When I think about the idea of recording again, I’m torn. There’s something weirdly comforting about knowing I have the songs outside of myself. Like going through a box of photographs. They’re memories. So that’s the pull that brings me back to the idea of recording… I just really hate the process. It brings out every negative, self-critical, perfectionistic trait I HATE; the parts of me for which I have little self-compassion. And in the ever-consuming, narcissistic, attention-seeking culture in which we live, why should my voice matter.
I constantly question if my songs are worthy. Then I think about how fiercely I connect to certain music, and I wonder if the songwriters of some of my favorite songs also ever grappled with this. What even makes a song worthy of sharing?
10 Female Singer / Songwriters I Love
In no particular order…
1. Tori Amos
Tori started it all for me. I remember vividly hearing her music for the first time and thinking, “What IS this?” She is simply one of a kind. I had the fortune of meeting her once and she graciously signed my record. Her style of playing and songwriting is beyond compare. Great article recently published on Buzzfeed. Read it here.
2. Joni Mitchell
Blue was another core shaking album. Joni epitomizes the folk, female singer/songwriter for me. Her voice is so effortless and clean. We also share a birthday. Clouds and A Case of You are two favorties.
3. Patty Griffin
I bought Patty Griffin’s first record on a whim, just digging the cover when I was browsing in the record store. Remember those days when we went to the store to buy entire albums? I have every album she has made. She’s twangy, raw genius.
4. Fiona Apple
The smokey siren. Fiona Apple introduced me to the 7th chord. Tidal is an experience. Again, I discovered Fiona during a record store browse. Shadowboxer was playing over the loud speaker and I asked the guy on duty who it was. He directed me to her CD and I immediately had to sit down and learn that song. Tiny lady. Guttural sound.
5. Alanis Morissette
I love her lyrics. I relate so much to her way of telling stories. She puts so much of the female experience into song. I only wish I could belt like her!
6. Natalie Merchant
Natalie makes me feel comfortable with my voice. She’s such a unique singer. She reminds me that you don’t need to have a huge voice to have a relevant voice. My Skin is still one of my all time favorite songs.
7. Stevie Nicks
If you want to learn how to captivate an audience with your eyes, watch Stevie Nicks. She personifies PRESENCE. She’s an icon, plain and simple. A mystical singer/songwriter. I wanted to be her!
8. Brandi Carlile
A more contemporary/recent discovery for me. Every note out of Brandi’s mouth is like gold. Strong, controlled, and just awesome. I love every record.
9. Kathleen Edwards
Kyle Swartzwelder turned me onto Kathleen Edwards. My guy took me to NY to see her live and I wound up losing my wallet in a cab. A Russian woman found it and contacted me via Facebook, and I was able to get it back in one piece. There are still honest people in the world. Anyway, Kathleen Edwards is another Canadian songwriter I love. It must be something in the water up there.
10. Sarah McLachlan
Sarah is a classic, contemporary singer/songwriter. Her voice is like velvet. I know no other way to describe it. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t heard her sing and thought she was amazing. I’m hoping to catch her tour this summer.