I frequently research new bands, trying to find THE band that I believe is going to be the next big radio hit, to be able to say, “I have been listening to them since they first started out.” In a time where the popular conversation regarding country music is usually about how Country is not Country anymore, it’s pretty easy to find some great Indie artists that are yet to be signed, or even the ones that have just been signed who play that true country sound. Here are some “up and comers” to watch for:
- Mickey Guyton is taking country music radio by storm, with her new hit “Better Than You Left Me”. When you consider that country music is a predominantly white industry and combine it with her powerhouse voice, Mickey is bound for stardom. In all the years of Country Music, only three African-American Country Music singers have made their mark. Charlie Pride and Darius Rucker have done really well in country, whereas Linda Martell, who had one hit on the billboard music charts in 1974 was the first African American to grace the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, wasn’t as successful. “Better Than You Left Me” is Mickey’s break out track that became the most added song on the radio. It’s catchy, easily relatable, and yet possesses all major needs for a hit song in today’s Country main stream radio. Although I believe Mickey will do well in the this industry, I feel her music is just that.. music. Yes it’s catchy, you can sing a lot to it… but the originality was lacking – but then that’s where you watch an artist grow. Guyton is currently on tour with Brad Paisley and Justin Moore.
- Chris Stapleton, otherwise known as The Biggest, Baddest, Country Music Voice in Nashville, is a breath of fresh air to country music fans. Though you may have never heard Stapleton sing before, you have heard some of his songs as he has written for artists such as Luke Bryan, George Strait, Adele, Sheryl Crow, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn and so many more. Stapleton’s music is that of country, blue grass and good ole southern rock, and his uncanny voice is soulful and filled with true vocal talent. Stapleton says of his music, “I try to sing with as much belief as I can, and I like to believe in what I’m singing,”1 His sound is hard to describe as he has that originality that is lacking in Country today. Stapleton rose to fame with his rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey” originally sang by George Jones. His debut album, Traveler, peaked at number 14 on Billboard’s music charts. Stapleton is definitely one to watch, as his name is being heard loud and clear with country music fans.
First Aid Kit
- Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit is made up of two female Swedish singers by the names of Klara and Johanna Soderberg. Klara sings and plays guitar while her older sister, Johanna, sings backup vocals and plays the keyboard amongst the acoustic guitar and autoharp. While listening to these girls, their voices seem angelic and soulful and their songs are easy to sing along with. Klara and Johanna are known for their sweet yet dark melodies with lyrics such as, “the only man you’ve ever loved that you thought you was gonna marry, died in a car accident when he was only 22.” First Aid Kit wrote all of the songs for their album release,The Lion’s Roar. “Writing these songs is sort of like dealing with the fear of becoming these women ourselves.”2 Since 2007, they have toured around the world and recently made it to the United States appearing on shows such as David Letterman and CBS This Morning show. You are bound to hear more from these girls as their sound is true talent and is just what Country Music needs today. Their music is very versatile, so making it big in the industry should be no problem for a fan base crying for originality.
Finding new music is always fun. If you have liked some new songs, which artists were they from? Which songs didn’t you like? Do you think these artists will make it in today’s Country Music that is ever so changing? Let me know in the comments section below. Until next time… Happy Listening!