Sabrina Fallah

“Do what you love and never give up!”

Women rock, and in Sabrina Fallah’s case, she actually does rock. Her guitar-driven melodies might remind you of P!nk or Avril Lavigne, but Fallah’s sweet soprano adds a unique twist.

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Her EPs, a self-titled debut and follow-up album “Kiss Is a Killer,” show that she’s been at this for a while. In the 10 years she’s been performing, music has become her full-time work. Her first hint that she wanted to be a singer was at age 14 when she won her first singing competition, but she’s been surrounded by music since childhood. Her cousin would play his guitar and let her hear the new bands he was listening to. Some of her favorites now are Green Day, Bon Jovi, and Billy Idol. This exposure, along with her love of writing short stories and poetry, led her to becoming a singer/songwriter.

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Feist

I forgot about her! Sort of. Some of her songs from Metals always make it on to my fall playlists, but before and after that, I forgot about her. It has been six years, after all, since she released anything new. But, I personally feel that should be the hallmark of a steady artist. Give yourself space and time to create genuine music instead of slamming a new single or album out yearly. (Don’t get me wrong, some artists do that, and they do it well… but usually they don’t because it’s rushed and forced.)

Her new album, Pleasure, is coming out April 28. It took me a couple listens to this new single Century to warm up to it. The tempo is a little trickier–it never quite gets beyond that point where you feel the sound is going to crest. The guitars are low and prod you forward like thumbing your way for a ride down a long desert road. The ending features a bit of spoken word by English artist Jarvis Cocker, who I’m only familiar with by name. It’s a spooky addition that illustrates the theme of the song (which sounds like it might be depression or sadness). So, being that Century has all my favorite elements (dark, spooky, and a little awkward to get used to), I listened to it a few more times, and now I will say confidently that it’s a damn good song and I can’t wait to hear more. Welcome back Feist!

Grimes

Grimes. She’s weird. And Canadian. And perfect. Her DIY music (she does all the production herself) mixes light and dark moods with an eccentric array of electronic mixes. Her first few albums kept it pretty simple. There wasn’t a lot of interplay with different synth sounds. It took a while to grow on me, but the straightforward approach gave her music an airy quality.

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Image via Music Radar.

Her most recent album, Art Angels, definitely takes more a pop direction, but not like top-40 pop music. The hooks are there, but they’re artfully blended into a wild swirl of color. That’s actually the best way to approach Grimes–think of her like an animation (and she does draw a lot of inspiration from her own art and anime). There’s more about her that has to be seen and felt than you can glean just from hearing the songs (check out Venus Fly with Janelle Monae). Her aesthetic is fantasy. Dark, rich, and story-driven. She’s not for everyone, but if you decide to venture into her world, give yourself time to get acquainted with the sights and sounds.