Let us be carried away by the sensuality and passion of these talented musicians and let’s see which are the most interesting albums published this year by female songwriteres. You’ll find in this selection a few queens of folk and other artists who are more oriented towards to rock and pop music. In all cases, however, we’re in front of important songwriters and performers gifted with the capacity to tell stories it in the way we like most: with music.
Imelda May, Life Love Flesh Blood
In the last decade Irish singer Imelda May has earned a proud reputation as one of the best folk and rock singers of our time and her last work, Life Love Flesh Blood, further consolidates all the positive things that have been said so far about her skills and talent.
Initially affirmed with a rockabilly-oriented musical style, Imelda May has slowly shifted towards a peculiar and enjoyable soft rock with the incremental introduction of elements coming from the folk tradition. The last album signs a further change in her musical direction and sees the artist engaged with a number of country and folk ballads of absolute value. And despite some critics haven’t fully appreciated this change of style, I am among those who have greatly enjoyed the new musical path she has taken with her last album. Imelda May’s LP, as far as I am concerned, is among the finest things I’ve heard since the beginning of the year.
Marika Hackman, I’m Not Your Man
Marika Hackman is a young English singer-songwriter whose debut album, the 2005’s We Slept at Last, showed to the world her talent as singer but also her delicate and atmospheric folk style. Hackman’s last release, the beautiful I’m Not Your Man, confirmed her ability to mix together traditional english-folk atmospheres with more modern alternative-rock elements.
The album is an extremely varied work in which she managed however to maintain a stylistic consistency and an overall enjoyability, both in the songs that are clearly influenced by new century Britpop than in those tracks that contain more atmospherical and melodic elements.
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice
Australian indie rocker Courtney Barnett has joined efforts with American songwriter Kurt Vile to release one of the best collaborative albums of the year, Lotta Sea Lice.
The album succeeds where many musical collaborations fail: the two artists managed in fact to integrate their different compositional approaches and singing techniques and the amalgam resulting from this joint work is ultimately a musical style in itself, complete and well-characterized. A confirmation of this achievement can be recognized by the fact that both the original tracks and the few covers which have been reintepreted by the duo are hard to distinguish from each other
Blake Hazard, Possibilities at Sea
American singer and songwriter Blake Hazard has shown since the early years of her career a musical sensibility that is out of the ordinary, both in her solo works and in the important collaborations where she’s been involved so far, including of course her participation in the indie rock band The Submarines with John Dragonetti, who’s also been her life partner for a few years.
Possibilities at Sea, which is Blake Hazaard’s new solo album, is a fantastic and exciting journey in the world of modern folk, with interesting diversions into indie rock and alternative. The record reveals the class and talent of the artist but it’s also one of those albums gifted by that genuine feeling which can result only from many years of playing in small clubs.
Laura Marling, Semper Femina
British singer-songwriter Laura Marling is nowadays an established figure in folk music, and with her last album Semper Femina she has reached the important achievement of six solo albums, that’s quite impressive considering that she’s only 27 years old. Despite the young age, the times of her “innocent creativity” are now lost and she artist has now embarked into a more ambitious and articulated musical approach. With still good results,
Laura Marling’s last effort is a profound and quite complex exploration of women world and also female relationships. Fortunately the British musician managed to keep a certain distance from an excessive conceptuality and she instead succeeded in giving interest and pleasurness to the different tracks of the album.