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Recommend some female-lead rock bands
September 17, 2012 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Recommend me some songs (rock or pop) with female vocalists that send a shiver down your spine.

Currently I'm very much digging rock bands with female vocalists. Especially those with songs that, for lack of a better description, send a shiver down my spine with some of the music+voice combinations. Notable examples that are getting an absurd amount of play on my iPhone:

Frayed - The Naked and Famous [especially at the end of the song]
Girl With One Eye and Heavy In My Arms - Florence + The Machine
Waking Up and Never Here - Elastica
anything with Karen Carpenter, but especially Superstar
Into The White/Gigantic/any of The Pixies' songs that Kim Deal sings.

(note: Call Me Maybe & Kimbra get play as well, but mostly just for the fun pop that it is.)

So, MeFi, please fill my playlists with amazing female vocalists. Open to pretty much anything provided it's catchy. Doesn't have to be recent or any super-specific genre, but I lean toward guitar & drum based stuff.

Thanks kindly!
posted by ish__ to Media & Arts (65 answers total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hole - "Violet"
Veruca Salt - "Seether"
The Breeders - "Saints"
Joan Jett - "I Hate Myself for Loving You"
Uh Huh Her - "Explode"
Tori Amos - "Spark," "Waitress"
Cyndi Lauper - "Money Changes Everything," "Change of Heart"
Fleetwood Mac - "Rihannon"
Jefferson Airplane - "White Rabbit"
posted by John Cohen at 8:46 AM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Distillers - Gypsy Rose Lee
The Geraldine Fibbers - Dragon Lady

Not really rock but:
Dolly Parton - Jolene
Lorraine Ellison - Stay With Me
posted by ghharr at 8:51 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


10,000 Maniacs - Trouble Me
Fiona Apple - Criminal
P.J. Harvey - Long Snake Moan
posted by Thorzdad at 8:52 AM on September 17, 2012


Zola Jesus, Night
Alabama Shakes
Austra
not a woman but James Blake will be up your alley
Billie Holliday
posted by outlandishmarxist at 8:52 AM on September 17, 2012


Everything by PJ Harvey. Suggestions include "Dry", "Sheela-Na-Gig", "Dress", "Pocket Knife", "Happy and Bleeding", "Rid of Me."
posted by dysh at 8:53 AM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


You might also try the Cults and Electrelane.
posted by dysh at 8:55 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs...pretty much anything, but start with "Gold Lion".
posted by virginia_clemm at 8:57 AM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Jezabels - Saraha Mahala
The Jezabels - A Little Piece
Asobi Seksu - Thursday
Freshlyground - I'd Like (the "whoa" part in particular - you'll know it when you hear it)
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:58 AM on September 17, 2012


For me the most spine-tinglingy female rock vocals I can think of are from In The Backseat by Arcade Fire.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:59 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Karen Dalton's "Something on Your Mind" gave me a chill the first time I heard it.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:59 AM on September 17, 2012


Wye Oak ~ "Civilian"
posted by changeling at 9:00 AM on September 17, 2012


Ok, so in the 10 minutes so far here (and I won't threadsit after this, work calls): PJ Harvey = holy balls awesome. MeFi has done it's job if only with that single recommendation.
posted by ish__ at 9:00 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Going on your examples: Portishead. Stereolab. The Sundays. Kirsty MacColl. Liz Phair.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:00 AM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also:
Stone Poneys - Different Drum (Linda Ronstadt)
posted by ghharr at 9:01 AM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ah, and how could I forget?

Dog Faced Hermans: Keep Your Laws Off My Body
posted by ryanshepard at 9:06 AM on September 17, 2012


also!
Sia ~ "Breathe Me"
Imogen Heap ~ "Canvas"
plus Bat for Lashes in general, and Fever Ray when I want spooky chills.
posted by changeling at 9:07 AM on September 17, 2012


Cowboy Junkies - Miles from our home
posted by mattbucher at 9:17 AM on September 17, 2012


10,000 Maniacs and Natalie Merchant, "Because the Night"
posted by jgirl at 9:36 AM on September 17, 2012


Jann Arden - I Would Die for You, Unloved
Sara Bareilles - Once Upon Another Time, Gravity, Between the Lines
posted by yawper at 9:44 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rilo Kiley- Portions for Foxes
Rilo Kiley- With Arms Outstretched
posted by Flamingo at 9:53 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I recommend Metric (Gold Guns Girls). I am digging all of their albums currently.

Devil Doll is another of my favorites.
posted by waitangi at 9:57 AM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Regina Spektor is fantastic!
posted by 3fluffies at 10:00 AM on September 17, 2012


Belly - Dusted
Rose Chronicles - Awaiting Eternity
Lisa Germano - Puppet
Esthero - Song for Holly
Nicole Atkins - The Way It Is
posted by wondermouse at 10:23 AM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jonatha Brooke's album "Back in the Circus." I haven't really followed her since that came out, but I still love it. Her cover of Men at Work's "Eye in the Sky" in particular.
posted by emelenjr at 10:23 AM on September 17, 2012


Men at Work? Wow. Alan Parsons Project.

Suppose I need more coffee...
posted by emelenjr at 10:24 AM on September 17, 2012


LP - Into the Wild ( I just learned about her yesterday.)

Regina Spektor - All the Rowboats
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:24 AM on September 17, 2012


The Gathering always did this for me ... check out Kevin's Telescope and Strange Machines.

If either of those work for you, you might also enjoy Karnataka and Mostly Autumn.
posted by jbickers at 10:25 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Daydreaming by Dark Dark Dark
The Lion's Roar by First Aid Kit
Wonderwall by Cat Power
posted by foxhat10 at 10:35 AM on September 17, 2012


Basement Jaxx feat. Lisa Kekaula - Good Luck
posted by neroli at 10:36 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lacuna Coil make great Italian gothy metal and do a goosebump-inducing cover of Depeche Mode's Enjoy The Silence (Live). They also cover Dubstar's Stars, the definitive version of which is Dubstar's Acoustic version IMHO.

Lush had the catchy song Hypocrite, which I suspect is a shibboleth of sorts to separate actual fans of the band from people like me who just saw the video several weeks running on The Chart Show back in the '90s.

If you want a real gem though try Ruby (sorry!) - Tiny Meat is amazing.
posted by comealongpole at 10:40 AM on September 17, 2012


The Point of It All and I Think I'll Wait Another Year - Amanda Palmer
Henry Lee - PJ Harvey and Nick Cave

Sorry for lack of links. Migraine.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 10:42 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just Like U Said It Would Be - Sinead O'Connor.
posted by terrierhead at 10:45 AM on September 17, 2012


It might be a bit elctro-pop for you, but The Knife does this for me. Start with "Heartbeats".
posted by Eumachia L F at 10:48 AM on September 17, 2012


Speaking of Sinead O'Connor, terrierhead, her cover of Ode To Billie Joe is amazing.

Also, no-one's mentioned Bjork. Someone should totally mention Bjork.
posted by comealongpole at 10:53 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Belle & Sebastian - Lazy Like Painter Jane
posted by anagrama at 11:04 AM on September 17, 2012


*Line
posted by anagrama at 11:05 AM on September 17, 2012


White Magic - Winds
posted by hydrophonic at 11:07 AM on September 17, 2012


It's easy (very easy) to forget that Sarah McLachlan used to be kind of awesome.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:34 AM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The entire Sleater Kinney album "The Woods" played at maximum volume. Oh, hell yes.
posted by Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific at 11:47 AM on September 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Dum Dum Girls, Coming Down, Jail La La.
Lush, Deluxe.
Throwing Muses, Flying, Counting Backwards.
Sleater-Kinney, The Fox, Entertain.
Helium, XXX, Oh the Wind and Rain.
Blood Red Shoes, You Bring Me Down.
A bit more early Liz Phair: Stratford-on-Guy.
Death in Vegas (feat. Dot Allison), Diving Horses.
posted by Sonny Jim at 12:02 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Neko Case. People Gotta Lotta Nerve, Prison Girls, Deep Red Bells (everything she does is awesome)
posted by chbrooks at 12:17 PM on September 17, 2012


Blue Man Group- I Feel Love
posted by procrastination at 12:27 PM on September 17, 2012


It's easy (very easy) to forget that Sarah McLachlan used to be kind of awesome.

I was just debating whether or not to post that, but wasn't sure if it was what OP was looking for.

I'll add "Ice" as it always sends a chill up my spine.
posted by anthy at 12:57 PM on September 17, 2012


Nina Nastasia Ocean
Jesse Sykes Oh My Girl
Gillian Welch I Dream a Highway (long)
Lhasa de Sela Anywhere on this Road
Low In Metal

and for chills, you can't beat
Lisa Gerrard Sanvean (I Am Your Shadow)
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:01 PM on September 17, 2012


Two Norwegian suggestions:

Gåte - Sjå attende (second track from the incredible album Iselilja)
Susanne Sundfør - It's All Gone Tomorrow or The Brothel (or any track from her stunning second album, The Brothel. Her third album, The Silicone Veil is also excellent)
posted by knapah at 1:15 PM on September 17, 2012


If you're interested in learning why some music does this to you, pick up "This Is Your Brain On Music".
posted by softlord at 1:20 PM on September 17, 2012


Cat Power
St. Vincent
Anna Calvi
This Mortal Coil
Garbage

and seconding Lhasa De Sela, Fiona Apple & PJ Harvey.
posted by progosk at 1:34 PM on September 17, 2012


Really, no Juliana Hatfield?
My Baby...
Only Love Can Break Your Heart (not on Youtube, but I think it's on Spotify)

The Sundays
Wild Horses

And, the queen of this kind of thing, Mazzy Star's Fade into You (c'mon people!)

All of these songs are pretty "chilly" for me, so I hope they work for you!
posted by Poppa Bear at 1:51 PM on September 17, 2012


Jennifer Charles of Elysian Fields | YouTube
Linda Perry, formerly of 4 Non Blondes | YouTube
Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde | YouTube
posted by xyzzy at 2:09 PM on September 17, 2012


I've only just discovered Kate Bush through the recommendation of a friend, but she has a great voice and her interpretive dancing is INSANE.
posted by Concordia at 3:03 PM on September 17, 2012


Wow, fifty comments and no Eva Cassidy?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:36 PM on September 17, 2012


No Poe? Seriously, Poe. Start with "Hey Pretty" and then keep going.
posted by PussKillian at 4:19 PM on September 17, 2012


Indigo Girls - Midnight Train to Georgia, Jonas & Ezekial, Go
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:57 PM on September 17, 2012


Letters to Cleo - Pete Beat - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKZv9LAZUNg

Tribe - defunct Boston band but incredibly good. This is the song Outside - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSVfEiswFWk&feature=related
posted by mazienh at 6:04 PM on September 17, 2012


Sharon Van Etten's latest album is great. "Serpents" was the first single I believe.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:20 PM on September 17, 2012


Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific, I'd hazard to say the entire Sleater-Kinney catalog. My choice might be Good Things or Get Up.

Also:
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Know Better Learn Faster and Oh No
Mirah, Murphy Bed and Cold Cold Water
Feist, I Feel It All and Lover's Spit (which is actually a Broken Social Scene b-side, but with her lead)
Fever Ray, Keep The Streets Empty For Me
posted by a halcyon day at 7:14 PM on September 17, 2012


Brandi Carlile - The Story
posted by Diag at 8:28 PM on September 17, 2012


Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers - Venus Shaver
Diamanda Galas and John Paul Jones - Tony
Sweethead - The Great Disruptors
Madder Mortem - Necropo lit
Boris (when Wata sings) - Hope
Janice Joplin - Move Over
Nico - Frozen Warnings
Patti Smith Group - Distant Fingers
My favorite shivery PJ Harvey moment - Fountain
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 9:12 PM on September 17, 2012


Ive been scratching itches for awesome female vocalists recently with:

Sia soul/pop
Lamb electronica/trip hop
Delilah RnB/pop
Skunk Anansie rock
Curve alt rock

And I think I'm more than likely going to be purchasing the Jessie Ware album this week what with the Mercury nomination and all. (back to the soul/pop)
posted by Ness at 10:01 AM on September 18, 2012


Try K's Choice - start with 'Not an addict'. Lead singer is called Sarah Bettens who also does some awesome solo work.
posted by Nufkin at 10:32 AM on September 18, 2012


Girl in a Coma -- many tracks, but especially "So," which is strangely absent on the internets.

Phantogram -- When I'm Small (shiver city!)
posted by *s at 1:35 PM on September 18, 2012


And I'm coming to the comment party waaaay too late, had to check some titles on my computer.

Two of my favorite songs are "Intravenous" and "The Glassmaker" by Norwegian group Bel Canto, from their album Birds of Passage. The singer's name is Anneli Drecker.

Unless there's been an excess of Siouxsie love above, I have to mention "Standing There" by the Creatures, and Siouxsie's cover of Sparks' "This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us." (This is a lousy video, but you get the idea.)
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:42 PM on September 18, 2012


I have a specific spotify playlist with songs that create this physical sensation for me.

Some of the songs by female artists on this include:

Daniel - Bat for Lashes
Running up that Hill - Kate Bush
Penitent - Suzanne Vega
My manic and I - Laura Marling
Dark therapy - Echobelly
The night starts here - Stars
Don't know why - Norah Jones
C'mon Billy - PJ Harvey
Not so manic now - Dubstar
Still can't - The Cranberries

Most of these artists have multiple records that do this to me, but these are some of the strongest.
posted by inbetweener at 11:55 PM on September 18, 2012


Basement Jaxx feat. Lisa Kekaula - Good Luck

Oooo! Lisa Kekaula! That's who my brain was groping for! Her work with The Bellrays kicks some serious ass! I happen to prefer the punky raw garage stuff, but ain't nothing wrong with the more soulful direction they take:

Anymore
Black Lightning
Sun Comes Down
On Top
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 7:09 AM on September 19, 2012


Tilt - Unravel and Berkeley Pier
posted by naoko at 2:54 PM on September 20, 2012


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