As we near the close of March, aka International Women’s Month, I wanted to take a minute to highlight just a handful of female artists who celebrated their artistry and female-empowerment with a release these past 30 days. Each of these female artists represents a different side of the multi-faceted experiences of womanhood. From intense grief and sadness to social injustices, mental health, empowering anthems, and thoughtful ruminations on everything from navigating your 20s to the complexities of aging as a woman, these ladies cover all the topics that are constantly on the minds of listeners. Each a powerhouse in their own right, these ten women show us that both life and womanhood is better embraced with music.

1. Lauryn McFarlane

Lauryn has been recognized as a bewitching storyteller, drawing inspiration from her own experiences and struggles as an empath with an unceasing flow of emotion. Her honest songwriting, powerful voice, and vibrant, colorful melodies are evident in her latest offering, “Nowhere Town,” a song about the realization that you’ve outgrown your small hometown. With only two singles under her belt, we are already anticipating the next release from this indie-pop Canadian artist.

2. Ann@lise

A girl who is as unique as a person as her name is spelled, Ann@lise is taking the world by storm. This month she released her debut single, “Goodbyes,” breaking down walls of vulnerability to throw her tears right in the listener’s face. At only 20 years of age, her talent is undeniable and makes it easy to see why she is already considered an up-and-coming artist after only one release. Ann@lise says her mission is “to create music that inspires others to accomplish their goals and really sparkle” …. We can’t wait to see what empowering anthem this artist releases next.

3. Lora Kelley

A mom, entrepreneur, and singer-songwriter, Lora Kelley is teaching us all what it means to truly embrace your womanhood. Gearing up to release a new album, Domystique, in April, she recently released “Beautiful That Way” which serves as a reminder to establish your own sense of beauty by embracing every part of you… a message that is much needed in today’s society. The other songs on her album offer similar messages for women ranging from navigating the complexities of being an aging woman, motherhood, the nuance of female-driven hospitality, and other topics that give a whimsical look at domestic life through Lora’s eyes.

4. Maggie Szabo

This pop songstress is making huge waves in the industry, with big success as a songwriter and vocalist. Her thousands of fans know her for writing empowering self-love songs and dynamic vocals that instill confidence in listeners, as seen in her latest offering, “Sail Away.” Szabo also uses her music and platform to conquer social injustice, fighting for causes and partnering with several organizations who work to make a better world for all.

5. Sarah Cicero

Brooklyn’s Sarah Cicero just released a gorgeous single “At Arms Length,” which Cicero says is her first song about real “grown-up love.” A beautiful tease to her upcoming EP Cold Immaculate Opposite (due in April) that is a collection that tackles the uncertainty of being a 20-something and those in-between years, stepping out of being a child, yet not yet completely knowing how to navigate adulthood. The forthcoming EP documents the evolution of a young woman’s journey into self-awareness, all through the lens of a year spent mostly in solitude. Needless to say, this EP likely be an emotional look in the mirror for many female listeners who are experiencing the tumultuous years of their 20s.

6. Ashley Zarah

A dynamic force of a woman, Ashley Zarah went back to her familial roots with her March release of “Ashes In The Sea,” a Persian-influenced song about rebirth and renewal. Zarah is one that incorporates empowering messages into her songs, advocating for better mental health in all areas of life. For her, “Ashes In The Sea” was a moment of personal transformation, of acknowledging the change that has happened in her own life and being comfortable in the “uncomfortable” that happens as one evolves into who they are meant to be. “Ashes In The Sea” is a piece of her upcoming EP Mad In The Travel, due in April.

7. Sweetlove

The only way to describe Sweetlove’s music is quintessentially human. Her newest EP Goodnight, Lover echoes a tsunami of grief and pain that she was experiencing at the time of writing this EP. The recently released single “Did You Even Know” reflects on the last time she saw her love before he died by suicide. “It’s about wishing that someone could see in themselves what you see in them. It’s about being blindsided by something ending that you thought would last forever, and what you wouldn’t give to go back and have even just a little more time,” says the artist. Relatable and raw, Sweetlove deals with the grief and pain that we all inevitably feel from time to time and does so with an elegance that brings listeners to tears.

8. Jordy Benattar

A newcomer to the music scene, Canadian actress Jordy Benattar has an enchanting and carefree sound. Influenced by experiences that make us look within, and world-changing events that make us look out, Jordy has a unique way of pouring universal feelings into mellow, magnetic music. Her songwriting dances on the matrix of indie, folk, and the softest of pop and feels like the most honest conversation you’ll ever have. Jordy’s songwriting is on full display on her newest single, “Falling,” featuring Tyler Simmons. The song captures the internal monologue, self-doubt, and daydreams that come along with having a crush.

9. Casii Stephan

Casii Stephan is an impassioned songstress who is known for evoking subtle vibrato notes and roller-coaster-like melodies, which immediately grab the listener, while her emotional lyrics share intimate stories. Her March release “Here Comes the Light” showcases that talent while detailing letting go of negativity from others and the universe and embracing the light. With turning to the positive, Casii Stephan reminds listeners that we can then breathe again… a timely reminder as we step into a new season.

10. Sunny Gable

Both a mom and singer-songwriter, Sunny Gable incorporates her own life experiences and stories into music that is real, relatable, and raw. Her newest album, Contagious, was created completely in quarantine and sees Gable focusing around the themes of connection and energy. Each of the song’s topics are based on ideas that Gable heavily thinks about and experiences herself, leading listeners to experience her vulnerability and honesty in a conversational way.

Dawn Jones is the curator of the V13 imPRESSED Column. Previously known as imPRESSED Indie Music Blog, Jones and her team joined forces with V13 in 2020 to collaborate on an exclusive column on V13's site (imPRESSED) to bring a niche focus to the rapidly evolving indie music genre. Dawn is also the founder of Pressed PR - a boutique PR agency that focuses on PR for independent creatives. Pressed PR’s team works on a variety of campaigns partnering with independent filmmakers, independent artists, and independent labels. Pressed PR’s music clientele has landed in the pages of Billboard, Atwood Magazine, EARMILK, HYPE Magazine, and many others.