Runaway June’s introductory single “Lipstick” has been a breakout hit for the group: it’s spent more than six months on the Billboard Country Airplay chart this year. The success of the track helped the trio earn an invitation to the Grand Ole Opry, where they made their debut last month.
“Lipstick” offers hopeful advice to those wishing to move past recent heartbreak, and Runaway June brought a cheerful swagger to their Opry performance. In addition to the three singers’ full harmonies, their muscular backing band contributed chirpy fiddle and jagged interjections of lead guitar.
The trio initially bonded in writing rooms. When it was time to showcase their talents for an audience, they had to reacquaint themselves with playing live. “You get into songwriter mode when you’re trying to get a catalog together,” lead singer Naomi Cooke told Rolling Stone Country last month. “When we were like, ‘OK, we need to start getting out and performing,’ that’s another part of ourselves that we love, but we weren’t really playing out a lot – it had been at least a year for me.”
But the group quickly found that their chemistry as writers translated to the stage. “Jennifer naturally has an ear and a great voice for high harmony, I grew up singing alto in choir my whole life, and Naomi has such a strong lead voice,” Hannah Mulholland explained. “We naturally all found our places.”
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“Now [performing] is our favorite thing to do,” Cooke added. “We can’t wait to get with the band.” That enthusiasm was on display at the Opry (watch the video above).