Sounds Like: Country's Imagine Dragons, full of arena-ready pop hooks and chant-along choruses
For Fans of: Kenny Chesney's coming-of-age anthems, the Killers' spit and polish, floor toms
Why You Should Pay Attention: Their single, "Greatest Love Story," is a streaming giant and and country Number One that's currently charting on Billboard's pop Hot 100.The five guys who make up Lanco — singer-lyricist Brandon Lancaster, bassist Chandler Baldwin, multi-instrumentalist Jared Hampton, drummer Tripp Howell and guitarist Eric Steedly — all bring their own unique influences to the table, resulting in a rich mash-up of contemporary country and gleaming pop. No less than Jay Joyce (Eric Church's Mr. Misunderstood) jumped at the chance to produce them, putting the focus on anthems, the band's specialty. This is shout-till-you're-hoarse music, brought to life by a group with a performing style as unconventional for country music as their name (Lanco is short for Lancaster & Company). "When we're in front of a crowd, we're aware that everyone has the whole world in their pocket, on their cell phone. You're competing against a cat video when you're up there onstage playing music," says Lancaster. "So I want to jump in the crowd and be up close and personal with people." The band's debut LP is expected in January 2018.
They Say: "A lot of different genres are fantasy-oriented ... 'in the club popping bottles' or whatever. But country music is about finding people where they're at right now: working a 9-to-5, going through hard times, questioning life," Lancaster says. "Yes, our music is huge, and our show is energetic and we're all over the place, but there is a message that people understand. ... We're all experiencing this night together."
Hear for Yourself: "Greatest Love Story" is a triumphant tale of small-town love and the circuitous path by which two people find it. Joseph Hudak