10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: February 2017

From a goth-folk chanteuse discovered by Social Distortion's Mike Ness to an acerbic DIY singer-songwriter

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Honey County
Samantha Klose2/10

Honey County

Sounds Like: SoCal country-pop, delivered by a trio of L.A.-based females who write their own songs, play their own instruments and stack their harmonies three layers deep

For Fans of: Little Big Town's vocal arrangements, Keith Urban's guitar tones and Wilson Phillips' pop hooks

Why You Should Pay Attention: Lead guitarist Devon Jane backed up Keith Urban at the 2012 American Country Awards, trading bluesy bends and riffy runs during a cover of "Crossroads." Years later, her fretwork finds a new home in Honey County, a harmony-heavy vocal group backed by some serious chops. Big-voiced belter Dani Rose is the longest-running member and de facto leader, but this is an all-hands-on-deck operation, with songs like "High on the Radio" – a power ballad about the nostalgic pull of the FM dial – relying just as heavily on contributions from Jane and newcomer Katie Stump. This April, Honey County will play the 2017 Stagecoach Festival, one of the only independent bands to make the cut.

They Say: "I think it's important for country music to have powerful female instrumentalists," Stump declares. "Apart from Striking Matches and Clare Dunn, you don't see many female guitarists taking such an active role in their bands. The whole world needs to see that girls can play, too."

Hear for Yourself: New single "High on the Radio" is a bright blast of California culture, inspired by a drive on the Pacific Coast Highway. R.C.

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