Taste of Country debuted its RISERS program in 2017, highlighting the brightest emerging acts in the genre. Brett Young, Kalie Shorr and Runaway June were members of the original class, and Devin Dawson has just been announced to launch this year's list — but he's not the only country artist to watch in April 2018!
So, who's rising this month? This list of five artists are all unique, but you can still slap a country music label on 'em.
Dylan Schneider draws comparisons to contemporaries like Kane Brown and Scotty McCreery, while duo Muscadine Bloodline are in a lane all their own with their comfortable, soulful sound. Tyler Rich is setting the stage for success with a catchy debut single and the support of a record label, which never hurts, while Filmore emits a sense of intrigue with his music (and man bun). You'll also find that duo Smithfield are positioning themselves for a break through with the poignant "Hey Whiskey."
Here are five acts not to miss this spring — be sure to listen!
A little bit of soul meets a touch of the outlaw sound to create this multifaceted duo from Mobile, Ala. Charlie Muncaster and Gary Stanton unify their striking voices and unique vibe under the name Muscadine Bloodline, a new country duo that are sure to catch your ears with their gritty sound that's somehow still suave. You hear this eclectic mix on the swampy "Porch Swing Angel" and new single "Movin' On," which is undeniably country with a waning guitar and melody that gives the song movement in a compelling fashion. Look for them to burst through the glass ceiling of country music in 2018.
Tyler Rich is authentic. You'll hear it on "California Grown" and "Radio," but it screams the loudest on "The Difference," his debut radio single as a Big Machine Label Group baby act. If it sounds like a hit waiting to happen, that's because it is. No doubt Rich is a round peg made for a round hole on country radio. Look for this guy to be in the big leagues within 3-5 years.
Dylan Schneider wasn't even of legal age to vote when he released his first two EPs in 2016. A year later, he found himself on his first headlining tour as his 17 EP cracked the Top 40 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart — without the backing of a major label! His expansive social media following (even without a radio hit) is reminiscent of the trail Kane Brown blazed for himself when coming up in the genre. And when you hear Schneider's voice, you'll have feelings of Scotty McCreery, though this newcomer is all his own as he pours through smooth pop-country jams "How Does it Sound" and "You Heard Wrong." His irresistible sound, backed by a slick pop-country beat, is perfectly exemplified on his new single "No Problem." Schneider has effortlessly positioned himself as a breakthrough artist in 2018.
Tyler Filmore will make your ears perk up. He's found a way to embrace the pop-country trend in a way that's all his own. Known as Filmore, his infectious voice comes to life with an inviting melody built around a bouncy banjo. Find that on his latest single "Slower," which shows off his captivating talents and ability to fit into mainstream country trends, but still driving in his own lane, at his speed. If he keeps this up, Filmore could see himself at the top of the charts with this song — it's practically begging to be a hit.
Charming and energetic perfectly describe Smithfield. With a backstory dating back to their teen years, growing up together in Texas, Jennifer Fielder and Trey Smith are beginning to build momentum as an upbeat act that's poised to grab the attention of mainstream country fans. One can hear their bubbly nature on "Nothing But the Night," a bit of sorrow on "If I Were You" and even a stroke of R&B on "When You're Gone." But it's their new single, "Hey Whiskey," that could very well be their breakthrough hit. It's an open letter to the alcohol that turns an ex into a different person, but their voices are just as intoxicating.
Devin Dawson's "Asking for a Friend" Is Next-Level
There's a reason the "All on Me" singer has been picked as a RISER. Here it is.