Rolling Stone has announced its 40 best country albums of the year and a number of debut albums appear on the list.
Traditional country singer William Michael Morgan's first major-label release Vinyl comes in at 17, while Aubrie Sellers' garage-country project New City Blues lands at Number 13. There are also first albums from the Record Company, Paul Cauthen, Brothers Osborne, Margo Price and Maren Morris.
Morris, in fact, tops the list with her debut Hero, followed by Miranda Lambert's The Weight of These Wings and Price's Midwest Farmer's Daughter, an album that could easily fit into the Americana genre. That's true of a number of entries on the list, as the lines between the umbrella of country music and the catch-all Americana become more fuzzy.
Morris, who blurs the designation between country and pop, see genres as something malleable and not as a hard and fast rule.
"I had my own worries, thinking if people listened to [Hero], are they going to be able to identify the genre?" she told Rolling Stone earlier this year. "But then I quickly realized, that's not why I make music. I didn't set out to prove that I'm making a country record or a pop record – I just went out and wanted to make my record."