10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: March 2017

From a soulful vocalist who evokes John Mayer to the fiddle-playing protégée of Jack White

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The Wild Reeds
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The Wild Reeds

Sounds Like: Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris's seminal Trio album mixed with Tom Waits' kitchen-sink instrumental aesthetic

For Fans of: The Mandrell Sisters, Dixie Chicks and Wilson Phillips (if they were all backed by adventurous alt-country players)

Why You Should Pay Attention: Since their celebrated NPR Tiny Desk Concert, well over half a million people (and counting) have viewed the Wild Reeds' harmony-rich three-song set on YouTube. On April 7th, the multi-talented threesome of Sharon Silva, Kinsey Lee and Mackenzie Howe will release The World We Built (via Dualtone), an 11-song collection that beautifully showcases their prowess. All three songwriters bring a distinct style to the table, which creates the uniquely blended "fourth voice" that has become their calling card. The trio also switches up instruments onstage – acoustic guitars, fuzzed-out electrics, harmonium, banjo, Nord keyboard, harmonica – to create an explosive and experimental live show.

They Say: "Although we incorporate multiple instruments in our set, our voices are the most personal and powerful instrument we have. When you are writing from your core, the voice is the first thing to translate those feelings," Kinsey Lee says. "The first time we sang together was in Kinsey's back house when I auditioned for the band," adds Howe. “I remember being nervous and excited at how it sounded because I had never sang in three-part harmony before. We consistently work on our blend together. Some days it comes easy and some days it doesn't, but when we perform well, our voices become one distinct voice and it feels a bit otherworldly.”

Hear for Yourself: Buzzy, alt-folk lead single "Only Songs" from The World We Built is, according to Howe, about liberating oneself from anything that's holding you back. W.H.

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