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Back to Music reviews... / Jun 19, 2024

Best Of The Year So Far: Female Artist

It’s only June and we have already been treated to so many fantastic new albums this year. The likes of Taylor Swift and Beyonce have blessed us with ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ and ‘Cowboy Carter’ respectively. However, they aren’t the only female artists who have released amazing albums this year. Let’s take a look at five other albums released by female artists (or female fronted groups)!

The Last Dinner Party / Prelude To Ecstasy
An album that caught everyone’s attention earlier this year, ‘Prelude To Ecstasy’ is one of three thrilling debut albums on this list. Released in February this was our introduction to The Last Dinner Party, and I think it’s safe to say that no one will be forgetting this quintet anytime soon! More than anything, this album is interesting. Opening with an orchestral prelude, it’s a little unclear what direction the album is going to take but any uncertainty is soon dissolved on the second track, ‘Burn Alive’. This song is reminiscent of Kate Bush and is a great example of slow moody versus paired with more upbeat choruses, something that band does rather well. ‘Prelude To Ecstasy’ covers several different styles and does them all so well that it’s almost hard to describe. The only thing I can say with complete certainty is that you need to just give this album a listen, it’s definitely worth your time! 

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Sprints / Letter To Self

‘Letter To Self’ was released in January and is the debut from Dublin band, Sprints. This is such a strong debut album that at times, is hard to believe is the band’s first full length album. ‘Letter To Self’ is predominantly garage punk/rock but you can hear it when the band dips their toes into other genres, such as grunge and pop-rock. There’s an energy throughout the entire album that leaves you wanting more.There’s power in lead singer Karla Chubbs’ voice that perfectly suits the fierce guitar from Colm O’Reilly. Bassist Sam McCann and drummer Jack Callan complete the strong lineup. All four artists work well together to create a dynamic album that’s dark yet optimistic, a reminder that good things do still happen. ‘Literary Mind’ is a perfect example of this. It’s the song that gets stuck in my head the most too! A debut album that is very much worth a listen.

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NewDad / Madra

Another debut album from an Irish band released in January, NewDad’s ‘Madra’ is best described as hypnotic. Lead singer Julie Dawson’s voice perfectly fits the shoegaze sound of the album. It is so easy to just lose yourself listening to the album, there is something so dreamy about it. You can hear how the likes of The Cure have inspired the band, it brings familiarity to the album but doesn’t overpower it, NewDad is still the signature sound of the album The lyrics are heavy, leaning into themes of self-loathing on the part of Dawson. It’s a harsh juxtaposition with the gentleness of her voice but it is so well executed. The two parts come together extremely well to create a whole album that is just so enjoyable to listen to. Another strong debut album released in 2024 that you should definitely listen to!

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New Year’s Day / Half Black Heart

New Year’s Day is the perfect example of a band that just gets better with each album they release, ‘Half Black Heart’ is definitely one of the band’s stronger albums. It opens with an immediate guitar riff throwing you head first into ‘Vampyr’, a thrilling introduction to the album. Returning members Brandon Wolfe, Jeremy Valentine, and Trixx Daniel have definitely made their presence felt, it’s almost like they never left, they work together perfectly with Ash Costello to create a familiar yet refreshing New Year’s Day Sound. Throughout the album , Costello harnesses her power as a strong female frontwoman but especially shines towards the end of the album on tracks ‘So Sick’ and ‘Creature of Habit’. An album that both new and old fans of New Year’s Day will be able to appreciate, ‘Half Black Heart’ is likely to be up there on my albums of the year come December.

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FLETCHER / In Search Of The Antidote

Fletcher burst onto the scene in 2022 with her debut album ‘Girl of My Dreams’ and showed no signs of slowing down, Fletcher is here to stay. ‘In Search Of The Antidote’ gives us more of her stunning vocals, her charisma really shines through, this woman knows how to perform! Lyrically, we get more of the refreshingly honest Fletcher that we got from the first album, yet these lyrics feel a little more mature in comparison to her debut album, it’s almost like we’re watching her grow as a person. I think this album teeters more on the side of alternative pop and it suits Fletcher much better. I think ultimately what stands out about Fletcher is that she isn’t afraid to say it how it is and that results in a very relatable album. For already established fans of Fletcher, this album doesn’t disappoint and for new fans, it’s a great introduction to her music.

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