found out about Billy Lawrence by reading the in-store mag. I've been a fan ever since. I bought her album that day and years later when she finally released a second I bought it immediately. I keep checking but she seems to have given up recording solo. I bought Susie Suh's album off the strength of an article in Blender magazine. It was a good album, however, it was released during the time sony was putting that seriously annoying and crappy protection software on all of their releases making it difficult to transfer the damn music to digital media. So I haven't really listened to the album as much as I normally would have. That shit sucked. The company, not her. (sony did the same thing to Amerie's album Touch. I LOVE that album but it is SO damn difficult to listen to it because of that damn digital protection bullshit.) Anyways, one of my most favorite discoveries has been the band AlonA. I actually met the lead singer, Candice, at a Chris Cornell concert in Baltimore. That was a most fortuitous meeting. We met in line and actually hung out together for the whole concert. AND she actually gave me a ride home. She has to be one of the coolest people I've met in a long time. And she let me listen to her first demo song in the car. I was hooked from that first listen. I immediately noted she has a wonderfully powerful voice, and she knows how to use it. Well! In addition she's an excellent songwriter. Being a writer myself I have a profound love for song lyrics and Candice's are beautiful. Go to her site and get BOTH of her EP's. They're excellent! And my latest musical passion is Maiysha. I simply saw her album on the new release shelf in the front of the Virgin mega store. I'd be lying if I said her beautiful face didn't draw me to her. However, it wasn't JUST her face. I kind of instinctually knew this was not a big music company release. Which I confirmed by picking up the package and checking the company. I trust my feelings/instincts so I bought it. I am thoroughly satisfied with the music this young woman has produced. Check her out. Another artist I happened to just pick up off of the vibe was Res. I came across Res years ago at a Best Buy and have been hooked ever since. Thank the higher powers for the internet and myspace, since she's never put out another solo album, because I know she's still in the business doing things. She's down with Talib Kweli in a group called Idle Warship, which also has a very good artist by the name of Graph Nobel. I look forward to the release of that album and hopefully seeing them live.
OH YEAH, my really, really, really, favorite artist who's not really new but new to me is Imani Coppola. She's also started a band, Little Jackie, that just released a new album called, The Stoop. It makes know sense how much I like this album or how much I identify with some of her songs. Like the song 28 Butts. And the song LOL is jacked up but funny as hell. She actually finishes the first verse with the line, "You just sent the wrong text to the wrong bitch." How cool is that. Imani is a really good songwriter. I would love to meet her. Definitely want to see her live. As an aside I found her on myspace.
Another great artist out there that is not "big" is Leela James. She has an awesome voice. She's on a major label but they seem to not know what to do with her. Shame. I look forward to another album of her work. Check her out. As you can see I love female singers that aren't in the mainstream but who deserve to be. I like some of the mainstream artists out there but not many. Artistry is still out there. It never left, just less and less people paying attention. But everything is a cycle.
I wish Cree Summer would do another album. Street Faerie is my SHIT!!