Top Five Contemporary Chanteuses

I wish I could sing better. The voice is the most evocative instrument there is. With the exception of David McAlmont (who sounds like a girl) and Chet Baker (him too), the best boy singers don’t touch me the same way the ladies do: in my head, my heart and right down to my boots all at once. Even that Seal fella and other so-called "soul" singers who will never find a place in my music collection!

These five ladies are my current favourite female vocalists.

5. Amanda Palmer
Half of Boston’s Dresden Dolls, spearheading that one-band cabaret-punk revival. I switched on coverage of the Reading Festival on Friday night in the middle of them covering Black Sabbath’s War Pigs, which they followed with [the] Kaiser Chiefs’ Every Day I Love You Less And Less. The Kaisers were playing in the next field at the time. Amanda’s voice ain’t so superlative but I’m hooked on this band at the moment and wanted to plug them.

4. Jenny Lewis
Of Rilo Kiley fame. A child actor in the Eighties (I’m imdb-ly informed) now enjoying a “solo” career backed by alt.country's The Watson Twins. Her voice is warm and friendly.

3. Neko Case
Member of several Canadian bands including personal favourite The New Pornographers. She has a solo album but I didn’t hear it yet. Didn’t fall out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down either.

2. Sarah Cracknell
Goodness only knows why Saint Etienne aren’t more popular with Sarah at the vocal helm. Her voice is like putting sugar on Frosties. I can’t get enough. Seminal works: Sound Of Water and Tales From Turnpike House.

1. Sia (Furler)
Her two solo albums have been largely ignored by the record-buying public, myself included, though some of us heard her in the final episode of Six Feet Under and on the best songs from Zero 7’s Simple Things. I saw them on a freebie years ago and was blown away when Sia opened her mouth. To this day I can’t articulate how heavenly that moment was, but that’s half the fun of music, isn’t it? The way it transcends mere words? Yeah.

With honourable mention to Aimee Mann, Polly Harvey and Liz Fraser.


Blogger The Paranoid Mod said...

mmm. Sarah Cracknell...


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