Several of today’s hottest country newcomers come by way of California: Brett Young is an Orange County native, Devin Dawson grew up in Orangevale, and Jon Pardi hails from Dixon. Adding a little estrogen to the Cali country bunch is vocal trio Runaway June, who are best known for their breakout hit “Lipstick.”
Though not all three members are from California (Naomi Cooke is from Cedar Key, Florida), the group’s Hannah Mulholland — who, like bandmate Jennifer Wayne, grew up in Southern California — tells Billboard they still have that “Bakersfield sound.”
Even so, as the California country guys have proven, there’s not a super noticeable difference between Cali country and what’s popular today.
“It’s kind of all the same everywhere, I think that’s what’s cool about country music,” Mulholland says. Elaborating on the “Bakersfield sound,” she adds, “We’ve got a little bit of an ease to our country, I would say.”
The Runaway June gals are still relatively new to the country scene, with only two years passed since their first single was released and they have yet to release their debut album. Being so new in the business, naturally that’s meant they’ve had some run-ins with country legends that have left them — or at least Cooke — speechless.
“I’d never experienced being starstruck until I met Trisha [Yearwood], and I started kind of stumbling on my words and stuff,” she says with a laugh.
Runaway June will be playing a handful of festival dates over the summer, but first you can catch them at the ACM Awards on April 15. Ahead of the show, get to know the ladies of Runaway June by watching the video above, and tune into the 2018 ACM Awards when they broadcast live from Las Vegas on April 15 at 8 p.m. ET.