I hear voices... Female Voices (part 1).
Why not say it clearly? The purpose of this article is Nicole Andrews’s first album, In The Shallows. Specifically, the disarming piece that opens with a certain modesty, titled Just Another Female Vocalist. That's Just Another Female Vocalist - by the way, it’s good, and from New Zealand, no less. But there are a cascade of new female voices with their own musical material that is gripping a negligible portion of the music market. And I do not mean girls or pretty little trinkets. The panoply of women who are becoming increasingly visible in the indie music scene and even reach mainstream niches with unexpected styles that are often associated with leading bands or men. We can say now that they are taking more risks.
Someone in a corner of Spain surrenders to the talent of a very young kiwi debutante singer, and it is no accident. As with reading, a book takes you one place, and then another, and another, etc. The emergence of female artists in music is much more of a horizontal market than just five years ago, which allows easy transition from amateur and beyond. Except for the folk and American country genres, with deeply rooted female voices; other popular genres were fully taken over by men, with some exception. Now access to works by female artists is almost incomprehensible.
I only find two explanations for this explosion of female talent everywhere; the democratization of the music industry entailing new broadcast channels. Without the need for the traditional media or marketing campaigns, it has opened a gigantic gap in the market, being intruded by dozens of female artists. The second explanation (without empirical argument to prove their truthfulness), comes to mind is the gregariousness of man against the individualism of women in musical conflicts. If we follow the historical development of the typical band, the environment is ideal for men to develop their musical talents, and it is rather uncommon among women.
We could agree that popular music is an art that supports both sexes, but the industry seems to have favoured males. We are now in an era that moves towards equality despite the long road that lies ahead. What follows is a list of female artists who have recently appeared or who are standing out. They are as good, or better than their male counterparts. A veritable flood of female voices, which we will review over three installments.
First up is:
NICOLE ANDREWS – IN THE SHALLOWS (2015)
Despite being originally from Portland (Oregon), Nicole Andrews is making her artistic way in Wellington (New Zealand). Piano and voice are the main weapons, and their avowed influences are Tori Amos, PJ Harvey and Massive Attack (although the latter should be more of a conceptual inspiration, because it is not apparent in the songs of Andrews with a trace of trip-hop). Her debut, In The Shallows, is early 2015 and summarizes a collection of pieces that border the concept ‘torch song’. Reigning piano on the album is Steinway, recorded at the New Zealand School of Music, incorporated with beautiful string arrangements and a very subtle electronic stitching. It is introspective and romantic music, and in the most threatening passages has echoes of Tori Amos. Nicole Andrews is an artist with great potential and invites you to discover her.