The 60th Annual Grammy Awards aired this past Sunday, and as the ceremony progressed, there was plenty of talk online about how the Time’s Up movement would engage with the music industry. Lorde, the only female artist nominated for Album of the Year for her 2017 hit “Melodrama”, was not asked to perform, and by the end of the night only one woman had received a solo award. People across the web questioned how so few women received recognition, and in response, the Record Academy President was quoted as saying women in music need to “step up” if they want to be recognized in future awards ceremonies.
This list highlights five female musicians who have been consistently writing, playing, and singing high-quality music worthy of recognition.
Lorian Bartle is an accomplished guitarist and vocalist, who is an active performer in the Denver area. With a repertoire ranging from classical pieces to popular hits, she has taken her classical training and provided weddings, parties, and more events with her fun, beautiful, and complex performances.
Most recently, she performed at the Applewood Business Association’s Tuxes & Tees event, Foothills Art Center member openings, Taste of Golden, and the City of Wheat Ridge Performance Artist Series.
Listen closely to hear the delicacy and urgency with which she picks the guitar.
Growing up in the Black Hills, a National Forest of South Dakota, clearly influenced Haley Bonar’s music. In her 7th full-length album, Impossible Dreams, she reminisces on her time growing up, all the while strumming her acoustic guitar; she also recalls themes of growth, from her relationship with her parents to her relationship with herself, all the way to reflections on her own teenage pregnancy and subsequent motherhood.
Haley’s lyrics dive deep, and her musicality brings the music to even greater emotional depths.
At her NPR Tiny Desk Concert, she sings to you her sorrows and then transitions into the urgency of love and the jealousy that is tied into it. Haley Bonar has stories to tell, and it’s time we listened.
Jess Williamson found her sound when she returned home to Austin, Texas, and listeners are grateful for it. With a voice that she lets soar, and the soothing sounds of an electric guitar, Jess recalls old country with a modern indie twist.
Her second album, Heart Song, was recorded directly to tape, and gives the album an intimacy, as though she was singing directly to you.
Elena Tonra (lead singer of Daughter)
Elena Tonra will tell you herself: sad songs are her best songs. Whether it’s the depth of feeling, or the weight of her own personal sadness, Elena has struck a chord that her band, Daughter, is always ready to harmonize with.
The London-based singer wrote and recorded the band’s latest album, Music Before the Storm, and the band worked with Nicolas Vernhes, who has produced albums from The War on Drugs to Animal Collective and more. This album is full of their standard sorrow while also infusing the listener with some hope to be found once the storm passes.
Ella Herrera has been performing throughout South Florida for over six years. With guitar in hand, she recalls heartbreak and new love with her strong vocals and driving rhythm.
With each song, the listener is imbued with strong emotion along with a beat that makes dancing hard to resist.