Sirens of Rock

Three pop singers get trapped in an elevator. This is fate’s way of creating a supergroup. Here at SOMA we drew names from a lotto at random. The following ladies are our lucky winners. The next Ronettes as dictated by probability…

Allison Mosshart, started her first band in the eight grade. Unlike most teenage punk bands, they were touring England by their freshman year of high school. It was in England where Mosshart met her future bandmate and second half of The Kills, Jamie Hince. Their first full-length album Keep on Your Mean Side received critical acclaim, despite the perfunctory White Stripes comparisons.

Over the course of their last two albums, Mosshart has revealed herself as a Jane of all trades, blending genres from post punk to pop (The Kills landed a song on a promo for the hit TV series “Gossip Girl”). With a new band called The Dead Weather, co-founded by Jack White, music nerds and rock aristocrats everywhere are applauding.

The backstory of young Swedish pop sensation Lykke Li reads like a bohemian’s guide to raising artistically viable children and/or dental assistants. Daughter of a painter and a musician, Li has grown to be something of a creative freak of nature. Moving from Stockholm to the top of a mountain in Portugal at the age of six, and traveling with her family from Morocco to Nepal and back again, the 23-year-old Li could be a Wes Anderson character in the making.

Though with what must be ample material to pull from, much of Li’s debut album, Youth Novels, deals with her personal love and loss. Produced by Bjorn Yttling of (you guessed it) Peter Bjorn and John, the album is filled with a refined art and passion. When asked what themes she likes most in music, Li replies honestly, “I like to dance or I like to cry.” This sentiment is often reflected in her live performances, which seem to have a healthy dose of both. Always seemingly on the verge of tears, she has a knack for dancing it off with a signature shoulder shimmy.

Our third and final winner, Shingai Shoniwa, suffers from a brilliant case of schizophrenia. One moment can find her performing a glam-punk version of rock ‘n’ roll; wielding a bass guitar like the sword of He-Man with her band the Noisettes. In the next moment, she is pulling on a leopard print Chanel jumpsuit to sing a soulful disco hustle á la Gloria Gaynor. She’s an ex-circus performer and burlesque singer who inherited a love of prog-rock from her father. And she’s beautiful.

With their second album, the Noisettes have found their groove with their hit single “Don’t Upset the Rhythm” allowing Shoniwa to flaunt her golden era pipes. If the Noisettes as a band are like everyone’s favorite party, then Shoniwa is the life of it. She’s the one who sets the carpet on fire, lets the monkey out of its cage, crashes the yacht into a bridge, and then shares a cigarette and a sunrise with you on the roof of the public library. Not only is she star of the fairy tale, she also wrote the soundtrack.

Super groups of any kind may succeed but never last and so far this one doesn’t yet exist. Should they never come together as a band, at least there is a cast for the next installment of Charlie’s Angels. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Text by Daniel Dehnhardt and Christina Martinez
Photography by Matthew Welch

Allison Mosshart
Blazer by Maison Martin Margiela, Jeans by Cheap Monday, Boots by Sigerson Morrison, Tee by Ksubi, Crystal necklace by Unearthen, Stylist’s own hat and jewelry

Fashion Editors: Kemal & Karla
Makeup: Hung Vanngo at The Wall Group
Hair: Wesley O’Meara for TRESemme at The Wall Group
Fashion Assistant: Jenna Rainey
Fashion Intern: Amy Buckley
Bookings Editor: Lee Trimble
Bookings Assistant: Vivienne So

Lykke Li
Grey t-shirt by Pudel, Shorts by Diesel, Necklace by Ports 1961, Bracelet by Iosselliani

Stylist: Stephanie Shoemaker
Fashion Assistants: Liz Teich and Amy Buckley
Hair: Wesley O’Meara for TRESemmes at The Wall Group
Makeup: Mary Douglas at The Wall Group
Bookings Editor: Lee Trimble
Special Thanks: The Cooper Square Hotel

Shingai Shoniwa
Vintage dress by Victor Costa from Sielian’s in West Hollywood, Ring by Kiel Mead, Stylist’s own earrings

Fashion Editors: Kemal & Karla
Fashion Assistant: Erica Cloud
Hair: Andre Blaise for L’Oreal with Texture Pro at Rouge Artists
Makeup: Jamie Greenberg for Avon at The Wall Group