With Lana Del Rey, St Vincent and Grimes regularly drawing both commercial and critical success, it’s fair to say that there’s a huge demand out there at the moment for female musicians. These musicians eschew traditional ideas of what a pop star should be for incredibly idiosyncratic music and aesthetic. Some of the best to emerge over the past year include:
FKA twigs: The first of our top three is the sonically seductive FKA Twigs (Formerly Known As). FKA Twigs started her career as backup dancer performing in videos for Jessie J. Her nickname, clinic Twigs, came from how her bones would click in motion while dancing. The south London artist has created a refreshing sound that is so rare, it becomes difficult to add her to a genre. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as FKA twigs prides herself on being strange both musically and aesthetically. Her debut album LP1 has garnered a great deal of success and receives a nomination for this year’s Barclay Album of the year award. The album’s sound is powerful and indulges in genres of dark-pop and gothic R&B. FKA Twigs song-writing skills sustain a sexual vibe without it being too corny or hard to listen to. FKA Twigs is on the rise to becoming an influential musician in music as her artistry is one-of-a-kind. Recommended tracks: Two Weeks, Papi Pacify and Water Me.
Banks: The American songstress made her debut this year with the album Goddess. From Los Angeles, California, Jillian Rose Banks records under label Harvest Records. Having been nominated in BBC’s Sound of 2014, Banks has made a substantial debut this year. Her genre varies from alternative pop to trip hop. Billboard describes her voice as ‘’Ayliah-like’’ as Banks herself states Fiona Apple and Lauryn Hill as her main influences. Goddess is filled with outlandish pop vibes that lure a listener in. Her dulcet tones are impeccable and show through on songs such as Waiting Game and Bedroom Wall which was produced by electronic producer and Dj, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Banks’ debut has been warmly received by critics with Rolling Stone awarding the album three and a half stars. With a stellar debut album and producers such as Lil Siva prove that her talent is one of a kind. Recommended tracks: Waiting Game, This I What It Feels Like and Beggin’ For Thread.
Linkoban: After a stellar show at Body & Soul at Electric Picnic, Linkoban is on the rise to becoming the latest raptress to give Nicki Minaj a run for her money. Linkoban hails from Denmark and her quirky accent adds to her style of rapping. Her vibrant flair of rapping and infectious beats are hard to ignore and difficult to not dance to. Her lyrical style is crafty and striking. Her album The Pomelo Edition is from start to finish a winner. The rapper delivers her poetry in such a style that is hard not to ignore and adore. Her music was recently used for Alexander Wang’s Paris Fashion Week show. The artist brings a new ambience and approach to rap and it conveys flawlessly in her skill. Recommended tracks: Oh Oh, Like This and One Trick Pony
By Chloe Murphy