6th November 2023
With current discussions in the music scene being more centred around gender than ever, I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about *who* I listen to. Though not intentional, it seems that my playlists can get crowded by a certain gender favouring, that frankly, makes me question how much I’ve been unconsciously biased. However, current state of the music scene does little to help. Radio, festivals, even my own PR emails seem to be dominated by male faces. Talented as these bands are, this gender bias is beyond outdated, and frankly needs to change. So, in the spirit of making better choices, and in celebration of International Women’s Day, I’ve selected 8 female artists, that are criminally underrated, and you should be watching out for.
The Tuts are a force to be reckoned with. Hailing from West London, the feisty girlgroup made-up of Nadia Javed (vocals), Beverley Ishmael (guitar) and Harriet Doveton (bass), turned heads with the release of their last album ‘Update Your Brain’, which has been critically acclaimed for both its music and its message. Throughout their work, the band are impassioned in speaking of women’s issues, both in and outside of the music industry, all while being backed by electric guitars solos, hard-hitting vocals and catchy drum beats. They’re not afraid to make a statement, and it’s one that we should all be listening to.
Formed in 2013, the British duo consisting of Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth have been making waves ever since the release of their debut album ‘I, Gemini’. Describing their sound as ‘experimental sludge pop’ the groups unique sound is truly like no other, with mix of unique incorporated sounds backing the duos poetic vocals. Their latest album ‘I’m All Ears’ was named by Q Magazine as the year’s second-best album, behind Arctic Monkeys. It’s a well-deserved title, and quite an achievement, considering the duo are only 20 years old. But with an outlook that’s like no other, it seems that the group are only getting started.
Hurray for the RiffRaff are stars of the folk/Americana scene. Starting in 2007, the group formed by front-woman and singer-songwriter Alynda Segarra, has consistently put out albums that have been praised for their intricate and distinct use of sounds. With a range of inspirations, from David Bowie, to her Latin-American roots, the singer-songwriters delicate use of lyrics and instrumentation makes her a true standout. Her tracks prove her talent, and show that whatever the young artist will do next, we should all be listening.
From the moment you hear her music, you can tell Sammy Rae is a talent. The Brooklyn based artist work proves her talent as a songwriter, and composer, and bandleader, as her tracks mix the best of jazz, big band and rock. It’s an interesting combination, but one that Rae excels in. Out of all the artists in this list, the young artists music feels like it’s telling a story, leaving a consistent feeling of awe at both her performing, and vocal ability. She’s an artist that’s truly unique, and is on the way to becoming a household name.
I saw Pinky Pinky in a tiny basement in Manchester last year, and the impression they made on me was more than enough to include them in this list. The LA based rock-duo made up of Anastasia Sanchez and Eva Chambers, produce a sort of retro-rock sound that will leave you nostalgic while still offering something new. Thrashing guitars, mixed with doo-wap vocals feel fun and easy to listen to, despite the bands pretty aggressive sound. They’re a band that mixes the past with the present, and produce a sound that’s too fun to ignore.
OSHUN, formed by Niambi Sala and Thandiwe, make music that’s truly captivating. Blending an eclectic mix of acoustic and digital sounds, the groups mission statement is to produce music that ‘connect with the spirit of their ancestors to manifest a sweeter tomorrow for us all.’ It’s one they seem to achieve, as their music incorporate elements of soul and hip-hop all while paying tribute to the Yorba goddess that the group chose as their namesake. They’re artists whose work is as meaningful, and musically impressive, and onse who we should all be listening to.
Liverpool natives Stealing Sheep are hometown heroes. The girl group, consisting of Rebecca Hawley, Emily Lansley and Luciana Mercer have made waves in the local scene, due to their original approach to the modern pop sound. Backed by synth arpeggios and heavy drum beats, seems to work even the heavier subjects featured in their music, into fun-filled tracks, that the groups will leave you wanting to dance along. A good thing too, as the group seem to be constantly performing. From local festivals and venues, to even the opening of LUSH, I’ve caught the group around town more times than I can count. But with such an engaging sound, the group never disappoint.
Lastly, we have Madison Cunningham, a true star in the making. With a song-writing style reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, the young artist has made a name for herself with the release of her debut album ‘Who Are You Now’, and for good reason. The singer’s ability to write meaningful, engaging lyrics is something to be applauded, with every track in the album sure to draw the listener in. All while being backed by light, but captivating instrumentation, it’s an album that’s worth a listen, and only seems to be the beginning for the young singer-songwriter.
Though I’ve only elected 8, there are still so many female artists that are too talented not to listen to. So below, you can find LGSM’s curated playlist for International Women’s Day, featuring some more underrated women in the music scene right now.
But, articles and playlists aside, the best way to fight the gender bias we face in the industry is to support the female artists you love. Enjoy the music a woman in music is making? Go to their shows! Buy their merch! Give them a shout-out on social media! Do anything you can to show support. It makes a true impact to careers, and sends a message to the big businesses of the music industry that it should be a space for everyone, not just the few.