These are the fe­male artists mak­ing 2017 their own – mean­ing if they’re not al­ready on your radar (or their songs on your playlist), they should be...

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There’s an al­most mag­i­cal qual­ity to Nancy An­der­sen’s voice that gives you the im­pres­sion she could sing about any­thing and make it sound good. As the front­woman of the oth­er­wise all-male Bri­tish five-piece Babeheaven – born of her friend­ship with gui­tarist Jamie Travis – that “any­thing” of­ten in­cludes heart­break in its many forms, set to the band’s soul­ful, ethe­real sound. The group don’t yet have plans to visit Aus­tralia, so it’s a good thing lis­ten­ing to their mu­sic on re­peat is such a joy.


Nige­rian-born singer and rap­per Rita Ek­were, better known as Ray BLK, has skill and so­cial con­scious­ness in equal parts (BLK stands for Build­ing, Liv­ing, Know­ing). Whether rap­ping about sex­ism and sex­u­al­ity in “Do­ing Me”, so­cio-eco­nomic class in “My Hood” or weed-fu­elled booty calls in “Chill Out”, she’s en­sured her songs are an an­them of sorts for women, racial mi­nori­ties and youth right now – which led to her pick­ing up the BBC Sound Of 2017 award (while she was still un­signed, no less). She’s in the midst of a Euro­pean tour, and we’ve heard she’s got her sights on our shores in the near fu­ture.



Syd­ney-based Joan­nah Jack­son may share her alias with Fer­ris Bueller’s girl­friend and side­kick, but it’s fast be­com­ing ap­par­ent she’s got lead­inglady po­ten­tial. With Françoise Hardy-es­que looks and a sound tinged with psychedelia, the 24-yearold is with­out the naivety her age would sug­gest – her strain of whimsy is rooted firmly in re­al­ity. Keep an ear out for her self-ti­tled EP, to be re­leased Septem­ber 15, as she em­barks on her first head­line tour around the coun­try.



When Holly Rankin isn’t busy creat­ing syn­thy, psych-folk sounds as Jack River, she’s cham­pi­oning fel­low Aus­tralian tal­ent – the singer is be­hind the all-fe­male col­lec­tive Elec­tric Lady, which has man­i­fested in mu­sic show­cases star­ring Bec Sandridge, Ali Barter, Alex La­hey, Gretta Ray and oth­ers, and helped or­gan­ise Grow Your Own, a grass­roots fes­ti­val held on the NSW north coast last year that was head­lined by Dope Lemon (An­gus Stone’s solo project). Fans of her EP, High­way Songs No.2, will be glad to know she’s still found time to work on a de­but al­bum, which is ex­pected early next year.



If you’re not fa­mil­iar with Rainsford’s sound, you’ll likely know the face be­hind it: that of model and ac­tress Rainey Qual­ley. Her fa­mous lin­eage (her mother is Andie Macdow­ell) is just a jump­ing-off point – she’s landed a spot on Mad Men and in a hand­ful of in­die films, and is a front-row fix­ture for the likes of Chanel, Miu Miu and Dior. A de­par­ture from the coun­try-tinged tunes she put out a few years ago un­der her own name, her new in­car­na­tion is sul­try, a lit­tle bit ’90s R’N’B and def­i­nitely one to watch.



Formed be­fore its mem­bers were even 12, The Aces could have gone the way of many a child­hood “band” – and the Best Friend neck­laces that went with them. But the group – made up of sisters Cristal and Alisa Ramirez along with Katie Hen­der­son and Mckenna Petty – started book­ing shows at all-ages venues not long af­ter form­ing. Eschew­ing col­lege to con­tinue the band has paid off – they signed to Red Bull Records last year and have an EP, I Don’t Like Be­ing Hon­est, un­der their belt with a de­but al­bum on the way.



Anna Lotterud is the Nor­we­gian half of Anna Of The North (the other be­ing New Zealan­der Brady Daniell-smith), formed af­ter the pair met at a gig Daniell­smith was play­ing in Mel­bourne. Their slow-burn­ing elec­tropop has been win­ning fans for a while now, in­clud­ing Tyler, The Cre­ator, who in­vited Lotterud to fea­ture on his track “911/Mr Lonely”, along­side Frank Ocean. They drop their de­but al­bum, Lovers, on Septem­ber 8 (the first sin­gle from which clocked up al­most 700,000 streams on Spo­tify in its first week).



Af­ter do­ing the sum­mer fes­ti­val cir­cuit and sup­port­ing The Rubens, Sandridge spent the first half of the year on her own head­line tour (and belt­ing out a cover of Far­nesy’s “You’re The Voice” for Triple J’s Like A Ver­sion). She’s now work­ing on her de­but al­bum, set to be full of the slick and gritty pop she’s best known for. You can catch her at the Yours And Owls fes­ti­val in Wol­lon­gong, NSW, this month.


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