As some of you may already know, I spend a lot of time on the internet. I facebook, and tweet, and foursquare. You name it, I’m into it. While some of it may be procrastination (hello, it’s tax time) a lot of the time I’m looking for inspiration. For me, a great resource for musical inspiration has been youtube. Today I thought I’d share with you, dear readers, some of my favourite clips of female vocal performances found on youtube (and one from dailymotion). I hesitate to call it a “best of”, let’s just say the following are clips that I couldn’t put down and watched up to fifty times on repeat. There’s some jazz, some indie, some hip hop, some covers, some originals, a little bit of everything!
Without further ado and in no particular order, bring on the clips!
This is an original tune by Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose. I’ve watched this so many times and it still gives me goosebumps. It’s the kind of simple and beautiful song that makes you want to pick up a guitar and write your own. Her emotional delivery in each lyric is really stunning. This melts my heart into a puddle. Check out her youtube, twitter, and myspace and tell her how great she is!
I really believe that Karrin Allyson is one of the most under-appreciated ladies of jazz. She has thirteen albums and was nominated for a Grammy! This clip is what led me to her in the first place and I quickly fell in love with Footprints (2006) and In Blue (2002). What draws me to Karrin Allyson is her easy tone and sharp delivery. Everything about her performance here is simple and intentional. Also, it’s worth noting that it’s not easy to play an egg shaker and sing! Check out her website.
Oh Cassandra Wilson… it’s hard to improve on a classic, especially one as famous as Neil Young’s Harvest Moon. The instrumentation in this performance sets it apart from the original. The bass drone, slide guitar, bird and water sounds make me feel like I’m at the edge of the forest at night. Cassandra’s voice blends in with the atmosphere so well. I’m a sucker for an understated performance (duh) so this one is another heart-melter for me. Grab her latest CD, Silver Pony, here.
Whatever you do, don’t be discouraged by the supreme 80s-ness of this next clip. Dianne Schuur was pretty well known in the 80s for having access to crazy high notes that most people don’t. Sometimes she was a little screechy, but I think her performance here is just perfect. The way her voice swells and builds really captivates me. Now, fast forward past the cheesy 80s sax solo for my favourite part at 4:27. Her high note! That kills me every time. Watch it! Check out her website to see where she’s at today.
I’m sure you’re all very familiar with the latest viral video, Friday by Rebecca Black. It’s been hailed as the “worst song ever” which I think is a little extreme. I mean, hello, have you seen this? Anyway, Drew has covered this song and made it AMAZING. Not only that but she wrote some pretty sweet lyrics at 1:53 which advises the listening to stop hating on Rebecca Black! I mean for goodness sake she’s like 13. Check Drew out on youtube and twitter!
If THIS doesn’t blow your mind, nothing will. Cyrille Aimée is a singer from France living in New York and this video was shot at Dizzy’s Club in NYC. Here Cyrille uses a looping pedal to create her own rhythm section and backup vocals. She turns a rock classic into an unstoppable R&B anthem! Listen to it! Then tweet her tell her she’s crazy amazing! Buy her stuff here!
This clip is my latest obsession. Jessie J is performing her radio hit Do It Like A Dude acoustically with just a guitar accompanist at the Brit Awards launch party. I can’t stop watching this! I’ve never heard anyone play with their voice quite like this AND be so well received in the pop music sphere. What also gets me here is that she holds back until 2:38 and then let’s the tiger right out of the cage! It’s insane. You need to check this out. Her official website is here.
As promised, here is the one dailymotion clip. I’m not much of a rocker but Grace Potter’s attitude, squeals, and flying, blonde hair are really, really infectious. Also, check out the heels! This is pure, unadulterated fun and I highly recommend watching it. Grace Potter and The Nocturnals have been making the talk show rounds with performances on Conan, Letterman, and Ellen. I hope they come to Ottawa soon!
Well, there you have it folks! If you liked this post, please share it with your friends!