I was gonna do some geeky post about the best cd’s I’ve heard the first half of 2006. Very predictable and kinda boring if you ask me. Better to highlight something different. My music collection is somewhat underrepresented by the female of the species, so I thought it would be better to focus on the unusually large quantity of female fronted bands and solo artists that have come across my radar this year. Maybe I’m mellowing with age or merely broadening my tastes, but here is a top ten for for the women of the first half of 2006 (in no particular order).

Cat Power The Greatest Not a greatest hits, but probably her best record. This is one of those old sounding records (M Ward, Richard Hawley) that evokes a time from way back. Listen to it.

The Concretes In Colour Motown influenced Swedes (in the same way the Jesus and Mary Chain were.) They sound young fragile, and a bit twee, but they seem to transcend their obvious influcences. Concretes music here.

Sing Sing Sing Sing and I Emma Anderson was half of Lush and has since moved on. Sing Sing at myspace

El Perro Del Mar She looks like a cross between Edith Piaf and Twiggy. Think Rhino’s box set of Girl Groups and add a little Goldfrapp in. Here’s a song

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan Ballad of the Broken Seas Former Belle & Sebastian member finally puts out a good record. It’s not too twee and that’s not because of Mark Lanegan. Campell wrote most the songs on this one. Listen to Isobel here

Howling Bells Self titled debut from gothic/blues influence Australians. Add in some Siouxsie and voila a cool band is made. Go here to listen.

Camera Obscura Let’s Get Out of this Country They’re from Scotland and they wrote a song about Lloyd Cole, go figure. This is their third record and it lives up to the promise of their debut. Stream a few songs here.

Monkey Swallow the Universe The Bright Carvings – Virtually unknown, but that’s only because smart acoustic music just isn’t cool these days. This is my favourite song of there’s: Jimmy Down the Well

The Essex Green Cannibal Sea Mix of guy/girl vocals so this may be pushing it. I like to think of them as the U.S. Acid house Kings.
Listen to Some songs

Amy Millan Honey from the Tombs From Stars, she does a solo thing of country tinged stuff. She’s channeling the ghost of Kirsty MacColl (Think Don’t come a Cowboy and Guy down at the Chip Shop Swears he’s Elvis)
Listen: Skinny Boy

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