Here are ten recommendations of albums that were released by female guitarists in 2014, including familiar icons and rising newcomers:
1) Heart + Friends – Home For The Holidays
Following on from the success of 2010’s Red Velvet Car, ’80s icons Ann and Nancy Wilson collaborate with friends in their hometown of Seattle to sing Christmas Holiday classics, with guests including Shawn Colvin, Richard Marx, and Sammy Hagar. They even added a few of their well-known classics – “Barracuda” and “Even it Up.” Comes with a CD and DVD.
2) Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness
After the success of her debut album Half Way Home, 27 year old folk/indie star Angel Olsen released her first full-band release, Burn Your Fire For No Witness, receiving excellent reviews. A particular recommendation is the slightly spooky rock song ‘Forgiven/Forgotten.’
3) Joni Mitchell – Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced
The legendary Joni Mitchell’s musical career spans nearly half a century. She has treated fans to a four disc compilation box set, containing 53 songs which have been remastered in 2014. Cleverly, each song is meant to interact with the next. The discs are presented in a sturdy book-like casing and includes an introduction from Joni.
4) First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
Swedish Indie folk duo First Aid Kit interestingly blend a 13 piece orchestra in their third studio album. The album is partly inspired by events in their own life and has received many great reviews.
5) Miranda Lambert – Platinum
The fact that Platinim received a Grammy nomination for US country music artist Miranda Lambert, pretty much speaks for itself. This album immediatly hit No 1 on the Billboard 200 and has also won ‘Album of the Year’ at the Country Music Association Awards in 2014. A track recommendation is a duet with Carrie Underwood on ‘Something Bad.’
6) Amelia Scalies – I Should’ve Known
Talented teenager Amelia Scalies is wise beyond her years. The title track of her eclectic album ‘I Should’ve Known’ is a definite recommendation and bares a similarity to Paramore. Another highlight is the truly excellent cover of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Welcome to the Black Parade.’ There is something for everyone on this album!
7) MonaLisa Twins – MonaLisa Twins play Beatles and more
Originating from Austria, MonaLisa Twins have released a fan-requested compilation of first-class live and studio cover recordings. If you are a fan of the ’60s musically, you are in for a treat as the MonaLisa twins put their own twist on timeless classics such as ‘People are Strange’ by The Doors and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ (Beatles/George Harrison).
8) Eilidh McKeller – Delta Devil Dreams
Scottish singer Eilidh has released her debut album, Delta Devil Dreams, produced by Grammy award-winning Guy Eckstine. The album skilfully blends rock, funk and blues, and recommendations include the very first track ‘Summer Daze’ and Track 6 ‘Until the Sun Come Up’ which is a highly original song.
9) Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
Mainly produced by singer Ryan Adams, The Voyager is the 3rd album by US singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis (of indie rock band Rilo Kiley fame) and has hit the Number 2 spot in the Billboard Top Ten Alternative Albums chart. Singles taken from The Voyager include ‘Just One of the Guys’ and ‘She’s Not Me.’
10 Heidi Howe – Be Good
Fans of Country/Americana won’t be disappointed with the sixth album from Heidi Howe. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, Heidi is gaining a great reputation in the Nashville music scene, drawing comparisons with Cyndi Lauper, Shania Twain, and Dolly Parton. Recommendations include the inspiring songs ‘The Ramones and George Jones’ and ‘Ryan Adams Can.’