The 9 Best Female Fronted Bands in Phoenix in 2017

SvT's L. Hotshot gets in your face.
SvT's L. Hotshot gets in your face. Melissa Fossum
It’s a great time for music in Phoenix these days. There are always lulls in every music scene, but right now ain’t one of them. Many of these active acts are bands that feature a mix of male and female performers playing every style you can wrap your head around, from sweet alt-country to ferocious punk rock. We compiled a list of nine female-fronted area bands going strong right now, so you can check out their aural offerings and get your playlists updated accordingly. Although the bands from last year’s list are still out there going strong, we didn’t include them on this year’s list, so that we could shine the spotlight on nine different acts.

9. Electrisad

This is one of those cases where the band’s name explicitly outlines what you’ll get when you give them a listen. It’s synth- and guitar-driven pop songs tinged with a pervasive sad sentiment. Love and heartbreak are some of the recurring themes in Electricsad tunes, sung by two singers with equally sweet voices. As they harmonize, the whole package becomes an even gooier concoction, while the sense of melancholia remains a thread. It’s nice how the electro beat sometimes defies the overall mood and gives the dynamic some tenacity. You might want to dance and cry at the same time, and that’s okay.

8. The SunPunchers

Whether indie-Americana band the SunPunchers are taking you down a dark and twisty country road in songs like “Sodium Pentathol Blues,” or lifting the pace a bit with tracks like “Coming Through,” they’re relentlessly soulful. Their EP Honey may as well have been named after singer Betsy Ganz’s voice, because no matter the message, she brings it with a rich and bluesy thickness that is nothing but sticky.

7. The Darling Sounds

Singer Grace Bolyard’s voice might be a little more temporal than the ethereal flow offered by Miki Berenyi, the singer of noted '90s indie dream-pop band Lush, and that’s okay. She maintains the dreamy sensibility of that seminal act while proving that you don’t need to be totally ghostly to be haunting. Her voice maintains a sweetness whether lulling you into a slumber-y dream state or keeping you on your toes with some jumpy, catchy pop action. Bolyard sings and plays rhythm guitar along with Zach Nelson on percussion and Cutter Videan on lead guitar, and together this trio crafts hooky, delicious earworms that invade, and set up shop, in your brain.

6. Man Hands

Driving, intense, and noisy are three words that come to mind when describing Man Hands. It’s a riotous blend of garage rock and post-punk delivered with intent. Vocalist Jackie Cruz’s voice shreds right along with her forceful guitar playing. She alternates singing with the band’s other guitar player, Marc Berry. Though the two have different tones to offer, they share a volatile vocal delivery style that continuously teeters on the brink of explosion. Matt Spastic’s drumming and Colin Sick’s bass work lay the foundation of urgency that this band stands upon.

5. Nanami Ozone

Local or otherwise, Nanami Ozone dropped one of the notable releases of 2016 with their nine-song release, Desire. Their hazy and dreamy rock is tinged here and there with a bit of jangle – just enough of a splash to be completely noninvasive, and some grungy garage elements that gives the mix a nice layer of gravel and depth. Guitarist Sophie Opich doesn’t sing all the songs, but when she does, her rich sound lends itself well to the eerie persistence prevalent in their musical dreamscape.

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Amy Young is an arts and culture writer who also spends time curating arts-related exhibits and events, and playing drums in local bands French Girls and Sturdy Ladies.
Contact: Amy Young