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Leading Ladies to Listen to Now

 “Hello, it’s me… I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet.” Adele croons to her long-gone love interest, but she might as well be talking to all of us.

Thus begins the opening line of her first single in nearly 3 years and, not coincidentally, the current peak of the Billboard Top 100. We’ve all been waiting and saving up our Ben and Jerry’s for way too long, and our favorite English songwriter doesn’t disappoint. The heartfelt ballad of nostalgia and regret proves that, although she’s been quiet as of late, the girl can still belt it out.


But Adele’s not the only female that’s been climbing the charts and putting our headphones on blast. Following in the successful shoes of current female powerhouses, 2015 has introduced a new wave of Taylors, Beyoncés, and Katys to rack up on your Spotify playlists.

Check out a fresh wave of chicks that are answering the question of “Who run the (music) world?” with a unanimous and resounding “GIRLS.”

Elle King

The fur jacket says it all: this girl knows what she’s doing, and she’s doing it her way. Although a relative newcomer to the music scene, King, the daughter of comedian Rob Schneider, is no stranger to the spotlight and has been performing since age 16. This year, she captured the charts (and our hearts) with her clever hit “Ex’s and Oh’s”. On her 2015 album “Love Stuff,” King sings in a raspy voice of unapologetic heartbreak, her big personality, and a hint of vulnerability that keeps it honest.  

In a world of bubblegum pop and songs that all begin to sound vaguely the same, King brings a welcome alternative with her mixture of alternative pop-rock. It’s a little rough around the edges, but in the best way possible and suggestive of a modern-day Janis Joplin. As just the second female to top Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart, expect great things to come from this 25-year-old rocker.

What to look out for: Although King hasn’t yet announced the release of a second album, it’s allegedly in the works.

Alessia Cara

Listening to Canadian-born newcomer Cara reminds me of watching all those tiny Olympic gymnasts vault and swing their way toward gold medals while, meanwhile, you’re snuggling a bag of Doritos on your living room couch. You’re mesmerized by her, but at the same time you start to jealously reevaluate your own life. Nineteen years old and performing your hit single “Here” for your TV debut on Jimmy Fallon? Yeah, me too.

But you can’t hate on this YouTube cover-artist-turned-star for too long. Her smooth, R&B soul and genuine words make it impossible not to tap your foot along with the beat. After all, her cleverly-strung together lyrics reveal that she may very well be one of us. “Here” is an introvert’s cool rebellion of the cliché party scene, and “Wild Things” celebrates leaving the “empty chairs to those who say we can’t sit there.” Preach it.

What to look out for: Listen to her first album, Know-It-All, online before it officially drops on November 11.

Brittany Howard

You may not know this singer by name, but you’ll recognize her deep, booming voice when you hear it. As the frontrunner for the soulful rock band Alabama Shakes, she also recently claimed her spot as Billboard's 2015 Women in Music “Powerhouse” artist. Howard’s leadership and unique vocals helped Alabama Shakes reach mainstream success and transcend genres, dipping into rock and roll, alternative, and southern-inspired blues.

On the heels of their wildly popular 2002 track “Hold On”, Howard and her crew released their second album “Sound and Color” earlier this year. It boasts more creative, eclectic vibes, with the same strong vocals that shake you to your core (no pun intended) and never fail to mesmerize.

What to look out for: Howard recently released her own LP as an independent side project, entitled “Thunderb***h” and aptly so. Best listened to while applying a fierce shade of red lipstick and/or speeding down the highway on a Harley-Davidson.

So grab your headphones, Collegiates, and get listening! Or crank up the volume and have an impromptu dance party within the confines of your dorm room...either will work.

(Disclaimer: we at Her Campus Notre Dame are not liable for any roommate-to-roommate tension that may ensue from said dance party.)

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Katie Eilert

Notre Dame

Katie Eilert is a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame, where she is studying Marketing with minors in Poverty Studies and indecisiveness. She hails from Kansas City (the Kansas side, hold the Wizard of Oz references) but currently resides with the Chaos of Cavanaugh Hall, and she never stops talking about either one. She is an avid college basketball fan to make up for her own lack of hand-eye coordination and spends the rest of her time thinking of terrible puns, running, reading, and drinking too much coffee. Go Irish!
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