I’ve got quite a lot to say today, but I won’t rant and just keep it to the topic of this blog post = I’M EVERY WOMAN!! I am probably more aware than most people of the need to classify, order and arrange bits of information into meaningful sense….I used to be a Librarian lol (I know feel my coolness plummeting, if it was ever there in the first place?!). However, I never realised the thirst that all of us have for putting everything into boxes (not literally), and just finding a point of reference for somebody / something inorder to accept and understand them. I’m not complaining at all, it’s just really intriguing!
Since I started singing publicly for the past year and a half, I’ve had lots of comparisons to SO many ballsy female singers gone by. I’m starting to think I must just be like EVERY female singer gone by! I now understand that it’s completely normal to be compared due to the above explanation I just gave…! The reason I’m writing this today as I’ve had four comparisons in the past week, so it’s just made me think about it a bit more than usual! Here’s the list so far!….
Toyah Willcox: Just got that one today….OK so maybe that isn’t sooo great vocal-wise, but she’s kooky and a bit nuts in her videos so what the hell I’ll take that too!
Gwen Stefani: During her No Doubt days (her best days in my opinion!). What happened to her swagga jagga?…Age, marriage, kids I guess?! Live video of “Just a Girl” in concert which is pretty amazing by anyone’s standards.
The Smiths: Had this comparison recently in terms of the music. A theme with The Cheek of Her is dark and miserable lyrics set against quite happy music generally. The Smiths were fantastic at making the truth sound fabulous, when it normally stinks! Check out “Heaven knows I’m Miserable Now”.
Hazel O’Connor: Hadn’t heard of her before…but have lots of admiration for her, as she completely feels every song she sings. Check her out performing “Will You” and even playing a touch of sax
Wallis Bird: She is fabulous. I think this comparison comes more from attitude and style and when we play acoustically. For a couple of months the whole band started sounding much heavier style-wise, verging towards a metal vibe and some of the guys were telling me to wear black etc etc…but even though I love hard rock and some metal music (total respect to all the metal girls out there!), personally I don’t want to feel that every song I write has to be completely hard rock and I always have to conform to a certain look. The current set we perform live at the moment has some fresh poppy-rock tracks, a punky track, a few definite rock tracks and a couple of unusual alternative songs. They are all performed with passion and a strong vocal, that’s the key rock element for me. Wallis Bird is in her element when she’s playing music and performing and radiates that, check her out:
Patti Smith: Have been compared to this wondrous individual a couple of times. What an honour! I’m including one of her more commercial songs “Because the Night”, but she has some really quirky ones out there. A great poet, artist (and photographer I believe!).
Dolores O’Riordan: Got this one the other day. I did love The Cranberries as a teenager and there is also that Irish connection there. A guy told me this week that when he heard The Cheek of Her tracks my voice reminded him of The Cranberries but in a modern context, with different influences etc…thought that was kinda nice. Here’s a little video of Zombie played with a load of acoustic guitars:
Anouk: I think Anouk deserves far more credit globally than she has received. She is little known in the UK, but had a hit with “Nobody’s Wife” in the 90s. She has a cool naturally very low voice, and she certainly helped me develop my style of singing…
Natalie Merchant: She’s just great, loved her in 10,000 Maniacs. The music is a bit more chilled out then The Cheek of Her, but I am getting comparisons vocal-wise. She has lots of energy in her voice and a similar timbre.
Ani diFranco: I’ve had this comparison a couple of times in terms of songs / style, again especially when we play acoustically. She’s another one that reminds me of Wallis Bird (oh there I go with the comparisons!!!)…I think they both come across as really nice women, no bullshit who are all about the music and they are great artists too :).
So after over a year of all these comparisons I thought it was about time to write a post about them all, celebrating these women and their fabulousness! It’s an honour to be mentioned in the same breath as any of them really (OK well The Smiths are guys….and Toya Willcox ummmm). I wasn’t familiar with Patti Smith previously, I’ve only had Anouk and her music in my life a couple of years and The Cranberries and No Doubt started me off as a teenager I guess. Some folk say that the music we make has a 90s feel. I am not trying to revive an era or be like anyone else, but there were a lot of great female singers in the 90s doing rock / pop rock, whereas now in 2011 there are just a lot more females singing pop/RnB style looking sexy in leotards….that’s not to say it’s all bad and there aren’t some fabulous female Singers and Artists out there, and I’m sure all the guys don’t find the leotards a bad thing! it’s the way things are generally – Superficial, sugar-sweet, packaged sex with some music on top. Give me Ani DiFrano and Wallis Bird over all that any day! People with real passion that don’t have to show it with lashings of lip gloss and cleavage…The Cheek of Her. Well it is true….
Hope you enjoyed the videos, and this insight into the world of comparisons The Cheek of Her is receiving. I’m sure there will be more to come….! Just thought I’d add one last video below as it seemed quite fitting! :).