In praise of female singer-songwriters


You know how sometimes you come across something online and it seems like it was written just for you? I mean, to the point that it’s almost scary? has looked into my soul with a new feature called “Female Singer-Songwriters: The New Wave.” (The print version is called “EW’s Latest Aural Fixations,” which is a way better title.) It highlights nine new artists, from Ingrid Michaelson to Yael Naim to Kate Walsh — and Missy Higgins, too. Sounds like a list of faves, doesn’t it?

Missy Higgins

The feature includes links to the artists’ MySpace pages, as well as brief bios and helpful artistic comparisons (e.g., you’ll like Marié Digby if you like Vanessa Carlton). But there are no videos included, so allow me to provide a sampling!







I’m glad the singer-songwriter thing is cool again. Whether it’s Janis Ian, Joni Mitchell, Jane Siberry or even someone whose name doesn’t start with a J, I’ve always loved the genre, if you can call it that. And to me, it goes way beyond Lilith Fair, though that’s what compares this “new wave” to. Female musicians who write and sing have definitely been rare lately, leaving capable songstresses like Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette and Tori Amos to keep the fires burning. But now the whole forest is ablaze! (OK, clearly this metaphor is getting away from me.)

Laura Marling

Ingrid Michaelson

It’s interesting that female singer-songwriters seem to be charting their own courses — getting things done via MySpace and TV commercials, rather than record labels. Sisters still have to do it for themselves sometimes.

Visit for more pretty pictures. I must say, though, that EW’s list (and maybe the genre generally) is quite white. Where’s the modern-day Joan Armatrading? Well, I guess that would still be Joan herself.

One more thing: Doesn’t Kate Voegele (whose tracks were featured on One Tree Hill) totally look like Adele on The L Word?

Kate Voegele

OMG, maybe this is more than just one pair of doppelgangers — it could be a whole race of clones!

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