Two albums by female pop singers with voices that defy genre and will take your breath away.

Let’s start with Bryde.

Sarah Howell’s is maybe best known as half of Paper Aeroplanes, and some of the songs on her new album “Like An Island,” will feel quite familiar. There have been singles dribbling out slowly for a while, and now we finally get the whole record. The first thing you’ll notice is her pitch-perfect powerful pop voice, on the very first song on the album…

Maybe the next thing you’ll notice is that her voice isn’t just great, she knows how to use it. The song “Peace” is a great example of how well she adjusts her range to deliver the heart and soul of a song. This acoustic version is not on the record…

And now another record by a woman with a fantastic voice, but one that also will feel familiar: “The River” and “Wild Horses” were two phenomenal singles that came out years ago, and the debut album by Bishop Briggs is wisely wrapped around those hits. Unfortunately, none of the rest of the songs on here hit the same heights–even if some of them are quite good. Clearly, Briggs has a tremendous voice. The problem with Church of Scars is she can’t seem to decide if she’s making inspirational Americana or Taylor Swift pop. And far be it from me to deny someone the right to cross (or even shatter) genres–my site is devoted to just about every kind of modern music out there. The problem comes when it feels like she’s trying to fit into multiple genres–instead of using elements of them to tell her own story.

Dreams is the lead single.

But much better is the slower ballad “Water.” This feels like an organic moment on this album–a song she truly believes in.

“White Flag” is another strong contender on this record.

Clearly, I’m not saying this is a bad album–I’m just saying that a performer with the kind of strength and presence of Briggs deserves more focus. There’s a lot of good stuff here, like “The Fire” and “Tempt My Trouble.”

Check it out below:

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