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10 Country Artists You Should Know

Country music is expanding. While terrestrial radio will be an immovable institution for the foreseeable future, there are plenty of artists out in the wild who are defining the genre (and success) on their own terms.

With the flood of pop artists, including Lana Del Rey, Post Malone, and Beyonce, making country music their home in 2024, there are many more who deserve just as much attention. As they’re busing climbing that grueling ladder, indie artists are crafting some of the best music you’ll ever hear. You just have to dig a little deeper.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of 10 Country Artists You Should Know. Take a gander and discover a new favorite.

Stephanie Jacques

Stephanie Jacques’ “Suburbia” is a glimpse behind the polished pictureframe and the idyllic walls, uncovering the terrible truth about one family suffering from inner turmoil. “What’s inside is something they can’t touch,” sings Jacques, whose voice is supple and sweet. But it carries tremendous weight as it detonates a story about domestic violence, situated in what it means to live the American dream. It’s never what you think it is.

Clancy Pye

Possessing a voice not unlike Ashley McBryde, particularly on songs like “Drink About” and “Feels Like Home,” Clancy Pye delights with whiskey-smooth odes to small-town living and basking in the present. “If you got some troubles to figure out, we’ll make ’em all just slip away,” she sings on the former. A mix of tang and grit, Pye is undeniably on her way up.

Nikki Morgan

Nikki Morgan is the “Comeback Queen,” as she sings on her new song, ultimately shrugging off the distinction. Her voice trembles with deep emotion, reedy as stalks of wheat in a golden field. Across her album, 30 Something, she unravels moving tales about life, love, and heartache. Each word pours forth from the well nestled deep within her soul. It’s profound stuff.

Nikki Morgan is a striking vocalist
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Rebecca Porter

Rebecca Porter’s voice flutters into the air. Just take a listen to her 2023 “deluxe” EP Queen of the Local. From bouncy entries like “Happy Go Lucky” to the prickly and tender “The Lonely Song,” her expansive terrain sets her up for a real breakout moment. It might take some time, but her star will certainly shine bright one day. That starts with you, dear listener.

Autumn Nicholas

You only need to hear the first few words of Autumn Nicholas’ “Slow Down” and you’ll be immediately bowled over. Their vocal quality is a gentle warble, as though flighty and uncertain as a bird. “I’m always in a rush, never good enough, is what I tell myself / Like it’s always out of reach, hanging over me,” they sing. Nicholas’ voice is so potent, you won’t soon forget it.

Hannah Blaylock

An underrated gem, Hannah Blaylock, formerly of the short-lived trio Edens Edge, has one of the best voices in all of music. Her new album, The Fall & Rise, is a testament to her capabilities as a songwriting genius and vocalist. Her tone is plush and plump, allowing her to cascade over her melodies and tap into a deep emotional river.

Tae Lewis

Tae Lewis’ voice is as smooth as whiskey. Particularly on songs like “Summer of ’21,” the singer absolutely soars, his caramel-thick performance something you just have to experience for yourself. Even on more cliched songs like “A Lot to Drink About,” there’s a way he can work a melody into a frenzy that is just undeniable. Within mainstream country radio’s parameters, he outpaces his peers in every single way.

Autumn Nicholas creates a firestorm in her music

Francesca Brown

From the moment “Hashslingin’ Blues” bursts from the speakers, Francesca Brown’s voice burns red hot. Her country & western sensibilities are forever tethered to the past, as though b-side records from a great country troubadour. She lays it all on the line, from her Pandemia EP to 2023’s soul-stirring ballad “When a Cowboy Cries.” A thing of beauty, her voice magnificently displays the kind of vocal storytelling that makes legends out of normal folks.

Lori Rayne

Lori Rayne’s rendition of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” is nothing short of haunting. With her original work, often a pop-country elixir, Rayne delivers stories that’d slot in nicely beside anything on country radio. Her 1926 EP eyes commercial appeal but never at the expense of her vocal tricks, even on gummy cuts like “Sweet Talk.” Slathered in polish, the five-song project easily competes with any superstar currently playing on the radio.

Madeline Finn

“I just wanna love somebody for exactly who she is / So I keep praying, and I keep singing,” sings Madeline Finn. “METTA” flutters on the eardrums, a softness both profoundly heavy and comforting. She stands against an acoustic backdrop, and her tender coos ring like an alarm across space and time. Sometimes, it’s within such quiet moments that you hear the words even louder than you otherwise would. “METTA” is a career-defining performance.

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