This month’s recommended artists are brought to you by Women That Rock, a platform created by women, for women much like Harness Magazine. Women That Rock is dedicated to supporting and promoting up-and-coming female musicians and female-fronted bands, Women That Rock is cultivating a community of badass ladies who are creating amazing music and connecting with one another through their art. Visit Women That Rock’s brand new website, https://www.womenthatrock.co and follow WTR on Instagram at @womenthatrock to stay in the loop on amazing lady artists, news & upcoming events. If you know an amazing female musician or girl-fronted band that needs to be heard, email their information to firstname.lastname@example.org!
California-based Emily Afton’s voice is transporting, powerful and emotive, expressing the contents of her soul through nostalgic indie-pop songs that interweave dark ribbons of folk and electronica. Solo or with her band, Afton snatches your heart with her live performance, delivering vocal-driven narratives. Last fall one of her performances snatched the heart of Third Eye Blind lead singer Stephan Jenkins, who promptly asked her to join their U.S. tour as the opening band.
An inspired Afton quickly returned home to finish her debut full-length album,
‘ARCHETYPE,’ which she released September 2016. The album has been called an indie-pop explosion from “an artist who is clearly on an ascent” (Pure Volume). The episodic debut LP, co-produced by David Earl and Lila Rose, reveals a new edge and depth to the Afton’s music. ‘ARCHETYPE’ laces together stories of an artist discovering both the sonic and emotional worlds and ghosts that exist within us all.
Emily and her band spent the bulk of 2017 touring ‘ARCHETYPE’ across the U.S., while beginning to lay the groundwork for their next musical release, coming this year. Women That Rock recently featured Afton’s brand new live video- a dreamy, magical, sparkling illustration of her live performance prowess. The video was shot at Zoo Labs, a music incubator space in West Oakland, and was filmed, directed and edited by female filmmaker Taylor Soppe. It features two of Afton’s favorite songs from ‘ARCHETYPE’: “Severing the Knot” and “Words From Your Tongue,” both of which deal with the complexities of relationships and love. Emily notes that much of her music is inspired by women and hopes that her songs speak to women’s experiences in a way that moves them.
Rising pop artist Alaina Cross’s dynamic, powerful voice is one you soon won’t forget. Once you hear the Nashville-based singer’s unique “dark pop” sound, her haunting melodies will be on repeat in your head for weeks to come.
Cross draws inspiration from everyday life and pours that energy into every part of her musical process. In both her music and personal life, she strives to help others reach their full potential by encouraging them to go above and beyond what the world expects of them. As the artist herself puts it, “when people listen to my music I hope to motivate them and make them feel like they can kick life’s ass!” And Alaina’s current single “Stand Up” does exactly that, encouraging others not to let anyone hold them back. The song is such a successful anthem that it landed a TV placement on FOX’s Show ‘STAR’.
In addition to being a musical force of nature, Alaina is also the founder of HER Collective, an organization and blog community created to help women find and use their own unique voices where they feel Heard, Encouraged and Respected. HER Collective strives to eliminate the rose-colored filter that women sometimes feel they must cast on life’s struggles. In an effort to heal & inspire, HER Collective brings to light the raw emotions and real hardships females experience every day. Through blogs, videos, events, and social discussions, HER Collective is building a supportive community where women feel open to share what they are going through.
Women That Rock & HER Collective are currently partnering up to host a fun, inclusive, inspirational house concert event in Nashville June 2018. Follow Women That Rock and Her Collective on Instagram to stay tuned for event details!
Fresh off her tour with Drake Bell, Petra Jarrar is your new favorite artist on the rise. Known for “hook-drenched, danceable, optimistic pop songs” and her electrifying persona, Petra’s beginnings were quite humble. She grew up in Fairfield, CT, and was first introduced to music by her classical musician brother who taught her how to play the piano. At just sixteen, Petra completed was accepted to The New School and quickly immersed herself in the music scene, performing at showcases throughout the city and developing an impressive local following.
Her debut single “Glamour Girl” dropped July 2015. It was received with critical acclaim and spun on indie radio throughout the United States and Japan. The track currently holds over 13.5k streams on Soundcloud alone.
Following the single release, Petra established her own band and soon headlined The Studio at Webster Hall, The Cutting Room, and Bowery Electric. In Fall 2016, Petra was invited to perform a headlining ten-day tour in Japan. The tour was supported by D’Addario Strings, Evans Drumheads, Promark and Roland. Petra also toured Los Angeles after an invitation to attend the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards in February 2017. Her tour included an exclusive Valentine’s Day show at The Mint LA. Soon after, Petra was featured in High School Nation Fall 2017 Tour as an opening act for Drake Bell and collaborated with Guitar Center, doing a social media takeover during the tour. During her behind-the-scenes tour diary for the Nashville show, she had nearly 17.6k people tune in on both Snapchat and Twitter!
Currently, Petra is preparing to release her debut album, slated for this spring. At just 20 years old, she has already achieved so much but is just getting started. Petra is one of the five amazing female artists performing at Women That Rock’s inaugural official showcase at Knitting Factory Brooklyn on April 4th, 2018, and also a co-planner of the event, which is sponsored by Guitar Center, Chipotle, Billy’s Bakery, Bai Beverages, BITE Beauty and (of course) Harness Magazine!