Stone-cold country, bubbly pop, heartbreak and a little bit of nostalgia are all a part of CMT’s latest list of artists you need to know.
Fans of sobering ballads like Lee Ann Womack’s “Last Call” and Alan Jackson’s “Monday Morning Church” will fall in love with Erin Enderlin. After all, those were Enderlin’s earliest cuts in her vast catalogue, which also includes songs recorded by Luke Bryan, Terri Clark, Randy Travis and Tara Thompson. With a penchant for raw and visceral storytelling, Enderlin’s songs can take you anywhere and through anything life can throw at you. But what she does best is haunting, gut-wrenching numbers like “Ain’t It Just Like A Cowboy.” Enderlin’s Jamey Johnson co-produced new album Whiskeytown Crier is out now, and features appearances by Chris Stapleton, Randy Houser, Jessi Alexander and Jon Randall.
A little bit pop, a little bit rock and a little bit alternative, rising newcomer Emily Hackett is eclectic, but explicitly honest and fresh in her approach to her exceptionally distinctive sound. Her 2013 cover of Lorde’s “Royals” with Megan Davies put the singer/songwriter on the map with more than a half a million views on online. Soon after, she won a national showcase that landed her shows with Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan and Rascal Flatts. “Nostalgia” finds Hackett collaborating with her husband Mikey Reaves and friend Steph Jones in an attempt to give life to the sentimental feeling. They did, alright, and the result is a hooky, infectious song and a video as warm, fuzzy and insatiable as the feeling itself. Get us to the nearest Ferris wheel, ASAP.
If only real life love did come with some sort of cinematic guide, right Jillian Cardarelli? The singer’s debut single “Rerun” talks of love lost and questions left unanswered in the most cleverly crafted way, likening it to a classic movie you just want to watch again and again so you can remember the good times. Written by Grammy winner Maren Morris, Tina Parol and Jordan Reynolds, Cardarelli says she knew she had to have the tune the moment she heard it. It fits perfectly with Cardarelli’s crystal clear, lilting voice and overarching themes of love, heartbreak, and reminiscing on her new EP. She’s already shared the stage with Reba McEntire, Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Willie Nelson and Alabama to name a few — the sweet-as-pie Massachusetts native is well on her way.
Getting over someone often requires finding someone else. Before you know it, you’re better than you were before. That’s exactly the feeling Jericho Woods has put to music with their new single “Better Now.” The Kentucky-bred boys describe their sound as one part Grand Ole Opry and one part Muscle Shoals, a fair assessment with influences that range from outlaw country to bluegrass, and folk to bourbon and their grandparents. These guys are the band you want to dance to all night, and then stick around and grab a beer with after the show. They were voted “Kentucky’s Favorite Performing Band” by Kentucky Living Magazine, and with music like their self-titled EP making the rounds, that scope is sure to widen beyond their home state very soon.
Newcomer Cash Campbell’s “Cannonball” is sure to make one heck of a splash in the country music waters. The young gun’s fresh take on his artistry blends pop tracks, style and melodies, but his voice is all country, booming with a maturity and tone that hearkens back to the Stetson and Wrangler heydays that were the belt-buckle 1990s in Nashville. Campbell’s smooth vocals, romantic lyrics and monster production on this stellar debut could easily put him on the fast track to the next level–and definitely to heartthrob status. Splashes of color bring this unique video to the present day, a true representation of current country for the next generation.