Various Artists

Indiegrrl Compilation CD, Vol. 1

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Founded in 1998 by the Seattle-based singer/songwriter Holly Figueroa, Indiegrrl is an alliance of female artists who have gone the independent route and decided to pursue careers in music regardless of whether or not they get any support from major labels. Its members haven't necessarily sworn off majors altogether, nor vowed that they would never sign with Capitol or Atlantic under any circumstances, but they aren't sitting around waiting for such a deal to happen, either. Indiegrrl grew quickly, and by the time it released this compilation in 1999, it claimed a membership of at least 200. Listening to the 16 artists on this CD is a lot like attending tryouts for Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair festival; not all of the material is fantastic, but most of it is at least decent, and some of it is even excellent. Indiegrrl Compilation, Vol. 1 contains pretty much the type of melodic pop/rock and pop-folk one would have expected at Lilith; you won't hear any heavy rock รก la Courtney Love or the Lunachicks here. The strongest tunes on the compilation range from Stefanie Gleit's compelling "Bitterfool" and Sue Jeffers' Celtic-influenced "Casmalia" to Vivian Slade's humorous "Move," TagYerit's quirky "Adam and Eve," and Angie Scarr's bluesy "Danger Zone." Another promising unknown (at least when this album came out) is Mariel, who brings a gossamer, sweetly delicate approach to "The Darkest Angel." Hearing artists as talented as Gleit and Slade on this CD, one hopes that there would be a lot more volumes in the future.