12 Country Artists To Watch in 2018
By Elsie Sullivan and Bethany Stout
With the new year, it’s time to add some new music to your playlist! We’ve pulled some of hottest new country acts that we believe will be making waves in music this year. Get to know them and some of their latest singles down below!
If you love Kacey Musgraves, get ready to fall in love with Abbey Rowe. Her witty lyrics starkly contrast those of many other female vocalists in country music, and we can’t wait to hear this girl’s first full-length album. Check out “Miss Wannabe” now to hear Abbey’s brazen reaction on her ex-beau’s new girl.
This guy will certainly make strides in the country music world next year. As the co-writer of Kelsea Ballerini’s hit song, “Dibs”, Ryan Griffin will steal your heart with his song, “Woulda Left Me Too”. He’s currently working with distinguished producer busbee (Maren Morris, Carly Pearce) for his new album coming out in 2018, so we are pumped to see where his career will take him. While he’s putting the finishing touches on his next album, check out his EP, Sake of the Summer to tide you over for now.
Sam Hunt and FGL fans are in for a treat in 2018 — FILMORE will be your next muse. This independent singer/songwriter epitomizes the evolution in country music with his one-of-a-kind style and crossover jams. The “You Know You Wanna” singer perfectly blends genres to create undeniable hits, and he’s toured with huge acts, including Sam Hunt, Michael Ray, Chase Rice and Jon Pardi. His last album, Proof, came out in 2016, so we’re looking forward to hearing new music that’s in the works for the new year.
A Berklee College of Music graduate, Emma connects to listeners through relatable lyrics, smooth beats and truthful messages. She released her self-titled EP, Emma White this year; in every song, both her pop and R&B influences intertwined with her deep love for country music create her unique sound. This girl has music in her veins — be on the look-out for more from the driven songstress in 2018. Maren Morris fans will love Emma White; check out her single, “OVERTHINK IT” now.
It’s been a great year for Devin Dawson, and we think he’s headed for the top in 2018. With his hit single of the year, “All On Me,” we hear a voice that’s a perfect mix between John Mayer and Hunter Hayes. His recently released, “Asking For A Friend” shows the emotional facet of songwriting abilities. One of the hottest up-and-comers of 2017, look for him on the road with Brett Eldredge on The Long Way tour in 2018.
With their mesmerizing Bluegrass melodies, this duo will not disappoint. Blue Honey’s harmonies are bound to give you some major Little Big Town vibes; check out “Angels Come Home” to fully appreciate the great storytelling that this husband and wife duo express in their music.
This Aussie not only just married country queen Kelsea Ballerini, but he also just dropped his newest single, “I Do.” This sweet song was written in honor of his love, Kelsea, and we can’t wait to hear more from Morgan now that he’s a married man. You can catch Morgan on tour in 2018; watch out, Keith Urban — Morgan Evans is Nashville’s next Australian king.
Jenna and Stuart Walker’s hit single, “Hometown Kids,” is a true country bop that US country radio will fall in love with. This brother/sister duo has climbed Canada’s Country Music charts back home, and are bound for greatness with their passion for country music and special bond as a family band. They’ve already opened for acts like Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, and Thomas Rhett, and we can’t wait to see more of them in the US in 2018.
If you’ve ever heard Walker Hayes’ breakout hit, “You Broke Up With Me,” then chances are it’s stuck in your head right now. The country crooner has an artful way of blending R&B influences with catchy crossover hooks that’ll make you fall in love. Check out Walker’s newly released album, boom., to get an idea of the heights this guy is bound to reach in the new year.
With new music in the works with multiple award-winning songwriter and producer Ross Copperman, as well as multiple Grammy-award winning producer Paul Worley, we’re looking forward to hearing more from this standout singer/songwriter in 2018. The release of his hit single, “Still Believe In Crazy Love” garnered immediately response and praise earlier this year; we’re pumped for what is to come for this soulful singer and skilled musician.
A Kansas native, Logan Mize made a name for himself in 2016 by booking a cross-country acoustic tour via social media. This year, he released his first album as an independent artist, and his love for country music runs deep in his blood. Logan’s great uncle, Billy Mize, was a pioneer in country music, and he helped evolve the sounds of country music legends Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. The “Ain’t That Pretty” singer is closing out the year on tour with Cam, and you can hear his latest release, Come Back Road now.
Sarah Darling sings to the dreamers on her first of two albums released this year, Dream Country, while Winter Wonderland offers fun and alternative takes on holiday classics. This country music sweetheart creates moving ballads with her sultry sound, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for this talented singer/songwriter in the new year.