Music Monday: The Ettes’ Girlish Swagger

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The Ettes

I don’t listen to very many female bands. I listen to female singers and pop stars but for some reason, my favorite bands are all fronted by men. That’s a shame, really.

I need more lady rockers in my life, which is why I was pleased to discover the Ettes, a Nashville foursome with a female drummer and lead singer who play dirty garage rock with just as much howl and bite as anyone.

The group’s fifth album, Wicked Will, came out earlier this month. It was produced by Liam Watson, who has also worked with the Kills and the White Stripes—two bands with whom the Ettes share a similar bleak, bluesy feel. Wicked Will is heavy on the guitar riffs and reverb, with singer Lindsay “Coco” Hames shifting her sweet, childlike voice into snarl whenever it suits her.

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On the opening track, “Teeth,” Hames affects a haunting twang as she offers up some pretty caustic lyrics. “Every time you smile,” she sings, “I can tell you’re just showing your teeth.” It’s a stripped down, relatively quiet number that leaves you wanting more. The band quickly obliges with “Excuse” and “The Pendulum,” two songs so intense you might need to smoke a cigarette when they’re over. Wicked Will also contains a cover of “My Baby Cried All Night Long,” a Lee Hazelwood song that first appeared on Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 album How Does That Grab You. But Nancy just cooed it—the Ettes run the song ragged.

The band hasn’t released any music videos for Wicked Will yet. So instead, here’s “Crown of Age,” which appeared on the soundtrack for Drew Barrymore’s movie, Whip It. You know, the one where Ellen Page joins a roller derby.

The Ettes are on tour now. Check the band’s website to see if they’re playing near you.

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