As far as female-fronted bands go, The Memorials are going to be the talk of 2012. They're currently in the middle of recording their second album which should see a release later this year. Last year, they put out their self-titled debut and this year will prove that there's no such thing as a sophomore curse.
The Memorials currently consist of:
Viveca Hawkins - lead vocals
Jordan Ferreira - touring guitarist
Thomas Pridgen - drums
Viveca Hawkins started off singing as an R&B singer, in fact putting out a solo record this past year, but her haunting vocals play a perfect role within The Memorials. If you've not yet heard of Thomas Pridgen, who's previously played drums for The Mars Volta, you probably should.
Progressive rock and R&B may sound like a mix of oil and water to you, but when you hear songs like the psychedelic-flavored We Go To War, it's going to amp you up. Kind of sucks that I missed them in this area playing live at one of the best live venues in the city, The Mercury Lounge.
Many publications will pigeonhole their sound as Afropunk or Afrorock and quite simply, they just rock. Most bands take a couple of albums or more to define their sound. The Memorials hit the ground running. When their second album comes out, they're going to rule the Bay Area music scene with an iron fist.