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According to the members of Metric, on their fifth album, Synthetica (Metric Music/Mom + Pop, $14), the band finally nailed the sound they have worked to achieve since forming in 1998. Indeed, tracks like the driving “Youth Without Youth,” thumping “Speed the Collapse” and ethereal “Breathing Under Water” showcase the band’s best attributes, including lead singer Emily Haines’ signature vocals. On the heels of the album’s release, American Way asked Haines to tell us which female artists she most admires.

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Grace Jones
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“I have always been amazed by Grace Jones, an extraordinary performance artist and singer who confronted stereotypes of all descriptions. She’s a study in strength and contradiction. It is really impossible to categorize her.”

“Carla Bley is a jazz composer whose work has spanned decades. Her arrangements are instantly recognizable as her own. I grew up listening to her work and it gave me a great sense of what was possible, beyond the usual expectations placed on young women.”

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Dolly Parton
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“Dolly Parton is a songwriter first and foremost — a skill that few, male or female, can master. Her sense of humor and irreverent attitude toward those who might judge her made a strong impression on me from an early age. She owns her life.”

“I often think of Laurie Anderson and her unlikely hit ‘O Superman,’ which was a surprise radio smash in 1981. When you consider the other music that was commercially popular at the time, this is incredible. Her ability to be utterly unique and simultaneously accessible is one that I admire to this day.”