10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: October 2017

From an old soul inspired by Freddy Fender to a vocalist who channels the best of Nineties female pop-country

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Faren Rachels
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8/10

Faren Rachels

Sounds Like: The glory days of female-fronted, Nineties country music, updated for a generation raised on Spotify rather than FM radio.

For Fans of: Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, Jon Pardi

Why You Should Pay Attention: After kickstarting her career on the college-bar circuit, Rachels will spend the rest of 2017 in much bigger rooms, opening a run of shows for Dwight Yoakam before joining Luke Combs for the rest of his sold-out fall tour. The timing couldn't be better. Faren Rachels, a five-track EP of heartbreak songs and party anthems, arrives November 10th, showcasing a Georgia native with Tennessee-sized twang and ball-busting sass. "There's some programming on the songs," she says, "but there's a lot of fiddle and steel guitar, too. I love those instruments, and I miss them these days. I wanted the EP to be super country but still feel 2017."

She Says: "I grew up on all the Nineties power females, like Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, Lee Ann Womack, and Sara Evans. That's the stuff I still love more than anything in the world. I'm super drawn to traditional country music, but when I write something, I need the lyric and the vibe to be super fresh. It's in a lane of its own."

Hear for Yourself: "He's about as good for me as free drinks all night long," Rachels sings in "Free Drinks," a mid-tempo anthem about avoiding the temptations that'll only hurt you in the morning. R.C.

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