10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: April 2018

From the power-country of Rachel Wammack to the dusty vibes of Kyle Daniel

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Hayley Sabella
10
4/10

Hayley Sabella

Sounds like: A time-lapse recording of the weather-beaten New England coast – sometimes cold and deadly, other times refreshing and full of life

For Fans of: Anais Mitchell, Amanda Shires, flannel-lined L.L. Bean jeans

Why You Should Pay Attention: A New Englander with a thoughtful disposition and delicate vocal presence, Hayley Sabella's folk-tinted Americana captures the duality of the natural world. Just as devastating storms make room for new growth, her Spartan tunes leave space for the imagination to flower. The daughter of music-teaching missionaries, Sabella grew up partly in Nicaragua, and that displacement molded her into an expert observer of people and their fractured relationship with Mother Earth. After returning stateside in middle school, Sabella found her place as a farmer, setting her artistic journey in motion and leading to her second album, Forgive the Birds (out April 27th).

She Says: "[Nature] became a part of my identity in my early 20s. I was a farmer in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and it was two miles from the house I grew up in. It was a way for me to feel connected to the place that I should be from, even though I had a disjointed feeling about it. Going away for pivotal years in my childhood made me feel like I wasn't really from here, even though I was – it was that 'Where do I belong?' thing. So connecting to the actual ground was extremely fulfilling and satisfying. Farm work is quiet work and a lot of times I'd be working by myself, and there's just so much to observe in terms of life cycle and seasonal changes."

Hear for Yourself: Featuring gentle vocals that seem to float on the breeze, "Turn Around" feels both weary and hopeful, calling on the gods of winter to loosen their grip and bring hasten spring's return to Massachusetts. C.P.

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