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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Muscadine Bloodline
Ryan S. Smith6/10

Muscadine Bloodline

Sounds Like: A grittier, more vulnerable Love and Theft with solid harmonies that never feel superfluous, and spirals of guitar evoking New Found Glory 

For Fans of: Luke Combs, Brothers Osborne, emo-country

Why You Should Pay Attention: Gary Stanton and Charlie Muncaster both hail from Mobile, Alabama, but they didn't start playing music together – or even know each other – until Muncaster was in need of an opening act for a hometown show. A jam session ensued, and Muscadine Bloodline were born, built not only on a love of country but every corner of the rock & roll spectrum, from U2 to pop-punk and even screamcore. The result is a sound that wavers between exact harmonies and unfettered anthems, all with a bit of an emo heart. "WD-40," from their self-titled debut EP, is gaining fast traction on Sirius XM's The Highway for its clever chorus that appeals to anyone who feels equally as amorous about a rich drawl as they do a power chord. But the duo's not afraid to be sentimental. Says Stanton, "We've had a motto that we make music that moves people's hearts and not their hips."

They Say: "There is a void in rock, and rock is a dying genre in terms of what is on the radio," says Stanton. "And we wanted to fill that void. We talk about real topics: you're not going to catch us writing a party anthem song. The lyrical content is important."

Hear for Yourself: Muscadine Bloodline make duct tape and lubricant – the aerosol kind that de-squeaks doors, that is – seem romantic on "WD-40," a clever mid-tempo jam with skronky guitars and yearning vocals. M.M.

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