When Katy Perry's "Roar" reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 this month, it not only ended months of domination by Robin Thicke and such slick soul-man peers as Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Daft Punk. It also set the stage for a resurgence this fall of female pop stars.
At the forefront of that charge are Perry, whose album "Prism" is due out Oct. 22, and Lady Gaga, who's set to release her latest, "Artpop," on Nov. 11. ("Applause," the lead single from Lady Gaga's album, cracked the top 5 last month.) But a feisty crew of other acts looms right behind those titans: On Oct. 8, Miley Cyrus, whose recent performance at MTV's Video Music Awards actually drew more notice than either Perry's or Lady Gaga's, will unleash "Bangerz," which promises to complete her transition from Disney Channel sweetheart to twerk-happy enfant terrible. And M.I.A., the globe-tripping digital-punk agitator, is to return Nov. 5 with "Matangi," her follow-up to 2010's polarizing "Maya."
Slightly lower profile but no less energetic, the Swedish duo Icona Pop — known to American listeners for its gleefully profane electro-rave hit "I Love It" — has a U.S. debut set to arrive in stores Sept. 24 that includes at least one cut in which Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt threaten to "smash the club." In April, Icona Pop's London-based pal Charli XCX (who co-wrote and appears on "I Love It") released her own stateside debut, the lurid "True Romance"; on Nov. 4, she'll stop by L.A.'s El Rey Theatre, not long after Sky Ferreira, whose beguiling "Ghost" EP came out late last year, plays the same venue Sept. 29.
It's perhaps a mistake to lump these artists together, given their disparate views and varied sounds; Ferreira's mournful "Everything Is Embarrassing," for instance, feels about as far away from the chaotic merrymaking of "I Love It" as you're likely to get (at least until you hear Ferreira's folky singer-songwriter stuff). But with the kings of summer freshly dethroned, a womanly reign almost certainly awaits.