Skating Polly: Skating Polly are a teenage sister duo from Oklahoma, comprised of the fantastically named Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse. They formed in 2009 and have been taken under the wing of Babes In Toyland (who took Skating Polly on tour with them a couple of years back) and more recently Nina Gordon and Louise Post of Veruca Salt. They make visceral, sometimes angry, sometimes eerie and unsettling guitar driven punk rock in the grunge tradition.
Miya Folick: Miya Folick is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter who comes from an acting background and makes slightly otherworldly indie rock. She has the kind of voice that can quite literally stop you in your tracks, and you can read an interview with her in Vogue, of all places, from last year.
Emma Pollock: Legend of the Glasgow music scene, co-founder of Chemikal Underground records, and a former Delgado, Emma Pollock is flying solo these days. Her music is experimental and pared down, making use of strings as much as guitars, understated and stylish. Her current album, In Search of Harperfield, was nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year award in June.
Emmy The Great: Musician and culture writer, Anglo-Chinese Emmy The Great grew up in East Grinstead, and has been making music since 2006. I hesitate to call her a bedroom folk artist, because I've never felt it to be much of a compliment, but I do see her as someone who creates amazing sonic landscapes largely independently much like Nancy Elizabeth. Her album, Mahal Kita, is out now.
Jesca Hoop: Former Mormon, former nanny to Tom Waits' children, and persuaded to decamp from the US to distinctly unsunny Manchester by a certain Guy Garvey. It was always going to be an intriguing backstory, even before Jesca Hoop started to release records. Memories Are Now, her fourth album, was released last year. She is electrifying live, almost Shamanic. She played Latitude on 16th July, and continues to tour and play festivals throughout the summer.
Laura Mvula: I really loved Laura Mvula's debut album, Sing To The Moon, and, while I couldn't get into the follow up, The Dreaming Room, I was still shocked to hear that Sony had dropped her (by email!) earlier this year. Even if The Dreaming Room wasn't my cup of tea, musically, I respected it as a record because it was experimental and new, and was a strong departure from the debut album, which had it's roots in jazz, blues, and soul. Laura is touring at the moment, and into Autumn, so there are plenty of chances to see her live.
Martha Wainwright: Martha Wainwright has been releasing records from 2005 onwards, and her music has taken a number of differing musical twists and turns along the way, from the bloody minded folky j'accuse of 'Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole' to the slinky soul groove of the more recent 'Take The Reins'. She is currently on the Canadian and US leg of her tour.
PJ Harvey: Polly Jean Harvey has been making music since the early 1990s and, as you would expect, her music has evolved and changed considerably in the past (nearly) thirty years, as has her singing voice. In recent years she has been reinventing the protest song and the radio ballad, and has diversified into poetry and broadcasting. One thing Harvey has never lost is her integrity, and her approach to music in recent years has reflected that.