As Dave Grohl helps launch the career of his daughter, Violet, and Nandi Bushell drum fights, he continues to point out that young women are the future of rock ‘n’ roll – and he’s right. Women already dominate in pop, country and (especially in recent years) rap. At last, rock is catching up.
As Brandi Carlile takes it to heart to become Soundgarden’s permanent singer, as Violet Grohl prepares for a solo career, while Frances Bean Cobain shows off an occasional barebone ballad, let’s take a look at the top 10 female artists and female-led groups who shape the rock of tomorrow.
If you like these 10, also check out Jinjer, Bones UK, Spiritbox, Thundermother, The Hot Damn !, The Velveteers, Svalbard, Deap Valley, SATE, Saint Agnes, Kills Birds, Smoking Martha, Bastette, Jail Job Eve, The Bloody Nerve , Samantha Fish, Lovehoney and Grace McKagan for more artists – to name a few – who prove that “the future is female” is not just a political slogan.
In a whisper, Emily Armstrong yells: “Hey! Wait!With an urgency that would indeed stop you; in the next, she rings calligraphy “meat-eating orchids” on linen stationery. The nuance of her Ann Wilson vocals combined with the elastic guitar playing of Siouxsie Medley are central to the Los Angeles-based cover of Dead Sara’s Nirvana. Heart Shaped Box, their famous Meteorologist, Lemon scent, and many other songs.
Armstrong is a modern favorite of Courtney Love and Grace Slick, and Dave Grohl has claimed that Dead Sara “should be the next greatest rock band in the world.”
Perhaps best known for their stripped blanket Black bettyGeorgia-born Nashville-based Rebecca and Megan Lovell were named after their four great-grandfathers, whose cousin was Edgar Allan Poe. And while Poe’s macabre sense may not show up in the music of the Lovell sisters, his mastery of storytelling does, as on fan favorite. Holy Spirit fire.
Rebecca’s scratchy, layered vocals and Megan’s punchy guitar add real rock’n’roll to the south-blues base of Larkin Poe’s sound. Their most recent record, Self Made Man, represented their second trip to the top of the Billboard chart of blues albums.
The most established group on our list but still gaining traction, Wolf Alice has opened for Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age and Liam Gallagher. Led by Ellie Rowsell, the group won NME Awards, a Mercury Prize and a UK Festival Award.
They were also nominated for a Grammy (Best Rock Performance) for Moaning Lisa Smile, which shows Wolf Alice making a huge rock hook against their patented indie aesthetic. The group is currently on tour, and their third album, Blue weekend is a favorite with critics and fans alike thanks to Rowsell’s bold yet intimate voice and the record’s surreal, radical vibe.
The dead dead
With giant X’s painted over their eyes, Nashville, TN rockers The Dead Deads drew praise from members of Kiss, Halestorm, Cheap Trick, Slipknot and Seether. McQueen, Daisy and Meta combine soft vocals and nursery rhyme lyrics with gnarled beats and metal screams, like on the popular Ghosts. Their third album, including the women’s empowerment thrasher Hi girlfriend, was released in September with rambunctious praise.
Another group of siblings, the Marmozets are the Macintyres (Rebecca, vocals; Sam, guitar; Josh, drums) and the Bottomleys (Jack, guitar; Will, bass). Although they allude to the fact that most of their fans are still men at this point, Rebecca, as a frontwoman, inspires young women to start their own group. And for good reason.
After a solid start that included rave reviews for their debut EP and LP and a tour with Muse, Rebecca had to overcome hypermobility syndrome before the band could complete their second album. She did and they did, and the result was the in-your-face, absurdly dancing Know what you know now in 2018. We haven’t heard from them since, but apparently they’re just “living our own lives” for a while.
After migrating to Sumerian Records, a label known for encouraging artists to go as far as they want, the singer formerly known as Juliet Simms became Lilith Czar. And his work has become a prolonged war cry on stifling rhythms and sawn guitars.
She chose her new name because Lilith is supposed to have been created as Adam was created – in her own words, from “dirt and dirt” – and not from him. Her much-vaunted song King is a confrontational feminist hymn, declaring over and over again, “If it’s a man’s world, I wanna be king. “
“The best band you’ve never heard of,” according to Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Nova Twins opened for Wolf Alice and Black Honey. With aggressive Georgia South bass and scathing vocals from Amy Love, the sound of Nova Twins is pure punk reinvention. Offensive, reckless and filthy to the core, their music does not go back to the 90s; it’s punk for the 2020s – raw noise that counteracts modern horse poop.
After reinventing itself – changing its name from The Hype Theory and moving away from a pop-punk sound – Tigress’ first show was the launch party for the Vans Warped Tour. They performed with Green Day at British Summer Time in Hyde Park in London. And they opened for Bring Me the Horizon – all before signing with Humble Angel Records.
With brilliant reviews for their 2021 album Pure Vida, we can expect a lot more of Tigress’s running beats, epic orchestration, and Katy Jackson’s smoky voice.
Don’t touch Gretel
Frequently digging into female-specific themes, Hands Off Gretel includes Lauren Tate (vocals and guitar) and Becky Baldwin (bass). Tate’s voice effortlessly alternates between hard rock and punk, interspersed with deafening squeals and Iron Maiden screams.
No matter what tone they shoot for, their intense beats and breathtaking pace create carnival rides from mosher after mosher. Their latest album, I want the world, sort of balances wizarding seduction with elegantly crass creepy tactics with vulnerable confession.
Poppy, the former bubblegum pop star, YouTuber, musician and singer Poppy (real name Moriah Rose Pereira) has started to switch from pop to nu metal. on her second album, but it’s on her third, with Sumerian, that she really lets her metal and industrial rock flags fly. This year his claustrophobic hit and came to Jesus The price of blood was nominated for the Grammy for Best Metal Performance.