Unfortunately, the mainstream music world is ruled by shallow, female artists with pretentions to be called artists. Artists that do not even write their own lyrics (as bad as those lyrics are), whose idea of art means selling your image based on nothing else than your clothes or lack of clothes. We don’t want to sound mean, but music is anything but that. Music has to have meaning, it has to stir up in the listener deep emotions, to be thought provoking. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of 10 alternative female singers and awesome women that have influenced music, in no particular order.
The Icelandic singer has first come up in the mainstream music scene as the lead singer of The Sugarcubes. After that she started her solo career, being famous for her eclectic musical style that ranged from alternative rock, jazz, electronica, classical and avant-garde. She also received a Cannes award for best actress in Lars Von Trier’s “Dancer in the dark”.
Popular songs: It’s oh so quiet, All is full of love, Army of me
9. Beth Gibbons
Lead singer for the band Portishead, Beth Gibbons is known for her whispery, soft voice, gloomy personal lyrics and reclusive persona. Beth Gibbons along with her band Portishead are one of the first bands that are said to have invented the musical genre called Trip-Hop, though with their third album they have transcended any musical style.
Popular songs: Only you, The rip, Mysterons
8. Katie Jane Garside
One of the less known singers from our list, Katie Jane is a true alternative underground icon. Courtney Love called her “the first Riot Grrrl”. She appeared on the music scene as the singer of the noise-punk band Daisy Chainsaw in the 90’s. After that she fronted the band Queen Adreena. She is famous for her deeply intense stage performances and her banshee like appearance.
Popular songs: Love your money, Pretty like drugs, Siamese Almeida
7. Jessicka Addams
A cult figure in the 90’s, she was the singer of the alternative-goth-punk band Jack Off Jill who were very good friends to a not-very-famous-back-then Marilyn Manson. After Jack Off Jill disbanded, Jessicka formed shoegaze band Scarling in which she still sings with her husband, guitarist Christian Addams.
Popular songs: My cat, Strawberry Gashes, Alexander the burn victim
6. Tori Amos
A genius piano player, Tori Amos has conquered the world in the early 90’s with her confessional lyrics and complex piano music. With more than 14 albums to date, Tori stands out as a true female artist, lyrically and musically wise.
Popular songs: Cornflake girl, God, Crucify
5. Elizabeth Fraser
Famous for her very original vocal skills and for the fact that many of her lyrics were sang in a language invented by her, Elizabeth Fraser was the singer of dream pop band Cocteau Twins, an influential band on many alternative rock bands.
Popular songs: Wax and wane, Song to the siren , Teardrop
4. Diamanda Galas
There’s no other voices like Diamanda’s. That we can assure you of. Her lyrics dealt with human despair and damnation, sang in her terrifying three and a half vocal range.
Popular songs: Gloomy Sunday, You must be certain of the devil
3. Shirley Manson
You remember the song “I’m only happy when it rains”, right? Well, that was Garbage, lead by the charismatic Shirley Manson. They managed to top the charts in the 90’s with their original mixture of alternative rock, electronic elements and angst-ridden lyrics.
Popular songs: I’m only happy when it rains, Queer, Stupid girl
2. Courtney Love
Many of you might know Courtney from the tabloids. She is a bit of a bad girl, we know. But we love bad girls. Courtney and her band Hole actually managed to bring a breath of fresh air to alternative rock and grunge in the 90’s. And her marriage to Kurt Cobain has made her even more (in)famous. Courtney Love is a true example of independent, talented women.
Popular songs: Violet, Doll parts, Celebrity Skin
When it comes to chameleonic female artists, we think of miss Polly Jean, who succeeded in reinventing her stage persona with every album she released: from androgynous creature to theatrical vamp, to Victorian ghostly widow, PJ Harvey has done it all. Her latest album “Let England Shake” has received critical acclaim and has won numerous musical awards. We can’t wait to see who or what PJ will be next.
Popular songs: Down by the water, C’mon Billy, Good Fortune