Holler Country Music
feature

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

April 18, 2024 10:07 am GMT

x-logo
f-logo
email logo
link icon

Link copied

Content Sponsor

Spring is in the air! Flowers are blooming, leaves are coming back to life on the trees, there are longer, warmer lighter days are ahead. It's a time for new life, new beginnings, and most importantly of all, new music.

This month we've got a singer-songwriter from San Luis Obispo who is bringing some Californian cool to country, a singer from South West England who is reimagining apocalyptic folk for post-millenials, and a spaghetti western inspired Virginian who's distilling his country with Southern rap, so you should find something in there to enjoy.

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 Dasha to Ole 60 and Tucker Wetmore to Shaboozey for you.

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

Dasha

When Dasha made the move from LA to Nashville to get back in touch with a side to her songwriting that she felt she was neglecting, she could surely have never imagined how much bringing out her country side would change her life.

“I just wanted to make music that I felt genuinely connected to,” Dasha explains about the move. “I wanted to make music that I wanted to listen to.”

“I started writing music when I was ten,” remembers the 23-year-old singer songwriter, who grew up in San Luis Obispo, California, immersed in the world of country, folk, and Americana music from an early age. “Prior to the country album, I was making pop music. I'd always been a songwriter first. I have and always will be. But I was just kind of in a different lane. Pop music is where I wanted to be for a while. And then it hit me last January when I released my album, Dirty Blonde, that I wanted to do something that I felt more connected to just as an artist. And as I grow and learn as a person, country is where I felt like my heart was, and I wanted to keep that going.”

“I wanted to go back to basics,” she says. “I wanted to go back to keeping it simple, just me and a guitar. And that's how all the songs on the album started.”

The result of that going back to basics is What Happens Now, an eight-track pop country mini masterpiece that includes the viral sensation ‘Austin’ along with seven other songs that range from moony downers to out and out country club anthems.

She’s able to switch effortlessly between gently strummed, diaristic break up songs and finger clicking classic country clap-a-longs that mix the deeply personal songwriting of Taylor Swift with the oddball pop eccentricities of Kelsea Ballerini.

I worked on What Happens Now for about nine months,” she says. “The first song I wrote was ‘Drown Me,’ back in March of 2023, then I wrote ‘Austin’ and then ‘King of California,’ and after those three were written, it was very clear what the album needed to be and needed to sound like. It was the first body of work that I ever worked on that felt so right and genuine to me, and it was very effortless.”

”In the session I wrote ‘Austin’ in, we were actually writing a completely different song at first," she says. "I wasn't really feeling it, and I'm a big proponent of switching up the song vibe if you're not feeling it, especially being the artist in the room. And so I was like, ‘Y'all, we need to make something a little more upbeat. I want to make a song that kind of sounds like a western shootout scene, like the rawness of country music that I miss so much.’ So we kind of started playing around with some chords and we found the chords for ‘Austin.’ We were all vibing. And then I have the voice memo of when I freestyled the first two lines of the chorus, and it's really amazing. You could just feel the shift of energy in the room because we knew that we had something really special on our hands and we wrote it in less than an hour.”

Dasha isn’t the only pop artist looking to Tennessee in 2024. Country music is throwing the party to be at right now with Beyoncé, Post Malone and Lana Del Rey all readying country albums, and Dasha’s move over from pop looks like being a particularly fortuitous one.

I came into the fold at a very perfect time,” she laughs. “There was an alignment that happened within the universe, and I'm very grateful for that. But it's funny because we weren't trying to. I didn't switch to country because I knew that it was going to be the genre of 2024. I switched to country because it's genuinely what my heart wanted and what the artist in me wanted to do.”

Raised on R&B, Avril Lavigne and musical theatre, she’s the kind of post-genre country pop star that makes sense to an audience used to picking and mixing their own listening habits.

“I took a lot of my melodies from R&B music like SZA,” she says. “I also love Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert. Avril Lavigne was a big inspiration for me when I was young, and Dolly Parton, of course. I just love unapologetic women and unapologetic people in general who are just so themselves.”

Which is why Dasha finds herself here. That’s all that country music is after all; a space where people can be unapologetically themselves, sharing their stories and telling their truths, wherever they come from and whatever they might be.

What Happens Now by Dasha is out now on Version III under exclusive license to Warner Records

Listen if You Like: Kelsea Ballerini, Taylor Swift, Megan Moroney

Tucker Wetmore

Dasha isn’t the only one making the move across the country to Nashville. Singer-songwriter Tucker Wetmore packed up his bags in his hometown of Kalama, Washington, after an injury ended his hopes of a professional football career at college in Montana and moved down to music city to follow his life’s other passion.

Not for the first time, football’s loss is country music’s gain. A star athlete since childhood, Tucker first learned about perseverance on the playing field, earning four state championships during his senior year and setting state records, but it was country music that would catch him when all that fell away.

"I started playing piano when I was 11 years old," he remembers. "Looking back, I realized I was looking for something to help me cope with my emotions. Since then, music has always been my therapy."

"We've got a little bit of love, a little bit of God, and a little bit of alcohol," he says of his songs, which blend the softer side of Morgan Wallen with the gritty heart-wrenching edge of Bailey Zimmerman. With more than 800K followers across social platforms and his debut single, ‘Wine into Whiskey,’ out in the world it looks like that “something to fall back on” might have been his destiny after all.

‘Wine into Whiskey’ is out now on Back Blocks Music. Tucker Wetmore joins Kameron Marlowe on his Strangers Tour later this year.

Listen if You Like: Morgan Wallen, Bailey Zimmerman, Dylan Marlowe

Shaboozey

If you grew up watching Sergio Leone westerns and listening to the gunfighter ballads of Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash, then Shaboozey will be a throwback to a time when Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef loomed large in our imaginations.

Shaboozey’s unique way of throwing back doesn’t rely on retro stylings and paint by numbers pastiche though; he’s a trained master in world building and genre-bending. Influenced by Bob Dylan, Lead Belly, Johnny Cash, and Leonard Cohen, he’s able to fold his Southern roots in with his love for rap and hip-hop as he kneads together fast syncopated rhymes with country & western instrumentation and melodies.

Remaining true to his Virginia roots, experimenting with country music comes as easily to him as hip hop does, as he taps into the region’s long-standing tradition of experimenting laid down by everyone from Pharrell Williams and Missy Elliot to Kali Uchis and The Carter Family.

With an album just around the corner, his latest single ‘Vegas’ follows up the viral smash ‘Anabelle’ from the beginning of the year and gives us another taste of what to expect as the singer turns the page for his next chapter. A spaghetti western whistle rings out as Shaboozey uses a road trip song of regret over leaving his hometown as a metaphor for the overconsumption, hedonism, and lack of fulfilment he found in his artistic pursuits.

“’Vegas’ was the first record that inspired the direction for my upcoming album,” Shaboozey says. “We wanted to create an Americana song that was raw and felt like a modern western ballad.”

From what we’ve heard so far, it’s going to sound like nothing else. This gun is very definitely making its own tune.

'Vegas' is out now on American Dogwood/EMPIRE

Listen if You Like: Jessie Murph, Marty Robbins, Willie Jones

Halle Kearns

We don’t need an excuse to make cocktails here at Holler, but if you give us one, we’ll gladly take it.

With over 11 million TikTok views, 21 million global streams, and 78,000 Instagram followers, Halle Kearns might not need any introduction. She’s been putting Columbia, Missouri, on the country map ever since her debut ‘Pick Me Up’ all the way back in 2020, but two singles in two months have pushed her to the top of our ones to watch list.

Putting a little contemporary twist on classic country, her latest single ‘Homemade Margaritas’ is a playful honky tonky anthem for cocktail loving homebodies everywhere. Following up the more reflective ‘Like Her’ and ‘High School Friends,’ her recent singles showcase the sheer breadth and depth of Kearns’ oeuvre. Whether she’s written the song or she’s bringing to life someone else’s, she’s able to make them uniquely and undeniably hers.

“Although I didn’t write the lyrics, this song is deeply personal to me,” Kearns shared about ‘High School Friends.’ “It reflects the challenges and emotions I faced while pursuing my dreams in the music industry. It's about understanding that everyone has their own path and learning to navigate the tensions that arise when those paths diverge. 'High School Friends' is a tribute to the complexities of friendship and the resilience required to stay true to oneself."

'Homemade Margaritas' is out now on Firebird Music

Listen if You Like: Hailey Whitters, Miranda Lambert, Kaitlin Butts

Brittany Kennell

We couldn’t wait until April for this one. With Women’s History Month in full swing, it felt fitting that Brittany Kennell should be included in our 10 Artists You Need To Know for her incendiary feminist anthem ‘Pink Collar.’

Taken from her forthcoming album of the same name, the title track of the project mixes Miranda Lambert at her give-a-fuck finest and the stadium filling country pop of ‘90s Shania Twain in an anthem for overworked and underpaid women everywhere who are working twice as hard as men just to make the same amount of money as them. Kennell shines a light on her undervalued pink collared sisters and the old double standards that need to change, reminding women of their strength by motivating them to keep up the good fight.

The follow up to her 2021 debut, I Ain’t a Saint, her sophomore album – due out on April 12th - is an absolute blast. Filled with the kind of country songs that would have jumped out of the radio at you in the ‘90s, it’s a record that feels immediately uplifting and playfully empowering; songs that can be deeply personal without ever forgetting Shania’s prerogative to have a little fun.

Pink Collar is released on April 12th on Agence Ranch

Listen if You Like: Miranda Lambert, Shania Twain, Martina McBride

Lillian Hackett

You may have come across 17-year-old Lillian Hackett on your TV screens recently, performing in front of Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Ritchie for a chance to progress in this year’s American Idol series. Once you’ve heard Hackett, it’s easy to see why she passed the challenge with flying colours.

Performing her original song ‘Tennessee’, Hackett showed why the Virginia native has become such an immediate cult favourite of ours. While she possesses a haunting tremble of a voice that would have Sierra Ferrell nodding in appreciation, her songwriting is quippy and refreshing - it’s a self-deprecating take that’s not cursed or possessed by its roots.

‘Loving Someone New’ - an original she recently performed with the Short HIll Mountain Boys for the Basement Boys Productions Sessions - is another gorgeous ditty that embraces the jovial traditions of bluegrass and old-time country music, while tearing up at the thought of losing someone and having to take on the hurdles of falling in love all over again.

From there, you can easily lose yourself in a deep dive of Hackett’s performances on YouTube. It’s where she proves she has a canny way with a chord and a word, offering an invigorating and modern take on the real American songbook.

Lillian Hackett's debut single 'Tennessee' is out now

Listen if You Like:Sierra Ferrell, Bella White, Jesse Daniel

Waylon Wyatt

“Basically, I was looking through some old photos of me as a baby and seeing that smile on that innocent lil’ boy’s face had me wondering what would it be like to go back to then and be able to relive some of those beautiful and precious memories,” Waylon Wyatt says about his latest single. “If life was a film, I’d be sure to use that rewind button every chance that I’d get.”

At just 17 years old, he wouldn’t have that far to rewind back, but his songs have a timeless quality that reaches deeper than his years. He has a soft, wistful way of delivering his songs, as if he’s only singing them to himself. With its comforting, easy melancholy, ‘Back to Then’ could be a lost Townes Van Zandt song or the kind of song Zach Bryan would have a whole stadium singing along to.

Raised in Hackett, Arkansas, Wyatt was inspired by red-dirt contemporaries Tyler Childers and Zach Bryan, and began writing songs at 15, workshopping them after long summer days spent working with his father on construction jobs.

‘Back to Then’ is the latest in a string of singles that began at the tail end of last year with the perfectly formed instant classic ‘Everything Under the Sun’ and the moony ‘Arkansas Diamond.’ A set of songs he augments across TikTok with carefully chosen covers of songs by Sam Barber, Lord Huron, Zach Bryan and Wyatt Flores that often outstrip the originals.

'Back To Then' is out now on Music Soup

Listen if You Like: Zach Bryan, Wyatt Flores, Sam Barber

Pedal Steel Noah

If the highlight of your daily Instagram scroll is an ‘80s or ‘90s hit being covered on pedal steel by a 16-year-old year old boy, accompanied by his 13-year-old brother Nate standing behind him on bass and with his faithful dog Kara sitting at his feet, then you’re not alone.

Texas mini phenomenon Pedal Steel Noah’s impressive fan base includes an influential list of supporters and followers including R.E.M., Johnny Marr of the Smiths, Peter Hook of New Order, Frank Black of Pixies, The Black Keys, Brennen Leigh, designer Todd Oldham, Jenny Lewis, Big Thief, Jason Lee, Neko Case, and probably most of your friends.

At the age of 9, he taught himself the basics of piano and began formal study with Terry Allen’s son, the musician Bukka Allen, at age 10. After Bukka introduced him to the Texas music legend Lloyd Maines, Noah’s interest turned to the pedal steel, and Maines helped Noah find his first pedal steel and gave him his first - and only - lesson. From there, Noah taught himself by watching videos of Maines and Buddy Emmons and by listening to other country music legends.

On October 15, 2022, he posted his first video to Instagram, with the subject #pedalsteelguitar is life, and he’s been posting pretty much daily since then, offering his own unique interpretations of songs by Devo, George Strait, Thompson Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, and Fleetwood Mac, among many others.

He releases his debut Texas Madness EP on April 1st via Lightning Rod Records. The 5-song set features two original songs written by Noah as well as his popular renditions of Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart,’ the Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven,’ and Tears for Fears’ ‘Head Over Heels.’

Noah is on the Autism spectrum, and the EP will be released in celebration of Autism Acceptance Month, with 100% of the profits flowing directly to Noah.

“I am very happy and proud to be sharing my music with the world,” he says. “I’m so glad Nate and I could make this record together and all our friends get to hear it.”

By “friends” he means all of us, right?

'Love Will Tear Us Apart'/'Cleopatra' is out now on Lightning Rod.

Listen if You Like: Buddy Emmons, Lloyd Green, Luke Schneider

Yoshika Colwell

Sometimes one look is all it takes to fall in love. ‘It’s Getting Late’ is the only single so far from Yoshika Colwell, but it’s enough to signal the arrival of something truly great.

Taking her inspiration from John Prine, Gillian Welch, Linda Perhacs and Joni Mitchell, Colwell’s boldly modern take on pastoral English folk music is soothing us gently into Spring with its softly softly approach to existential dread.

The single, released to coincide with the Spring Equinox, was written in her parents’ garden, late in the summer, as a comment on “stagnation, the passage of time, fear of failure and ultimately, death and an attempt towards an acceptance of the cycle of time that all things exist within.”

“I wrote the song in a rare relaxed, almost meditative state whilst sitting and playing the guitar, observing everything that was going on there that afternoon,” Colwell says. “Noticing the complex microcosm of a garden and how rich with life and detail it is if you start to look properly.”

Hailing from South East England, Colwell writes the kind of quietly meditative folk songs that Nick Drake and Linda Perhacs disappeared into the ‘70s with; songs so personal and intimate you’ll want to climb inside them and close your eyes as they rock you gently away from the madness of it all.

'It's Getting Late' is out now on Blue Flowers.

Listen if You Like: Jessica Pratt, Adrienne Lenker, Sandy Denny

Ole 60

Ole 60 would have been more suited to a list of 10 Artists You Probably Already Know, but just in case they haven’t found you yet, this young band from the south bank of the Ohio River have been hotting up lately, claiming at least a couple of places on Spotify’s all genre viral chart for the last couple of months as well as jumping up the top spot on the Apple Country Album chart with their debut three twenty four EP.

The five-piece hailing variously from Owensboro, Hawesville, and Tell City, Kentucky, are made up of Jacob Young on vocals and guitar, Ryan Laslie on lead guitar, Tristan Roby on rhythm guitar, Aden Wood on drums, and Colby Clark on bass.

The origins of the band - who mysteriously describe themselves in their social media bios simply as "not your father's country band" – can be traced back to when Young and Roby began playing together in a shed in Maceo, before meeting Laslie and moving their jam sessions to Galaxy Pizza in Hawesville, where the three of them worked, after they’d finished their shifts and the pizza place closed in the evenings.

It was during one of these off-the-clock practices that they began throwing names around, eventually landing on Ole 60, the name of the route Young took to Roby’s house when they first started playing together.

Songs from that debut EP have been blowing up on TikTok six months after its release, alongside carefully chosen covers of songs by Lord Huron, Zach Bryan and Tyler Childers, while the recently released original ‘Brother Joe’ gives fair warning that this juggernaut isn’t slowing down any time soon. Get on board or get out of its way.

'Brother Joe' is out now on Grey Area Records.

Listen if You Like: Treaty Oak Revival, Zach Bryan, Tyler Childers

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

Written by Jof Owen
Content Sponsor
Holler Country Music
feature

INTRODUCING10 New and Upcoming Country and Americana Artists You Need to Know February 2024

Holler Country Music
feature

INTRODUCING10 Country and Americana Artists You Need to Know November 2023

Holler Country Music
feature

INTRODUCING10 New and Upcoming Country and Americana Artists You Need to Know October 2023

Artist - Noah Kahan 15
news

Noah Kahan Partners with The Busyhead Project for Mental Health Awareness Month