Over the last couple of years female vocalists like Lana Del Rey, Icona Pop, and Lorde have blown up thanks to ear worm singles that demand radio play and commercial deals. Lorde being the most recent female to come out of nowhere and take over your radio with her infectious single "Royals." You may not have willingly, or even knowingly, heard the aforementioned artists, but you have undoubtedly heard their music somewhere.
The bands/singers on this list haven't reached that level of fame or public familiarity, even though some have been releasing albums for over a decade. These are bands you may not have listened to yet or even heard of, but they are worth checking out.
CHVRCHES is a Scottish pop band that has been together since 2011 and relies heavily on synthesizers and electronic beats. Their lead singer, Lauren Mayberry, has an attention grabbing and energetic voice that is the centerpiece of the band. They are on the verge of blowing up. It is only a matter of time before they are all over the radio and soundtracking commercials. Check out their debut full length album, released in September of this year, which features standout tracks "The Mother We Share" and "Recover."
Sleigh Bells is a noise pop duo formed in 2008 who have released three full length albums to date. They have been featured in many commercials and television shows, including a recent iPhone commercial, but they are still not a household name. Sleigh Bells has a unique sound that some find inviting and others may find abrasive. Their music consists of aggressive, almost angry guitar and electronic noise that is complimented by confectionary vocals from leader singer Alexis Krauss. The juxtaposition of the loud, raging guitars and the candy coated vocals on songs such as "Tell 'em" is captivating. A good place to start your Sleigh Bells listening experience would be with their impressive debut album "Treats."
HAIM is a three piece indie/folk/pop hybrid band that consist of three sisters who share last name Haim, hence the band name. HAIM had been steadily increasing in popularity over the past year and have several videos on youtube with a few million views already. The Haim sisters have been making music for a long time, but they just released their first studio album "Days Are Gone" in September. It has received quite a bit of acclaim since its release and is definitely worth listening to.
Rilo Kiley has been around for a while. They are a folksy indie pop band who released their first album in 1999. They have been on a hiatus for a few years but just released an album of rare and previously unreleased songs in April. Lead singer Jenny Lewis belts out honest and personal lyrics with a sincerity in her voice that makes you want to listen. The subject matter isn't always happy and positive, but its real. If you are only going to listen to one Rilo Kiley album, it should be their third release, "The Execution of All Things", which features the stellar track "A Better Son/Daughter."
Neko Case is another one on this list that has been around a while. She dropped her first record back in 1997 and has since been in a number of bands, most notably the canadian rock band The New Pornographers. Her music could be described as indie/folk rock/alt-country. She is similar to Rilo Kiley in a lot of ways, yet different in just as many. Her voice demands your attention, soaring above the instrumentation and into your head for days. Her lyrics can abstract and weird, but they are nothing if they are not poetic. Start listening in chronological order with her first release, "The Virginian", or in reverse chronological order with her latest album "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight…"