I am unabashedly attracted to the female voice. I don’t think there is a more enticing and sexier sound in the entire world than a woman with a gorgeous voice. This includes speech as well as singing. I am also in absolute love with music that has a strong female voice leading the way. When I use the word, “strong”, I don’t mean as in power, but in attraction to my ears and overall timbre.
This is my list of my favorite female vocalists and why. I tried to keep it as current as possible as well, so while I like stuff like Billie Holliday and Etta James on occasion (not to mention Urethra Franklin, ha ha, see what I did there?!), they are not amongst my favorites for some weird reason and not included in this list. I also never use the word “best” in my lists, because this shit is subjective.
#1 Hope Sandoval – Hope is the lead singer of “Mazzy Star” (they have never officially broken up) and is currently fronting her own band, “Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions”. I have been infatuated with Hope since I first heard Mazzy Star wayyyy back in 1995 when “Fade Into You” was a “Buzz Clip” on MTV. Her voice oozes sexy and sultry. My one issue with Hope is that she is a raging bitch onstage and can come across very cold, but I also think that is part of her charm at times. I could listen to Hope sing just about anything and she would have me captivated. It doesn’t matter….well yes it does…, but while she’s completely sexy too, she’s just mean.
However, while she may be a bit of a sourpuss, she will absolutely crucify you if you dare talk while she is performing. This is a good thing. Shut your fucking mouths while the band/act is onstage or go to the bar or outside if you want to yammer about insignificant crap at top volume while people are trying to enjoy the music. I’m looking at you, city of Richmond!
Recommended listening: Bavarian Fruit Bread
#2 Yuki Chikudate – Yuki is the lead singer of the shoegaze/alternative/dream pop/i hate fucking pigeonholing genres band, “Asobi Seksu“. She is a Japanese-American that possesses one of the most beautiful crystalline voices I’ve ever heard. Not only is she stunningly beautiful and my personal indie Queen (Fuck the fuck off, Deschanel), but she has the power to silence audiences and hold them completely still with her vocals, as she has done to me 3 times, almost like a Sigur Ros show. I’ve heard her do everything from droning shoegaze to folk, and she has never disappointed me. She is absolutely amazing and I love her completely. I said earlier in this blog that I’d pay to eat her poo, to be fair, that goes for just about any of these ladies in this list, but Yuki most especially. I also like the fact that she lets her fucks and shits fly during on-stage banter. Ironically, Asobi Seksu does a cover of a Hope Sandoval tune (Suzanne) on my recommended listening. I imagine Yuki will be #1 someday, but time will tell.
She sings a lot of songs bilingual, usually a nice mix of Japanese and English. I’d say the majority of songs are in English, but the Japanese ones are beautiful even if I have no clue what they mean. However, “Asobi Seksu” means “playful sex”!
She also gives really nice hugs.
Recommended listening: Acoustic At Olympic Studios a.k.a. ReWolf
#3 Traceyanne Campbell – Traceyanne is the lead singer of indie/twee pop band, Camera Obscura. Traceyanne has one of the cutest voices I’ve ever encountered. There’s something about a Scottish accent on a girl that makes me absolutely fucking giddy. While her voice isn’t particularly powerful, it posseses this airy quality that sucks listeners in and holds them in a totalitarian grip. I am eagerly anticipating seeing her and her wonderful band twice in June, and you can bet I’ll be the one professing my love for Traceyanne in between every song, or at least until she acknowledges it. Just smack me if I am annoying.
Recommended listening: My Maudlin Career
#4 Charlene Soraia – Charlene is the newest member of this list and is an English singer/songwriter. I was first exposed to her about a year ago via a friend in London and I am so thankful for that experience. Charlene has a bluesy, yet airy, almost twee-like quality to her voice. I fell for it immediately. Her 4 EPs are in regular rotation and her upcoming LP is one that I am anticipating greatly. Keep your eye on this one. She is only 20 years old! I am very big on Charlene’s music and have been pawning it off to my friends whenever possible.
Recommended listening: Daffodils & Idylls EP
#5 Laura Marling – Laura is another new member and another English singer-songwriter. Her music has a lot more depth than my #4 and she is already quite popular. I am still relatively new to Laura’s music, but its been in regular rotation for a while now and I am loving it. She is definitely more folk than anything else, and the arrangements of her music are absolutely fantastic. She’s also only 20 years old!! Think English Joni Mitchell.
Recommended listening: I Speak Because I Can
Honorable Mention: Andrea Corr – Sigh. Andrea is a very long-time crush. Sadly, I want to rank her higher in this list, but I just can’t because it’s been very very long since The Corrs (the band she leads with her brother and 2 sisters) have recorded anything worth a damn. They were unfortunately saddled in the late 90s/early 00s with Mutt Lange producing and it watered down what was a unique pop sound with traditional Irish music influence to a typical Americanized canned pop sound. They eventually released an album going back to the roots, but it sucked, and her solo album wasn’t much cop either. Her voice is still great, but the material is just not there as of late, plus she made the mistake of marrying a douchey-looking fucker (who’s also a billionaire) and I’m greatly jealous of that dweeb.
She also did a duet with Bono of all people covering the wonderful “When the Stars Go Blue” by Ryan Adams. BONO. The piece of shit himself! That version made the Tim McGraw raping of that song seem palatable…..well maybe not that bad, sorry for the overstatement. For that alone, she will probably never regain her stature. That being said, she’s still gorgeous and a part of me will always dig her, but damn.
Recommended listening: The Corrs MTV Unplugged