Five More Awesome Rising Female-Fronted L.A. Bands
Sean Redman, Hannah Uribe and Clementine Creevy of Cherry Glazerr
Photo by Rhyan Santos
With the music industry continuing to be dominated by the less-fair sex, Los Angeles has a tremendous amount of talented, explosive bands led by women.
We looked at ten of them recently, but it's clear that only scratched the surface. Here are five more, whose creative output and unique sonic qualities separate them from the pack.
Sandra Vu of SISU
Photo by Cara Robbins
Sandra Vu's time away from drumming for Dum Dum Girls includes a much darker and post-punk musical offering, SISU. As the guitarist and singer for the act, Vu embraces a denser sound. She's at the forefront of a movement to recapture the layered guitars and fuzz of My Bloody Valentine. Vu writes all the music for SISU by blending various noirish elements of shoegaze and '80s goth rock, which creates a beautifully-textured departure from the tiresome "lo-fi" trend that's currently so popular on the indie scene.
Vu hearkens back to the aesthetic of Siouxsie Sioux, and on a few tracks off SISU's debut LP Blood Tears (Mono Prism), she connects with the ethos of Dum Dum Girls bandmate Dee Dee Penny by "chasing pop into the dark," or as Vu describes it, making "pop songs with un-pop sounds."
Sean Redman, Hannah Uribe, and Clementine Creevy of Cherry Glazerr
Photo by Rhyan Santos
4. Cherry Glazerr
Cherry Glazerr's frontwoman Clementine Creevy is just 17, but already knows what the hell she's doing. "Rob Kardashian's a tool," sings Creevy on "Teenage Girl," a two-minute garage cut that floats off into a haze of teen angst and poolside daydreaming. It's '60s-sounding nostalgia through the eyes of a teenager.
Cherry Glazerr's sound is a heavy dose of dream-punk, spooky guitar riffs, and irreverent lyrics delivered through Creevy's sardonic style.
On their debut LP Haxel Princess (Burger Records), Creevy sings about cats, dogs, the birds and the bees, and pizza delivery men: "Cheesy cheesy man / he's got pepperonis on hand." We'll take her word for it.
See also: Our profile of Cherry Glazerr
Photo by Leonard Drorian
3. Colleen Green
While Colleen Green is technically a solo artist, her drum machine and fuzzy guitar licks produce the effect of a full band—albeit one consisting of stoned '80s punkers playing Nintendo. Green grew up listening to NOFX, Sublime, the Go-Go's, and the Ramones, and you can tell from her sound.
Behind the haze of stoned songwriting sessions in her bedroom, Green produces catchy and fuzzed-out pop punk delivered through eerie songbird vocals and Cassie Ramone-inspired disinterest. She never plays a show without her dark sunglasses and trusty Yamaha RX-11 drum machine, which she operates with a small piece of cardboard.
Her affinity for rolling joints might make her sound like a stoned slacker, but when Green's not eating donuts and watching Dumb and Dumberer—she's touring at a relentless pace and writing catchy pop songs dipped in vat of nostalgia and THC. She's also a phenomenally talented songwriter and hardcore DIY practitioner.
See also: Our profile of Colleen Green
Bonnie Bloomgarden of Death Valley Girls
Photo by Don Williams
2. Death Valley Girls
Beyond the fact that Hole's Patty Schemel is their drummer (her brother Larry is their guitarist), not much else is known about Death Valley Girls. It's part of their allure; shrouded in mysterious overtones and a ghoulish blend of bluesy psychedelia and '60s garage fuzz.
When we first heard an early demo of "Sanitarium Blues," their primal grind was reminiscent of pioneering UK heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath.
On some level, Death Valley Girls are proto-punks of the modern age; so raw that their sound seems inspired by the 'caveman rock' of the Troggs. Their debut LP Street Venom (Burger Records) doesn't seem to fit any neatly constructed genre; it's stripped-down rock 'n' roll with epic compositions that venture into trippy Iron Butterfly and Cream territory.
Throughout Street Venom, bluesy guitar solos and mesmerizing keys are anchored by Schemel's uncanny ability to channel Sabbath's Bill Ward. Her raw power on a track like "Arrow" is the perfect compliment to the gritty and soulful vocals of their frontwoman Bonnie Bloomgarden, whom we know very little about, except that during a live show she exudes the rebellious spirit of a motorcycle gang on the run.
Death Valley Girls opened up for Best Coast last year, and now, the word on the street is they're the best live show in town.
Jennifer and Jessica Clavin of Bleached
Photo by Todd Cole
Echo Park and Downtown L.A.
Following their cult success with underground L.A. punk band Mika Miko, Jennifer and Jessica Clavin returned in 2010 and formed Bleached. The hardcore edge of Mika Miko was left behind (although the punkness of the Clavin sisters remained), and Bleached sounded more like an early Go-Go's inspired girl group, sprinkled with various glossy elements of surf rock, '80s new wave, and Donnas-inspired attitude.
Their bouncy sound has infected teenagers across the Southland with a beam of sunshine.
They're currently breaking out in a major way; Bleached even joined Cat Power on the recent Weezer Cruise, where they owned the dance floor and inspired a few Britney Spears sing-alongs in the process.
See also: Our profile of Bleached
On their debut LP Ride Your Heart (Dead Oceans), Bleached created a selection of songs that aren't always sugary bubblegum pop. Like the Vivian Girls before them, Bleached touches on personal topics such as heartache and loneliness on tracks like "Outta My Mind" and "Waiting by the Telephone." There's depth to the Clavin sisters, believe you me.
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