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5 Female Singer-Songwriters You Should Be Listening To Right Now

By  September 27, 2017

Every so often, we get bombarded by commercialized songs with formulaic structures - 3 notes and a hook - that we forget to explore other artists’ music.

The thing is, there’s an abundance of music out there for us to discover, we just need to dig deep and give our ears a treat from time to time.

With this, I’ve recently come across a handful of female artists that I wish I discovered sooner. Upon this “discovery,” I realized that most female singer-songwriters that are being severely advertised these days fall under the category of “pop stars.” There is definitely nothing wrong with that, per se.

It just perpetuates the idea that females are only capable of producing music like this, and that female artists on par with the likes of John Mayer rarely exist, WHICH IS DEFINITELY NOT TRUE!

We can’t deny the fact that we still live in a world where there’s a need to highlight one’s gender upon reference, especially when you're a woman in the music industry.

But since we’re still doing so, here's a list of 5 talented FEMALE singer-songwriters you should be listening to.



Mitski has been described as an artist who’s “anti-melody,” making Björk comparisons unavoidable. Her seemingly aggressive sound can also be easily assumed to have no end-goal, but Mitski transcends all of these through her expressive songs. Watch her crush it on this KEXP performance.



Courtney Barnett

Her honest-to-goodness lyrical poetry is probably what’s attracting thousands of listeners right now. Barnett is able to transform the mundane into a palpable, vivid imagery through her narrative and melody. Listen to her reference coffee in the song, Depreston.



Frankie Cosmos

Her lo-fi influence might strike most listeners as dreamy, but Frankie Cosmos knows how to condense our daily what-ifs into refreshing 2-minute wonders.



Angel Olsen

Olsen is more than just an “aesthetic figure.” Her raspy and stirring vocals beautifully blend with her ever-changing guitar accompaniment. In one song she revives Stevie Nick’s velvety vocals and in another, she reincarnates Sleater-Kinney’s melodic angst. Either way, she remains an artist to look out for. I highly recommend listening to her perform “Sister” in the video below.



Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief

Lenker might be the odd one on this list, being the only one in a band, but this frontwoman is as equally talented as the rest. She has brought her listeners to tears, myself included, with her soul-wrenching lyrics and melody. This NPR live session is a must-watch for anyone who’s in despair and just want to momentarily drown in their emotions. Paul and Mary are perfect songs to start with.

Photo Credit: Lucy Johnston, Mia Mala McDonald, Matthew James-Wilson, Shervin Lainez, D.C. Music Download

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