With venues closed for the foreseeable, it’s harder than ever for young artists to get their voices heard. Julie Riley tips us the nod about 3 of her favourite new young loud women making fresh waves in the DIY scene …

Hotwax

I love this band. 3 uber young women delivering Moody vocals and deep instrumental weavings through psych rock to funk.’ with a fierce energy.

Hotwax

They say they are ‘inspired by No One’ (and I don’t think they mean the Alicia Keys song) yet they ooze the punk, rock, glam pizzazz of Joan Jett, P J Harvey, Iggy Pop or any other iconic classic of this ilk you care to mention.

They a have a sound and competence that belies their years which they execute seemingly effortlessly. Their chemistry clicks, fizzes and inspires.

Their latest single is ‘Stay Cool’. I doubt they will have trouble doing this. They were probably born cool. Teenage angst does not escape them but this track is an acerbic commentary on the futility and artifice around ‘being cool’.  As they say ‘I wanna feel like I know myself not someone else’. At their age one would forgive them for just trying to be cool but as with their musicianship they show more maturity and self-possession than that.

Why should I do anything for you?’

Quite.

I’ll do what I want don’t care what you thinks is cool.’

Exactly.

The track blisters into life with a single electrified guitar riff (that we all wish we had written) soon joined by drums before launching headlong into hypnotic full band sound. The track is a glorious riot that lasts less than 3 mins. These women more than know what they are doing, seem to have fun while they are doing it and the joy is contagious. I for one will be along for the ride with them in 2021.



C’est Karma

C’est Karma (aka Karma Caten) describes herself as an “18 year old human being from Luxembourg making music for anyone who will listen.” The press release for ‘Fist Fight’ describes her as an “Alt-pop sorcerer” who “invites you into her fantastical world”.

What intrigued me is that whilst writing ‘Fist Fight’ she was inspired by the Serbian conceptual and performance artist. As Karma cites in her blog:

C’est Karma

‘artist Marina Abramović once commented on her piece Light/Dark, where she and her partner Ulay, slapped each other in the face for twenty minutes, that: “It is not the pain itself that matters. […] We were looking for a key, a way to break through the body, to open something up, which is a desire that comes from another side of truth or reality.

Being a non-violent person, Karma describes her song as being an exploration of violence and about “the conflicts everyone finds in themselves at some point in life, about the fight between reason and instinct.” 

Karma is another with a distinct voice that has sweet melody and wispish charm. The young artist has been pretty busy during the pandemic releasing 3 singles (‘Fist Fight’, ‘Pool Party’ and ‘Industrial Salt’) then the EP Farbfilm which features all of these plus 2 more tracks. ‘Fist Fight’ is her most pop-esque and bombastic track with up and downs, stops and starts– it’s where I met her and the song I like best. But all tracks have integrity and important stories to tell even if they are a slower burn. Looking forward to what she does next.


Carina

This artist, aged just 16, released her debut EP Spaceout in November 2020. Written and recorded by herself at home during the pandemic this is one girl who has turned (a perceivable) weakness into strength and a crisis into an opportunity.  As a person who suffers from disassociation Carina says of song writing:

‘Dissociation can make you feel like you aren’t real and it becomes incredibly difficult to connect with anything, but writing can counteract that. When I make music, I’m taking something from inside my head and turning it into something that exists outside of myself.’

Carina

Lucky for us that she does as her first EP is a joy of sound.

Carina has a voice that sits somewhere between Billie Eilish, Lorde and Lana Del Rey. She has dark, smokey tones that are sung close up which lends intimacy to her sound, but she can just easily switch up into a sweeter more pop range as exemplified by the delicious melodies on Summer Air Buzz. What interests me about her sound is the way her tracks are like a sketch book of stories – she layers in audio of videos from her phone – soundbites of her life before lockdown.

‘I’d look on my phone through all these videos and voice memos when life was normal (when I went to NYC and it was raining, friends talking at parties, etc.). It really inspired me to create something out of it’.

My particular favourite track is ‘Skets & Stoners’ where the melody, the darkness, the intimacy and the style of using video audio in the background all comes together to make something very special.

‘I don’t want to kiss you or take a hit I just need to hear the silence for a bit’

Don’t we all. After the silence though I strongly recommend you listen to this.