Updated: May 11, 2020
As we went into our first month of national lockdown we were spoilt for choice by many of our favourite and upcoming female artists releasing new music keeping us busy and sane.
We saw a very daring and emotional release of Anyone But Me from Joy Crookes which made Annie Mac's hottest record of the week, Yaeji gave us a full album, WHAT WE DREW, showcasing her unique and altered style of dance music.
Here is your round-up of must-listen female artists in April.
Joy Crookes - Anyone But Me
Anyone but me scored Annie Mac’s hottest record of the week, following a long-anticipated and dramatic countdown to the release of the single. With lyrics such as ‘inside my head, there's a voice that controls me’ and ‘been down for so long now that happy is holy’ Crookes narrates the struggles she's faced over her 7 years of therapy to help her with depression. In a heartfelt Instagram post, Crookes explains that her upbringing and circumstances made it difficult to turn to others to talk about her struggles with mental health.
“Music has a way to soften the blow with topics like mental health - it can make situations that seem completely out of reach, tangible - especially when you feel like you’re living with another version of yourself.”
Joy Crookes posted an intimate and raw virtual music video live on youtube, recorded in her flat with a small homemade, vibrant background titled: Anyone But Me (Live in Lockdown)#stayathome.
Kali Uchis- To Feel Alive EP
Kali Uchis surprised fans with a quarantine project, releasing a home-recorded 4 song EP.
To Feel Alive is her first release of the year and marks Uchis’ first EP since 2015 with Por Vida. Uchis is known to take pop music and turn it more lyrical, with a very distinct flair, which she has succeeded to reflect onto To Feel Alive.
However, Kali announced that the EP is a demo recorded at home as she is currently unable to release an album. The EP overall has a slightly unfinished feel to it and lacks identity in comparison to the energetic Isolation album.
Rina Sawayama - Sawayama
Rina Sawayama released her first self-titled album on April 17, after releasing singles and EPs for the past seven years. The album consists of many styles showcasing her talent and variety, with a mixture of melodies and emotions. Songs like STFU create a more upbeat dynamic to the album in comparison to the melodic Chosen Family delving into the LGBTQ community which is often neglected in pop ballads. Sawayama has a very unique style, similar to the likes of Grimes, Lady Gaga, and Poppy, which she describes as 'making uncool things cool.'
The 13 song album creates a nostalgic feel, taking listeners back to the early 2000s with her upbeat melodies and bassy, funky verses exhibited in Comme Des Garcons (Like the Boys).
Kari Faux- Lowkey Superstar
Kari Faux continues to grow her profile and identity with the release of Lowkey Superstar. Faux has given us versatile projects in the past and made appearances on projects with Childish Gambino and Isaiah Rashad but now we see Faux present us with a multi-genre album.
Faux continues to give us catchy rhythms and melodies and showcases her becoming confident in her style and the energy in her sound is reincarnated. Pull-outs from this album are McGrady and Chattin S••t with their catchy flow and jiggy instrumental combined with subtle melodic overlays of Faux.
Girl In Red - Midnight Love
Girl In Red never fails to create personal and romantic ballads whilst simultaneously arousing listeners.
Midnight Love has a very blue feel and slower tempo compared to her previous projects, creating a very obvious connection that is meant for one person only. The Norwegian singer has a very distinct, unique voice and builds on this in Midnight Love as we hear more power in range in her voice creating a very emotional and passionate declaration.
The song gradually builds tension, peaks at a strong chorus, picking up the tempo and volume, and then finishes with an almost abrupt outro giving listeners the chance to reflect on the emotion and story built throughout.
Yaeji - WHAT WE DREW
Yaeji released yet again a very cool, effortless album with WHAT WE DREW. Following her biggest hit to date raingurl. Yaeji showcases her talent with very subtle tunes giving us a unique, alternative style to dance music. Yaeji has a way to always succeed in creating a very relaxed sound with her midrange monotone and softening beats which are truly reflected in WHAT WE DREW. Pull-outs from the album include WHAT WE DREW and SPELL, both easy ‘go-to’ songs perfect for any mood and occasion.
Remi Wolf - Photo ID
Remi Wolf, like many other artists, has been keeping busy during quarantine creating and releasing projects. Photo ID has a colourful, funky edge to it, almost impossible to listen to without a head bop or toe tap. The almost minute-long outro of the song encapsulates Woolf’s spontaneous and optimistic energy, building on the feeling of improvisation. Now available, the Agusta Yr directed video was made in quarantine, matching protective masks against a sweet dance routine - just what we need in these times, bringing a bit of colour and fun.
Princess Nokia - I Like Him
Princess Nokia released I Like Him in February however, the song has become a hit and gained popularity through TikTok. The song is catchy and has an attitude to it, making it popular to dance to. Princess Nokia is beginning to gain the recognition she deserves as a daring and bold artist. Fans were treated with two albums earlier this year from the New York artist. Princess Nokia presented Everything is Beautiful, a soulful, melodic album, followed by Everything Sucks, a more grimy, care-free album, a fun concept to see the diversity in her ability to delve into opposing genres.
Pip Millett - Lost in June EP
The newest short album from Pip Millett showcases her mature, modern R&B style, similar to the late Amy Winehouse. Pip gives a very refined class to the genre with her slow tempo songs and raw sound creating intimacy between lyrics and tone. Throughout the album we hear a glimpse of Pip's mother talking, bringing dynamic to the EP, exploring different ways of storytelling through sound.
Pip's mother's narrations create a very genuine and comforting experience, which we have seen in the likes of Loyle Carner's album Yesterday's Gone. A standout song from the project is Deeper Dark which has a very intimate experience almost as though Millett is performing in the studio for the listener.