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Rock and Roll is returning with a vengeance. But even more exciting is the reemergence of girl rock. This coming season brings us a fresh crop of ax-wielding female artists.

Time is a circle. Trends come and go and come right back again. The late 70’s and 80’s produced unapologetic rock anthems from rock goddesses like Heart, Joan Jett and Chrissy Hynde. Whether you appreciate it or not, the Wilson sister’s “Crazy On You” and “Alone” and Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” and “I Love Rock and Roll” are staples that have been burned into our brains.

The mid-to-late 90’s brought us back to the 60’s singer-songwriter era when Sarah McLachlan and her Lilith Fair counterparts ushered in a much softer side of music. Female artists across the globe traded in their Stratocasters for sticker-covered Taylors and baby grands. Then came the pop and R&B divas who crooned their way to the top of the charts and into Vegas residencies.

It suddenly became embarrassing to see a woman bang her head and throw up the devil horns. Girl rock pretty much disappeared into witness protection. Of course we still hear many of these nostalgic tunes, but only in the closing hour of bars when patrons are inebriated and very willing to partake in sing-alongs. And female rock artists barely cracked Billboard 200’s top ten in the new millennium.

While the new gods of the arena became EDM disc jockeys performing for thousands in Ibiza, and progressive electronica/pop-rock hybrids became all the rage, rock and roll hibernated and festered within its craft. Now out of its deep sleep, the rock genre has come back strong and women across the globe have plugged back in.

In the past couple years, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, California sisterly trio Haim, and a few others broke the new mold. Now, whether they’ve already released projects or plan to debut new music on the horizon, these five fresh new acts are sure to make a splash in 2015:


This Madrid-based group originally began as a duo after Ana Garcia Perrote and Carlotta Cosials discovered they had something in common—cheating boyfriends. This mutual grief spawned the gritty girl-power rock themes of their music. The duo multiplied by two and Deers was born. “It’s about not caring and having fun,” Ana says of the band. Songs titles like “Trippy Gum” and “Bamboo” are lyrical proof.

Courtney Barnett

You might have caught this folk rock gem on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon earlier this year, but if you missed her, you’re sure to get an earful of the Aussie’s down under sound this coming year. What’s pretty darn cool is Barnett’s striking resemblance to Paul McCartney circa Let it Be, and her lackadaisical electric guitar and favorably deadpan voice are pretty synonymous with Bob Dylan after he went electric. She even writes like Dylan with such lyrics as “and in my dreams I wrote the best song that I’ve ever written… can’t remember how it goes” from her track “History Eraser.”

Amanda X

This punk rock group out of Philly is comprised of three friends – Cat, Kat and Tiffany (that’s right, neither of them bear the name Amanda). The trio evokes memories of after school jam band performances in mama’s garage. You won’t have to purchase their new album, Amnesia, out of the trunk of their car. It’s available on ITunes.

Wolf Alice

They teeter a little more on grunge, but it’s still rock and roll to me. Ellie Rowsell and her ghostly harmonies set the lead for this quartet from North London. Backed by three men, this is no girl band, but your eyes can’t help but focus on her eerily commanding stage presence. The remarkable element of their EP Creature Songs is that none of the tracks sound alike – it’s all over the place. But this embodiment of rock and roll’s chaos makes that okay.

Lindsay Ell
Lindsay Ell

Let us never forget country artists can shred the metal with the best of them. This Canadian darling out of Calgary isn’t new to the scene by any means, but the world’s finally caught on to the girls team’s answer to Keith Urban. Her finger-play on her signature purple Les Paul is flawless and raw. Don’t believe me? Youtube Ell evoking the spirit of Hendrix with her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at the Houston Texans game a couple weeks ago. Mark my words, Ell will grace Rolling Stone Magazine’s revered ‘100 Greatest Guitarists’ list within the next two decades. The publication along with Guitar World already proclaimed her an artist to watch in 2014.

Christopher McDonald is a Senior Producer, Writer, Music Producer, Talent Booker and Photographer. He has produced and written for an array of programming including late-night television, cable news & editorial interviews. Having worked at CNN and PBS, Christopher is experienced in both live and taped formats and has 15 years continuous experience in the fast-paced ever-changing medium of television.Chris helped launch “Tavis Smiley” and “The Arsenio Hall Show” rebooting from the ground up. If you ever need to talk music and lyrical meaning with anyone, Christopher’s your guy. And whether he’s wearing loafers, Oxfords, clogs or sneakers, he’ll pull off the best moonwalk you will ever see.

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