Indie Music Reviews - Bipper Media

Potential unpopular opinion: I’m tired of seeing albums with malnourished, skinny jeaned men who seem to always be looking off camera make the top charts in the indie music scene. They’ve had their time to shine, and truly, I’m over it. Well, maybe I’m not. I still enjoy the occasional Arctic Monkeys or Cage the Elephant listen from time to time.

What I really mean, is that I want to see more female forward bands and female vocalists make the top charts consistently. Women have made strides in the music scene, but they deserve the same recognition and respect that listeners give to male artists.

With today marking the first day of women’s history month, I figured I would give my personal recommendations on female artists and bands who deserve to be talked about just as much as their male counterparts.

Snail Mail

Snail Mail Valentine - Bipper Media

“Valentine” Album Cover

Indie rock vocalist and guitarist Lindsey Jordan first performed under her stage name, Snail Mail, while she was still in high school and has been producing music ever since. Her moody, introspective music plays into themes of adolescence and young love.

Jordan wrote her third album, “Valentine,” while she was living in her parents house at the onset of the pandemic in 2020. The album reminisces on past relationships and young love and the angry fall out that ensues. Her yearning, disillusioned voice truly encaptures this generation’s troubled relationship with love and mental health.

Genre: Indie rock, indie pop

Song picks: Pristine, Madonna, Light Blue

Julia Jacklin

Julia Jacklin

“Crushing” Album Cover

Australian singer/songwriter Julia Jacklin converges dreamy pop and alternative country in her music to elicit passionate and heartbreaking emotions. Her sophomore album, “Crushing,” released in 2019 turned heads from major artists with it’s raw, emotional outlook on losing relationships and rebuilding yourself in the process. Her intimate lyrics tell stories of heartbreak and truly are the main event of her songs. The stripped back instrumentals don’t overpower her voice and allow her dreamy, regretful tone to shine through her work.

Genre: Indie pop, alternative country/folk

Song picks: Don’t Know How to Keep Loving You, to Perth, before the border closes, Pressure to Party

Boyish

Boyish - Garden Spider Album

“Garden Spider” Album Cover

This female fronted band features lead vocalist India Shore and guitarist Claire Altendahl. The duo formed while they attended the Berklee College of Music, and their first release, “Carnation,” focused on the college music scene with rich lyrics and heart-rendering vocals. The first song on the track, “July,” begins with Shore’s hypnotizing, ethereal vocals and quickly ascends to a weeping yell full of voice cracks and raw emotions. Boyish captures the painful sentiments of heartbreak and transforms it into an authentic scream.

The duo’s second album, “Garden Spider,” builds off their foundation and brings a strong alternative pop sound with soft beats and reflective lyrics that transport the listener into a dreamlike state. Listening to this album makes you want to drive down a deserted road in the middle of the night or hear the muffled sounds in through a closed bathroom door at a house party.

Genre: Indie pop, alternative rock

Song picks: July, wumpus, Zodiac Killer

Boygenius

Boygenius - Bipper Media

“Boygenius” Album Cover

Though not technically a single artist, Boygenius is an indie rock convergence of three independent artists, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers. Formed in 2018, the trio each came to the group with a pre existing foundation and fandom from their solo work. The group formed due to the artists’ respect and admiration for the others’ work. When the band started, each woman was under the age of 25 with similar careers and experiences within the music industry. The three friends came together to create this EP as a celebration of their work and a convergence of their unique, individual sounds.

The six track EP, “Boygenius,” combines the differing genres and sounds that the individual artists create in their solo work. The result? A deeply emotional reflection on love, fame and disillusionment with your past self. Bridgers, Dacus and Baker are masterful lyricists in their own right and the talent shines through in their collective group. The group works because each artist has her own unique sound, so the EP doesn’t sound like a repeat of each artist. Baker brings in vocal forward music that is coupled with Dacus’ amplified electric guitar riffs. Bridgers ties it together with dark, hypnotic lyrics.

Since its creation, Boygenius has held a name of its own separate from the individual artist’s work. However, Dacus, Baker and Bridgers create incredible solo work that reflects their independent sound and deserves just as much attention as their collective work receives.

Genre: Indie rock, alternative folk

Song picks: Souvenir, Salt In The Wound (There’s six songs on the EP and they all deserve a listen)

So there it is – a starting list of female indie artists to listen to if you want to diversify your listening habits. This is not an all-encompassing list, and hopefully it will kickstart your journey into the female led indie music scene.

Indigo De Souza

Indigo De Souza - Bipper Media

“Any Shape You Take” Album Cover

This North Carolina native perfectly captures the deep emotional state of being young and in love or being young and out of love. Her authentic vocals coupled with electric guitar riffs and intense drumming transport listeners into her mind where they experience the full range of emotion she expresses.

Her sophomore album, “Any Shape You Take,” follows a full range of emotions from joy to heartbreak to sorrow. The album expertly crafts the human experience. There will be joy and there will be sorrow in life and sometimes they can occur at the same time. De Souza doesn’t shy away from combining the two contentious emotions into one album, and the result is a genuine outlook on the pains and happiness of life.

Her guttural, zealous vocals often reach a crescendo of outright screaming with yearning. It seems De Souza’s only way to express her feelings behind the lyrics is through incoherent, bloodcurdling sounds. Don’t let the intensity of her vocals steer you away from her work. Her masterful lyrics and trembling voice will leave you shaken to the core but in the best way possible.

Genre: Indie rock

Song picks: Real Pain, Pretty Pictures, Bad Dream

Boygenius

Boygenius - Bipper Media

“Boygenius” Album Cover

Though not technically a single artist, Boygenius is an indie rock convergence of three independent artists, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers. Formed in 2018, the trio each came to the group with a pre existing foundation and fandom from their solo work. The group formed due to the artists’ respect and admiration for the others’ work. When the band started, each woman was under the age of 25 with similar careers and experiences within the music industry. The three friends came together to create this EP as a celebration of their work and a convergence of their unique, individual sounds.

The six track EP, “Boygenius,” combines the differing genres and sounds that the individual artists create in their solo work. The result? A deeply emotional reflection on love, fame and disillusionment with your past self. Bridgers, Dacus and Baker are masterful lyricists in their own right and the talent shines through in their collective group. The group works because each artist has her own unique sound, so the EP doesn’t sound like a repeat of each artist. Baker brings in vocal forward music that is coupled with Dacus’ amplified electric guitar riffs. Bridgers ties it together with dark, hypnotic lyrics.

Since its creation, Boygenius has held a name of its own separate from the individual artist’s work. However, Dacus, Baker and Bridgers create incredible solo work that reflects their independent sound and deserves just as much attention as their collective work receives.

Genre: Indie rock, alternative folk

Song picks: Souvenir, Salt In The Wound (There’s six songs on the EP and they all deserve a listen)

So there it is – a starting list of female indie artists to listen to if you want to diversify your listening habits. This is not an all-encompassing list, and hopefully it will kickstart your journey into the female led indie music scene.

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