For something a little different and out of the line of the music I usually cover on Queens of Country, I'm introducing you to Naomi Wachira this week. Born in Kenya, but now based in Seattle, Wachira creates intricate world and reggae-influenced folk music with incredibly important messages. "Beautifully Human" is the first song off of her upcoming sophomore album, Songs of Lament, and it's really worth a listen for anyone a bit concerned about the state of our world currently and looking for hope in the darkness.
It's been about ten months since we last heard new music from Mickey Guyton, and just so no one forgets how talented and incredible she is, here are 5 of Guyton's best performances.
It feels like it's been years since we've heard from Maddie & Tae, especially since their last fairly successful radio single was "Fly" in 2015. But even though they haven't put out anything new recently, and their label situation is a bit murky currently, they've been working on some awesome new music. This is just one of the songs they've been playing out recently, and it's a great one.
Before even listening, a serious country music listener needs to go in knowing what this album is. It's bubbly pop-country from an early twenties woman who just got married. It's going to be sickly sweet at moments, and very poppy at others. But there are some surprises. There's depth to this album, in a way that not many people expected it to have, and although is it polished pop country, it's polished pop-country perfection. With some misses, and some incredible hits, RaeLynn's debut record is worth a listen.
With a voice that rivals superstars like Shania Twain and Carrie Underwood, and her keen ear for selecting and writing great songs, April Kry is on the verge of becoming the next big up-and-coming star. Her most recent single, "While We're Young" is another example of her fun personality and insanely catchy pop-country songs. April took some time to answer some questions about her new single and what she'll be up to the next few months.
This is the third roundup, so I think you all know the drill by now! But at the end of every month, the Roundup is the place where I share my favorite albums and songs of the last month. I also slip in something a little extra at the end, and this month, it's a list of some of my favorite podcasts. So without further ado, here are my March favorites.
2017 is the four year anniversary of Ell's first single release ever, "Trippin' On Us." Four more singles and many major tours later, Ell is finally releasing her debut EP. It's been a long time coming, and that's maybe the reason Ell named her EP after the song "Worth the Wait?" And it was. Ell has spent so many years releasing different singles with various sounds. The blues-pop-country blend she came up with is so her, and was worth the four years it took to develop.
On the day of the Delta Airlines shutdown last year, singer/songwriter Nora Collins was supposed to be boarding a flight to Nashville to shoot a video for her song "Guess I Woulda Known By Now." One canceled flight and one delayed flight later, and five hours after the shoot was supposed to start, Collins landed in Music City. "It was kind of a stressful day," Collins said over the phone recently. "It is a personal song, so trying to perform that was kind of hard and scary to let those feelings come through, but everybody was wonderful and made me feel very comfortable." The result is a beautiful black and white performance video (watch below) to accompany a track that is one that you should definitely take three minutes to listen to.
As everybody in Nashville is currently obsessing over Carly Pearce, I thought it would be fitting to throw it back to a song that Pearce wrote and recorded a few years ago.
If you ask any artist or country fan why they listen to country music, usually they'll say because of the lyrics. They love country music because it tells real-life stories. On country radio, it's often difficult to find stories of real life. It's easy to hear stories of flirtations and of trucks, but story songs haven't necessarily been radio-friendly in recent years. But country music still is and always will be about real life. Kelleigh Bannen's new single "Church Clothes" is a country song at its best.