Best Frontwoman - 2008
The voice and singing style of Bela Karoli frontwoman Julie Davis is a perfect match for the group's smoky, sultry, future-lounge sound. Her vocals are seductive, touched with a hint of danger, and wrap sensuously around the exotic, jazz-tinged music, subtly casting Davis as a classic femme fatale. Between songs, though, she comes off as funny, sweet and charmingly earnest. It's not quite the Madonna/whore paradox that so many guys find compelling, but it's close enough to be all but irresistible, while still 33 percent less offensive to feminists. Bela Karoli is good because it has an appealing, torchy sound and strong songs, but it's Davis's up-front presence that really counts.