Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged female singer

Acoustic Project

When I moved to Virginia over four years ago, I didn’t know what folk music was. Growing up in Portland Oregon, I was raised on the quickly growing West Coast indie rock scene. But sometime in my teenage years I started finding artists like Sparklehorse, Nickel Creek, Laura Gibson, and Blitzen Trapper and I couldn’t get enough. I didn’t know then what it was about these different artists’ sounds that made my mouth water, but there was something they had in common, something earthy, something gritty, that I absolutely loved. And when I arrived in Virginia, it finally dawned on me.

Dancing on the Moon

Lisa Bell delivers the goods on her third album, mixing blues, jazz, pop, and roots into a bright, sparkling mix.

Levantine Indulgence

Singer and composer Gaida’s debut album Levantine Indulgence is named for Levant, the Fertile Crescent’s desert oasis. Aptly named, this album offers listeners an abundance of vocal and instrumental styles that even the most resistant listeners can find nourishing and enchanting. The opening track, “Dream,” begins with rhythmic clapping and percussion and a chorus of male voices who share vocals with the lead singer.

No Rest

Brooklyn songstress roommates, longtime collaborators, and bestie brunettes Christy Edwards and Emily Manzo have hipster cred out the wazoo. So do loads of other borough-based bands, but few have the raw talent of these two singer-songwriter women—a label that hardly defines the true depth of their talent. Their music, at times hauntingly sparse, reverberates with their lush voices and minimal instrumentation, often just Christy’s guitar or Emily’s keyboard. Sound cloying? The opposite is true.

Voice of an Angel: Talking to Jill Andrews

When I first spoke to singer Jill Andrews, I was quite shocked when she first answered the phone. Her voice was low, slow, and groggy, which wasn’t what I was expecting. You see, Andrews quite literally has the voice of an angel. As it turned out, I was waking her up from a peaceful nap with her infant son, Nico. Nico was born around the time that Andrews’ critically acclaimed, Tennessee-based band, The Everybodyfields, broke up.

Cradle Songs

Although happily childfree, I like kids and am intrigued by that idiosyncratic collective experience known as childhood. I am especially fascinated by the many ways we share the histories, humor, and ideologies of our cultures. I try to stay abreast of how these things are communicated. I pay close attention to what music is marketed to children (when, why, and by whom).

People Eating People

So, back in the day, I was in a struggling band in Seattle. And back in that day, one of the biggest breaks a struggling band could get was getting a blurb written about them in The Stranger, the local indie newspaper (edited by none other than Dan Savage, of “Savage Love” fame). While my band was scrambling between shows, staying up way too late at practice, and generally creating plenty of VH1 Behind the Music drama, another band was stealing all of the time in The Stranger: Mon Frere.

Broken Cookies

While there are plenty of catchy numbers on Broken Cookies, the second full-length album from Ohio native Annie Dinerman, it is her lyrics that set her apart from her peers in the folk-pop category and make her songs memorable.

Know Better Learn Faster

“Messy” and “complicated” could very well be the two best words for defining romantic love. As suggested by the title of Thao with The Get Down Stay Down’s latest record, Know Better Learn Faster, the brokenhearted masses could easily avoid painful relationships if they were just plain smarter and quicker learners.

Lady Love

It's hard to believe that it's been over ten years since Destiny's Child released their first album. I was a teenager at the time, and as a big fan of bubblegum pop, I always enjoyed their music. One of my favorite Destiny's Child songs was “Independent Women;” their music had a sassy, you-go-girl vibe to it (although I'm sure many feminists prefer their empowering anthems to come from artists who aren't so “Bootylicious”).

Selenidad: Selena, Latinos and the Performance of Memory

“This is not a book about Selena, but about what it means to remember her,” explains the author in the opening statement of her book. Remembering Selena is a remedy that releases the emotions of her grieving family, her fans, and those who became engaged in her music only after discovering the impact that she had on Latino communities. Selena, a pop diva from Corpus Christi Texas, was murdered by her fan club president, Yolanda Saldívar on March 31, 1995. Instantly, Selena became a posthumous icon—a symbol—the object of adoration by many.


It is hard to imagine Robin Guthrie’s music without the accompanying voice of his former better half, Elizabeth Fraser. Her vocal styling, a combination of mouth music and abstract lyrics, became a trademark of the Cocteau Twins and left a distinctive quality that remains even if she works with other musicians.


It’s a treasure to stumble upon new music that for one reason or another resonates deeply within you. I selected Crepusculo after learning that Petracovich singer Jessica Peters Malmberg had made the album while pregnant, and then tragically lost her son shortly after he was born.

From The Heart

"Just 'cause I'm laid-back don't mean I'm easy," begins the album. "I am more than just a plaything." I am reminded of the first time I ever waited on a boy to call me. I was sixteen-years-old. Like a dork, I waited all day anticipating his call. My family rolled their eyes at my eager naiveté, and I found myself walking around my parents' backyard with a big cordless phone bulging in my back pocket. Finally, I gave up and called him late that night. He had completely forgotten about me. He realized and quickly made up some lame excuse about a fire.

Truth Be Told

Ronda Matson delivers a solid collection of songs on her second outing, Truth Be Told, and her traditional folk approach, heavy on strumming guitar and harmonica, will please purists. Her plaintive, husky voice sets her apart from other singers, and it’s refreshing to listen to a record that doesn’t rely primarily on love songs.

Clara Bellino

“I’ve got one foot in the grave one foot on a banana peel you can call me brave _but I know the deal” Those are the first four lines of the song “Game Up—Bigger Pickle” on Clare Bellino’s latest release Embarcadero Love.

Here Come the Vikings

Astrid Williamson is a Scottish-born musician, who has been compared to Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac and lists among her influences the canon of American singer-songwriters, such as Bob Dylan and [Joni Mitchell](http://feministreview.blogspot.com

The Drifter

The wanderlust, the whisky, the love-done-me-wrong– Mexican-Canadian musician Lindi Ortega sings it all out on The Drifter EP, and even if you're not a fan of indie country folksiness, her voice calls to you. The singer's voice lulls and disarms with a sweetness that could be borderline saccharine. Nonetheless, she is saved by her expansive ability to belt out a tune.

Barking Up The Wrong Tree

You either love European electronica or you hate it. Growing up in a very Mid-American rave scene, I like to believe I’ve moved beyond partying in vacant co-opted strip malls and refined my tastes in all things club music. Camille Jones is a Danish pop singer and producer, but thankfully for her international audience, she sings her breathy tracks in English. Best known for her 2004 single “The Creeps,” Jones’ new release, Barking Up The Wrong Tree is an excellent example of what modern Euro electropop can be. Maybe your definition of club is not mine.

My Heart’s Desire

I’m tossing my reviewer’s hat on the floor for this album because it’s hard to be objective about a record that I loved from the first time I played it.

Good Evening

Somewhere, there is an indie coming-of-age film that is just begging to be scored by Nite Jewel. Nite Jewel is the stage name of one Ramona Gonzalez, a songwriter and composer who hails from Los Angeles California. Using a multi-track cassette recorder, keyboard, drums and other various instruments, Nite Jewel’s music is reminiscent of that synthesized techno pop sound that reached its pinnacle in the 1980s.

My Electric Family

Bachelorette is the electronic dream pop project of New Zealander Annabel Alpers.

Look Ahead

Chrissy Coughlin’s sound is an amalgamation of pop, indie, and folk, but overall it’s good songwriting, and she switches styles with aplomb. “Back to You” starts the album out kicking; it’s a peppy, upbeat tune marked by a strong beat and understated organ. The lyrics of this toe-tapping power rock song are somewhat trite (“If I don’t turn around and stay I would be a fool/I’m coming back to you”), but it’s absolutely fun nevertheless.

Sea Sew

Ah, the curse of cuteness. Lisa Hannigan must know it better than many.

The Annie Lennox Collection

There are some striking facts that become evident when listening to this collection of the former Eurythmics frontwoman: first, how similar her music sounds to her work with Dave Stewart— lots of thick, fat synthesizers and glassy dance beats.

Middle Cyclone

Music reviews are supposed to be about critical analysis, not deferential boot-licking. But Heaven help me, I cannot help it this time. I love Neko Case. Did you hear me? LOVE. L-O-V-E.

Phratry EP

Most people can’t play an instrument, but Lauren K. Newman (also known as LKN) can play at least five. And she plays them all on the same album. This one-woman band has released her fourth album through Greyday Productions.

From the Heart

Discovering new music from a classic artist makes you feel like you’re getting to know an old friend a little bit better. The picture of them in your mind feels more complete and well-rounded.

It's Not Me, It's You

I had never heard any of Lily Allen's songs until "The Fear," the first single off of It's Not Me, It's You, was released in January. I was hooked instantly; I could hardly wait until the U.S. release date for this album. Lily Allen doesn't disappoint.

Nocturnal Drifter

"I consider all of the arts to be interconnected," writes Jessie Kilguss, who began a career as a film actor before shifting media to become a singer.