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Music Under the Radar

Stephanie DePrez | Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The  Situation: Music hunters seek, read, blog and cull music from radio, print and, most often, the interwebs. Music gatherers collect mix CD’s, free digital downloads, and whatever their friends happen to be listening to. If you are a gatherer, this space is for you. If you are a hunter, e-mail me your latest find and I promise you will find it written up here.

When anyone thinks of girl pop today, the immediate image is that of a certain woman that has made the world go Gaga. Though Lady Gaga may carry the torch for melodic femme the world over, she’s certainly not the only girl in the world pushing people to the dance floor. Here are three women from across the globe who are calling for a renaissance of Madonna-esque girl power in the pop world.

Florence and the Machine

Florence Welch’s Brit pop band burst onto the scene in 2009 with their debut album “Lungs.” Their mash up of rock, string instruments and soul vocals make them one of the most innovative bands to grace the mainstream in a while. “Dog Days Are Over” became ubiquitous this summer as the signature song for Julia Robert’s journey of self-discovery in the preview for the movie “Eat, Pray, Love.” Their ability to bounce between anthemic epochs with poetic reelings (“Cosmic Love”) are balanced out by straight up punk, tongue-in-cheek spats (“Kiss With A Fist”). No matter what Florence touches, she never leaves out a drumbeat that will get your heart pumping.

Tracks to Tap: “Dog Days Are Over,” “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up),” “Drumming Song”

Marina and the Diamonds

She spent the summer proclaiming to the world that she’s not a robot, but Marina’s beats have a hypnotic effect that might turn you into one. The debut album “The Family Jewels” balances itself nicely between a cute indie exploration and a call to move to the beat. “I Am Not A Robot” is politely trite, but larger works such as “Shampain” show this group’s commitment avoid the niche. Then add “Are You Satisfied?” to the mix and you’ve got a complete homage to Kate Nash.

Tracks to Tap: “Are You Satisfied?,” “I Am Not A Robot”


Robyn has been attempting to break out of Sweden and into the States since 1995. Fifteen years later, she might just be succeeding. Her three-part album project, “Body Talk,” has been coming out in installments, with the second album out last week. Her no-frills dance beats are intoxicatingly bare, with lyrics that could give the Pussycat Dolls a run for their money. Though essentially simple, Robyn’s straight-for-the-club mentality gives her a leg up into the world of beat-swingers such as David Guetta and Pitbull.

Tracks to Tap: “Fembot,” “In My Eyes,” “Include Me Out”

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer. Contact Stephanie DePrez at [email protected]