There isn’t anything better than a girl bashing on a guitar. Sorry boys, they just make it look way cooler. Former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns had a ‘Girls Rock’ sticker on his Gibson SG, and never has a sticker been more accurate. There are so many chicks with attitude who are blowing audiences away at every turn, many of whom put their male counterparts to shame. We know we already did this list a while ago, but since then there have been a few more lovely ladies who have proven why they also deserve to be honoured in a listicle. This time round we’re expanding the criteria beyond rock, but we’re keeping the title, because a good pun shouldn’t be wasted.
Not content with the first list? Neither were we, so here are 8 Femme Fatales who are nailing it in across rock, pop and electronic music.
Someone in the Happy office the other week mentioned they had the biggest crush on the girls from MEZKO (it definitely wasn’t Nick Stillman), and hey, who can blame them? This duo have been crushing the electro pop scene. Their brooding synths and harsh effects have an intoxicating noir element. In a scene that is saturated by music that more or less follows the same beat this pair is a refreshing, if not slightly dark, take on the genre.
Keeping in theme with bands with all-caps names we have WAAX. Fronted by the enigmatic Marie De Vita, this Brisbane quintet have been kicking some serious goals over the past year. Punk rock isn’t an easy genre to nail down. There is a lot more to it than just being angry, and over the last 12 months the band have really focused their sound, De Vita’s lyrics and vocal delivery claws their way into your conscious and refuses to let go. Frankly we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us at BIGSOUND.
And speaking of BIGSOUND, another group of rocking ladies (and one dude) you’ll find in Brissie for the conference are Major Leagues. The jangle rock quartet recently released their latest single Someone Sometime, the track is a testament to the band’s skill of producing some seriously killer slacker rock with plenty of garage elements thrown in for good measure. With the band signing to Popfrenzy records and their sophomore EP on its way expect big things from them really soon.
Another garage rock and roller, Angie has been tantalising us with new material for months now. Yesterday she dropped a pretty sweet video for Down for the Count, a pretty cool clip featuring paintings Angie did herself. What we love most about her is the unbridled energy she brings to every track. The sense of purpose she has and yet also a vulnerability that lies beneath the surface is a great combo and we can’t wait to hear more from Free Agent when it drops in September.
Skipping across the pond brings us to Auckland four piece Miss June. Fronted by Annabel Liddell, the band are a furious tempest of riot grrrl sounds, their single Matriarchy a stand out for sure. Loud guitar bands can sometimes be more bark than bite, but Liddell’s lyrics are as sharp and hard hitting as the best of them. With a weighty, fuzzed out 90s rock aesthetic to match, this is the band you want to see live when you’re in New Zealand.
Perth legends Tired Lion are probably the reason this second list came about. Their second EP Figurine was released just last week and it is a stunner. The riffs are big and bold, the band refusing to shy away form their influences and embrace the grunginess of it all. Sophie Hopes’ is unmistakable, the way her vocals can playfully whisper in your ear one moment and grab you by the
balls genitals in the next is pretty awesome. It’s indicative of the band’s ability to draw you in then land the sucker punch, and with an EP as good as Figurine you won’t mind letting it knock you over time and again.
Okay, we’re cheating a little but when three out of five of the band is female we’ll count it. What is there to say about Darts that we haven’t already said? Their debut album Below Empty and Westward Bound is the closest thing to a post-rock masterpiece we’ve heard in recent years, and their live show is a blistering explosion. The female vocals are serene and calming, offsetting Angus Ayres’ more frenzied presence and creating a brilliant dynamic. If you’re not on board then now is the time.
Solo is a young muso who is otherwise known as Sophie Lowe. If you get the faint feeling you recognise her, chances are you’ve seen Lowe doing her acting thing in movies like Beautiful Kate or TV shows. She was also in a Papa vs Pretty video from way back when. But we’re here to talk about her music, and damn it is good. Solo takes on the indie pop machine with a gentle ferocity; her melodies are floaty whilst her vocals maintain a sassy edge. Her debut EP came out two years ago, and with her latest single Understand doing the rounds anticipation is building around the release.