Country music embraces a wide range of talent, and this month's list of emerging acts proves it.
The five acts on this month's artists to watch list range from traditional country to soul, to singers who hail from across vast oceans. Two of these acts have broken ground in the past and are reemerging with powerful new songs, but this may be your first introduction to the Swiss singer who's opening for Shania Twain on tour.
Some of the genre's most prominent acts, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town and Twain, have thrown their names behind three of these talented singer-songwriters. Collectively, this group of artists have proven themselves as gifted storytellers and viable vocalists that bring something significant to the genre. Here are five artists to listen for in October of 2018.
Evans' undeniably catchy debut single "Kiss Somebody" has been pouring through the airwaves for months, so you've probably heard it. It earned the No. 1 slot on the Country Aircheck chart! While Evans is already a star in his native Australia (he's won several CMC Awards, Australia's equivalent of the CMT Awards), he's quickly breaking ground in the U.S. with his burgeoning hit, the adoring "I Do" and free-spirited "Day Drunk," which demonstrate a different facet of his songwriting abilities. As his breakthrough song continues to ascend, so does Evans' ambition. He squeezed 10 cities into a 10-day tour earlier this year and his U.S. debut album Things We Drink To is set for release on Oct. 12 in the midst of a hefty tour schedule with Chris Young. With a charming voice and the ability to write lyrics that fit naturally into the modern country landscape, expect Evans to strike gold in 2019. Fun fact: he's married to Kelsea Ballerini.
Jon Langston loves hard work. Like Kane Brown and Luke Combs, he's built a grassroots fanbase that has brought in millions of YouTube hits without the support of a record label. Songs like "When it Comes to Loving You" blend Langston's rugged sound with a romantic soul, while "Right Girl, Wrong Time" demonstrates his ability to capture the heartbreak that comes from unfortunate timing. His growing song catalog caught the ear of Luke Bryan, who signed Langston as the first artist on his new record label, 32 Bridge Entertainment. With an impending album and headlining tour — along with Bryan's full support and an opening slot on his 2018 Farm Tour — this newcomer's star power is about to explode.
Nashville already knows about Maggie Rose. Now it's your turn. You may recall her as Margaret Durante, the name she used when she debuted on the scene in 2009 with a pristine cover of King of Leon's "Use Somebody." Now under the name Maggie Rose, she's reintroduced her voice to be reckoned with, as heard in the passionate "Body on Fire," released in 2017. Her powerful new project Change the Whole Thing dropped on Sept. 21, offering a body of songs that she's built on soul. Make time for her single, "It's You" — it will blow you away.
Like Rose, Seth Ennis has worked hard to earn respect in Music City, and he's ready to expand. After making his debut in 2016 with the poignant, autobiographical "Woke Up in Nashville," he's drawing attention with a song that boasts an important message, "Call Your Mama." He even has the support of Little Big Town, who provide background harmonies on the track. It's the type of song that will move you to do as the title instructs, proving Ennis' gift for storytelling. Expect to hear engaging stories like this when he hits the road on Dylan Scott's 2019 tour.
To be selected as Shania Twain's sole opening act on her triumphant Now Tour is a significant honor for any artist, and up-and-comer Bastian Baker finds himself in this coveted position. The Swiss singer has been on the road performing for the country icon's arena-sized audiences, entertaining them with his endearing presence and intriguing tracks like "All Around Us," "Love on Fire" and futuristic new single "Stay." The platform Twain has given him has helped this rising star open a door into the Nashville world, and now his self-titled debut album is set to drop in the U.S. on Oct. 26. Get ready to be part of a new wave of Bastian Baker fans, because his modern sound and broad voice makes him one to keep tabs on.
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