A highlight on Ballerini's debut album, The First Time, this song has the pop influences, but tells the heartbreaking story of her parents divorce that can only be told properly though country music. If Ballerini keeps releasing songs like this, she might well be able to live up to the songwriting of her idol and friend, Taylor Swift.
Karli Chayne is a newcomer, the newest and least known artist on this list, but to anyone disgusted by country music on the radio today, this is a must listen. Taken from her newest EP, Voices, Chayne brings back the bluesy element country used to have in this beautifully crafted ode to her man.
Made popular by The Bobby Bones Show, this is one track that will stop any music lover in their tracks, whether they are a country fan or not. Acoustic guitar driven, from her debut EP, Cam tells the tragic story of a lost love. Her vocals are powerful, tinged with a slight southern accent, and full of the emotion that modern country music has lacked in the recent years.
More than any other new artist, Mo Pitney is a throwback. He sounds like he belongs in the era of classic country in the 70's and 80's. This song earned him a standing ovation at the Opry, and praise from all areas of the industry. If new artists like Mo Pitney can pop up, sounding like they came from 30 years ago, there is hope for country music. (Read review of his debut single here.)
Mickey Guyton has been compared to Carrie Underwood, but this performance puts her on another scale entirely. Her vocals are powerful, emotional, and pure country. Too many powerful vocalists aim for pop, but Guyton could succeed Underwood and become the best vocalist of the next generation. (Review of her latest EP here.)
Jana Kramer is another actress-turned-singer, who actually had quite a big hit with "Why Ya Wanna" a few years back. But this song surpasses anything she has done before, with the obvious country instrumentals and truthful, gorgeous story behind the song. There's no trying to cross over into pop for this girl. Full review.
Country duets have been going down the drain lately, with more guy/guy country-rock/country-rap collabs than any classic guy/girl duets. But this song reminisces of the classic Johnny-June duets. There are not many voices that fit better together than these two, and hopefully they'll continue collaborating to beat Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter at their own game. Full review.
Kira Isabella is one of the few artists who is able to tackle the big issues of today's society in a country song. These are hard enough to talk about, but to sing about, it takes so much more guts. Country music needs another singer besides Kaccey Musgraves to stand up against the norm of country music and sing songs that haven't traditionally belonged in country music, but should. Full review.
Maddie & Tae are already one of the most influential duos in country music because of their breakthrough hit, "Girl in A Country Song." But this song shows how much talent they truly have. They honestly could be thenext Dixie Chicks, with their talent and country rooted sound.
Eric Paslay is no doubt one of the most talented new male artists in the industry right now. He has toyed with bro-country with "Song About A Girl" and "Friday Night," but this song is straight up country. Beautifully written and performed, this is one song that will be around for a while as one amazing song that wasn't given enough of a chance at radio. In the vein of "He Stopped Loving Her Today," Paslay creates an absolutely flawless and timeless track, sure to turn any country fan doubting the future to embrace it, because it will bring more songs like this.