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10 Badass Female Artists To Check Out Before They Go On Tour

Damn, does it feel good to be back. 

After what felt like an infinite hiatus, concerts are back up and running. Following nearly two years of blacked-out stages and empty seats, the world has never needed the sense of community and solidarity that live music exudes more than it does right now.

Below are 10 powerful female musicians who utilized the seemingly eternal isolation of 2020 to their advantage, creating art forms that are tragic but beautiful, exhilarating yet comforting and some of the best examples of resilience and womanhood. In support of their records, these badass women are hitting the road, stopping at various venues around Toronto while granting the gift of live music to a yearning society. While I could go on about the impact of live music, I truly believe it’s an experience that needs to be witnessed first hand.

CLAIRO

Clairo is the artist you play on an early morning train ride as you stare out the window, romanticizing the overlooked delicacies of life. Her voice mesmerizing, her production style so subtly intoxicating; the 23-year-old makes music that is inclusive, effortlessly raw and refrains from conforming to one specific genre.

This gentle force of nature is hitting the road, embarking on the “Sling” tour in support of her sophomore album of the same name. Partnering with Safe Tour and Calling All Crows, Clairo is ensuring her shows will have at least one person available for anyone dealing with harassment in the crowds. Protecting your fans from unwarranted behaviour? That’s about as badass as it gets. With a stop in Toronto on March 4, 2022, transcend into the world of Sling, feel safe and sing your heart out with Clairo.

Songs to Check Out: Amoeba, Alewife, Blouse

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the beaches

This Toronto-based rock band has been showing the world that girls can play guitar, bang on the drums and sing rock and roll just as well (if not better) than boys since 2013. The Beaches sold out three nights at The Danforth Music Hall a few weeks before the pandemic, released their second record in the midst of one and are heading out on a headlining nationwide tour early next year. Their latest single “Blow Up” has been number one on Canadian alt radio for 11 weeks and with its rowdy and unapologetic nature, the band is showing no signs of stopping.

The coolest girls in T.O. are embarking on their “Future Lovers” tour with back-to-back Friday and Saturday night shows on Feb. 11 and 12, 2022 at HISTORY. I’ve been front row at a Beaches show twice before and believe me when I tell you that there’s no other way you’ll want to spend your weekend.

Songs to Check Out: Blow Up, Let’s Go, Lame

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Kacey Musgraves

Only Kacey Musgraves can make the intricacies of heartbreak sound so stunningly wondrous. The six-time Grammy award winner’s latest album, “Star-Crossed,” will rip your heart out only to sew up the wound with reassurance and stardust. Country is usually the last genre I play through my AirPods, but the simple vulnerability and tranquil yet triumphant production of the album compels your ears. Bring your tissues, your cowboy hats and fall-apart with Star-Crossed at Scotiabank Arena on Jan. 24, 2022 when Kacey takes the “Star-Crossed – Unveiled” tour to Toronto.  

Songs to Check Out: If This Were a Movie, Simple Times, Cherry Blossom

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girl in red

An artist I wished prior generations could’ve had in their corner, there aren’t many words that express how important someone like Girl In Red is right now. 

Through strikingly provocative production and vigorous yet comforting vocals, girl in red talks about subjects many often regard as too taboo. Her debut album, “If I Could Make it Go Quiet,” holds conversations about intrusive thoughts, same-sex relationships and self-examination. Rather than placing emphasis on the negative connotations society places on such topics, Girl In Red simply normalizes their existence, breaking down barriers that should have never been built.

Scream your heart out and forget about life’s troubles for a little while when the “Make it All Go Quiet” tour hits the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Downtown T.O on March 20, 2022. 

Songs to Check Out: Serotonin, Girls, Summer Depression

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lorde

Hair flowing in the wind, feet in the sand and dressed in colours resembling the sun, Lorde is back. After nearly five years, the New Zealand native released her third album, “Solar Power,” in early 2021 to a fanbase nearly foaming at the mouth for new music. 

Visually juxtaposed with the aesthetic of her debut album, Solar Power is bright, lively and in tune with the earth’s natural beauty – a simple concept we humans often overlook. Its unique vocals like reuniting with an old friend, Solar Power grounds its listener by demonstrating that not everything has to be drenched in melodrama.

Travel through the trials and tribulations of growing up and find the solar power generated light at the end of the tunnel when Lorde hits Meridian Hall on April 8 and 9, 2022.

Songs to Check Out: The Path, Hard Feelings/Loveless, Secrets From a Girl (Who’s Seen it All)

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TATE MCRAE

You may know her as the voice behind the TikTok sounds that put you in your feels or the girl whose songs perfectly encapsulate the frustrations of being too young to be sad. An insanely gifted songwriter who has a knack at putting into words the emotions teenagers battle on the daily, Tate McRae makes the type of songs you blast at 3 AM – the ones that help you forget about the world and the ones that feel like hugs. 

The success of her single, “You Broke Me First” during the onset of the pandemic was an inevitable breakthrough that led the 18-year-old to create bops with Khalid and Troye Sivan, leading her to play festivals around the world 

The “r u ok” singer is heading out on tour next spring with a stop at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on April 4, 2022. I had the privilege of seeing the Calgary native perform before the pandemic and genuinely can’t wait for everyone to experience the magic that is Tate McRae on a bigger stage in April.

Songs to Check Out: Wish I Loved You in the 90s, That Way, Rubberband

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Madison beer

If you’re craving a concert ASAP, this one’s for you. In less than a month, vocal powerhouse Madison Beer will be touching down at Toronto’s very own Phoenix Concert Theatre. On Oct. 18, 2021, the songstress will kick off her “Life Support” tour in T.O, bringing Maggie Lindemann and Audrix along for the ride. 

More than an influencer with viral TikTok sounds and a pretty face, Madison’s debut album proves her dynamic artistry. Holding full creative control over every aspect of the record, the final product is a true testament to the artist Madison has crafted into. With a bittersweet combination of vocoder-driven tracks, hot girl anthems and heart-wrenching ballads, “Life Support” is a cohesive record that deserves your ear.

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that you never fully experience an album until you’ve immersed yourself in it’s live show. That being said, in a few weeks, instead of humming along to “Selfish” on your TikTok FYP, scream the lyrics with Madison herself and transcend into the world of “Life Support.” 

Songs to Check Out: Stained Glass, Stay Numb and Carry On, Default

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ALY AND AJ

You may remember Aly and Aj as the early 2000s duo who introduced a generation to teen angst with “Potential Breakup Song” and starred in the Disney Channel classic “Cow Belles,” but as we all matured, so did their music.  

With six albums under their belt, Aly & AJ have crafted their sound, creating indie and alternative records that prove the sisters are more than former Disney darlings. With enchanting melodies and lyrics that often hit too close to home, Aly and Aj transcend their listeners into a heart-wrenchingly beautiful wonderland. 

Luckily for all of us, we have the opportunity to experience the whirlwind combination of childhood nostalgia and post-adolescent defeat live. The duo is heading out on tour in support of their latest album “A Touch of the Beat Gets You up on Your Feet, Gets You out and Then Into the Sun”, stopping at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on April 30, 2022.

Songs To Check Out: Stomach, Pretty Places, Don’t Need Nothing 

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Dua Lipa

Back in 2017, Dua Lipa played The Mod Club in downtown Toronto, performing in front of a modest 600 fans. Flash forward four years later and the Albanian pop princess is about to headline a nearly sold-out night at Scotiabank Arena. 

This British babe’s catalogue is heavily streamed, full of hits and is made to be performed in front of millions all around the world. Dua Lipa is a pop star in her own realm, constantly evolving, speaking up on critical issues and perfecting nearly every aspect of her craft.

Not to mention, she puts on one of the most energetic and visually stunning live shows I’ve ever seen. 

In support of her sophomore album, Dua Lipa is bringing the “Future Nostalgia” tour to Toronto on Feb. 23, 2022. Named the best pop album of 2021 by Alchemy Recordings, it’s going be a night you won’t wanna miss.

Songs to Check Out: Boys Will Be Boys, Good in Bed, Physical

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Billie Eilish

We couldn’t end this list without mentioning Billie Eilish. Undoubtedly one of the best live performers of our generation, in support of her sophomore album, she’s heading out on the “Happier Than Ever” world tour early next year. 

In an album dripping with witty sentiment and vulnerability, it’s made clear that the 19-year-old has learned her self-worth. In true Billie fashion, with cheeky lyrics and basslines you can feel in your chest, she encourages listeners to do the same.

I could go on and on about the impact Billie has had on the music industry over the last year, but I think witnessing her live show is the best manifestation of such. Don’t miss out when the “Happier Than Ever” tour touches down at Scotiabank Arena on Feb. 16, 2022. 

It’s been nearly two years since Billie has been on tour… it’s going to be a good one.

Songs to Check Out: I Didn’t Change My Number, Oxytocin, Not My Responsibility

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Amidst a worldwide pandemic, these artists created art, explored new musical realms and craved live music as much as we all did. These are powerful women whose records acted as quarantine companions, tugged at my heartstrings and are deserving of your time. Give ‘em a listen, connect with their artistry and consider going to a show or two. I promise you won’t regret it. 

Born and raised in Toronto, Bayli is in her 3rd year of Media Production at Ryerson University. Obsessed with music, live shows and all things pop culture, you can almost always find her at a concert, near the lake or rewatching early 2000s teen dramas!
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