I know the word cool is quite arbitrary and doesn’t mean a lot. I also know that the NME use this word, and everything NME is evil. I can’t think of another word however, so this is therefore the cool list. Just think of word that describes ‘fucking good at what they do’.
Basically, as a male person, I think It’s fair for of me to say that women are far better than men at life. We suck. Women are awesome. They’re like, pretty and stuff, whereas men are not. Also, women are awesome musicians, especially in the genre of Punk, where there are fewer nicer sounds than a girl spiling her guts out while someone goes ape-shit on a set of drums.
So here are the (I should stress, IN MY OPINION) 20 coolest women in music. (Honerable mentions should go to Kathleen Hanna and Kira Roessler. No longer in music, so were excluded).
20) Nancy Whang
Nancy Whang (1977 in Portland, Oregon) is a Chinese-American singer and musician known for her work with The Juan MacLean and LCD Soundsystem. She has also recorded with Soulwax, and appears in the film Part of the Weekend Never Dies.
19) Emily Haines
Emily Haines is a Canadian indie rock singer. In addition to having a solo career, Haines is the lead singer of the band Metric, and performs for Broken Social Scene. She is a contralto (the deepest female classical singing voice).
18) Natasha Khan
Natasha Khan (born 25 October 1979), also known by her stage name “Bat for Lashes”, is an English musician. She sings and plays the piano, bass, guitar, harpsichord and the autoharp.
Khan’s debut album, Fur and Gold, released on 11 September 2006, peaked at #48 on the UK Album Charts and went on to be nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2007. In 2008, Khan also picked up two BRIT nominations for Best Breakthrough Artist and Best Female, leading to growing media attention. Khan’s second album, Two Suns, released on 6 April 2009, was also nominated for the Mercury Prize. Khan herself was up for Best Female Solo Artist at 2010’s BRIT Awards.
17) Lisa Papineau
Lisa Papineau is a songwriter from New England who now resides in Paris, France. She is the songwriter and vocalist for Los Angeles band Big Sir, who have released three albums. Papineau has also loaned her vocals to other bands, including Air, M83, Anubian Lights, Farflung, P.O.D., and Crooked Cowboy and the Freshwater Indians, and recently collaborated with Japanese composer Jun Miyake on his album Stolen From Strangers. She also appears on Cizaña de los Amores by Omar Rodríguez-López, co-leader of The Mars Volta.
16) Leslie Feist
Leslie Feist (born 13 February 1976), known professionally as simply Feist, is a Canadian singer-songwriter and is a member of the indie rock group Broken Social Scene. At the 2008 Juno Awards in Calgary, she was the top winner with five awards, including Songwriter of the Year, Artist of the Year, Pop Album of the Year, Album of the Year and Single of the Year.
15) Ritzy Bryan
Ritzy Bryan is the lead singer and guitarist for Welsh band The Joy Formidable. She was previously in bands Tricky Nixon and Sidecar Kisses. The Joy Formidable were cited by The Guardian as “one to watch” in 2008.
14) Kim Deal
Kimberley Ann Deal (born June 10, 1961) is an American singer, songwriter and musician, best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist for The Breeders and bassist (and lead/backup vocalist) of the alternative rock band the Pixies. Deal first joined the Pixies in January 1986 as the band’s bassist, adopting the stage name Mrs. John Murphy for the band’s releases Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa. Following Doolittle and the Pixies’ resulting hiatus, she formed The Breeders with Tanya Donelly and Josephine Wiggs. After the Pixies reconvened in 1990, Deal felt increasingly sidelined by the band’s frontman, Black Francis ; this led to the Pixies’ breakup in early 1993.
Deal then returned her focus to The Breeders, who released the platinum-selling album Last Splash (1993). In 1994, the band went into hiatus after Deal’s identical twin sister, Kelley, entered drug rehabilitation. During The Breeders’ eight year break, Deal adopted the stage name Tammy Ampersand and formed The Amps, who recorded a single album, Pacer in 1995. She resumed her role as The Breeders’ guitarist for their third album Title TK in 2002, and reunited with the Pixies in 2004. The Breeders released their fourth studio album, Mountain Battles, in 2008.
13) PJ Harvey
Polly Jean Harvey (born 9 October 1969) is a English musician and singer-songwriter. She was raised in Corscombe, Dorset and Yeovil, Somerset. Growing up, her parents were both fans of American blues music. Their record collection exposed Harvey not only to the blues but also to Captain Beefheart. Both the blues and Beefheart would become major influences on Harvey’s own musical style.
Harvey is primarily a vocalist and guitarist, but is also proficient with a wide range of instruments including piano, organ, bass, saxophone, and autoharp. She began her professional career in the early 1990s by forming a band she named PJ Harvey. She recorded her first two albums with this trio, and when they broke up she continued as a solo artist. Since 1995 she has recorded her albums with various musicians including John Parish, Rob Ellis, Mick Harvey, and Eric Drew Feldman. She has also worked extensively with the producer Flood.
Among the accolades she has received have been the 2001 Mercury Prize (for 2000’s Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea), seven BRIT Award nominations, five Grammy Award nominations and two further Mercury Prize nominations. Rolling Stone named her 1992’s Best New Artist and Best Singer Songwriter and 1995’s Artist of the Year, and placed two of her albums (Rid of Me, To Bring You My Love) on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. She was also rated the number one female rock artist by Q magazine in a 2002 reader poll.
12) Juanita Stein
Juanita Stein is the lead singer an vocalist for Howling Bells are an indie rock band formed in Sydney, Australia in 2004 by the members of the disbanded band Waikiki. They released their self-titled debut album in 2006, and followed it with Radio Wars in 2009.
11) Hayley Williams
Hayley Nichole Williams (born December 27, 1988) is an American singer, songwriter and the lead vocalist and keyboardist of the band Paramore.
Williams was discovered in 2003 by managers Dave Steunebrink and Richard Williams who signed the 14-year-old to a production deal. According to former manager Jeff Hanson in an interview with HitQuarters, at the time she was writing pop songs with top songwriters in Nashville. The label’s original plan for their new artist was to make her a solo pop artist but Williams objected to this, saying that she wanted to be part of a band and play alternative music. Atlantic decided to go along with her wishes and she then formed Paramore with Jeremy Davis and Josh and Zach Farro.
Prior to forming Paramore, the other members of what was soon to be Paramore had been “edgy about the whole female thing” of having Williams as singer, but as they were good friends she began writing with them and eventually became a member.
10) Andreya Triana
Andreya Triana is an experimental and self taught singer and songwriter originally hailing from South East London, currently based in Brighton. Andreya Triana’s debut single was released on the 6th of April 2010 on Ninja Tune and is titled ‘Lost Where I Belong’ and, like the forthcoming album, is produced by Simon Green, a.k.a Bonobo. Her debut album is due for release on the 23rd of August 2010.
9) Sandy Miranda
Sandy Miranda is the bass player for Fucked Up; a hardcore punk band from Toronto, Ontario. The band won the 2009 Polaris Music Prize for the album The Chemistry of Common Life.
Merrill Beth Nisker (born November 11, 1966), better known as Peaches, is a Canadian-born electronic musician and performance artist who lives in Berlin, Germany, whose songs are noted for questioning traditional gender norms and their use of sexually explicit lyrics.
Peaches performed guest vocals on Pink’s album Try This, on the song “Oh My God,” on the Chicks on Speed album 99 Cents, on the song “We Don’t Play Guitars” and recently on Christina Aguilera’s 2010 album Bionic, on the song “My Girls” (which was produced and co-written with Le Tigre).
7) Becky Ninkovic
Becky Ninkovic is the lead singer of You Say Party (formerly You Say Party! We Say Die!) is a Canadian five piece dance-punk band from Abbotsford, British Columbia. Their album Hit the Floor! was released in September 2005, their second album Lose All Time was released in Canada on March 20, 2007, and their third album XXXX was released on September 29, 2009 in Canada.
The band subsequently announced that they were officially dropping “We Say Die” from their name after drummer Devon Clifford collapsed and died on stage during the band’s set at The Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver. The band said they dropped it “out of respect for [Clifford] and the evolution of life”.
6) Karen O
Karen Lee Orzolek (born in November 1978), better known by her stage name Karen O, is the vocalist for the New York rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs. According to an interview that aired during the ABC network’s Live from Central Park SummerStage series, the band’s name was taken from modern New York City vernacular. The band has recorded three studio albums; the first, Fever to Tell, was released in 2003. The second, Show Your Bones, was released in 2006 and was named the second best album of the year by NME. Their third studio album, It’s Blitz!, was released on March 31, 2009 in the USA and on April 6, 2009 in the rest of the world.
She has also been noted for her sense of fashion, wearing ostentatious outfits made by her friend, fashion designer Christian Joy. In the early days of the band, she became well known for her outrageous antics during live shows.
5) Ellen Allien
Ellen Allien, born Ellen Fraatz, is a German electronic musician, music producer and founder of BPitch Control music label. She lives in Berlin, Germany. She sings in both German and English. She has said that one of the main inspirations for her music is the culture of reunified Berlin; her album Stadtkind was dedicated to the city. Her music tends to be difficult to classify stylistically and is best described as a distinctive blend of IDM and electro music, which is dance-floor oriented, yet at the same time has noticeable experimental elements.
4) Alexis Krauss
Alexis Kraussis the lead singer for Sleigh Bells; an American noise pop music duo. The group released their debut album, Treats, on May 11, 2010.
The duo performed at the CMJ Music Marathon in October 2009. They have since signed to M.I.A.’s N.E.E.T. Recordings and Mom + Pop Recordings. They initially released several tracks online, and gained attention from The Guardian, New York Times, Pitchfork Media, ABC News’s Amplified, and other sources. The Guardian named them Band of the Day in December 2009. Pitchfork named their song “Crown on the Ground” the 57th best track of 2009.Miller recorded the track “Meds and Feds” with M.I.A. from the album Maya towards the end of 2009, and began recording Treats with Krauss in 2010.
3) Jemina Pearl
Jemina Pearl Abegg (born June 20, 1987), known by the stage name Jemina Pearl, is an American singer, formerly the frontwoman of Be Your Own Pet.
She appeared in the television series Gossip Girl with a musical performance together with Thurston Moore covering the Ramones classic “Sheena is a Punk Rocker. Her debut solo album, Break It Up, was released on October 6, 2009. The album is on Ecstatic Peace, is co-written by John Eatherly and has guest appearances by Thurston Moore, Iggy Pop, Dave Sitek and Derek Stanton.
In live performances she is known for her risqué attire and 60’s-style Go-Go dancing. She is the daughter of musician/artist Jimmy Abegg.
2) Juliette Lewis
Juliette Lewis (born June 21, 1973) is an American actress and musician. She lead American rock band Juliette and the Licks until 2009. After splitting with the Licks, she has formed a new band The New Romantiques, with whom she has recorded a new album entitled Terra Incognita.
Lewis features on the track “Bad Brother” by the band The Infidels, from The Crow: Salvation Soundtrack album, which was released on April 2000. She is working with rock songwriter Linda Perry, among others. Lewis has also appeared on three tracks by Electronic Music group The Prodigy’s 2004 CD Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned (“Spitfire”, “Get Up Get Off”, and “Hot Ride”). In 2006, Blender magazine included her in their hottest women of rock music list while saying, “[She] delivered sonically varnished melodic punk replete with purring vocals and lyrics that bash porn, pharmaceutical companies and rotten lovers. (in no particular order)”.
After success as an actress and now her work as a musician, Lewis says about the two worlds, “I was always using music in my acting to prepare for roles. To me, cinema and music go hand in hand. Now I’m just giving attention to the other side of my art.”
1) Brody Dalle
Bree Joanna Alice Robinson (born on January 1, 1979) is an Australian born American singer, songwriter and guitarist. She rose to fame as lead singer/guitarist for the punk rock band The Distillers and currently fronts Spinnerette.
he Distillers released their eponymous debut album in 2000, receiving acclaim and comparisons to Hole, with Dalle often compared to Courtney Loveand later to Polly Jean Harvey. By the recording of their second album Sing Sing Death House the band had a new lineup and by the time of their third album Coral Fang Dalle was then the only remaining original member. The band experienced success with several singles from the album and performed at Lollapalooza.
After the breakup of The Distillers, Dalle began work on a new project called Spinnerette with Alain Johannes of Eleven. On December 11, 2008, the band released their first EP entitled Ghetto Love, with an accompanying video directed by Liam Lynch. A full-length album was released June 17, 2009.
Dalle married Tim Armstrong, frontman of Rancid, in 1997 when she was 18. Dalle and Armstrong divorced in 2003. After they divorced, Brody reverted to using the surname of her favorite actress, Béatrice Dalle, best known for Betty Blue. Dalle married Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures and Eagles of Death Metal member Josh Homme in 2007. They had their first child, Camille Harley Joan Homme, on January 17, 2006, and live in Los Angeles, California.