Her name is Ritzy Bryan and she is the very awesome voice and lead guitar of The Joy Formidable. There’s an undeniable sea change in what rock band lineups look like; what was once an anomaly – young women who sing loudly and carry a big guitar – in now increasingly standard. So standard that the journalists who document pop culture no longer feel compelled to preface every group featuring female members with a disclaimer that they’re ‘coed’. At least, not every time. It’s progress, imbecilically long overdue, that there are now dozens of bands running around selling records and earning acclaim without stopping to explain that, yes, they have girl members, and no, those girls aren’t there to be eye candy. That being said, not all of those bands are destined to be remembered for changing people’s lives, and not all those young women will mature into the kind of cultural figures younger generations will look up to. Survival in the rock world is a tough call, and many talented people just don’t make it very far. Which is exactly why this is an exciting time to be watching the musicsphere; there are a lot of cool contenders who show incredible promise. The excitement lies in watching which ones will go on to build significant careers, which ones are never heard from again, and which ones flame out in a blaze of glory. It’s too early to place bets – nor am I a gambling person – but I have high hopes for Ritzy Bryan and The Joy Formidable. They’re already ahead of the curve for having a sound that’s memorable and stands out from the crowd of Fake New Wave, Electropop, Sensitive Mustache, PostEmo, and other burgeoning brand new genres that all seem to kind of run together in a pleasant but blandish haze. For one thing, The Joy Formidable makes a lot more noise than most of their peers. They know the value of going all the way to 11. With their taste for deafening walls of guitar noise and huge choruses, they could conceivably grow to fill stadiums. I haven’t seen them play (yet) but I’m guessing they put on an epic show.