Hip to be Square

Ashlee lip-syncs. Avril has the rage. And Britney dresses like Slutty McSlutterson.

Female musicians these days are hard to take seriously (and even harder to listen to).

Thank goodness for local singer-songwriter Samantha Stollenwerck, who honed her own self-coined “Cali-Soul” music from such influences as Paul Simon, Van Morrison, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Chris Robinson, and Joni Mitchell. Blame her English major for the profound lyrics, which go perfectly with her folky-pop sound.

Square One, Stollenwerck’s debut full-length, is now available from her website. She gets an assist from local jam band The Ritual on the album, but Stollenwerck’s raw, sexy style and solid songwriting stand tall. (Our favorite track: the catchy “Icicles.”)

She’s a girl who rocks. No overproduced tracks. No irritating female-empowerment messages.

And no exposed butt cleavage.

Available online at samanthamusic.com.