Despite not having any major radio success for her last record, Pageant Material, Musgraves remains a symbol of true country in the midst of the vast sea of pop country. Her lyrics connect to young people and those who don't quite fit into the box they're placed into, just like Musgraves. With rumored songs like "Butterflies," this album could be a happier one, reflecting her engagement to fellow singer/songwriter Ruston Kelly. No matter the subject material, we need new Kacey Musgraves.
Ashley Monroe's fourth record
It's not a secret, but Monroe's The Blade was by far my favorite album to come out in 2015. The song "The Blade" was a different take on the classic heartbreak song, and the album woven around that song was the best of that year. We know that even through pregnancy, Monroe has been working on this record, but it's due time that she releases it. Monroe is one of the most underrated artists in the country music industry, but she's also one of the most talented, making this upcoming record a must have and a must listen.
Caitlyn Smith's Starfire Pt. 2
Remember when Caitlyn Smith said that the Starfire EP was only part one of the whole Starfire album? Me too. That was a year ago, and there's still no record in sight. This upcoming album has the potential to be a career-launching album for Smith, as she recently signed with Monument Records and recieved much praise for last year's EP. We all know she's got killer songwriting chops and a voice like no other, but now we just need to see it all come together on a full length record, hopefully out before the end of the year.
Cassadee Pope's second record
This one seems like the least likely on this list to come out soon. Pope recently parted ways with Valory Records, presumably leaving what would have been the next part of the Summer EP unreleased. It's a real shame. Pope has never quite fit into the country box that Blake Shelton pushed her into, but she did put out some solid music throughout her time in country music. One of my personal favorites is a song she tweeted a clip of a couple years ago titled "Let Me Go." We will get this record at some point, but my guess is that it will most likely manifest itself in the form of pop-rock rather than country.
Now this one, we know is coming. For years, this album has been in the works, and if the record ends up being as good as Lauren Alaina's record was after a six year break, it's worth it. We've heard so many new songs from Bradbery, from her single "Sway" to unreleased songs like "Layin' Low" and "Potential." If all goes the way it should, we'll get to hear all of these new songs by the end of 2017. Finally.