Though at first blush they may appear to be some British answer to HAIM—rockin’ out with bright pop production—the year-old British quartet Rouge hearkens back to a long line of U.K. blues-rock bands of the late ’60s like Cream and Clapton. This is cool dad-rock played by dad’s 20-something daughters. (Though at this point, would dad-rock also encompass Duran Duran? Or Ratt?) They aren’t playing irony games on their new self-released, four-song EP, Edge Of The Bed, out June 16. In any event, expect to see Rouge’s perfectly executed honky bar-rock thump women blasting on a cop show and covered on the “Rock” night of American Idol soon.
Singer/guitarist Becky Wixon, with her classic growl, told us the band’s favorite female vocalists. They chose some long-canonized rock songstresses, and a few modern artists, from the pop to the gritty. Here they are, in reverse order.
Rouge’s Top Ten Female Singers:
10. Tracy Chapman
We love unique voices, and one of which Simone’s [Picknett, vocals and guitar] is often compared to. Her voice is so effortlessly soulful and resonant. We also love that her voice isn’t stereotypically feminine, she’s utterly confident in her own skin.
09. KT Tunstall
KT has been a childhood love of mine [Wixon]. Her soft, bluesy voice is incredibly warming and honest. I love the combination of folk and blues; there’s no music more real.
08. Karen Carpenter
This one’s from Nicole [Burnard, drums]. Karen is an icon for all women–she’s a fabulous multi-tasker. Drums and vocals, go girl!
07. Eva Cassidy
Every time I listen to Eva Cassidy, something tugs at my heartstrings. Not just because her voice is so pure and angelic, but I feel as if I’m mourning for everything she didn’t get a chance to do, and the recognition she never got. Eva Cassidy was flawless.
06. Bonnie Raitt
We love this blues songstress. There is an innate emotional depth to her voice, which is ageless. There’s nothing sexier than a husky female voice.
05. Stevie Nicks
If I could steal anyone’s vocal chords it would be Stevie Nick’s. She somehow retains a feminine fragility to her voice, while at the same time has sheer, dirty power.
04. Amy Winehouse
London’s finest. Her effortless vocal power was astonishing. She sang as if it was a matter of life and death. Tragically, it turned out it was. Her spirit still lingers on the toilet walls of Camden pubs we so often visit.
03. Etta James
When I listen to Etta James, that’s all I’m doing. No multi-tasking allowed, no background music. In a word: RAW. I’ve never heard such an earthy, blues vocal with so much soul.
02. Janis Joplin
Nothing compares to Janis Joplin. There’s something about her voice that speaks to me like no other. It’s filled with firey spirit that will always live on.
She is the female voice of our generation. She is the most powerful person in the music industry. She’s sassy, smart and soulful. She’s an inspiration to us, and all women. Beyonce takes our number one spot.