Are you sick of lovelorn and wistful retro-tinged female singer-songwriters?
Here are some ladies offering something a bit different and altogether feistier...
This 20-year-old New York rapper doesn’t take kindly to comparisons with Nicki Minaj. Her cutesy smile, Mickey Mouse sweaters and pigtails hide a fierce and filthy musical talent, not to mention a healthily high opinion of herself - she readily describes herself as “fucking talented”. She’s performed for Karl Lagerfeld and is currently working with Adele’s producer, Paul Epworth, on her debut album. With her star rapidly rising, Azealia isn’t afraid to take on rap royalty, having recently claimed that Lil’ Kim does not write her own lyrics.
You’ll have heard: THAT song, with THOSE words. 212 was the song that thrust Azealia into the musical mainstream. It is an extremely catchy and foul-mouthed rap masterpiece, celebrating oral sex and taking down those desperate for fame.
Listen out for: Azealia’s fabulously named debut album Broke With Expensive Tastes will be released this autumn. In the meantime, Banks has just released Jumanji from her soon to be released mixtape, Fantastic.
Official Website: azealiabanks.com Twitter: @azealiabanks
With her soulful vocals, New Zealand’s Kimbra has been compared to artists as diverse as Nina Simone and Bjork. She began performing at an early eage – singing the national anthem in front of 27,000 rugby fans at the tender age of 12. She signed to Warner Bros. Records last year and has been steadily building a cult following ever since. Her luscious vocals are combined with offbeat hooks and genre hopping tendencies to create a unique and mesmerising sound.
You’ll have heard: Kimbra provided vocals on fellow Antipodean Gotye’s track Somebody That I Used To Know. The song has been played so many times that it should be renamed The Song That I Have No Choice But To Know.
Listen out for: Kimbra’s debut album, Vows, was originally released last year in Australia and New Zealand. It is being rereleased on 22 May, prompting much joy from fans in the UK.
Official Wesbite: http://kimbramusic.com Twitter: @kimbramusic
This Californian rapper doesn’t pull punches. Whether she is describing her disdain for Lana Del Rey (“She makes me want to slit my ankles”) or lambasting society’s obsession with designer fashion in her YouTube hit Gucci Gucci, Kreayshawn does it with deadpan wit and acerbic rhymes. Her style combines West Coast badgrrrl with cartoon 90s colourfulness. The lady’s real name is Natassia Zolot, but she performs under her stage name, which is a play on the word “creation”.
You’ll have heard: 2011’s Gucci Gucci has got over 30 million views on YouTube. The refrain of “Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada. Basic bitches wear that shit so I don’t even bother” is annoyingly catchy.
Listen out for: Kreayshawn’s debut album is due to be released latest this spring
Official website: http://www.kreayshawn.com/ Twitter: @kreayshawn
Back in 2006, Hollie Cook quit performing arts college to join The Slits. She spent months touring with the reformed punk band, drawing inspiration and confidence from lead singer, Ari Up. Following Ari’s death in 2010, Hollie launched a solo career, moving away from her punk roots (her Dad is Sex Pistols drummer, Paul Cook) in favour of a tropical pop reggae/dub sound. She works with dub super-producer, Prince Fatty to create shimmering psyche pop ideal for laid-back summer afternoons. Her eponymous debut album was released last year to great critical acclaim.
You’ll have heard: Last year’s singles Milk and Honey, Body Beat and That Very Night were championed by BBC Radio 1 DJs.
Listen out for: Prince Fatty’s dub reworking of Hollie’s debut album, Hollie Cook in Dub is available now. The reverb-heavy cover of The Whisper’s And the Beat Goes On is a stand out track.
Official website: http://holliecook.com/ Twitter: @holliecookie
Catcall is the stage name of Australian singer, Catherine Kelleher. She embarked on a solo career following a stint in a punk band called Kiosk. The sudden death of her father in 2006 inspired her to write a track called The Warmest Place. That song is now the opening acapella track on Catcall’s debut album that shares the name. Her sound is eighties tinged synth pop, with intense lyrics that embrace life in its fullest. She has supported acts including The Gossip, La Roux and CSS.
You’ll have heard: Music blogs went mad for the atmospheric and uplifting Satellites when it was released in February this year.
Listen out for: The Warmest Place was released on 4 May. The ultra-catchy single The World Is Ours has a refreshingly weird video and sing-a-long chorus.
Official Wesbite: http://catcallmusic.com Twitter: @catcallmusic
Jen Evans is a journalist specialising in culture. She is the lead vocalist in an imaginary post-Riot Grrl hip-hop dub fusion indietronica band. You can read more of her writing on her blog, Bookish Brunette.
Catcall image from www.catcallmusic.com