40 Of The Best 2020s Female Indie Singers & Bands – Vol. 1

Are you looking for the best female indie singers and bands of the 2020s? Then you've come to the right place.

Because I've compiled the most promising female singers and bands with female singers for you in this list. 

These women started performing indie music in the 2020s or started their singing careers earlier and really took off in the 2020s.

1. Wet Leg - Chaise Longue

Chaise Longue is the debut single from the British all-female indie rock duo Wet Leg. It is also the lead single from their debut album of the same name.

Wet Leg are already one of the indie highlights of 2020 and the indie duo have already received a lot of media attention.

Wet Leg performed on the Jimmy Kimmel Live Show and The Tonight Show with host Jimmy Fallon in 2022.

  • Band Members: Rhian Teasdale, Hester Chambers
  • Song release date: 15 June 2021
  • Origin: Isle of Wight, England

2. Nilüfer Yanya - stabilise

British indie rock singer and guitarist Nilüfer Yanya released her second studio album Painless in 2022, on which the song Stabilise is the fourth track.

Stabilise was released on 9 November 2021 as the first single from this album.

Nilüfer Yanya released her first recording medium, her first EP (Small Crimes/Keep on Calling), in 2016.

  • Singer-songwriter, musician: Nilüfer Yanya
  • Song release date: 04 March 2022
  • Origin: England

3. Jess Williamson - Wind on Tin

Los Angeles-based American indie folk singer-songwriter Jess Williamson released Wind on Tin as the first single from her fourth studio album Sorceress.

In a press release, Jess Williamson mentioned the inspiration for the 2020 song Wind on Tin.

Before a funeral service, Jess Williamson was playing guitar on a porch and drinking beer with friends who were very close to the deceased. 

Meanwhile, an inexplicable sound of wind on tin gave everyone present pause.[1]

  • Singer-songwriter, musician: Jess Williamson
  • Song release date: 15 May 2020
  • Origin: Austin, Texas (USA)

4. Sinead O'Brien - Kid Stuff 

Sinead O'Brien is an Irish punk poetry singer-songwriter.

She did not come to music as a performer first, but after other creative directions such as fashion design and poetry. She graduated as a fashion designer and completed an internship with John Galliano in Paris.
Her poems have been published in The London Magazine.[2]

As in other of her music videos, in Kid Stuff (video released on YouTube on April 6, 2021) you can see how Sinead O'Brien's punk peotry spoken word, the guitar (Julian Hanson) and drums (Oscar Robertson) sounds, dance of all video performers and video scenery merge into a total work of art.

  • Singer-songwriter, musician: Sinead O'Brien
  • Song release date: 06 April 2021
  • Origin: Ireland
  • Based in London since 2014

5. Phoebe Bridgers - Kyoto

Originally, the American indie singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers wanted to compose the song Kyoto as a somewhat slower ballad.
But then her co-producers convinced her to increase the tempo of the track.[3]

Kyoto was released on April 9, 2020 as the second single from her album Punisher.

  • Singer-songwriter, musician: Phoebe Bridgers
  • Song release date: 9 April 2020
  • Origin: California, U.S.

6. The Big Moon - Trouble

The Big Moon is an all-female British indie rock band that formed in 2014.

Trouble is the second single from their 2022 studio album Here Is Everything. Juliette Jackson wrote a large part of the album when she was pregnant.[4]

  • Band members: Juliette Jackson (lead singer), Soph Nathan (guitarist), Celia Archer (bassist) and Fern Ford (drummer)
  • Song release date: 5 September 2022
  • Origin: London, England

7. Arlo Parks - Caroline

Arlo Parks is a British indie pop, indie folk and contemporary R&B singer-songwriter who won the 2021 Mercury Prize for Best Album.

Arlo Parks released her first single Cola in 2018, the year in which her musical activity as Arlo Parks began.

Caroline is the fifth single from her debut studio album Collapsed in Sunbeams, which was released at the end of January 2021, about two months after the single.

  • Singer-songwriter: Arlo Parks
  • Birth name: Anaïs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho
  • Song release date: 23 November 2020
  • Origin: London, England
  • Labels: Transgressive Records, Beatnik Creative

8. Dry Cleaning - Unsmart Lady

The English post-punk band Dry Cleaning released their first single in 2019 and their first studio album in 2020.

The band's singer is Florence Shaw, whose deep spoken vocals add a unique touch to the sound.

Unsmart Lady is the third single from Dry Cleaning's debut studio album New Long Leg, which was released in April 2021.

  • Female band member: Florence Shaw – vocals, percussion, tape loops (bassist)
  • Song release date: 2 April 2021
  • Origin: London, England
  • Labels: 4AD, It's OK

9. Katy J Pearson - Take Back the Radio

In April 2020, Bristol-based English indie pop & folk singer-songwriter Katy J Pearson released the single Take Back The Radio. The song is included on her 2020 solo debut album Return.

Before her solo career, Katy released a few indie country pop songs with her twin brother Rob Pearson under the name Ardyn.

  • Singer-songwriter: Katy J Pearson
  • Song release date: 13 November 2020
  • Origin: Bristol, England
  • Label: Heavenly Recordings

10. Anna Fox Rochinski - Cherry

The American psychedelic indie rock band Quilt haven't released a record since 2016. Finally, Quilt lead singer Anna Fox Rochinski recorded her debut solo album Cherry in 2021.

The music video for the eponymous lead single from her debut album was filmed at the Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center near the small American town of Carefree in Arizona.[5]

  • Singer-songwriter: Anna Fox Rochinski
  • Song release date: 26 January 2021
  • Origin: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
  • Label: Don Giovanni Records

11. Aisha Badru - Move

Nigerian-American artist Aisha Badru was originally pigeonholed as an indie folk artist, which she does not deny. However, with her EP Learning to Love Again, released in 2023, she also wanted to show other facets of herself. Aisha Badru has deliberately chosen a different producer for every single EP track.

For the track Move, "a hymnal meditation that awakens into a dance track"[6], which doesn't really fit into the indie folk category, Aisha Badru knew very well that she would choose producer Yuan Chang for a collaboration.[7]

  • Singer-songwriter: Aisha Badru
  • Song release date: 2 June 2023
  • Origin: New York, U.S.
  • Label: Nettwerk

12. Snail Mail - Glory

Behind the stage name Snail Mail is the American indie pop & rock singer-songwriter Lindsey Erin Jordan. 

Glory is the sixth track on her second studio album Valentine, released in 2021.
Her album Valentine made it onto numerous best albums of the year 2021 critic rankings, including renowned music magazines such as Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, NME and Stereogum.

  • Singer-songwriter, guitarist: Snail Mail
  • Birth name: Lindsey Erin Jordan
  • Song release date: 5 November 2021
  • Origin: Maryland, U.S.
  • Label: Matador Records

13. Altin Gün - Doktor Civanim

Anatolian Rock emerged earlier than you might imagine, in fact as early as the mid-60s. Currently, one of the best-known representatives of this musical genre is the Turkish psychedelic rock band Altin Gün from Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Doktor Civanım is the tenth and last, but not least, track on their fifth studio album Ask, released in 2023.

  • Female band member: Merve Daşdemir – vocals
  • Song release year: 2023
  • Origin: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Label: Glitterbeat Records

14. Billy Nomates - No

Billy Nomate's solo career started almost simultaneously at the beginning of the 2020s. In 2020, the English singer-songwriter Tor Maries released her first single No under her stage name Billy Nomates.

No is the fourth track on her solo debut album, which has the same name as her stage name: Billy Nomates. The album was also released in 2020.

  • Singer-songwriter, musician: Billy Nomates
  • Birth name: Tor Maries
  • Song release date: 11 March 2020
  • Origin: Leicester, England
  • Label: Invada Records

15. Luna - Fata Morgana

Ukrainian indie pop singer Krystyna Viktorivna Herasymova, who releases and performs music under her stage name Luna, began releasing her first singles in 2015. Luna cites the 90s as her key inspirational period.[8]

The track Fata Morgana, which is characterized by trance music elements, was released in August 2020.

  • Singer-songwriter: Luna
  • Birth name: Krystyna Viktorivna Bardash
  • Song release date: 14 August 2020
  • Origin: Kyiv, Ukraine
  • Label: Luna Prod.

16. Mint Green - Body Language

The American indie rock band Mint Green from Boston released their single Body Language on June 3, 2022, which is the second track on their debut album All Girls Go to Heaven.
Mint Green is fronted by singer Ronnica, who also is a guitarist for the band.

About Mint Green

  • Female band members: Ronnica (lead singer, guitarist), Tiffany Sammy (bassist)
  • Origin: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

17. Cassandra Jenkins - Hard Drive

Cassandra Jenkins is an American singer-songwriter who has released two studio albums to date. From her album An Overview on Phenomenal Nature is her 2021 song Hard Drive, for which Cassandra Jenkins did not sing in a conventional sense, but gives the track an extraordinary touch with the help of her spoken word performance and minimalist instrumentation at the beginning, which becomes more complex as the song progresses.

About Cassandra Jenkins 

  • Birth name: Cassandra Jenkins
  • Occupations as musician: Singer-songwriter, musician
  • Origin: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

18. Soccer Mommy - circle the drain

Soccer Mommy is the stage name of American indie rock singer-songwriter Sophia Regina Allison. Since 2018, she has released three studio albums approximately two years apart, her first in 2018, the second in 2020 and the third in 2022. Circle the Drain was released as a single on January 14, 2020 and is the second track on her second studio album Color Theory.

About Soccer Mommy

  • Birth name: Sophia Regina Allison
  • Occupations as musician: Singer-songwriter, guitarist
  • Awards won: Libera Awards for Creative Packaging (2021)
  • Origin: Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.

19. Mattiel - Jeff Goldblum

The singer Mattiel Brown from the indie rock music project Mattiel sings in Jeff Goldblum about a love for a man who looked like the young actor Jeff Goldblum.
Mattiel released the music video Jeff Goldblum on YouTube on November 16, 2021.
In January 2023, Jeff Goldblum, who is a musician as well as an actor, released the single Moon River featuring Mattiel Brown.

About Mattiel Brown

  • Birth name: Mattiel Brown
  • Occupations: Singer, musician, visual designer, music editing
  • Origin: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

20. The Marías - Un Millón

The Marías are an American indie band from Los Angeles. The 2021 song Un Millón is sung in Spanish by lead vocalist María Zardoya. The lyrics are about a couple's passionate dance. In the lyrics, the couple's togetherness is compared to Dembow. Dembow is a musical rhythm that is well known for being used as a musical element in reggaeton. 

About María Zardoya

  • Female band member: María Zardoya – lead vocals
  • Occupations: Singer-songwriter
  • Origin: Los Angeles, U.S.

21. Sharon Van Etten - Mistakes

  • Singer-songwriter, musician: Sharon van Etten
  • Song release date: 06 May 2022
  • Origin: U.S.

22. Daughter - Be On Your Way

Female band member: Elena Tonra (singer-songwriter, guitarist)
Song release date: 9 January 2023
Origin: London, England

23. Beach House - Once Twice Melody

Female band member: Victoria Legrand (lead vocalist, songwriter, keyboardist)
Song release date: 18 February 2022
Origin: Baltimore, U.S.

24. King Princess - Ohio

  • Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist: King Princess
  • Birth name: Mikaela Mullaney Straus
  • Song release date: 6 February 2020
  • Origin: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

25. Kate NV - Sayonara

  • Singer-songwriter, record producer, designer: Kate NV
  • Birth name: Ekaterina Yuryevna Shilonosova
  • Song release date: 18 March 2020
  • Origin: Moscow, Russia

26. Hurray for the Riff Raff - JUPITER'S DANCE

Singer-songwriter: Hurray for the Riff Raff
Birth name: Alynda Segarra
Song release date: 18 February 2022
Origin: New Orleans, U.S.

27. St. Vincent - Down

Singer-songwriter, guitarist: St. Vincent
Birth name: Anne Erin Clark
Song release date: 10 May 2021
Origin: Dallas, U.S.

28. Princess Chelsea - Everything Is Going To Be Alright

  • Singer-songwriter, musician, producer: Princess Chelsea
  • Birth name: Chelsea Lee Nikkel
  • Song release date: 24 February 2022
  • Origin: Auckland, New Zealand

29. Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over The Country Club

  • Singer-songwriter: Lana Del Rey
  • Birth name: Elizabeth Woolridge Grant
  • Song release date: 11 January 2021
  • Origin: New York City, U.S.

30. Mitski - My Love Mine All Mine

  • Singer-songwriter: Mitski
  • Birth name: Mitsuki Laycock
  • Song release date: 3 October 2023
  • Origin: New York City, U.S.

31. Florence + The Machine - Free

  • Singer-songwriter: Florence + The Machine
  • Birth name: Florence Leontine Mary Welch
  • Song release date: 20 April 2022
  • Origin: London, England

32. Warpaint - Champion

  • Band members: Emily Kokal (vocals, guitar), Theresa Wayman (vocals, guitar), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass, vocals), Stella Mozgawa (drums)
  • Song release date: 26 January 2022
  • Origin: Los Angeles, U.S.

33. Loma - Going out

  • Female band members: Emily Cross (singer)
  • Song release date: 26 July 2021
  • Origin: U.S.

34. Boygenius - Not Strong Enough

  • Band members: Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus
  • Song release date: 1 March 2023
  • Origin: U.S.

35. Deradoorian - Corsican Shores

  • Singer-songwriter: Deradoorian, Angel Deradoorian
  • Song release date: June 2020
  • Origin: Los Angeles, U.S.

36. Men I Trust - Billie Toppy

  • Singer-songwriter: Men I Trust
  • Song release date: 28 September 2022
  • Origin: Montreal, Canada

37. Porridge Radio - Back To The Radio

  • Female band members: Dana Margolin, Georgie Stott
  • Song release date: 21 February 2022
  • Origin: Brighton, England

38. The Weather Station - Atlantic

  • Female band members: Tamara Lindeman, Christine Bougie, Karen Ng
  • Song release date: 6 January 2021
  • Origin: Toronto, Canada

39. Big Thief - Little Things

  • Female band member: Adrianne Lenker (singer-songwriter, lead vocalist, guitarist)
  • Song release date: 10 August 2021
  • Origin: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

40. Jade Bird - Different Kinds of Light

  • Singer-songwriter: Jade Bird
  • Birth name: Jade Elizabeth Bird
  • Song release date: 13 August 2021
  • Origin: Croydon, South London, England

References

[1] Roberts, C. (2020, February 26). Jess Williamson Announces New Album and Tour, Shares Video for New Song “Wind on Tin” | Under the Radar Magazine. https://www.undertheradarmag.com/news/jess_williamson_announces_new_album_and_tour_shares_video_for_new_song_wind/

[2] Pilley, M. (2020, October 11). On the rise: Sinead O'Brien. The Line of Best Fit. https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/features/interviews/sinead-obrien-on-the-rise

[3] Bourton, L. (2020, December 10). How Phoebe Bridgers made “Kyoto” into the best song of 2020. The Line of Best Fit. https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/features/interviews/how-phoebe-bridgers-made-kyoto-best-song-2020

[4] Daly, R. (2022, July 14). The Big Moon talk new album ‘Here Is Everything’: “ I just couldn’t believe I would ever do anything creative again.” NME. https://www.nme.com/news/music/the-big-moon-new-album-here-is-everything-single-wide-eyes-interview-3268449

[5] Don Giovanni. (2021, January 26). Anna Fox Rochinski - “Cherry” | Music Video [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGMY6wn7BBo

[6] Romeo, D. (2023, June 2). Aisha Badru returns with new EP ‘Learning to Love Again’; her most musically dynamic offering to date. Nettwerk Music Group. https://nettwerk.com/aisha-badru-returns-with-new-ep-learning-to-love-again-her-most-musically-dynamic-offering-to-date/

[7] Bedward, T. (2023, June 6). Aisha Badru - “Learning to Love Again.” BROKEN 8 RECORDS. https://broken8records.com/blogs/audio/aisha-badru-learning-to-love-again

[8] Satenstein, L. (2016, August 24). Luna is the stylish singer behind Ukraine’s musical revolution. Vogue. https://www.vogue.com/article/luna-ukrainian-singer

WordPress Cookie Notice by Real Cookie Banner