The last thing the world needs is a new artist.
An influential executive said that around eight years ago, and she had a point — there’s already so much music in circulation that most acts are swimming against the current in their attempts to achieve widespread recognition.
But the industry doesn’t always know what it needs until it shows up, either. And all of country’s star acts — people such as Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood or Chris Stapleton — were unknown new artists before the genre eventually discovered they were essential for its vitality.
Over a dozen newbies are hoping events in the next six months will help them become the exception, eventually emerging as household names after releasing their first country album or EP during the period. The contenders include two acts (Tyler Hubbard and Mike Gossin) issuing their first solo projects, after previously earning hits as members of Florida Georgia Line and Gloriana, respectively.
The list also features three duos: recent 8 Track Entertainment signees BoomTown Saints, longtime Warner Music Nashville project Walker County and Americana husband-and-wife team The War and Treaty, who are optimistic that their sound can translate to country.
Following is an overview of 14 acts whose first album or EP, either in the genre or at a label of consequence, are due during the first six months of 2023: