11. Kimya Dawson
If you look up “quirky” in the dictionary, you might find a picture of Dawson, who as one-half of the duo Moldy Peaches (with Adam Green) was at the heart of New York City’s “anti-folk” scene in the late ‘90s. Mixing a naively simplistic, almost childlike singing and songwriting style with smart, sardonic lyrics, Dawson became a cult figure on the folk circuit, eventually enjoying mainstream success when several of her solo songs and the Peaches track “Anyone Else But You” were featured on the “Juno” soundtrack. After releasing her first children’s album, “Alphabutt,” in 2008 (she became a mother in 2006), Dawson returns to adult(ish) themes on her latest release, “Thunder Thighs,” which features cameos from indie rapper Aesop Rock, the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle and members of the Forever Young Senior Citizen Rock and Roll Choir.