Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A New Age of Young Women in Country Music

By: Lauren Miller

Tonight I was driving home and browsing the radio channels like I usually do and I found a new trend in my music listening choices. While I am open to listening to any genre of music typically I am a top 40 or alternative listener. But as I have been spending more time in my car recently I've gotten a little sick of my typically radio stations and I've found myself looking for new tunes outside of my usually listening radius. And more often than not I've found myself stopping on country music stations.

When I was a young girl I loved country music. I grew up in the age of Martina McBride, Faith Hill,  and Garth Brooks, just to name a few. I liked the stories the songs told, I liked the simplicity of the music, the genre just over all captivated me. As I grew older I found it harder to identify with the tunes that were being churned out of the country music market.

Sure, Jason Aldean is cool, but I just don't relate to a "big green tractor." And Zac Brown Band makes some fun party music. And maybe the appeal of a young country stud is enough to wet my appetite for country music for a minute. But in order for me to really buy into an artist or band and relate I need to see myself in the artist.

It wasn't until the last few years that I started to see an emergence of young, powerful female country artists that I can actually listen to in the same way that I listen to my favorite bands and artists from other genres.

This trend of course began with Taylor Swift who writes songs straight from my diary, but in this post I'd rather highlight a few cool artists I've found lately who are possibly not as well known as Taylor.

I'm also going to be honest and say that most of these artists are from the voice, so maybe I don't have the most authoritative voice on the "upcoming women in country music" topic. Of course if you have suggestions please feel free to send them my way.

The first artist I fell in love with in Cassadee Pope. Okay, let's be honest I've loved her since her Hey Monday days. So I'm not sure if this counts. But I'm making her count because this is my blog and that's how this works. Her first country effort Frame By Frame came out last year and featured a handful of relate able, awesome tracks. One of my favorites is "I Wish I Could Break Your Heart."

Another artist who has come on to my radar was Danielle Bradbery. Honestly I didn't watch her season of The Voice as much as I did Cassadee and I haven't bought her album yet. So my knowledge of her as an artist is fairly limited and is pretty much based off of one song. But I like the one song and I think she's pretty darn adorable so I added her to my list. The song is "Heart of Dixie." It's a fun song. Check it out below.

My last artist I've found because of the The Voice is RaeLynn. Her song "Boyfriend" is certainly a guilty pleasure song. It's the country equivalent of a bubble gum pop tune. But who cares. I love it and everyone needs at least a dozen guilty pleasure song on their ipod.

My final artist is probably my favorite new artist. Again, I only know a handful of songs from this artist so what kind of expert am I. But what I do know is that she talks about relevant topics like drugs, sexual orientation, and questions about sexual promiscuity. Anyone who knows me well knows that I like any type of art that makes people thing about social conscious topics in different ways. My favorite song by this lovely lady is "Follow Your Arrow." It's catchy, fun, well written, and socially conscious. Sounds like a winning song to me.

So there are the four new female country artists who have swayed my ears back to country music, at least for now. Let me know in the comments what you think of these artists and the rise of strong, young female artists in country music. And as always if you know of any other artists I should be paying attention to pass them along as well.