Spectator Playlist: Underrated songs by female artists

Categories:  Music    The Arts
Sunday, March 28th, 2021 at 3:50 PM

It’s common knowledge that March is Women's History Month, and one way people can support women this month and every month is by supporting female artists. In honor of this occasion, I decided to highlight 10 underrated songs by female artists. I feel that these tracks are not talked about enough and deserve more societal attention.

Ingrid Michaelson — “You and I”

This one sounds like a pool party to me. It’s sweet and simple. The song’s instrumentation consists mainly of ukulele, which gives it a soft summery feeling. Michaelson is also able to repeat lyrics without being redundant or irritating. She does this by changing from the usual instrumentation to a Queen-adjacent stomping section and then to an audience participation sing-along. “You and I” has something to keep you listening the whole way through.

Maddie and Tae — “Write A Book”

I have a major soft spot for country music lately. This is different from many country songs out there because it doesn't fall into the tropes of “country folk” that some like to poke fun at. It doesn't feel like it's pandering to an audience by using rural nouns and simple adjectives. It also highlights how women want to be treated by their romantic partner, which, in a genre that usually hypersexualizes women, is refreshing. On top of that, it is a sweet song that elicits vibes of driving on a sunny day with the windows down.

Feist — “Mushaboom”

This song brings to mind soft rock music of the ‘70s. The bouncy beat of the song, paired with the quirky hand claps, makes the track instantly endearing to its audience. Her voice is also very calm and sweet, while still being unique.

Wynne — “Buzzer”

Wynne’s lyrical dexterity in this song is truly incredible. The speed at which she is able to rap is so unbelievably impressive and rivals anyone out there today. She also manages to put full blown jokes in her verses, which I love. Like this song, Wynne is incredibly underrated.

Little Mix — “Wasabi”

This song will make you walk taller, no matter what mood you're in. The production of this song sounds like they mixed traditional instruments with some everyday objects they had lying around. It gives the track a really unique sound that I’ve never heard before. Lyrically, this song is an ode to being whoever you want no matter what other people say, which is a great message for women.

Amy Winehouse — “Wake Up Alone”

This song shows a somewhat rare vulnerable side to Amy Winehouse. She is voicing how easy it is to keep herself occupied during the day but how hard it is for her to wake up alone after a breakup. It's slower than her usual tempo, while maintaining the bluesy Amy Winehouse feel that she became so iconic for. While Winehouse’s vocal stylings were always emotional, this song takes it a step further. I love when an artist is able to grapple with all the drama in their life and channel it into productive creative energy, and this song demonstrates that to a tee. If she was still with us, I wonder what her sound would’ve become as she grew as an artist. She had such an impact on the music landscape and still had so much to give.

JJ Wilde — “The Rush”

If you want to jam out to a fierce female rock song, this one's for you. Her raspy voice fits the heavier instrumentation perfectly. The drums on this song is specifically what draws me to it. They move through you in this incredible way that you feel in your bones. You’ll find yourself air drumming and whipping your hair around because the drums practically command you to.

Dehd — “Lucky”

If I needed to give someone an example of the college radio sound, it would be this song. It’s dynamic and fun to listen to. It's also off the beaten path from what you typically hear on the radio. I could listen to the guitar riff that backs this song all day long. It has such a fun groove to it.

Phoebe Bridgers — “I Know the End”

This song is the musical embodiment of the part in a rom-com where the lead couple goes from being miserable to running through the rain for each other. It starts low and sad, then builds incrementally to this huge ending. “I Know the End” captivates you the whole time because it shows such growth in such a short time. It also says a lot lyrically about the effects of touring on artists, both while on the road and at home. It gives the message of taking things one day at a time, whether that be tour, a breakup, or the end of the world.

Corrine Bailey Rae — “Trouble Sleeping”

“Trouble Sleeping” sounds like how the warm sun on your skin feels. Its melody, particularly in the chorus, is so much fun. It features horns faintly in the background instead of having them be the main part of the production like most other songs that use them. They’re there enough to put a smile on your face and get you moving. Her voice is also so smooth and effortless that it makes you gravitate toward the song.

Samantha Mannion is a staff writer for The Spectator. She can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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