Music City U.S.A. has no shortage of musical talent, to be sure, yet 2014 has yielded a string of musical standouts, and in particular, among the female set.
From powerhouse vocals to songwriting chops that delight and hold their own in a town known for its second-to-none tunesmiths, Examiner has compiled its list of the "Top 5 Female Country Newcomers" for 2014.
While one or two of these artists may seem somewhat familiar, each of the performers contained in this five-songstress collection deserves a thoughtful listen.
With hometowns that run the gamut, from Alaska and New Jersey to Florida, a commonality they possess is their desire to create heartfelt country music that resonates with fans.
Thus, without further adieu, the following is a list of Examiner's most-promising female country stars in the making.
Leading Examiner's list of the "Top 5 Female Country Newcomers" in 2014 is the Alaska-born Rachele Lynae, 26, who released her brand-new, self-dubbed CD just this month.
Produced by platinum-recording artist Jamie O'Neal, the singer's dozen-track debut dripping with "clever songs that explore the complexities of relationships and serve up wisdom from the female perspective," according to her PR camp.
Specifically, Rachele pens much of her own music, which comes from a deep and mature well of emotion, including her inaugural album's"Cigarette" and "Sometimes You Fly" tracks that showcase both a tender heart and vulnerability.
On other songs, however, such as "Party Til the Cows Come Home," "Fishin' For Something" and "Get Out on the Floor," she reveals a more raucous side that enjoys having fun on a Saturday night. Then, on tunes such as"Scar," "Clean" and the prolific "Words in Red," Rachele proves she can pack an emotional punch on any topic she chooses to undertake.
"Music is a gift I don't take for granted," Rachele said in an email correspondence. "The emotion that you can convey in music is unrivaled by anything else. It's something that everyone understands."
Rachele said she grew up singing in church, performing in school plays and every other event that afforded her the chance to entertain people. Thus, by 17 she was touring professionally up and down the West Coast. And it was that deep-seeded passion for performing and songwriting that inspired her to move thousands of miles away to make her new home in Nashville, where she attended Belmont University.
While enrolled at Belmont, she cut a five-song EP that eventually caught the ear of the aforementioned O'Neal, who at the time, was in the middle of launching her own independent record label. O'Neal immediately connected to Rachele's music and quickly made her the flagship artist at Momentum Label Group.
"I love writing songs and performing my music live," Rachele shared. "I've heard so many stories from my fans who say, 'This song is exactly what I've needed.' How cool is it that I get to be blessed enough to put the music out there for them?"
Country newcomer Joanna Mosca's mesmerizing voice has been compared those of Reba McEntire and Stevie Nicks, but her vocals are distinctly her own. Just one listen, and there's no denying she belongs on Examiner's "Top 5 Female Country Newcomers" in 2014.
Many country fans were first introduced to Mosca via her "I Guess That Says It All" single, a poignant ballad written by hit-makers Bryan White, Travis Thibodaux and Steve Williams. Resonating with honest emotion and a wealth of heartache, the tune is sure to engage listeners who have lived these lines before.
"When Bryan first played me this song, I found the lyrics were real, raw and heartfelt, and it made me cry," Mosca said via a media release. "It's about a relationship that has ended, and there's nothing you can do about it."
The single is contained on Mosca's "Let It All Begin" EP, which was produced by White.
Mosca's music career began with the release of three consecutive top-10 FMQB AC Radio Chart singles between 2006 and 2008. In 2010, she released her first full-length album, "Joanna Mosca," which contained six original tunes. The album's first single, "Keep On Going," shot onto the Billboard Top 30 AC Chart and earned her a spot on Music Connection magazine's Top 100 Independent recording artists' list.
In 2012, the Connecticut-born, New York-based Mosca was named "Who New To Watch" in CMA's Close Up Magazine. In the Big Apple, Mosca has studied acting at the prestigious HB Studio in New York City with teachers who included Uta Hagen and Sir Anthony Hopkins. She has starred in a series of three one-woman shows in New York City that reviewers praised.
Jessie James Decker
She's got a hit-realty show, a new CD and a smoldering presence that's impossible to overlook. But perhaps best of all, she's got the vocal power and songwriting talent to make her standout above many others; thus, she's deservedly among Examiner's "Top 5 Female Country Newcomers" in 2014.
Brand-new mom Jessie James Decker unleashed "Comin' Home" earlier this month, a special six-song EP that rocketed to No. 1 on the iTunes album charts April 18.
Described by PR camp as "a candid celebration of her pop and country influences," the"Comin’ Home" offering is now available for purchase on all digital platforms. Moreover, the music's also featured on Jessie's hit-reality show, “Eric & Jessie: Game On,” which also stars her doting hubby, pro-football wide-receiver Eric Decker. (“Eric & Jessie: Game On” airs on Sunday nights at 10/9 p.m. (Central) on E!)
As for her new EP, the project includes“Mama Wrote You a Lullaby,” a track she inked just for her baby daughter, Vivianne Rose. Other tracks on the radio-release include "Girls Night," a fun track that's ripe for commercial-radio success, as well as "Rain on the Roof of This Car," "Coming Home," "Diary" and "Breaking Your Heart," all of which Jessie delivers with conviction and verve.
To learn more about the well-traveled military brat who began singing into a toy microphone and tape recorder at 2, or to download her current EP, please access her official Tumblr website.
New Jersey-born country songstress Sherry Lynn has just unveiled her sophomore CD, "A Beautiful Life," a 10-song disc that gained her chart action with its first single, "Girls Will Be Girls,"which was penned by hit songsmiths Kelley Lovelace, Ashley Gorley and Bryan Simpson.
Released on the Steal Heart Music imprint, Lynn's debut single from the album has been described by her PR camp as a "rowdy recap of modern femininity (that) has already inspired a line dance by choreographers Bob and Marlene Peyre-Ferry.
The album, produced by Ted Hewitt, also features Lynn's recent hit with country star Crystal Gayle. The duet, written by award-winning tunesmith Danny Wells ("Check Yes Or No," "These Days"), Jose Luis Pagan and Sarah Lenore, is the project's title track and the song Lynn performed on her Grand Ole Opry debut with Gayle.
The new CD also includes Lynn's previous hit single, "What A Day To Shake A Heartache," written by Kalii Palmer, Ronnie Kimball and Sandy Ramos. The fan favorite is another up-tempo pleaser; a vibrant, driving track topped with Lynn's signature powerhouse voice.
Also drawing the attention of fans and industry veterans is the story-based mid-tempo track titled "Slip Into Something Mexico." Fiddle riffs deftly interplay with Lynn's poignant vocal and bring a shine to the Joe Lickteig, Mike Lane and Tamika Tyler composition. With its tale of "big-city" dreams, the grittier "So Much More" could be the story of the singer''s life -- and she nails the Dave Tough / Justin Busch number with conviction and commitment.
This small-town songstress has made it to the big time, as well as being named to Examiner's "Top 5 Female Country Newcomers" in 2014. As evidence, not only did she make her Grand Ole Opry debut in 2013, but she also entertained crowds at the CMA Music Festival. And 2014 is shaping up nicely for her, thanks to the early success of her latest release.
"Last year was huge for me," said the talented brunet, who's share the stage with Miranda Lambert, the Oak Ridge Boys, LeAnn Rimes, Randy Houser, Gene Watson, John Rich and Chris Young, to name a sampling. "I played more shows at more prestigious venues, and the early response to the new music is exciting. I'm eager to see what 2014 brings."
Last but not least, fresh-faced Lizzie Sider has captured the national spotlight with her impassioned anti-bullying campaign, dubbed "Nobody Has the Right to Ruin Your Day," and a multi-city school tour, where she connects with kids, tweens and teens via her music and message.
To date, the 15-year-old Sider's shared her no-bullying message with 70,000-plus students. And as a spokeswoman for PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center, she's uniquely qualified for her mission, since she was teased and ridiculed during her elementary school years.
During these presentations, the singer/songwriter tells her story, counsels that "nobody has the power to ruin your day" and asks kids to work together to prevent the tragedy that is bullying. The rising star ends each 30- to 40-minute appearance with a performance of her Top-40 country hit song/video, "Butterfly," a song about her experiences that she wrote with Jamie O'Neal, and distributes bullying-awareness bracelets.
"Bullying doesn't just happen in October during Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, it happens all year," Sider shared in an email. "As someone who understands what it is like to be bullied, I am on a mission to help anyone who doesn't think anyone will listen."
The universal appeal of Sider's music and the impact of her message have brought the media spotlight to bear on this engaging entertainer and made her "one to watch" 2014. Her burgeoning popularity has resulted in recent appearances on the "Queen Latifah" talk show, "The Daily Buzz Emotional MOJO" segment, Fox 35 Orlando and a feature in Country Weekly magazine, among other media exposure.
To sample the music of Sider, who's earned her spot on Examiner's "Top 5 Female Country Newcomers" in 2014, please visit her YouTube page. And to follow her on social media, simply access her Facebook or Twitter pages.