Female music artists 2013
Charli XCX transitioned from Internet Pop to the mainstream this year when she released the danceably fun album, 'True Romance, ' after which she hit the festivals with one of the reliably best sets of the summer. The young Brit also wrote what continues to be one of the biggest songs around, at least in commercials and stadiums: 'I Love It' by Icona Pop. When you're writing pop songs for Swedish artists, you know you've made it.
When the needle moved: January 10, when she first shared the song 'You (Ha Ha Ha), ' off 'True Romance.'
Australian EDM artist Flume began the year with the US release of his self-titled debut album on Mom+Pop Records. He ended the year with a killer remix collection (The Mixtape) that includes collaborations with the likes of Freddie Gibbs, Killer Mike and Ghostface Killah.
When the needle moved: February 21, the release of his debut album in the US. By then, his singles 'Holdin On' and 'Sleepless' were already rising up the charts in Oz.
3. Palma Violets
When you've opened up for the Rolling Stones, had Johnny Marr dedicating songs to you, and packed the main stage at Lollapalooza during a daytime set, you know you've had a pretty decent career. All of that happened to the Palma Violets this year.
When the needle moved: February 25, when Palma Violets dropped their debut album '180.' In a few months they developed a big enough following in the US to fill one of the main stages at Lollapalooza.
A couple of years ago, twin sisters Katie and Allison Crutchfield, who were in several bands together, went their separate ways. Katie, whom we named one of the 30 best guitarists under 30, got her project off the ground first, producing her first Waxahatchee album, 'Ameican Weekend, ' in 2012. This year, she released the stellar 'Cerulean Salt, ' a collection of 11 honest, pared-down songs that were universally hailed as some of the best of the year. Next year, it may be Allison's turn.
When the needle moved: March 5, when Katie released her second album, 'Cerulean Salt.'
5. New Miley Cyrus
Sure, 'Bangerz' didn't impress as much as the hype building up to it did. But that hype was pretty powerful stuff, as it introduced the world to the blond, tongue-wagging, derriere-twerking incarnation of the woman who was once Hannah Montana. Remember, there was a time not too long ago when a leaked video of Miley smoking pot was considered controversial.
When the needle moved: March 14, when we were privvy to video of Miley twerking in a unicorn onesie. Miley and twerking were inseparable after that.
When you think of fast-rising IT bands, rarely does it involve an avante-garde post-punk outfit with a propensity toward making long concept videos based on reverberating fuzz. But that's exactly what Savages are - a second-coming of Siouxsie and the Banshees.
When the needle moved: March 14, when Savages played the Pitchfork showcase in Austin. After the festival there were two bands that music journalists could not stop fawning over. Savages was one of them. The other one was...
Haim, the sisters behind the hair that's graced a thousand style magazines, released one of the best albums of the year in 'Days Are Gone, ' an achievement built on catchy '80s-influenced pop songs. They toured seemingly nonstop, winning fans with an often-head-banging live show and savvy cover song selections (including a synth-driven version of Miley's 'Wrecking Ball' on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge). They'll headline some pretty big venues early next year on their US tour.
When the needle moved: March 15, when Haim, who had released the video for 'Falling' in February, played the Filter Showdown in Austin. It was the beginning of a long stretch on the road - mostly at festivals - giving everyone around the world a chance to really see what makes the band so great - their incredible live show.
8. Kacey Musgraves
When anyone finds success at the tender age of 25, it's tough to say that they've tread a long road. But Kacey Musgraves has drudged a long road to her well-deserved CMA New Artist of the Year award. From 2002-'07, Musgraves released three self-produced albums before entering the USA Network 'American Idol'-like series 'Nashville Star, ' in which she finished seventh. It would be another five years before Musgraves signed a record deal with Mercury Nashville, which released 'Same Trailer, Different Park, ' an album noted for its honest portrayal of small-town life - and too honest for some. The single 'Follow Your Arrow' includes the lines: "So make lots of noise / Kiss lots of boys / Or kiss lots of girls/If that’s something you’re into / And if the straight and narrow gets a little too straight / Roll up a joint, or don’t / And follow your arrow wherever it points." We might be in the midst of Taylor Swift, part deux, with more edge.
When the needle moved: March 19, when Musgraves released her album 'Same Trailer, Different Park.'
9. Ariana Grande
Once an actor in the teen Nickelodeon show 'Victorious, ' Ariana Grande now stars in that sit-com's spinoff, 'Sam & Cat.' So of course her '90s influenced debut album, 'Yours Truly, ' was destined to suck, right? Wrong. The album is surprisingly refreshing, and nearly all of it is anchored by Grande's powerful voice, which has many critics comparing to Mariah Carey. Grande, who will release a Christmas EP this month, can apparently do no wrong. 'Sam & Cat' is even getting some decent reviews from unlikely sources.
When the needle moved: March 26, when she released the Mac Miller-featured single 'The Way.'
Disclosure may have hit headlining status first, but fellow UK electronic group Rudimental aren't too far behind. They topped the charts in the UK with their debut album, 'Home, ' which includes the UK number one singles, 'Feel The Love, ' 'Not giving In, ' and 'Waiting All Night.'