I’m told today is International Women’s Day. So I thought I’d put together a list of some of my favorite (international) women in music. Most of these people I’ve mentioned on this site countless times before. And some of them I don’t listen to at all anymore. But whatever. They were a big part of my life at one point and influenced me musically in some way. Here’s a list (in alphabetical order) for you to come back to if you’re ever looking for something to listen to.
I love this song with all of my being. The perfect heartbreak song.
Babes in Toyland
When I was in high school, I was pretty sure that if I ever became a musician, I would be making music like this.
Belly's album Star is one my favorite albums ever. EVER.
The is a perfect song and Beyonce rules all.
This video was the first time I saw/heard Bjork. I was mesmerized. And frightened. These days I sometimes just can't listen to her. But everyone once in a while, I get in a mood.
People will say I should put The Go-Gos here instead. But The Go-Gos were just slightly before my time. I loved solo Belinda first and whenever this song came on VH1, I was glued to the TV singing along. I also thought we shared similar facial features (round face yet pointy chin, small turned up nose) and being an insecure kid, it made me feel good to see someone on TV with those features.
She's just amazing. And I love that she is totally respected as a singer now. I've always loved her voice but seeing this performance blew me away. Girl. Can. Sing.
I was obsessed with The Cranberries in the early 90s.
My biggest inspiration on this list. She inspired me to play guitar and the way that I play today is all due to learning her songs. Not sure I should say thank you since I never learned to play with a pick because of it.
When I started to write Sea Salt, I was listening to Feist's The Reminder on repeat and really thought that's what Sea Salt would sound like. Of course, that's not the case. Still trying to write this song.
I so wanted to be as cool as Shirley Manson.
This video played every morning on MTV as I got ready for school. Juliana is the coolest.
I've often tried - but always failed - to both 1) learn how to play this guitar intro and 2) sing this song.
This was probably the first super intense, raw album I ever bought. I was obsessed with it. Pretty much the coolest album I owned at the time.
This song could possibly be in my 10 favorite songs ever. I still love Hole. Live Through This is a fantastic album. One of the last true classics.
Whitney Houston helped me get through my mother's death. She will always be important to me for that. Rest In Peace, Whitney.
I recall always hearing about this song. Then I caught her SNL performance of it on late night TV when I was 17 and I totally felt it. I ordered the album and fell in love with the whole thing. It is my favorite get drunk and sing along to every word of every song album.
Ms. Jackson is The Queen. I remember watching this video as a little girl and running around our apartment trying to mimic every move/scene.
My karaoke jam.
Don't judge. This was the first non-strumming song I learned on the guitar. I was very proud of myself. And back then you just didn't see this kind of performance on TV.
The original karaoke jam when my girlfriends and I would all go up on stage to sing together.
Cyndi was probably my first favorite lady.
When this video came out, I was just transfixed by how goddamn beautiful she is. Then I listened and her voice is so amazing. And this song is one of the best. Ever.
I feel so honored whenever my songs get compared to Jenny's. You just know she's going to be around for a long time. An excellent songwriter.
Just try to stop watching this video. Lykke Li is dance music with feeling. The lyrics are not thrown aside. She is super super good and both of her albums are top notch.
Don't judge Part 2. And just try not to sing along. I blame her and Jewel for getting me started on my folky side.
I can't not include Madonna. When I was kid I knew this whole dance routine. Probably my favorite Madonna song.
This was my "I'm so cool" album in high school.
Erin is lovely in every way. And she's an amazing guitarist.
I always say Anais is the new Paul Simon. Lyrically, she reminds me of him, the way the words just happen so perfectly.
I also can't not include Alanis. I loved her back in the day. I really can't listen to her now and by the time her Unplugged happened, I was over her. But I always secretly liked this song, but couldn't bring myself to buy the album.
This song will cut you. Deep. A new favorite artist of mine.
Seeing this video for the first time, I knew I had to have the album and like every girl back then, I wanted to be Gwen.
I feel like my purchase of - and liking of (beyond "Nothing Compares 2 U") - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, was when I realized I liked music beyond all the fluff.
This was the first Amanda Palmer song I fell in love with.
The first time I heard this song, it blew me away how much I related to it. My group of guy friends also left suspicious things in the sink and egged me on and kept me mad.
Whenever I say how much I love PJ Harvey, this is the video I post because it just wraps up all that is awesome about her.
Salt N Pepa
"Shoop" was my jam back in the day and they paved the way for me to start listening to rap.
It was hard for me to pick a Regina song to post, so I went with the prettiest.
For reals. Go back and listen to her first record. It's an amazing and mature pop record that still holds up. This is my favorite song of hers.
Sharon Van Etten
Sharon is new to me, but I'm already so inspired by her. This is the latest favorite.
I spent a summer in my early twenties unemployed and trying to beat Super Mario Bros. 3. I had bought her album 99.9 on a whim and played it as I played this game. I've loved it ever since.
A true talent.