Top 5 queens of indie-rock

Women in the rock ‘n’ roll industry have always been overlooked. When society thinks of true rock ‘n’ roll “heroes,” images of Mick Jagger smoking cigarettes and Kurt Cobain slamming his guitar to the floor are immediately conjured up. Unfortunately, one would never instantly visualize Patti Smith pounding out riffs, or even Janis Joplin’s wild, hippie-esque hair waving in time with the beat to “Piece of my Heart.”

The music industry has definitely seen its fair share of influential female rockers. But as it always is in this field, women have to rock twice as hard as men in order to be their musical equal.

Listen to The State Press's playlist of our top 5 indie-rock queens


Today, there are many ladies in the indie-rock genre who are shocking listeners with their innovative sounds and rock star potential. To honor these ladies, The State Press has composed a list of today’s Top 5 Queens of indie-rock. These are the women who are shaking the world with their indie greatness and introducing some game-changing music.

  1. Karen O.: There is no indie-rock diva quite like Karen O. Known mainly for being the lead singer of band Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Karen O. has been involved in many musical projects and proves herself to be a well-rounded artist. The singer not only composed the entire soundtrack to the popular film, “Where the Wild Things Are,” but also worked with Trent Reznor for a featured song in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”  Also, it is hardly necessary to even mention how fabulous her signature boy-cut hairdo is — it doesn’t get more rock ‘n’ roll than that.
  2.  Jenny Lewis: Jenny Lewis may appear to be a dainty, girl-next-door type, but don’t let her appearance fool you. This indie-rocker fronted band Rilo Kiley where she can be heard singing the lyrics, “And the talking leads to touching/ and the touching leads to sex/ and then there is no mystery left.” The singer-songwriter is also famous for her work with The Watson Twins and is featured in the song “Nothing Better” by The Postal Service.
  3. Feist: Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Leslie Feist writes songs that force emotion out of listeners. It is impossible not to smile and dance to “1234,” and  “The Park” can get tears out of any person. With her critically acclaimed solo work and her contributions to band Broken Social Scene, Feist is an unstoppable force in the music world.
  4.  tUnE-yArDs: Merrill Garbus’s music project, tUnE-yArDs, is not nearly as famous as it should be. This relatively new artist has created her own distinct sound and avid indie music-listeners have fallen in love with her innovation and creativity. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her second album “Whokill” at No. 13 on their list of the 50 Best Albums of 2011.
  5. Florence and the Machine: Florence Welch hasn’t been able to stay off the radio since her first singles “Kiss With a Fist” and “Dog Days Are Over” were over-played back in 2008. Since their debut, Florence and the Machine has been selling out concerts, performing at the MTV Video Music Awards and posing for various magazine covers. The combination of Welch’s powerhouse voice and heart-wrenching song lyrics make Florence the Machine one of the world’s most popular bands right now and music lovers can expect much more from the group in the future. Florence and the Machine isn’t going anywhere — just on world tour.
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