5 Dreamy, Lady-Fronted Bands From the '90s That Should Reform
Yesterday, our inner teenage selves swooned at the news that Mazzy Star is going to be releasing new material for the first time in 17 years. The band's fourth full-length, Seasons of Your Day, will be out September 24. But, as excited as we are about it, we couldn't help but reminisce about all those other dreamy, lady-fronted indie bands from the '90s that made high school almost bearable. Here are five we'd like to see making music again.
Belly made an intriguing combination of sweet pop, howling rock 'n' roll, and -- particularly for album tracks -- songs that made frontwoman Tanya Donelly sound like she was in the midst of an acid-induced nervous breakdown. After Belly's demise in 1996, Donelly released a couple of solid solo albums, but never quite reproduced the magic of Belly's Star and King records. We were happy to see her guesting on a 2003 Throwing Muses record, but last we heard, she was living making her living as a postpartum doula. We hope, at the very least, that she sings to the new moms.
Curve frontwoman Toni Halliday was almost-unbearably cool: a pouting, sighing, crooning goddess who carried herself with an air of mystery at all times. Halliday and bandmate Dean Garcia made strictly indie songs, but weren't afraid to play around with electronic beats and samples, setting themselves apart from guitar-focused peers and creating a heavy underbelly for Halliday's low-key vocals. Brilliant.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, Lush's style was laid back to the point of being almost horizontal. Vocalist Miki Berenyi had a "Who? Me?" style of singing that felt like we were catching her humming a tune to herself while she was cooking or doing the gardening, rather than watching someone perform. This was bizarrely endearing, however. Above video, "Hypocrite" catches her in upbeat form -- as upbeat as she ever got, anyway. In Lush-land, this was positively full of rage.
When this band of London scamps first emerged, the British press declared that Elastica were part of a new scene called, un-catchily enough, the New Wave of the New Wave. Frontwoman Justine Frischmann famously dated Blur frontman Damon Albarn for several years, and also helped write a lot of songs that sounded a lot like Wire, but Elastica stood on its own eight feet. What we wouldn't do to hear Frischmann singing "Make a cuppa tea! Put a record on." But this is unlikely to happen, since she is now pursuing a career as an abstract painter. Dammit!
Elizabeth Fraser sang like your incoherent drunk aunt at a party, if said aunt was halfway underwater -- but for some reason, it was beautiful and meaningful and ethereal and generally all-around delightful. No one sounded like this Scottish trio before it existed, and nobody has filled their weird, twinkly shoes since. Sure, the music is literally impossible to sing along to ("What did she just say?!"), but we're still bummed that the almost-reunion of 2005 never happened. C'mon, Twins -- we miss you!