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5 New Songs With Excellent Female Vocals June 10, 2012

Posted by gwyoung in Lists, Music, Track Reviews.
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Here are a few of the songs I’ve been repeating lately, aggregated into a list so I don’t have to write too much about each one. The theme is female vocals, though I didn’t even notice that they all had that feature in common until I had finished preparing the list. Anyway, here they are, in alphabetical order:

Banks’ performance on her latest single tops everything she’s done so far, not just because of her verses but because of the way her cadence perfectly meshes with Hudson Mohawke’s bouncing, horn-stabbing production. The title is pretty spot-on, too, as the whole thing sounds like a pack of wild animals stampeding through a jungle. The full mixtape, Fantastic, will be out July 4th.

The second and better half of Touch & Go’s comeback single from the sisterly freak-folk duo, CocoRosie, contains all the electronic flourishes and gentle beats of their best efforts (see “Rainbowarriors”) but is made even better by the addition of Antony Hegarty. His baroque falsetto, when coupled with the weirdo Appalachian stylings of Bianca and Sierra, make for an intimate and beautiful melody about “love for humankind”.

Apparently Finnish group Husky Rescue just revamped their entire lineup, sound, and image, now favoring hushed electronic pop over sprawling ambient musings, and the result of that is startlingly good. Recently-hired vocalist Johanna Kalen really shows her stuff here, evoking similar warbling styles to Twin Sister, the aforementioned CocoRosie, and even Bjork.

Major Lazer’s latest features Amber Coffman (notable for providing the “oohs” and “ahhs” in the Dirty Projectors) singing of independence over a relaxed reggae beat courtesy of Diplo. The track is a lot less spastic than some of Major Lazer’s previous work, presenting a new direction for the project as well as building a perfectly breezy backdrop for Coffman’s stellar performance. If you’re looking for something more upbeat but just as excellent, try the Bonde do Role remix included on the EP.

Barfod’s latest album, Salton Sea, features a lot of excellent collaborative efforts pairing beautiful vocals over delicate house music, but the best is definitely “November Skies” featuring Nina Kinert. Though the title calls to mind grey clouds and cold weather, the track is colorful, cool, and gentle, like a relieving summer rain. It’s perfect for blasting out a car stereo this summer, possibly on the way back from a trip to the beach.

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