2010s‘ 38 Of The Best U.S. Female Indie Singers & Bands

If you search the internet for indie bands and indie singers from a certain decade, for example the 2010s, you will get numerous relevant and well-known bands as a result.

That's all well and good, but there's a catch.

Take US indie music from the 2010s, for example. You first get numerous male indie bands and singers listed. Female indie singers, on the other hand, can be found much further down these best-of lists and search engine results.

This song list of 2010s female indie singers or frontwomen from the USA reveals creative masterpieces that you might have otherwise missed.

Let's hope that this will change as soon as possible in favor of indie bands with female singers, frontwomen from the USA and around the world.
Then you won't have to scroll through indie best-of lists or search engine results so much to get the female indie singers and bands displayed.

1. Blouse - A Feeling Like This

Charlie Hilton and Patrick Adams started the American indie rock group Blouse in 2010. They were based in Portland, Oregon.

It seems that the band Blouse no longer exists. Because neither the own band domain (meanwhile a domain parking page) nor the label band profile on the "Captured Tracks" website (Captured Tracks) provide information about the band.

The last album and single were released by Blouse in 2013.

"A Feeling Like This" is the sixth track on the album "Imperium", released in 2013.

Singer: Charlie Hilton

2. Poliça - Lay Your Cards Out

"Lay Your Cards Out" by indietronica  American band Poliça from Minneapolis is the seventh track from their debut album „Give You the Ghost“ from 2012.

Poliça was founded in 2011 and is based in Minneapolis. Channy Leaneagh is the lead vocalist of the band.

Poliça has so far put out six studio albums.

In a 2012 review by the music magazine NME (New Musical Express), the song "Lay Your Cards out" was described as follows:
"A mix of Roy Vedas’ ‘Fragments Of Life’ and Massive Attack’s ‘Safe From Harm’, it uncoils with its own sweet languor. Starting or finishing seems irrelevent;" (NME. (2012, March 23). Polica – ‘Lay Your Cards Out’ NME. https://www.nme.com/reviews/reviews-polica-12910-317975)

Singer: Channy Leaneagh

3. Santigold - Disparate Youth

American singer-songwriter Santigold is the author of the song "Disparate Youth."

On February 14, 2012, the song - the lead single from the performer's second studio album „Master of My Make-Believe“ - became accessible in the US.

In a 2012 article in the online music magazine Billboard, the result of the musical composition of "Disparate Youth" is described thus:
"With a dub reggae half-step tempo, shimmering synth leads, and soothing vocals, “Disparate Youth” sounds unlike previous bass-driving tribal Santigold tracks." (Cubarrubia, R. (2013, January 13). Billboard. Billboard. https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/santigold-finds-spirituality-in-disparate-youth-video-502963/)

Singer: Santi White

4. U.S. Girls - Window Shades

The title U.S. Girls may be a bit misleading, because the music project consists of only one singer, Meghan Remy.

Megan Remy is American, however the music project U.S. Girls is a Canadian one.

The song "Window Shades" can be found on the 2015 album "Half Free."

In a 2015 article, Canadian music publisher Exclaim! described the song "Window Shades" in one sentence to the point as follows:
"The Slim Twig-produced song is a patchwork of sampled disco rhythms (from Gloria Ann Taylor's "Love Is a Hurting Thing"), inventive psych textures, soulful vocal lines and swooping disco strings." (Hudson, A. (2015, August 26). U.S. Girls “Window Shades” (video) | Exclaim!. https://exclaim.ca/music/article/us_girls-window_shades_video)

Singer: Meghan Remy

5. Sharon van Etten - Taking Chances

Sharon Van Etten is an American indie singer-songwriter. Taking Chances was released as a single on May 1, 2014.

Caleb Caldwell wrote about the song "Taking Chances" in a review about the album "Are We There":
"The paradigmatic “Taking Chances” evokes the dim and blurry resonances of dream pop, combining organ and Van Etten’s husky contralto in the manner of Beach House’s Victoria Legrand". (Caldwell, C. (2014). Review: Sharon Van Etten, Are We There. Slant Magazine. https://www.slantmagazine.com/music/sharon-van-etten-are-we-there/, para. 2)

Singer: Sharon Van Etten

6. Hurray for the Riff Raff - Hungry Ghost

Alynda Segarra, an indie singer-songwriter originally from the Bronx in New York, started the band Hurray for the Riff Raff in 2007 in New Orleans after they relocated there in the same year.

Hurray for the Riff Raff's musical style is largely Americana. 

Alynda Segarra had several of her albums released through indie labels.

Leah Mandel wrote in the music magazine The Fader about the music video for the song "Hungry Ghost":
""Hungry Ghost" is flush with sweeping guitar lines that are both ominous and invigorating;" (Mandel, L. (2017, January 17). Hurray For The Riff Raff’s Video For “Hungry Ghost” Is A Glowing Ode To DIY Spaces. The FADER. https://www.thefader.com/2017/01/17/hurray-for-the-riff-raff-hungry-ghost-video, para. 1)

Singer: Alynda Segarra

7. Mr Twin Sister - All Around and Away We Go

American indie band Mr. Twin Sister from New York City have published three EPs and three LPs.

Andrea Estella is the lead singer of Mr Twin Sister.

In the Pitchfork News of March 16, 2010 you can read among other things the following about the song:
"All Around and Away We Go"'s chugging guitars, airy bass, and chilled-out drumming work beautifully with frontwoman Andrea's smoky vocals." (Grisham, T. (2010, March 16). “All Around and Away We Go.” Pitchfork. https://pitchfork.com/news/12158-all-around-and-away-we-go/, para. 1)

Singer: Andrea Estella

8. MS MR - Fantasy

American indie pop duo MS MR, with vocalist Lizzy Plapinger and music producer Max Hershenow, is located in New York.

MTV published a news about the song "Fantasy" in 2013 and wrote:
"It's a song that could totally soundtrack an epic Game of Thrones battle, albeit one intercut with moments of melodramatic romance in the royal boudoir, of course." (Mtv. (2013, January 25). New Song: MS MR, “Fantasy.” MTV. https://www.mtv.com/news/sjit8b/ms-mr-fantasy, para. 1)

Singer: Lizzy Plapinger

9. Hundreds In The Hands - Pigeons

The Brooklyn-based indie electronic music duo The Hundred in the Hands was founded in 2008.

The single "Pigeons" was released on September 13, 2010 via the band's label Warp Records.

The music video for "Pigeons" was created by video directors DANIELS, who have also worked for other bands such as Foster The People, Passion Pit and Manchester Orchestra.

In the video, a young woman is shown who has looked too deeply into the glass at a party and goes through some unpleasant consequences of being drunk.

In an August 2010 interview with music magazine Pitchfork, Daniel Scheinert of music video maker duo DANIELS revealed the following:
"We tried to show as much variety in the drunkenness as we could because alcohol is equal parts hilarious and terrifying." (Dombal, R. (2010, August 5). Director’s Cut: The Hundred in the Hands: “Pigeons” Video. Pitchfork. https://pitchfork.com/news/39648-directors-cut-the-hundred-in-the-hands-pigeons-video/, para. 11)

Singer: Eleanore Everdell

10. Beach House - Myth

Beach House is an American dreampop duo from Baltimore. Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally formed as Beach House in 2004.

In mid-March 2012, the NME music magazine praised the then freshly released single "Myth":
"But while this first taster is a darker shade than anything on its predecessor, it’s also the most sky-scrapingly euphoric thing they’ve produced to date. Magnificent." (Schiller, R. (2012, March 13). Beach House – ‘Myth’ NME. https://www.nme.com/reviews/reviews-beach-house-12854-319635)

Singer: Victoria Legrand

11. Angel Olsen - Shut Up Kiss Me

American indie singer-songwriter Angel Olsen, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, now resides in Asheville, North Carolina.

The music magazine Pitchfork wrote about the song "Shut Up Kiss Me" on its website at the end of June 2016:
““Shut up! Kiss me! Hold me tight!” she commands over and over, like a hysterical 1920s actress hauled in to front a sharp bar band.“ (Nast, C. (2016, June 30). Angel Olsen: “Shut Up Kiss Me.” Pitchfork. https://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/18414-angel-olsen-shut-up-kiss-me/, para. 1)

Singer: Angel Olsen (Birth name: Angelina Marie Carroll)

12. School of Seven Bells - Signals

In 2007, the American indie band School of Seven Bells from the Big Apple was founded. 

The song "Signals" is from the band's fourth and final album, SVIIB, which was completed posthumously (founding band member Benjamin Curtis died of a serious illness in December 29, 2013) and released in February 2016. For the album were used demos of songs written by Benjamin Curtis before and during his serious illness.

Alejanda Deheza completed the work for the album SVIIB with the help of Justin Meldal-Johnsen.
In a 2016 interview with The Guardian, she revealed: “I couldn’t have done it myself, and Justin was amazing in that way, treating everything with such love, care and respect,” (Rogers, J. (2018, March 22). School of Seven Bells’ Alejandra Deheza: ‘Ben feels part of everything now.’ The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/feb/21/school-of-seven-bells-sviib-album-release-alejandra-deheza-interview).

In the intro of the music video for the song, the following now very well-known quote is displayed:
"Yesterday I was clever 
    and tried to change the world. 
Today I am wise
    and try to change myself."
-- Rumi

In the video, the quote is changed a little, but this should not affect the content of the message. The original quote reads:
"Yesterday I was clever,
    so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise,
    so I am changing myself."
-- Rumi

Singers: Alejandra Deheza, Claudia Deheza

13. Japanese Breakfast - Machinist

Michelle Zauner, a Korean-American artist, is the lead vocalist of the indie band Japanese Breakfast.

In the music video for the song "Machinist", the band's singer is seen taking care of various things in an IT environment with a lot of computer cables.
 
She is talking to a computer that is very similar to the HAL 9000 from the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey".
 
In the end, she can't seem to escape the computer, because she is entangled in a lot of cables.

Singer: Michelle Zauner

14. St. Vincent - Savior

Singer-songwriter St. Vincent is from the United States. Three Grammy Awards are among the honors St. Vincent has received.

The song "Savior" alternates between rhythmic talking (kind of rap) and melodic sections, you know from popular songs in a classical sense. The rhythmic talking opens the song until minute 1:31. And from minute 1:32 the melodic chorus of the song is heard for the first time.

On the American online education platform MasterClass, St. Vincent teaches creativity and songwriting.
On October 8, 2020, St. Vincent announced her collaboration with MasterClass in an Instagram clip.

In the MasterClass video course by St. Vincent (16 lessons total), the four lessons for the song "Savior" (lessons 5, 6, 7, and 8) are a large and important practice component of the songwriting course.

Singer: Anne Erin Clark

15. Dum Dum Girls - Rimbaud Eyes

Lead Singer: Dee Dee (Birth name Kristin Gundred)
Singers: Jules Medeiros, Malia James, Sandra Vu

16. Friends - I‘m His Girl

The band Friends did not exist for long, they were founded in 2010 and disbanded already in 2013. However, the official YouTube channel of Friends is still online. I'm his girl is the most successful track of the band.

Lead singer: Samantha Urbani
Backing vocals: Lesley Hann

17. Low - Try to Sleep

American indie rock band Low is from Duluth. The port city of Duluth is located on Lake Superior.

The music video for the song "Try to Sleep" features model Melissa Haro and actor John Stamos.

In an interview with American magazine Entertainment Weekly, John Stamos revealed:
"When it came time for them to cast the video, they asked if I’d like to be involved. I liked the concept. The new record is on all the time at my place." (Anderson, K. (2011, April 13). Low premiere new video “Try to Sleep” starring . . . John Stamos? Yes! Watch it here -- EXCLUSIVE. EW.com. https://ew.com/article/2011/04/12/low-john-stamos-video-try-to-sleep/)

On November 5, 2022, Mimi Parker, the singer of the band Low, passed away. She received a cancer diagnosis in December 2020. (Rettig, J. (2022, November 7). Low’s Mimi Parker Dead At 55. Stereogum. https://www.stereogum.com/2205232/low-mimi-parker-death/news/)

Female singer: Mimi Parker
Male singer: Alan Sparhawk

18. Big Thief - Masterpiece

Singer: Adrianne Lenker

19. Laura Veirs - July Flame

Singer: Laura Veirs

20. Warpaint - Disco//very - Keep It Healthy

American indie rock group Warpaint was founded in 2004 and is based in Los Angeles.

The music video I chose from the band's 2010 repertoire consists of two songs, namely: "Disco//very" and "Keep It Healthy".

In the first part of the music video ("Disco//very"), the band members are shown walking together along a street in sunny weather during the day. Every now and then a young man in a yellow T-shirt appears while skating.

In the second part ("Keep It Healthy"), which shows a skater facility outside at night, mainly young men are shown skating. The band members hang out at the skate park with the skaters and watch them skate.

Singers: Emily Kokal, Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg
Drums: Stella Mozgawa

21. Phantogram - When I'm Small

Singer: Sarah Barthel

22. The Kills - Future Starts Slow

Singer: Alison Mosshart

23. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Despair

Singer: Karen O (Birth name: Karen Lee Orzolek)

24. Deep Sea Diver - Wide Awake

Singer: Jessica Dobson
Band based in: Seattle

25. Wye Oak - Watching The Waiting

Singer: Jenn Wasner

26. EMA - Down and Out

Singer: Erika M. Anderson

27. Mitski - Nobody

Singer: Mitski (Birth name: Mitsuki Laycock)

28. Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions - Sleep

Singer: Hope Sandoval

29. Asobi Seksu - Trail

Female lead singer: Yuki Chikudate
Male singer: James Hanna

30. Phoebe Bridgers - Motion Sickness

Singer: Phoebe Bridgers

31. Best Coast - Feeling Ok

Singer: Bethany Cosentino

32. Chromatics - Into The Black

Singer: Ruth Radelet

33. Jess Williamson - I See The White

Singer: Jess Williamson

34. Gossip - Move in the Right Direction

Singer: Beth Ditto (Birth name: Mary Beth Patterson)

35. Cat Power feat. Lana Del Rey - Woman

Singer: Cat Power (Birth name: Charlyn Marie Marshall)

36. Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill

Singer: Alexis Krauss

37. Lana Del Rey - Love

Singer: Lana Del Rey (Birth name: Elizabeth Woolridge Grant)

38. Mattiel - Count Your Blessings

Singer: Mattiel Brown

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