5 Female-Fronted Toronto Bands You Need to Hear

A tallish, shaggy-haired, vintage t-shirt-wearing guy walks into a bar holding a guitar. You know you’ve seen him.

The music industry, as progressive as it may claim to be, is still fairly centered on all-male bands strumming four chords on a guitar. In fact, some lovely individual took the liberty of removing all the male bands from Canadian summer music posters and it left a sad realization: we aren’t doing our part to support Canadian female-fronted groups.

It’s not that they aren’t out there, it’s just that we don’t hear enough about them because there are still people who feel the need to say, “wait, girls can play drums?!”

Have no fear; I’ve made this easy for you and picked a handful of my favourite female-fronted Toronto bands for you to get obsessed with.


This girl’s voice is rivalled only by Florence Welch. If you’re into synth electric new-wave dream pop (aka the perfect music to listen to while you’re searching for some intense creativity), give her a listen. In fact, both the Toronto Star and New York named her debut album the best of 2011.


Starting in a Chinatown apartment playing tunes in her bedroom, Weaves lead singer Jasmyn Burke has caught the attention of none other than Rolling Stone. If you’ve never seen them live, you’re missing out on an exciting experience (that could arguably be classified as a workout). They are a true example of art rock – big drums, big vocals, pedal warping, and tremendous riffs.


You know how people (mistakenly) hear dreamy pop music and think the lyrics are all cheesy and about nothing more than partying and hookups? Lowell proves them wrong with her debut album, We Loved her Dearly. Her sweet dancefloor jams are coated with powerful lyrics, challenging LGBT issues, and women’s rights, but with a tongue-in-cheek perspective. Good luck not dancing to this album.


It’s pretty clear which Toronto ‘hood this band hails from. These four rad ladies do not mess around with anyone – they are here to play some rock and roll. If you’re into pop-punk and music that makes you feel like walking triumphantly downtown to work, download their album. ASAP.


You know what rock has been missing lately? An organist with a killer voice. Caitlin Dacey and her band Bella Clava have found the groove and are definitely bringing it back. The thunderous background beats of their songs combined with equally heavy guitar riffs make their song arrangements interesting and inspiring – like something that’s reached into the past and pulled through all the best parts, making them new again. They’re finishing up their new album at the moment so keep an eye out for that.


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