Sounds Like: Polished pop country with a feminist streak, with youthful energy and wit to spare
For Fans of: Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Rae Jepsen, women's empowerment
Why You Should Pay Attention: Portland, Maine, native Kalie Shorr grew up the youngest of six and made the bold decision to try to make it in Nashville – a move supported by her single mother – at 18. After working whatever jobs she could find to keep the lights on, she fell in with the creative Song Suffragettes community and started cranking out tunes. Now 22, Shorr's independently-released anthem "Fight Like a Girl," which she wrote with friends Hailey Steele and Lena Stone, became one of the best-selling debut tracks from a female country singer in 2016. A pop-country stunner that turned the titular insult into a rallying cry of strength, "Fight" grew out of Shorr's firsthand experiences in Nashville. She'll release a new EP, Slingshot, on March 3rd.
She Says: "We wrote ['Fight Like a Girl'] immediately after Tomatogate, actually, just kind of directed toward Keith Hill and anyone who'd ever said, 'No you can't, you're a woman.' At that point all of us had separately gone into some stuffy Music Row office and had some person in a suit be like, 'You're so great, but we've already got a girl.' Being a female is not a sub-genre, it's a gender – holy shit! We wrote it about that and it turned into something so much bigger. The way people have taken it and interpreted it and attached it to their own stories has been so much bigger than my problems with the music industry."
Hear for Yourself: In the spunky "He's Just Not That into You," off Slingshot, Shorr humorously chides herself and other women for putting up with their shitty boyfriends. J.F.