This month saw the 2021 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles were celebrated with #Snubbies, boycotts, and women making history by taking home all the major awards during the star-studded evening.
To recap, Taylor Swift took home Album of the Year for folklore, which was released last year alongside Evermore. Beyoncé, a global icon in her own right, also won big by taking home four Grammys and adding the total count to 28, making her the most decorated woman in Grammys history. In addition, her oldest daughter Blue Ivy Carter took the Best Music Video award for “Brown Skinned Girl,” which makes her one of the youngest winners. Billie Eilish, who took home Record of the Year for “Everything I Wanted,” dedicated her award to Megan Thee Stallion, who also took four awards including Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance for “Savage” featuring Beyoncé. In a stunning move, H.E.R.’s “I Can’t Breathe” won for Song of the Year, beating Queen Bey, Swift, Eilish, and Dua Lipa, who won Pop Solo Performance with “Don’t Start Now.”
And so, to mark the end of Women’s History Month celebrations, DIASH is dedicating this month’s albums to the recent releases of extraordinary females continuing to change the sound landscape for future audiences.
Women in Music Pt. III (HAIM)
I can’t not include Grammy winning HAIM on this list. Last year, they released EPs I Know Alone and Don’t Wanna that included singles (and bonus tracks) “Hallelujah,” “Summer Girl,” and “Now I’m in It.” Taylor Swift also collaborated with them on “no body, no crime” for evermore (while she, in turn, guested on a remix of “Gasoline.”) In addition, Danielle Haim also collaborated on a few songs with Vampire Weekend for Father of the Bride.
Released February 2021, this album shows their growth and how they’ve come a long way from Days Gone By. The album rocking back and forth between different musical styles like funk mixed with a little R&B (“Don’t Wanna”), early Eagles-esque classic rock (“Up From a Dream”), interesting voicemails (“3 AM”) and an acoustic heartfelt ballad (“Hallelujah”) the Haim sisters are proving their ever-growing musical versatility.
Long Live Rock (Halestorm)
Even though we’re (still) waiting on a follow-up to 2018’s Vicious, this cover of The Who’s 1974 original song will do…for now.
Recorded for Jonathan McHugh–directed Long Live Rock: Embrace the Chaos, one thing that stands out is Lzzy’s ferociousness which, in addition to Halestorm’s original material, has been heard on covers like Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning” and Skid Row’s “Slave to the Grind.” The documentary, released March 12, features the band rehearsing this song and Hale being interviewed alongside band members of Rob Zombie, Greta Van Fleet, and others in the heavy metal industry.
Crumb is amazing with creating dizzy, psychedelic atmospheres. And this song is an example. Two years since their debut album Jinx, they released interesting song “Trophy” along with an equally interesting music video featuring the band at an awards show of some sort with talking trophies.
We’re not asking any questions.
Chemtrails Over the Country Club (Lana Del Rey)
Lana Del Rey is constantly transforming.
And not just from an aesthetic to prominent songwriter. From scathing reviews to (not-so-small) wildfires pertaining to album covers, her brand has been, for good or bad, compelling to watch.
Exhilarating and folk-driven, her latest album explores subtle forms of traditional Americana, romanticism of traditional norms and what may be reflections of her own career. In songs like “White Dress” and “Tulsa Jesus Freak,” for example, we hear a lot of religious contemplation and “Let Me Love You Like a Woman” gives a Tammy Wynette nod to a modern, independent society. However, “Breaking Up Slowly,” a duet with Nikki Lane, shows the breakdown of those seemingly idyllic norms by finding Wynette’s (along with her own) sorrows being subservient to someone else.
Love or hate her, the album is an introspection into, ultimately, longing for some type of stability.
The Bitter Truth (Evanescence)
The long-awaited return to form by rock band Evanescence, it’s refreshing to hear.
In the ten years since their self-titled album release, the band seemed to drift away from each other, as Terry Balsamo quit in 2015. During this hiatus, Amy Lee took some time away from the rock scene and entered the film composition world, partnering with David Eggers for the War Story soundtrack. She also composed and performed “Speak to Me” for movie Voice from the Stone with Emilia Clarke. With the addition of Jen Majura replacing Balsamo, they ended their break with Synthesia, a remix album of classic Evanescence songs featuring new single “Hi-Lo” with Lindsey Stirling.
With The Bitter Truth, however, the band faced a brand-new terrain: recording during a pandemic. The first single, “Wasted on You,” was released during the twilight hours during the newly-imposed COVID-19 lockdowns and the music video was shot in band members’ homes using their iPhones. Another prominent song is “Use My Voice” Inspired by the case of Brock Turner, Amy Lee wrote this empowering anthem and brought prominent female artists like Hale, Stirling, Taylor Momsen, Sharon den Adel, and her own family members.