Women in Modern Country Music: An Introduction

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Much has been written about the abuse of female artists in the country music industry. But for all the headlines on TomatoGate, bro-country and “rules” prohibition Women DJs playing back to back on their radio stations – Nothing has changed. So instead of rehashing the same tired tales that highlight the power of men in the music world, I thought I would shed some light on the artists who, in a fairer and more equitable world, should dominate music. modern country right now.

The essentials

It’s a shame, but even these legendary artists are barely released.

Carrie Underwood – From the moment she left the American Idol scene in 2005, Underwood has proven to be the golden girl of contemporary country music. She can play the revenge-hungry ex, the all-American housewife and everything in between with vocals that have an equally impressive range.

Miranda Lambert The first time I remember seeing Lambert, she was setting a town on fire in her music video for “Kerosene”. She managed to keep this rebellious image while emphasizing her softer side on some of her greatest hits like the vulnerable track “The House That Built Me”.

Kacey musgraves Even before the internet fell in love with Musgraves after his 2019 Grammy Album of the Year win, Kacey was making country music his own way. Always lyrically intelligent, instrumentally sound and thematically outspoken, Kacey is no stranger to confronting the powers that be. His LGBTQ + anthem “Follow Your Arrow” was banned from country radio in 2013.

Mainly suitable for radio

It’s not shocking to hear these women on country radio, but it’s not entirely normal either.

Maren Morris – Between his monster pop hit “The Middle” with Zedd and being part of The Highwomen – you’ve certainly heard Maren’s powerful voice before. Sonically, his solo work lives at the center of these sounds. She is sparkling with love on her last GIRL: A brilliant yet powerful display of country pop.

Kelsea Ballerina I found out about Kelsea when Taylor Swift tweeted her endorsement of her debut single “Love Me Like You Mean It” in 2015. Taking that as a sign that the next princess in Taylor’s pop country royalty line had been crowned – I dove in, and I’m glad I did. Ballerini’s music is fun, scintillating, and as a student of Swift, very catchy.

Carly PearcePearce’s music is addictive. His first album All the small things came out in 2017 and have been back at least twice a month since. Her songs sound like southern hospitality and her voice is like honey.

Land of fresh pop

A breath of fresh air in a snap-track, boom-clap world.

Kelleigh Bannen – Sometimes a song stops you dead and that’s what Bannen’s “Damn I Still Love You” did to me. She has a knack for sounding both playful and moving, masking her grief with puns.

Jillian Jacqueline – Like many of these women, Jacqueline is a storyteller – the difference is, she has a way of looking like your best friend while doing it. Whether she’s poking fun at her own drama in “Tragic” or recounting a relationship breakdown in “Sad Girls”, she understands what you’re going through.

Country that rocks

These women are badass. That’s all.

Ashley McBryde –The songs released so far from his next album Never will be include a murderous and rock warning to his father’s mistress “Martha Divine” and a catchy admission “that’s what it is” from his “One Night Standards”. What could be more intriguing (or country) than that?

Kalie Shorr – Shorr is true to the title of his album Open book. Drug addiction, depression, her sister’s death, and her own eating disorder – it gets complicated, but it also means it’s getting real.

Songwriters

Maybe they’re not officially country, but they’re so good I claim them anyway.

Caitlyn Smith – Smith has presence. Her voice is like liquid gold and with top notch composition, the stories she tells are worth every penny. I still can’t get enough of her debut album Star fire.

Emily Scott Robinson – Listening to Robinson is like walking along a chattering stream. Her voice immediately immerses you in the present, but her narration takes you elsewhere. She’s a wanderer and her clear, rootsy voice invites you with her.

The almost breakthroughs

If they were men, things would be different.

Cam – Her song “Burning House” was nominated for a Grammy in 2015 and her album Savage that’s just it: bursting with energy and unafraid to break the lines between pop and folk. Somehow Cam can do it all at once and make it organic.

Danielle Bradbery – She won The Voice in 2013 and reintroduced herself as a mature, stand-alone artist with the appropriate title I don’t believe we met. She is heavily influenced by pop and still sounds authentic in her self-reflection on songs like “Worth It” and “Potential”.

Maddie & Tae – The duo garnered a lot of national attention for their number one bro-country callout song “Girl in a Country Song” in 2015. But when their record label closed in 2017, they lost momentum. . Songs like “Shut Up and Fish” and “Sierra” show off their sense of humor and excellent harmony.

Bonus part: international edition

People are playing country music everywhere… and a lot of it is really good.

Kira Isabelle – I first met the Canadian during a classmate presentation on country music and sexual assault. Isabella’s song “Quarterback” tells the story of a high school student from a community who believes the soccer star’s word before her own. His album Sides is lighter, but just as voluntary.

Catherine McGrath – McGrath cites Taylor Swift as his inspiration for country music and it’s easy to see the connection. On her best tracks, the Irish country artist just as succinctly captures the small but important moments of adolescence.

Clearly, there is no excuse for country listeners not to listen to female country artists. These artists are only beginning to scratch the surface of the immense amount of talent that all women in country music bring to the table. There are so many interesting and important stories that need to be heard. Stories that at one time or another are related to me – maybe you will find yourself in one of them too.



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