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Thread: Audiophile: Favourite female singers

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  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Audiophile: Favourite female singers

    I recently fell in love with music again. I had packed away my hifi when I moved house years ago and it stayed in my garage for years. Took them out to sell on gumtree as my new place is completely Sonos wired. Decided to test them before selling and that was it. 6 months down the line, I've got a hifi room, every component has been changed (all components of gumtree and eBay - absolutely amazing value bettered only by the sound) and I hardly watch TV anymore.

    Favourite music is female vocals, piano, a bit jazzy is fine.

    Currently love Melody Gardot, Madeleine Peyroux, Anne Bisson, Tracy Chapman, what else am I missing?

  2. #2
    Master
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    Some of my favourites: Elis Regina, Amy Winehouse, Esperanza Spalding, Anita Baker, Bebel Gilberto, Chantae Cann, Kandace Springs

  3. #3
    Master
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    Dusty Springfield. Kate Bush. Carole King.

  4. #4
    Grand Master SimonK's Avatar
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    My faves in no particular order

    Eva Cassidy
    Sarah McLachlan
    Lykke Li
    Elkie Brookes
    Norah Jones
    Joan Osborne
    Aimee Mann
    Sade
    Sandy Denny with Fairport Convention
    Paloma Faith

    But head and shoulders abover all other female singers is, for me, Karen Carpenter.
    Last edited by SimonK; 15th August 2019 at 00:10.

  5. #5
    Joni Mitchell
    Judy Collins
    Joan Baez
    K.D. Lang
    Nina Simone

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  6. #6
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    Joni Mitchell is one of my favourites, I can listen to her all day.

  7. #7
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    Moya Brennan was pretty special at times. I remember seeing Clannad live in Southampton years ago. The interval was interesting; the band all disappeared and Moya just stood alone in the middle of the stage and sang with no accompaniment. It was haunting and truly spine-tingling.

    Moya's younger sister (Enya) wasn't too shabby either.

  8. #8
    My top two female singers chosen by Simon, and I would add a heavy dose of Emmylou Harris and Linda Rondstadt

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonK View Post
    My faves in no particular order

    Eva Cassidy
    Sarah McLachlan

    Lykke Li
    Elkie Brookes
    Norah Jones
    Joan Osborne
    Aimee Mann
    Sade
    Sandy Denny with Fairport Convention
    Paloma Faith

    But head and shoulders abover all other female singers is, for me, Karen Carpenter.

  9. #9
    Master mondie's Avatar
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    This is a great thread that has certainly turned into a who's who of female vocalists. I would add two more into the mix.

    Firstly Skin from Skunk Anansie, if you want to hear pone of the most stunning acoustic concerts featuring Skins incredible voice and range this is a must-have album which is extremeely well produced too:



    Secondly, a South African singer called Miriam Stockley. She is best known as the lead vocal perfomer for Adiemus, a Karl Jenkins project but also has a few solo albums which contains some gems amonst some more average songs.


  10. #10
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    Many superb suggestions so far, some more below, with suggestions for especially well recorded/produced albums:

    Jennifer Warnes - Famous Blue Raincoat (an album of Leonard Cohen covers, really excellent).
    Mary Black - No Frontiers (check out the amazing acoustic bass on Columbus).
    Suzanne Vega - Solitude Standing.
    Gwyneth Herbert - All The Ghosts.
    Tina Turner - Foreign Affair.
    Rickie Lee Jones - Rickie Lee Jones (Chuck E's in Love)

    Pretty much anything by Everything But The Girl.

    I could go on...

  11. #11
    Sarah Vaughan (both early and later years)
    Audra Mae
    Nathalie Stutzmann
    Grace Love
    Aurora
    Silja Sol (often backing the above)
    Sharon Jones

    Honestly, Adele and Ariana Grande have phenomenal voices. Just a shame most of their songs don't really show it (especially the latter!)
    Last edited by hughtrimble; 14th August 2019 at 23:44.

  12. #12
    Craftsman CamCG's Avatar
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    The queen of popular song, Ella Fitzgerald.

    I doubt she ever recorded a vocal which was less than sublime.

  13. #13
    One of the best recent singers is Hannah Reid from London Grammar - just beautiful and moving.

  14. #14
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    I’ve spent a fascinating hour copying and pasting names from this thread into Spotify. What a great idea for a thread.

    I’ve been a big fan of Paloma Faith for years but she has already been mentioned so here are a couple of others

    Duffy - not jazzy but a fantastic voice and I’m dying to see her live one day.
    Joss Stone

  15. #15
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    Judith Durham

  16. #16
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    One of the best recent singers is Hannah Reid from London Grammar - just beautiful and moving.
    Yup, and Beth Gibbons.
    You can live in your car but you can't drive your house.

  17. #17
    Master
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    Alice Merton, Freya Ridings

  18. #18
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    Modern - Jorja Smith, this girls voice is amazing think Amy Winehouse but more relevent on today's music scene rather than imitating.
    Indie Folky - Aldous Harding, live she's as mad as a box of frogs but the quality of her most recent album Designer makes up for that in spades.
    Also applies to Anna Calvi
    Very Folky Fazeley Ford nothing new from her but stumbled across her on a Spotify playlist and blown away.
    Jazzy - look for Cleo Sol and Nilüfer Yanya and you shouldn't be disappointed.

  19. #19
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    Some great suggestions here, quite a few I'd forgotten. I now feel like firing up some music rather than going to work....!

    I'll suggest a couple of slightly unsual ones on the femal vocal front. One is Fiona Apple, maybe try "When the pawn...". The other is the Cocteau Twins - Liz Fraser's voice is incredible at times. Best to try might be some of the tracks from "Heaven or Las Vegas" (4, 9 & 10 I like, but the whole album is among their most accessible).

  20. #20
    Master AM94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    One of the best recent singers is Hannah Reid from London Grammar - just beautiful and moving.
    Unfortunately, not live. I'd agree with the recorded material but live she can struggle.

    One that hasn't been mentioned is AURORA... quirky but worth a listen. Think contemporary Kate Bush.

    Sarah McLachlan has been mentioned as have many other great options.

    Florence Welch, has she been mentioned?

    What about Tori Amos?

    Again, some quirky options: Imogen Heap, Lykke Li and Nicola Hitchcock (specifically her work with Mandalay)

    What about Lisa Gerrard? I'm also not sure whether Sarah Brightman has been mentioned?

    Lastly, set the 'crazy' to oneside... Sinead O'Connor

  21. #21
    Master
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    How about,

    Joan Armatrading.

  22. #22
    Craftsman TimeThoughts's Avatar
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    I find that you cant beat Ella Fitz on a jazz classic to bring out the very best on a high end audio rig.

    As mentioned above; The London Grammar lady is sublime.

  23. #23
    Sissel kyrkjebo

  24. #24
    Master sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skier View Post
    As mentioned by chime101 - Natalie Merchant. Either as part of 10,000 Maniacs or as a solo artist.
    Natalie's hi-res 'Natalie Merchant' album is a wonderful listen on decent equipment.



    Mo-Fi re-released her solo debut Tigerlily on LP a few years ago. It's a more uptempo record than the later eponymous release, and very nicely produced.



    And back in 10,000 Maniacs, Verdi Cries is an excellent showcase of her singing.


  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by valleywatch View Post
    How about,

    Joan Armatrading.
    Saw her at Glastonbury she was brilliant also saw Alison Moyet too who was also good , Grace Slick and Clare Torry have to be mentioned .

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl1 View Post
    Saw her at Glastonbury she was brilliant also saw Alison Moyet too who was also good , Grace Slick and Clare Torry have to be mentioned .

    I've always thought that Alison Moyet sounds like Jimmy Somerville.

    Or maybe it's the other way around...


  27. #27
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amnesia View Post
    I've always thought that Alison Moyet sounds like Jimmy Somerville.

    Or maybe it's the other way around...

    You were playing one of them at the wrong speed!

    M

  28. #28
    Master AM94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amnesia View Post
    I've always thought that Alison Moyet sounds like Jimmy Somerville.

    Or maybe it's the other way around...

    Not so much Somerville to my ears but definately Andy Bell... but then I think that was Vince Clarke's plan.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by amnesia View Post
    I've always thought that Alison Moyet sounds like Jimmy Somerville.

    Or maybe it's the other way around...

    I'm sure Jimmy Somerville was up her skirt while she was on stage as she kept moving strange ..

  30. #30
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Whilst not Jazz; I am a big fan of Alt-Country singer Lydia Loveless. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea though.

  31. #31
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    Randy Crawford

    Trintje Oosterhuis

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  32. #32
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    Audiophile: Favourite female singers

    I’ll add Natasha Khan/Bat for Lashes, Laura Marling and Norah Jones. I think that no-one’s mentioned Dusty Springfield either :).

    I agree with plenty of the previous suggestions.

    Edit: Just seen that Norah and Dusty are already listed

  33. #33
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    First Aid Kit - stay gold album (waitress song or silver lining)
    I also like early Lana Del Rey - Born to Die paradise edition album (Ride or born to die)

    Apart from those two Ella, Nina Simone and KD Lang are supreme female vocalists IMO but they've been said already.

  34. #34
    Some wonderful Americana contenders (often Canadian...)

    Kathleen Edwards
    Gillian Welch
    Cowboy Junkies
    Be Good Tanyas
    Red Molly
    Lori McKenna
    Courtney Marie Andrews

    And two of the greats: Patti Smith and Laurie Anderson

  35. #35
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    Ann Wilson.
    Pat Benatar
    Martina McBride

  36. #36
    Craftsman trott3r's Avatar
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    another note for PJ Harvey first 3 albums. some obtuse lyrics at times

  37. #37
    Many excellent singers already noted. One glaring miss so far, Lauryn Hill.

  38. #38
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    A few of my favourites have been mentioned, but some are still missing

    Tracey Thorn
    Sara Bareilles
    Joan Wass (Joan as Policewoman)
    Suzanne Vega
    Shakira (although not so much her more recent stuff...)

    Some that I really like, but suspect some will not:

    Florence Welsh
    Macy Gray
    Jaqui Abbott
    Sheryl Crow
    Sarah Cracknell - St Etienne
    Caro Emerald
    Jess Glynne
    Anastacia
    Romy Madley Croft - The female singer from 'The XXX', although I can't stand the male's voice!

    M
    Last edited by snowman; 15th August 2019 at 11:35.

  39. #39
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    https://youtu.be/GvYarluqINA

    Dido and “white flag”


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  40. #40
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    Norah Jones as a few have mentioned.

  41. #41
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    Another vote for Alecia Keys. Sounded awesome through my Cyrus CD7Q, Sugden A21 amps and PMC floorstanders, 'til I recently had another kid and the hifi has been banished to a cupboard under the stairs :O

  42. #42
    In addition to others already mentioned :

    Beth Hirsch
    Tracey Thorn
    Angel Olsen

  43. #43
    Craftsman bdkelly72's Avatar
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    Lana del Rey..

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  44. #44
    Master Neilw3030's Avatar
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    Randy Crawford, rainey night in georgia
    Linda Ronstadt, blue bayou, just heavenly
    Bjork, mad as a box of frogs
    Lykke Li, early stuff
    Debbie Harry, early punk stuff was fresh at the time
    Ella Eyre, lovely voice
    Sharon Jones, so mellow
    Alison Goldfrapp, so dreamey
    Sa Dingding, foriegn language
    Dion Warwick, classic

  45. #45
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    As well as many of the fantastic artists already mentioned above, I am listening to these women a lot at the moment:

    Joy Williams
    Sarah Jarosz
    Sara Watkins

    I saw the two Sara(h)'s performing in London as part of I'm With Her earlier this year - stunning performance.

  46. #46
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    Not just a female group but The XX's female singer has an incredible voice

  47. #47
    Master vRSG60's Avatar
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    Dusty Springfield
    Carole King
    Chrisse Hind
    The 2 from First Aid Kit
    Carly Simon
    Martha Reeves
    Last edited by vRSG60; 15th August 2019 at 13:10.

  48. #48
    Gillian Welch, particularly the ‘Time (The Relevator) album.
    Most have heard her before singing ‘I’ll fly away’ on the O Brother where art thou? Film soundtrack

  49. #49
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    How about Uncle Earl. All female blue grass --- excellent.

  50. #50
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    Lots of my favourites in here already. Been listening to Sarah Jarosz lately . . .



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