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10 New and Upcoming Country and Americana Artists You Need to Know April 2024

May 16, 2024 6:06 am GMT

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Last month we had Dasha, Tucker Wetmore and Shaboozey amongst our top tips for the ones to watch and look whats happened to them since! A week later and Dasha's singing on Jimmy Kimmell and Shaboozey's on the Beyoncé album! Maybe it's all a big coincidence, but we like to think we had a small hand in that.

This month we've got a sixth generation Texan singer-songwriter raised on a cattle ranch, a Long Island musician who found her way to singing onstage with Zach Bryan, and a group of experimental indie pop musicians from Austin who are rewriting classic honky tonk country, so there should be something in there for everyone.

Here we go with another of Holler's monthly round ups of our latest loves; a who's who of the most exciting prospects to begin leaving their mark on the country and Americana landscape. This month, we've got everything from Ty Myers to Don Louis and Sarah Gross to Sentimental Family Band for you.

Here's Holler's 10 New and Upcoming Country and Americana Artists You Need to Know for April.

Ty Myers

Growing up just west of Austin in Dripping Springs, Texas – the "Gateway to the Hill Country” that gave us Midland – Ty Myers is a sixth generation Texan raised on a cattle ranch to the sounds of Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

He’s been singing since he could walk, and he picked up the guitar when he started writing songs at just 8 years old. Growing up, if he wasn't playing football, baseball, hunting or fishing, he was spending all his free time writing or playing shows with his father. He was almost overqualified to be a country singer.

“My Dad had a band for 25 years, so my sister and I spent weekends in bars and dancehalls,” he says. “Live music has always been a huge part of my life”.

Like having an on-the-job musical education, growing up immersed in music like that soaked through into the songs Ty Myers now writes. Listening to his songs you can hear the wide, eclectic mix of influences he pulls from: Kris Kristofferson, Tyler Childers, Anderson East, John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughan. It’s like ordering a burger from Five Guys and going all the way on the toppings, then adding some jalapeños, extra relish and hot sauce on top.

“I grew up listening to everything,” he says. “Everything from classic and outlaw country to ‘90s country and current… a lot of blues, soul, Motown on the regular as well”.

In March 2023, Myers released his first independent song, ‘Tie That Binds’, and within a couple of months it was attracting the attention of Nashville, LA and New York, and the streams starting gushing in. Delivered in his rich, creamy twang, ‘Tie That Binds’ was the kind of song you felt like you’d known your whole life. One of those love songs that once you heard it, you knew it would go on to soundtrack all of the most important moments in your own love story.

Its follow up only added to the excitement that was building. ‘Drinkin’ Alone’ showcased Myers' more sensual, soulful side, on a song that was about anything but what the title suggested.

“You know honestly I wrote that song in about an hour,” Myers remembers. “The idea came to me and then it just all flowed out. Most of my writing happens that way, which is great for me, but I wish there was a more exciting back story“.

Since then, the singles have kept dropping every couple of months. ‘Drinkin’ Alone’ was followed up by the moony all-nighter ‘But Me’, which was succeeded by ‘Tomorrow’s Out of Sight,’ a sweetly sentimental ballad that offered no tease of the blasting honky tonk cover of George Strait’s ‘Down And Out’ that came next. ‘Stay’ and ‘Tin Roof Talks’ proved there was no shortage of songs in Ty Myers’ songwriting well. His latest single, ‘Malibu’, is a summertime smash just waiting to blow up.

“I think it paints a pretty cool picture of how your imagination can take you just about anywhere,” he says. Slipping on some flip flops and flavouring his classic country with a little summery tropical rock, it sounds like Tyler Childers relaxing on an all-inclusive beach holiday.

While Myers has recently completed a college tour circuit around Texas and Oklahoma this past Fall, as well opening for Aaron Watson and Dwight Yoakam, he’ll be having his own full circle moment when he opens for Willie Nelson this spring.

Ty Myers' latest single 'Too Far Gone' is available now.

Listen If You Like: Tyler Childers, Sam Barber, Zach Bryan

Sarah Gross

We’ve been to Skinny Dennis enough times to know that New York has its own very special place in the hearts of country music lovers. If you’ve been enjoying Holler’s Best Country Indie Songs playlist, then you’ll already be familiar with our new favourite neighbourly New York indie cowgirl, Sarah Gross.

The singer from Long Island found her sound in the basements of Upstate New York’s DIY venues where she cut her teeth on Americana storytelling and songwriting, and her single ‘Naturally’ is one of those perfect moments where country music gets shaken up and lovingly reimagined by a refreshingly indie sensibility.

Her newest album, The Killjoy, was recorded between Dreamland Studios in Woodstock, NY, and her childhood bedroom on Long Island, and her latest single ‘Better With Age’ is like all the more country bits of Phoebe Bridgers, Faye Webster and Courtney Barnett rolled into one.

Having been hand-picked to open for artists such as Sammy Rae, Bella White, Jade Bird and Melt, she’s currently celebrating one of those heartwarming once-in-a-lifetime viral moments after singing on stage with Zach Bryan, at UBS Arena in Elmont.

As legend now has it, it all started when she ran into Zach Bryan’s dad in the parking lot before the show. The next thing you know, she’s stepping into Kacey Musgraves shoes to duet on ‘I Remember Everything’.

“I’ve been a fan of Zach’s for a long time,” she told a local news channel the day after the show. “My friends and I went to the show on Saturday just as fans, and we really had no idea that any of this was going to happen. We saw that the UBS parking lot was having a tailgate preshow and lo and behold Zach Bryan’s dad Dewayne walks out and he introduces another local artist, Connor Patrick Doyle, and they sang a couple of songs. So, while they were playing, I went over to his dad and I said, ‘Hi, I’m actually a musician too’ and we started chatting about Long Island and the music scene here, and he said, ‘Well, why don’t you go up and play a couple of songs,’ and then it turned into a jam session.”

“He said, ‘Well, come back tomorrow, let’s play the tailgate and we’ll see what happens from there.’ So we did. We came back the next day, on Easter Sunday. My grandma was gracious enough to cancel Easter dinner. We really didn’t know this was going to happen until right before Zach went onstage. I had no rehearsal”.

“Singing with zach bryan was not on my 2024 bingo card but boy am I glad it worked out this way,” Sarah Gross wrote on her socials afterwards.

Same, Sarah. Same.

‘Better With Age’ is out now on Small Road Records

Listen If You Like: Phoebe Bridgers, Faye webster, Jess Williamson

Medium Build

Nick Carpenter has been recording as Medium Build since 2015, so chances are you might have already crossed paths with the singer songwriter who counts John Mayer, Zach Bryan, Elton John and boygenius among his fans. He’s toured with Tyler Childers, Lewis Capaldi, FINNEAS, Holly Humberstone and Briston Maroney, and released five studio albums to date, but it feels like he’s still fresh to a lot of listeners’ ears.

His latest album, Country, released at the beginning of April, finds him wrestling with the idea of home across the album’s twelve songs. Born in Georgia with a close relationship to his Southern roots, the artist now splits his time between hometowns in Anchorage, Alaska and Nashville, Tennessee.

“I wanted this album to have my goddamn DNA on it,” Nick says about the record, recorded on Nashville’s Music Row alongside creative partner Laiko, where the two experimented with genre and style. “I wanted Country to have a human touch. I want Country to be something you love with and dance with and cry with and sleep with and lean into.”

Identifying as queer, Carpenter draws inspiration from his own exploration of sexual identity, all while sonically blending classic country, ’80s new wave, ‘90s rap and hip-hop. If you imagine a mix of Sam Hunt, Bright Eyes and Zach Bryan, you’d still only be halfway close to what Medium Build sounds like. It’s a sound that makes more sense than ever right now, appealing to the appetites of a post-genre audience happy to pile up country folk storytelling and diaristic, confessional songwriting on its plate alongside chart pop, glitchy folktronica and indie twang.

Country is out now on Medium Build under exclusive license to Island Records

Listen If You Like: Izaak Opatz, Dougie Poole, Noah Kahan

HALIE

Shortly after she moved to Nashville at the age of 18, HALIE had the opportunity to join NBC’s Songland; the American songwriting competition TV series which featured hit songwriters Shane McAnally, Ester Dean and Ryan Tedder mentoring emerging artists and songwriters.

In episode 4 of Season 2, Martina McBride was the guest artist in search of a song, and HALIE performed one she had written, entitled ‘Girls Like Me'. It not only won out on the night, but McBride ended up choosing to cut and release it herself.

Fast forward four years and now it’s HALIE herself who is stepping up to bring her songs to life. Her latest single, ‘Runaway Cowboy’, is the latest of a string of near perfect self-penned country pop singles that began just over a year ago with the release of ‘Heart of A Man’.

Singles like ‘Over Sad Songs’ and ‘Runaway Cowboy’ are astutely observed, heart-on-her-sleeve anthems for the heartbroken girl about town, while ‘Southern Boys’ and ‘Whiskey Girl’ are carefree confessionals that showcase a more playful side to the singer-songwriter.

HALIE obviously has a natural way of opening her heart up and pouring it out onto the page.

'Runaway Cowboy' is out now.

Listen If You Like: Megan Moroney, Kelsea Ballerini, Alana Springsteen

Sentimental Family Band

Whether it’s Willie Nelson, Ray Wylie Hubbard or Jerry Jeff Walker, the landscape of country music in Texas has always been shaped by its outliers, and Camille Lewis, Kyle Albrecht and Matthew Shepherd are the latest unconventionalists to come at country from a funny angle.

Having spent the last decade gigging, recording and touring with many beloved Austin indie acts, including dream pop groups Sun June and Still Corners, medieval pop enthusiasts Tele Novella and experimental singer songwriters Dana Falconberry and Molly Burch, nothing had really pointed towards the trio becoming the finest exponents of classic country operating out of Austin today.

They began writing together as Sentimental Family Band in 2019 after becoming obsessed with mid-century country records. Gigs at local Austin honky tonks Sagebrush, The White Horse and The Broken Spoke helped the band perfect their live sound, as they began slipping their own original compositions into their sets of Ray Price and Buck Owens covers to see if anyone would notice.

In the Summer of 2023, the unlikely honky tonk house band began releasing those original compositions as a run of perfectly formed classic country singles via Bordeaux-based Tomika Records.

Those three early singles – ‘Face to a Name’, ‘Never Love Again’ and ‘Talking to Strangers’ – are now compiled on their debut full length album, Sweethearts Only. Released in March, it possesses seven other cuts of the dreamiest classic country we’ve heard in a long, long time.

Sweethearts Only is out now on Tomika Records/Modular and Sentimental Family Band play a weekly Thursday residency at legendary south Austin dive Sam’s Town Point.

Listen If You Like: Charley Crockett, Emily Nenni, Wonder Women of Country

Don Louis

Born in Irving and raised in a single wide trailer on a farm in East Texas, Don Louis learned the meaning of work early on. He grew up tending to livestock, singing along to George Strait and Al Green, and playing football.

Don was an All-District defensive end for Commerce High School and played on scholarship at Ouachita Baptist and Southern Arkansas, but an injury in 2020 changed everything for him. He soon found himself chasing his other childhood dream - being a professional singer.

Al Green and George Strait seep from his soulful country sound, as he delivers with a gruff baritone and a knowing wink here and there. Influenced by Waylon Jennings, George Jones and Toby Keith as much as he is by Michael Jackson, J Cole, The Weeknd and Kanye, last year’s This Is For You EP collected together previous singles ‘You Got A Way With Me’ and ‘Neon You'. The EP showcased the broad catchment of those influences, using smooth ‘90s country as its foundation but also taking in soulful Muscle Shoals R&B, as well as the blues-based Southern rock of the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

A soulful and sensitive singer, the follow up to This Is For You was a more straight forward, beat-driven R&B record Soul Ties, but his most recent singles - ‘Classic Again’, ‘The Ride’, ‘Touchdown', ‘Fucked Up’ and ‘Bottom of It’ - found him leaning all the way back into country again.

Don Louis calls it "Swag Country” and we absolutely can’t wait for the merch!

'Bottom Of It' is out now on Money Myers Entertainment/EMPIRE

Listen If You Like: Chris Stapleton, Willie Jones, Shaboozey

Nicolette & The Nobodies

“The best country songs take you home,” says Nicolette Hoang of the Ontario-based band, Nicolette & The Nobodies. “I want to write music that does that, songs that take you home”.

Hailing from the small Canadian town of Guelph, Ontario, Nicolette & The Nobodies are fronted by Hoang, the child of Vietnamese immigrants who came to the town after the Vietnam War and established an optician shop. Hoang came to country music later in life, after years of honing her musical skill at conservatory and ultimately losing her passion for music.

“I had a complicated relationship with music growing up," she shares. “Music was more of a skill or a task, it wasn’t really presented as a place for play or to explore emotionally, even though that’s what I was drawn to the most about it”.

Immediately enthralled by the likes of Tammy Wynette, Glen Campbell, Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and George Jones, she devoured the classic country catalogue with ferocity, before a fateful karaoke night in Guelph, where she met Ian Bain, Danny Fury and Emma Howarth-Withers who soon became The Nobodies.

The support of her band enlivened Nicolette with a desire to write her own songs and to be direct and personal with music in a way she hadn’t been before.

“I had never envisioned myself in country,” says Nicolette. “Why would I? I had never seen anyone who looks like me in that world. But now that I’ve found my voice, I want to see what it has to say".

Their debut album, The Long Way, is a record ten years in the making, one that playfully reimagines the classic sound of honky tonk and traditional country. Filled with that deliciously gooey type of honky-tonk heartbreak that epitomised Billy Sherrill’s Nashville Sound and the lip quivering countrypolitan of Tammy Wynette, it sounds so naively, ambitiously brilliant and strangely wonderful that it’s like listening to a make-believe country album dreamed up in a teenager’s bedroom.

The Long Way is out now on ArtHaus Music

Listen If You Like: Margo Price,Tammy Wynette, Nikki Lane

Owen Riegling

“I grew up in the middle of nowhere and that’s who I am as a person,” Owen Riegling says. “I’m a pretty simple guy, happy with simple things”.

Except now, Riegling finds himself smack bang in the middle of somewhere, and it feels like a very exciting place to be. It turns out those simple things that mattered to him mattered to a lot of other people too, and he’s found a quickly growing audience who are lapping up his authentically gritty, rootsy country songs like thirsty little kittens.

Originally from the small town of Mildmay, Ontario, with a population of just 1200 of mainly farmers and blue-collar workers, Riegling wrote his very first song at 10 years old on a toy piano. After getting his first guitar from the Sears catalogue, he decided writing songs was almost an act of prayer and practice; a devotion to the craft of connection. Wednesday nights were spent jamming Merle Haggard with his guitar teacher, which led to gigs in local bars playing cover tunes of his favourite artists. Country singers like Eric Church, but also genre-spanning bands like Bon Iver, Weezer, Green Day and Steve Miller Band.

It's this bulging pick ‘n’ mix bag of influences that informs Owen Riegling’s own eclectic songbook, falling somewhere between Ed Sheeran’s everyman folk and the softer, reflective side of Eric Church. In 2022, he was promoted from the small stages of local bars to the big stage of the country music mega-fest Boots and Hearts, which caught the attention of Universal Music Canada, and before long he was co-writing and recording in Nashville with some of music city’s biggest writers.

Releasing his debut single, the cutesy ‘Love (The Sweater Song)’ in 2023, it was its follow up ‘Old Dirt Roads’ that really lit the fuse for the whole thing to blow up.

“I was raised on a little patch of heaven / Wheat fields and old dirt roads,” he sings on his paean to the “town most folks just drive through” where he grew up. “Where the tin roof sings the whole damn thing shakes when the cold wind blows”.

Ironically, it was a song about how much he loves his hometown that has kept him out on the road and away from it for the best part of a year since. He topped 1.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify and toured Canada with Tyler Hubbard, returning to play Boots and Hearts, the CCMA awards, and a summer of festival slots across the country. In 2024, he’ll be touring with Chase Rice and releasing the Bruce County EP, which includes ‘Old Dirt Roads’ as well as the early taster ‘Bud Light the Way’.

‘Old Dirt Roads’ and ‘Bud Light the Way’ from the Bruce County EP are out now on Universal Music Canada

Listen If You Like: Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Conner Smith

Taylor Hunnicutt

Some songs just sound better turned up as loud as they’ll go; speakers fit to bursting, rattling the bottles on the bar. Taylor Hunnicutt makes the kind of records that can never be turned up loud enough. Gritty and swaggering, her sound sits at the intersection between Southern country soul and roughneck rock ’n’ roll, owing as much to The Rolling Stones and The Black Crowes as it does traditional country.

"It's a little country, a little singer-songwriter, a little Americana, and a lot of soulful southern rock," says Hunnicutt, an opera-trained vocalist who began writing songs after dropping out of music school, landing a waitressing job at a blues juke joint, and sitting in with the bands that came through town. It wasn’t long before the waitress was leading the band.

Her full-length debut, Alabama Sound, is a love letter to her home state of Alabama and the American South, written out on the road that’s kept her away from home for 200 days of every year. From the stomp-and-strut of the title track, to the big, bluesy shuffle of ‘Saw Blade Hill’, Hunnicutt takes the country twang of early Miranda Lambert and powers it up with the attitude of Copperhead Road-era Steve Earle to mine a rich vein of Southern storytelling and rock 'n' roll rebellion.

Alabama Sound is out now on 10 Ton Records/Soundly Music

Listen If You Like: Miranda Lambert, Elles Bailey, Blackberry Smoke

Calder Allen

With his sophomore album, Dreamers, Drifters and Hiders, due out on May 3rd, and tour supports booked with Miranda Lambert, Charles Wesley Godwin, The Red Clay Strays and Cody Jinks this summer, if you didn’t already then, it’s definitely time you got to know Calder Allen now.

One of Americana’s natural born outliers, Calder Allen is a fifth-generation Texan and the grandson of the great Terry Allen. It’s fittingly a legacy he wears lightly, making sure he cuts his own path through music.

“I was always encouraged and given the freedom to express myself in whatever way I wanted; nothing was and still is not off limits,” he explains, noting the influence his grandfather has had on him. “More than just being inspired by my grandpa’s music - don’t get me wrong, I am completely inspired by him - I was more influenced by the opportunity to talk openly and create openly with no expectations on what that would be”.

Calder has always written poems and stories, drawn and illustrated, but his true passion was always music. After attending the University of Montana for about two months, Calder returned home to Austin to pursue music full time, where he discovered a new side of the city.

After writing several songs during the Covid-19 pandemic, Calder approached family friend Charlie Sexton, hoping the legendary songwriter would critique his songs. Sexton took it one step further and asked to work with Calder.

Working with Charlie was a full circle moment for Allen. The first time Calder was in the studio, it was at Arlyn Studios to watch his grandfather record his album Moby Dick, which Charlie produced. Charlie has been integral to Calder’s musical journey and produced both his first and second albums.

His forthcoming album, Dreamers, Drifters and Hiders, is one of those records that holds so much wisdom within its 11 songs that it feels like, however much you listen to it, you’ll always be surprised whenever you put it on again. Allen’s breathy first-person storytelling takes in his hopes and dreams and everything in between, as he reflects on all the things he’s lost and learnt along the way.

“The Dreamers, drifters, and outcasts / I guess I’m one of those,” he sings, hovering mysteriously in the shadows of his songs; a gravelly-voiced old soul and a wounded romantic.

“When I write and make songs, I am doing it based on my experiences and the meaning they have for me,” Allen says. “I want the listeners to decide how they feel personally about them and grab what they can as they relate to their own personal lives. I just want to create with intent. I want my songs to be pure, honest, and representative of who I am, what I believe, and what I would like the world to be."

Dreamers, Drifters and Hiders is out on May 3rd

Listen If You Like: Jeff Buckley, Tom Waits, Mark Lanegan

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For more of the monthly editions of Holler's 10 Artists You Need To Know, see below:

Written by Jof Owen
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