Photos: Mickey Bernal/Getty Images; Jason Davis/Getty Images; TK, Mose Wilson, Lia Callie Photography; Scott Slusher
5 Female Artists Creating The Future Of Country Music: Jaime Wyatt, Miko Marks & More
Country music’s view of women is often reductive, yet a new generation of female country singers are breaking the mold. They've cracked open the notoriously slow-to-change genre, nudging it toward aural, queer, gender and racial diversity.
In 2015, radio consultant Keith Hill provoked outrage by saying out loud what had long been an unwritten rule for much of country music radio: Women are like the tomatoes in a lettuce salad, they should be sprinkled in sparsely. Despite Hill’s comments and the country music industry's often restrictive and prescriptive attitudes, women are essential to the genre and its growth.
Female country singers have broken the rules and fought sexist expectations since the genre's inception. Just five years after the first country music recording, the Carter Family cut their first album — often considered country music’s "Big Bang" — at the 1927 Bristol Sessions. In 1952, Kitty Wells' "It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" placed the blame for unfaithful women squarely on the shoulders of philandering men in a retort so resounding, hardly anyone remembers the song that inspired it.
A decade later, Bobbie Gentry scored a No. 1 in 1967 and three GRAMMY Awards with a torpid ballad about apathy and suicide ("Ode to Billie Joe"). Loretta Lynn routinely took a defiantly feminist stance (although she rejected the label) in her music and had her song "The Pill,"about how birth control pills liberated women, banned from most radio play. Throughout her career, Dolly Parton's hit songs have dealt with gender-neutral gut-wrenching poverty and pretty much every aspect of womanhood.
Contemporary acts continue the work of their forebearers, pushing the genre toward inclusivity and demanding respect in the male-dominated genre. Stars like Shania Twain and Faith Hill followed by Margo Price, Kacey Musgraves, Micky Guyton and Maren Morris have deftly charted their own stories, rejecting the genre's rigid stereotypes. Allison Russell, Rhiannon Giddens, Brennen Leigh and Sierra Ferrell (and many other artists) have shifted country music sonically, bringing bluegrass, Western swing, blues, and traditional folk-inspired tunes back into broad circulation.
Together, they represent a new generation of female country singers who have cracked open the notoriously slow-to-change genre, nudging it toward aural, queer, gender and racial diversity. These musicians aren’t waiting for radio DJs to slot them in between male stars; they’re leveraging social media, YouTube and Spotify to reach an audience tired of hearing the same old sad and exploitive songs. Avoiding stereotypes and the neat niches country music carved for them, these women sing about motherhood, wifehood, womanhood, sex, hard work, struggle and loss and yes, love and heartbreak too — but on their terms.
While it’s by no means a comprehensive list, here are five women essential to the future of country music who you may not have heard of, but should know.
On her 43rd birthday, the Ameripolitan Music Awards named Summer Dean 2023’s "Honky Tonk Female."The best-known twangy, danceable honky tonk-style tracks go to men, but Dean flips their signature bravado on its head with brash songs about a single woman’s empowerment.
Since her debut EP Unladylike, Dean’s drawn power and inspiration from her own experience, singing about both the joy and sadness in not following social expectations of womanhood. "I’m all alone / Just a woman on her own / Writing songs with no baby and no vow," she sings, neatly skewering country music’s preconceived ideals of a woman’s path in life on "Picket Fence," which opens her 2021 album Bad Romantic.
Dean, a seventh-generation Texan, started her country music career in her late 30s after years of teaching elementary school. Making up for lost time, she’s collected accolades fast: A wildly successful duet with Canadian Western music heavyweight Colter Wall; opening gigs for Nikki Lane, Marty Stuart, and Charley Crockett; and her own co-headlining tour this spring. This summer, Dean will release her second full-length album, The Biggest Life.
Sometimes Jaime Wyatt’s backstory sounds like any number of gritty, sad country songs — she served most a year in L.A. County jail for robbing her heroin dealer, struggled with addiction, and lost a best friend to drug overdose. Although her experiences feed her music, Wyatt uses them to illuminate relatable, meaningful stories that are anything but cliché.
Wyatt's 2017 debut EP, Felony Blues, draws heavily from her experiences with addiction and jail. Moving beyond those early experiences, she unpacks them, her sexuality and outlook on life in her Shooter Jennings-produced Neon Cross, released in 2020. Thriving on Wyatt’s smoky, intoxicating voice, the album’s title track ruminates on the hazy purgatory of nights lost in dim, alcohol-soaked bars; "Rattlesnake Girl" simultaneously celebrates gay joy and puts anyone who might mess with Wyatt on notice; and Wyatt owns her power as a woman in "Just a Woman," a duet with Jessi Colter, Jennings’ mother, whose own outlaw country career was often overshadowed by her husband, Waylon Jennings.
Wyatt recently performed at Willie Nelson’s famous Luck Reunion, and this summer will hit other big stages, including the Stagecoach Music Festival and Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Musicians of color, especially Black women, have been systematically sidelined by country music in spite of their foundational contributions to the genre. Fifteen years after her first run at country music success, Miko Marks is back and flourishing with a series of songs rooted both in her own experience and the genre’s history.
With a heady mixture of country, blues and gospel influences, Marks highlights Black contributions to country music. On 2021’s Our Country, her first album after returning to music, she reclaimed the genre; 2022's Feels Like Home hinted at a broader, inclusive future for the genre. In between, Marks reimagined a slice of country music history with her 2021 EP, Race Records, a compilation of some of country’s best-known songs, for which she borrowed the name given to music marketed to Black listeners by the companies that started branding country music for white people in the 1920s.
Marks performed with the Black Opry, a collective of artists designed to lift up and highlight roots musicians of color. Last year, Marks made her Grand Ole Opry debut and was part of CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2022. On March 24, she released a single with Rissi Palmer, "Still Here."
The Local Honeys
In pop culture and politics, Kentucky evokes strong associations for almost everyone — a fact of which country and folk duo The Local Honeys are acutely aware. With nuanced, closely-worded songs, they critique and dignify the complicated stories and history of their beloved Appalachia.
Their first album, 2017's Little Girls Acting Like Men, kicks off with "Cigarette Trees," an anthemic takedown of the coal industry whose fiery message is accompanied by banjo and fiddle. The track planted Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs squarely in a long tradition of folk music that blends activism with oral history. Like their first album, the Honeys’ subsequent recordings, 2019’s This Gospel and The Local Honeys, released last year, feature a mixture of traditionally-inspired ballads and new folk songs that subvert and complicate typical Appalachian narratives.
The Honeys’ catchy songs and achingly-human, tragic and sometimes funny vignettes earned them tours with Colter Wall and Tyler Childers, a documentary about coal’s devastating effects and the region’s resilience for Patagonia and Pop-Up Magazine’s Working Knowledge series, and a record deal with La Honda Records.
So often in country music, men get to do all the leavin'. Declaring themselves unable to resist the siren call of adventure, they’re gone in a cloud of dust and three chords and the truth. Women in country music rarely hit the road and when they do, they often aren’t the ones who get to tell the story. But Hannah Juanita wrote a whole album about leaving — and then did.
Feeling stuck in a life that didn’t turn out the way she hoped, Juanita penned the songs for her debut album Hardliner as solace from a failing relationship and then moved to Nashville to sell it. Snappy and straightforward, with traditional country steel guitars, western swing and bluegrass’ sway, and a dash of conjunto, the album’s catchy sing-along lyrics sound like miles flying by on the road with one hand tapping a beat on the steering wheel.
Now a mainstay of the local Nashville scene, Juanita released her new single "Memory of You," on March 31.
Photo: Erika Goldring/WireImage
12 Must-See Acts At Stagecoach 2023: Nate Smith, Morgan Wade, Jackson Dean & More
Before the famed country music festival takes place on April 28-30, take a look at some of the rising stars to check out whether you'll be at Stagecoach or tuning in from home.
Now that the Coachella dust has settled at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., it's time for country music to take over.
Since 2007, the Stagecoach Festival has been bringing some of the biggest names in country music to the desert. This year is no different, with the festival featuring headliners Luke Bryan, Kane Brown and Chris Stapleton, along with some of country's newer hitmakers, including Bailey Zimmerman, Parker McCollum, Gabby Barrett, Lainey Wilson and Tyler Childers.
In addition to the always exciting headliners and stars, Stagecoach continues to be a showcase for up-and-coming talent. Several budding country and folk artists are on this year's roster, from a genre-bending New Jersey native to a bluegrass songstress with a powerful voice.
For fans who can't make the trip to catch the action in person, Stagecoach will be live streaming all weekend on Amazon Prime. No matter how you're enjoying the festival, get to know 12 acts to catch at Stagecoach 2023.
The weekend will be a big one for Nate Smith all around: Not only will the California-born singer make his Stagecoach debut, but he will be releasing his self-titled debut album on the same day, Friday April 28.
It's been a long road to success for Smith, who first moved to Nashville in his early 20s. After things didn't take off, he returned home to Paradise, Calif.; in 2018, he lost everything he owned in the massive wildfire that ripped through his hometown.
But through it all, he found hope through music, and returned to Nashville to try again. Now, he has a No. 1 song — the gritty breakup romp "Whiskey On You" peaked in January — and a rejuvenated soul that is clearly resonating.
Tiera Kennedy's smooth voice and southern charm first caught the attention of Nashville in 2019, when she was signed as the flagship artist on Songs & Daughters, a publishing company founded by songwriter Nicolle Galyon. In 2020, she released her first single "Found It In You" to critical acclaim.
Since then, Kennedy has independently released a self titled EP, giving fans a more full sense of who she is as an artist and songwriter. The release also led to a record deal with Big Machine Records in 2021.
Kennedy's bright personality has resonated just as much as her music, as the singer hosts her own show on Apple Music Country. Titled The Tiera Show, the program sees Kennedy sharing her take on what's on the rise in country music with a very personal touch.
Another artist making his Stagecoach debut this year, Jackson Dean has been winning over country music fans with his outlaw style and unique, gritty voice. He's already scored a top 5 hit with his debut single, "Don't Come Lookin,'" which reached No. 3 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.
Dean's success has not been limited to just the charts, either: "Don't Come Lookin'" was featured on the TV show 'Yellowstone,' and he's been included on a number of artists to watch lists including Spotify's Hot Country Artists to Watch in 2023, Amazon Music's 2023 Breakthrough Artists to Watch: Country Class, and CMT's Listen Up class of 2023.
After selling out his headlining debut in Nashville in January, Dean will spend the majority of the year headlining sold-out shows and supporting the likes of Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Parker McCullum, Lainey Wilson, and Jon Pardi.
After first seeing success as a co-writer on Lily Rose's breakthrough song, "Villain," Mackenzie Carpenter has since made a name for herself as an artist in her own right. The Georgia-born singer's down-home personality shines through in her fun country-pop tunes including the catchy cautionary tale "Don't Mess With Exes" and the heartbreaking ballad "Jesus, I'm Jealous" — all of which ultimately prove that she isn't afraid to be herself.
In less than a year since signing with Big Machine imprint Valory Music Co., Carpenter has enjoyed many career milestones, including a Grand Ole Opry debut and an invitation to CMT's Next Women of Country class of 2023. And just weeks before taking the Stagecoach stage, Carpenter released her debut self-titled EP.
Since the release of his debut single "My Truck" in 2019, Breland has been making waves in the industry by stretching the boundaries of country music. The New Jersey native's sound is derived from a mix of hip-hop, R&B and gospel, while still remaining recognizably country — he even titled his debut album Cross Country.
Breland's feel-good, diverse sound has already helped him land collaborations with country superstars, including Sam Hunt, Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley. His single with the latter, "Beers On Me" (also featuring HARDY), scored Breland his first No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart, but he's proving to make an impact in his own right with more than 1 billion streams to date.
This year marks Breland's second year in a row on the Stagecoach stage, as he performed at the Late Night at Palomino after-party in 2022.
Bella White brings a fresh perspective to an old-time sound. The Canadian artist serves audiences traditional bluegrass sounds with a clear, powerful voice.
White's voice, however, is not her only strength. She's also a skilled instrumentalist, as she was raised in a musical household and was drawn to the mandolin and banjo early on in her life.
Following the success of her debut album Just Like Leaving, White signed to Rounder Records in 2021. Just ahead of her Stagecoach performance, White released her second album, Among Other Things, on which she explores heartbreak and a wider breadth of sounds, weaving drums and electric guitars into her traditional-sounding strings.
After a short stint on 'The Voice' in 2018, Kameron Marlowe began paving his own way in Nashville. The singer has made a name for himself with his signature smoky voice, while making sure his music is a true reflection of who he is.
Marlowe gained traction with his first independent release, 2019's "Giving You Up," which helped him land a record deal with Sony Music Nashville in 2020. He's since released his debut album, 2022's We Were Cowboys, and has sold out shows across the country — including his hometown of Charlotte, N.C.
Marlowe nods to his home state in his latest release, "Take Me Home," in which he grapples with the changes that come along with success: "I hate feeling like I'm someone / That I've never been before / Take me home to Carolina / I don't wanna be here anymore," he sings.
A trailblazing country singer with an edge, Morgan Wade has captivated audiences with the striking vulnerability of her music. Wade takes her experiences with heartbreak, mental health and addiction and crafts them into songs that stick with listeners.
Wade's voice borders on the edge of country and rock, which makes her moving lyrics all the more affecting. That is particularly true on her breakout track, "Wilder Days," which takes listeners through the raw emotion of finding the right person at the wrong time.
Since the 2021 release of Wade's album Reckless, she has been touring nonstop, both in the U.S. and overseas. Wade's Stagecoach performance is one of over 65 tour dates for 2023, giving fans across the country and around the world a chance to experience her powerful music live.
Folk artist Tre Burt uses his storytelling prowess to tell the stories of the moment, amplified by his rootsy sound. Burt engages audiences with tracks like "Under the Devil's Knee," a protest song written during the upheaval of 2020, a year during which he found musical inspiration in the chaos surrounding him.
Since hitting the scene, Burt has performed with artists including Nathanial Ratecliff and Margo Price, and has become a staple at folk festivals around the country. Burt expanded on his deeply affecting sound with his second album, You, Yeah, You, which arrived in 2021; with his powerful delivery on stage and on record, he's been labeled a "storyteller and musical philosopher," and a "troubadour" blazing his own path.
Jaime Wyatt's success has been long and hard-earned. The singer/songwriter entered the music business when she was just a teen, and the now 37-year-old has kept her nose to the grindstone ever since. Her years have been colored with late nights in honky tonks, addiction, and recovery, and she details it all in her traditional country music.
Wyatt's 2020 release, Neon Cross, challenged the genre, as the singer examined her identity as a queer woman, and positioned herself as a true outlaw in the landscape of the industry. In 2021, she released a merch line with a portion of the proceeds benefiting G.L.I.T.S, an organization that addresses systematic discrimination of LGBTQIA+ individuals. In being true to herself, Wyatt has provided a beacon of hope for queer artists and fans alike.
Kaitlin Butts has made a habit out of being a good listener, crafting the stories she hears into fun, innovative country songs. Like many of her Stagecoach cohorts, Butts has a versatile sound, drawing in influences from rock and 90's emo music — but the baseline is always undeniably country.
While Butts has been releasing music since 2015's Same Hell, Different Devil, this past year has been a whirlwind for the budding star. Her second album, What Else Can She Do, landed in the top 10 of Billboard's Americana Albums chart; the title track earned a spot on Rolling Stone's "100 Best Songs of 2022" list.
Within a span of six months, Butts played the Ryman Auditorium and made her Grand Ole Opry debut, and has opened for fellow Stagecoacher Morgan Wade as well as playing several other festivals.
American Aquarium, led by BJ Barham, incorporates elements of country, folk and rock music into their thought-provoking music.The group's lyrics wrestle with some of life's biggest problems and tell delicate, personal stories.
The band's latest record, Chicamacomico, is a journey through the lead singer's personal losses. The album is a departure from the band's previously harder, rock-leaning sound, presenting more stripped-down tracks that lean more on Barnham's stirring vocals. Even so, Chicamacomico has been hailed as their best album yet.
Over the span of a 20-year career, American Aquarium has cycled through many members; Barnham being a mainstay on lead vocals. The band has proven their staying power in the industry, and their presence at Stagecoach proves that the festival is a celebration of country music in all its forms.
Photo: Courtesy of Chris Llewellyn
Positive Vibes Only: Chris Llewellyn Bares His Soul In This Stripped-Down Performance Of "Honest"
Rend Collective singer Chris Llewellyn branches out on his own by performing "Honest," the title track to his debut solo album.
Chris Llewellyn is sharing his truth. On his new solo single "Honest," the Rend Collective co-founder gets vulnerable by approaching God in song with all his imperfections and doubts in full display.
"If you don't mind broken things, then you can have my heart/ No filter, just the way it is/ It's far from perfect, God/ But it's real and it's what I've got/ No varnish and no hiding place," the Irish singer intones in the opening verse.
Fans may be used to hearing Llewellyn with the rest of his long-running worship group, but for this episode of Positive Vibes Only, he strips down his solo song to just his voice and acoustic guitar. (The singer also sends a message of solidarity in the clip by wearing a cap that reads "Support Live Music Hire Live Musicians.")
The emotive track kicks off Llewellyn's debut solo album, also titled Honest, which dropped Sept. 1 via Sparrow Records and Capitol Christian Music Group and contains songs like "Gamble On Your Goodness," "Still Believe In The Magic" and "New Wine (Is My Bible a Barricade?)."
"Will God love you if you're honest? Is He faithful when you're faithless?" Llewellyn asks in a press statement, explaining, "These are the questions I was asking when I was writing this album…This is the soundtrack to wrestling faith."
Press play on the video above to watch Llewellyn's acoustic performance of "Honest" and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Positive Vibes only.
Photo: Aliocha Schneider
It Goes To 11: Meet Charlotte Cardin's Trusty Wurlitzer That Has "Sparked" All Of Her Best Songs
After years of searching for the perfect keyboard Charlotte Cardin finally found her beloved vintage Wurlitzer — and the instrument transformed the Canadian singer's sound.
Charlotte Cardin spent years searching for the perfect keyboard. And when it comes to her vintage Wurlitzer, the wait was well worth it.
"This piece of gear is very important to me because most of my songs that I've ever written were sparked at this exact keyboard," she says while seated in front of the instrument, which she bought in near-perfect condition from a man who lived just 30 minutes from her Quebec hometown.
"It just feels like a beautiful thing to me that instruments have connections with humans and they're passed on to different people," the Canadian songstress continued. "I feel like when I got this instrument, I started writing songs that had a bit of the essence of [it]. To me, a Wurlitzer sounds very, like, nostalgic. It has a bit of a sexy sound but it's also light in a lot of ways."
Indeed, the Wurlitzer helped give birth to the 12 tracks that make up 99 Nights, Cardin's sophomore album released earlier this summer, as well as her latest one-off single "Feel Good."
"I'm never getting rid of it," she vows of the hand-me-down keyboard. "At one point, I wanted to potentially bring it on tour with me! Maybe I'll buy another one that's a little more beat up…but I feel like this one belongs in my home, always."
Photos (L-R): The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images, Jody Dominigue, Jack Bridgland, courtesy of the artist, Michael Tranafp, Rodin Eckenroth via Getty Images, Paras Griffin via Getty Images
15 Must-Hear Albums This October: Troye Sivan, Drake, Blink 182, NCT 127 & More
Don't let the falling leaves bring you down — read on for 15 albums dropping in October from Taylor Swift, Gucci Mane and Riley Green.
Fall has already begun, and 2023 enters its final act with the beginning of October. However, that doesn't mean the music has to slow down — this month offers plenty of new releases for everyone from rap fans to country aficionados.
The month starts with Sufjan Stevens and the release of Javelin, his first fully-written album in eight years. On the same day, after several postponements, Drake will finally put forth For All the Dogs. Later in the month, blink-182 will make a long-awaited return with One More Time…, their first album featuring the original members since 2011, and Migos rapper Offset will drop his sophomore record, Set It Off.
Don't let the falling leaves bring you down — below, GRAMMY.com compiled a guide with 15 must-hear albums dropping October 2023.
Sufjan Stevens - Javelin
Release date: Oct. 6
The last time Sufjan Stevens released an album fully written by himself was 2015's Carrie & Lowell. Javelin, his upcoming tenth studio album, will finally break this spell.
Mostly recorded at Stevens' home studio and featuring contributions from several friends (including the National's Bryce Dessner), the 10 tracks of Javelin bring back sounds of "70s Los Angeles' studio opulence" and vibes of a "detailed yet plain" self-portrait, according to a press release.
The album also features a cover of Neil Young's "There's a World" and an ambitious, 48-page art book with collages and essays written by Stevens. Javelin is preceded by the soothing single "So You Are Tired" and the spaced-out "Will Anybody Ever Love Me?"
NCT 127 - Fact Check
Release date: Oct. 6
Within the NCT constellation, NCT 127 is the subgroup anchored in South Korea's buzzing capital, Seoul. Since debuting in 2016, the nine-member ensemble has been infusing the city's vibrancy with innovative EDM and hip hop mixes.
On Oct. 6, NCT 127 will return with their fifth studio album, Fact Check, bringing in another round of their experimental K-pop sound. Consisting of nine songs, including lead single "Fact
Check (Mysterious; 不可思議)," the album expresses 127's confidence.
So far, they released a wealth of teasers that are linked to NCT's overall "dream" concept, video contents, and a highlight medley of the album tracks. After the recent ronclusion of NCT Nation, NCT's first full-group concert in South Korea and Japan, fans are expecting 127 to announce tour dates.
BoyWithUke - Lucid Dreams
Release date: Oct. 6
Mysterious masked singer and TikTok phenomenon BoyWithUke will continue his dream-themed saga with the release of Lucid Dreams, his fourth studio album.
According to a statement by the Korean American star, Lucid Dreams is meant to express "my desires, my fears, my past, and my dreams." He also adds that the each song on the album is "like a different step on the path. I'm facing past traumas, making the music I want to make, and figuring out who I am."
That development can be seen on pre-releases "Migraine" and "Trauma," where he opens up about mental health and childhood struggles over signature ukulele strings. In his own words, this album is truly "BoyWithUke blossoming, spreading his wings, and finding himself."
Drake - For All the Dogs
Release date: Oct. 6
The album's tracklist is still a mystery, but it will reportedly feature names like Nicki Minaj, Bad Bunny, and Yeat, with production credits from 40, Bnyx, and Lil Yachty, among others. For All the Dogs is also linked to the Canadian rapper's debut poetry book, Titles Ruin Everything: A Stream of Consciousness — a 168-page collection written in partnership with longtime friend and songwriter Kenza Samir.
The album follows Drake's two 2022 studio albums: Honestly, Nevermind and Her Loss, in collaboration with 21 Savage. Currently, Drake is finishing up his It's All A Blur North American tour — one of the reasons why the album has been postponed before.
Troye Sivan - Something to Give Each Other
Release date: Oct. 13
On an Instagram post, Australian singer Troye Sivan stated: "This album is my something to give you — a kiss on a dancefloor, a date turned into a weekend, a crush, a winter, a summer. Party after party, after party after after party. Heartbreak, freedom. Community, sisterhood, friendship. All that."
Something to Give Each Other is Sivan's first full-length album in five years, following 2018's Bloom. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he revealed many of the inspirations behind this work, including partying, movies like Lost in Translation and Before Sunrise, and simple, ice-cold glasses of beer.
The trippy atmosphere of the album can be felt through pre-release singles "Rush" and "Got Me Started" — which features a sample of Bag Raider's omnipresent 2011 hit, "Shooting Stars."
Offset - Set It Off
Release date: Oct. 13
Migos rapper Offset said in a statement that his sophomore album, Set It Off, took over two years to finalize. "This season is personal for me. It marks a new chapter in my life," he added.
A follow-up to his 2019 debut LP, Father of 4, the album will feature appearances by stellar names such as rapper Future, Travis Scott, Chloe Bailey, and Latto, as well as Offset's wife Cardi B, who appears on single "Jealousy."
Later in the statement, Offset said he feels "like Michael Jackson coming from a successful group breaking records to superstardom on my own. This body of work is healing for me and a letter to my fans and supporters." Lead single "Fan" brings back that comparison through many Michael Jackson references in the music video — a clever choice for the rapper's keen self-awareness.
Metric - Formentera II
Release date: Oct. 13
Exactly one year after the release of Formentera, indie royalty Metric took to social media to announce their ninth studio album, Formentera II. "Sometimes I feel like I'm in a damn maze and maybe you do too, or maybe you have it totally together, or maybe you feel like you're always floating somewhere in between," they wrote. "Wherever you're at right now, I am here to guide you to the rocking️ conclusion of our Formentera I & II odyssey."
The Canadian band also shared lead single "Just the Once," which was described by vocalist Emily Haines as a "regret disco" song in a press statement. "It's a song for when you need to dance yourself clean," she added. "Beneath the sparkling surface, there's a lyrical exploration of a simple word with many meanings. Once is a word that plays a game of opposites."
In support of the release, Metric revealed another single, "Who Would You Be For Me," and will be playing special concerts in NYC, L.A., Toronto, London, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, Monterrey, and Santiago starting Oct. 10. The concerts will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut LP, Old World Underground, Where Are You?
Riley Green - Ain't My Last Rodeo
Release date: Oct. 13
Alabama country star Riley Green has a moving story behind his second full-length album. Echoing the 2019 hit "I Wish Grandpas Never Died," Ain't My Last Rodeo came from one of the last conversations the singer shared with his late grandfather, Buford Green, who was an essential figure shaping his love for music and nature.
"I was fortunate enough to grow up within about three miles of my grandparents, so they were a huge part of my growing up and who I am — and this album is a lot of who I am," Green said in a press release. "This is really the first time I was able to really take my time, write and record songs that really felt like a cohesive album."
Ain't My Last Rodeo features 12 tracks (including a cover of Tim McGraw's "Damn Country Music") and collaborations with Jelly Roll and Luke Combs. In February 2024, Green will embark on a 34-stop tour throughout the U.S.
The Drums - Jonny
Release date: Oct. 13
As its title suggests, the Drums' upcoming sixth studio album, Jonny, dives deep into current solo member Jonny Pierce's life. According to a press release, the album mainly explores "the deep-rooted childhood trauma Pierce experienced growing up in a cult-like religious community in upstate New York."
The singer explains further: "When I finished Jonny, I listened to it, and I heard my soul reflected back at me. It is devastating and triumphant, it is lost and found, it is confused and certain, it is wise and foolish. It is male and female, it is hard and gentle.
"To encapsulate one's whole self in an album, to honor each and every part of you, even the parts that feel at odds with each other, is to make something deeply human, and because my religion is humanism, the album becomes a sacred place for me to worship. Each feeling a different pew, each song a hymn to the human heart."
In the past few months, Pierce gave insight into the 16-track, indie-pop collection through singles "I Want It All," "Plastic Envelope," "Protect Him Always," "Obvious," and "Better." Jonny is the band's first full release since 2019's Brutalism.
Gucci Mane - A Breath of Fresh Air
Release date: Oct. 17
Following 2016's Ice Daddy, Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane's sixteenth studio album will be named A Breath of Fresh Air.
In it, Mane is likely in his most vulnerable, relatable state yet. "I kind of wanted to let people know that I go through pain," he stated in an interview for Apple Music (via Revolt). "Like I said, I didn't want to have so much just superficial topics. I hit people and let them know, 'Hey, this was going on,' but it ain't a bad thing. It's okay to be happy. You know what I'm saying?"
According to iTunes, the album is set to have two discs and 24 songs, including singles "Bluffin" featuring Lil Baby, "Pissy" featuring Roddy Ricch and Nardo Wick, "King Snipe" with Kodak Black, and "06 Gucci" with DaBaby and 21 Savage.
blink-182 - One More Time…
Release date: Oct. 20
blink-182's newest single, "One More Time," is a hard-earned reflection about what really matters in life. The punk rock trio, which hadn't been reunited since 2011's Neighborhoods, now realizes how personal struggles impacted their friendship, and how they hope to make it different in the future.
"I wish they told us, it shouldn't take a sickness/ or airplanes falling out of the sky," they sing, referencing Travis Barker's 2008 plane crash and Mark Hoppus' 2021 cancer diagnosis. "I miss you, took time, but I admit it/ It still hurts even after all these years."
A proof of maturity since they stepped into music in 1992, the heartfelt single is also the title track off upcoming LP One More Time... Featuring 2022's "Edging" and "More Than You Know" as well, the album was recorded mostly during their reunion tour this year, and boasts 17 tracks in total.
Sampha - Lahai
Release date: Oct. 20
Lahai is Sampha's grandfather's name and his own middle name. Now, it will become part of his musical history — the singer's sophomore studio album and follow up to 2017's acclaimed Process is due Oct. 20.
Over social media, Sampha described the record through a series of words as intriguing as his music: "Fever Dreams. Continuums. Dancing. Generations. Syncopation. Bridges. Grief. Motherlands. Love. Spirit. Fear. Flesh. Flight." Featuring contributions from singers like Yaeji, El Guincho and Yussef Dayes, it will feature 14 tracks that seemingly take a more positive tone than his previous work.
In a statement about lead single "Spirit 2.0," the south London singer said "it's about the importance of connection to both myself and others, and the beauty and harsh realities of just existing. It's about acknowledging those moments when you need help — that requires real strength."
Starting Oct. 12 in his hometown, Sampha will play a string of concerts throughout the U.K., Europe, and North America, wrapping it up on December 4 in Berlin, Germany.
Poolside - Blame It All On Love
Release date: Oct. 20
"I've spent 15 years being like, 'f—your rules,' and I finally feel like I'm not trying to prove anything or anyone wrong," says Jeffrey Paradise, the man behind "daytime disco" project Poolside, in a statement about his upcoming album, Blame It All On Love.
"It's just pure, unfiltered expression, and that's why I'm really excited about this record," he adds. The album bears 11 tracks described as "funky, soulful, laidback, and full of hooks" — as can be seen in singles like "Float Away," "Each Night" featuring Mazy, and "Back To Life" with Panama. According to the same statement, "the production marks a return to his live music roots and finds ease in simple and radiant layers of sound, even as it comes face-to-face with the complex reality of one's dreams come true."
Blame It All On Love is the follow-up to 2020 and 2021's duo Low Season and High Season. Poolside is on tour across the U.S. until Oct. 14.
Black Pumas - Chronicles of a Diamond
Release date: Oct. 27
Black Pumas' long-awaited second studio album, Chronicles of a Diamond, is "wilder and weirder" than its predecessor, according to an official statement. It is also the Austin-based duo's "fullest expression" of "frenetic creativity and limitless vision."
The album contains 10 tracks that expand on their trademark psychedelic soul sounds, as it can be seen in singles "More Than a Love Song" and "Mrs. Postman." "I wanted to make something we'd be thrilled to play live 200 days a year," says singer/songwriter Eric Burton in the same statement. "I wanted to be able to laugh, cry, bob my head, do the thing: it was all very much a selfish endeavor."
After the release, the Black Pumas will embark on a U.S. tour starting Dec. 4 in Austin, Texas, and follow into an European tour starting March 15 in Paris.
Taylor Swift - 1989 (Taylor's Version)
Release date: Oct. 27
Just three months after the release of Speak Now (Taylor's Version), Swifties will be treated to the singer's fourth re-recorded album this month: 2014's 1989. "To be perfectly honest, this is my most FAVORITE re-record I've ever done because the five From The Vault tracks are so insane," she revealed over social media.
As usual with Swift, the announcement of the album was marked by a slew of hints, starting with the news' date — Aug. 9, or 8/9 — during the final U.S. stop of her Eras Tour at Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium. On that day, she also debuted new, blue outfits that alluded to 1989's assigned color. Afterwards, the discovery continued through a partnership with Google Search for fans to solve word puzzles in order to discover the titles of the five "From the Vault" tracks.
The album, which Swift said "changed my life in countless ways" will be available in digital, cassette, CD, and vinyl. She will also release deluxe versions in four different colors: crystal skies blue, rose garden pink, aquamarine green, and sunrise boulevard yellow.