9 Country Acts to Watch in 2016 — Plus Their Best Songs!
Credit: c/o Mickey Guyton, c/o Haley & Michaels, Michael Loccisano/Getty Images    


9 Country Acts to Watch in 2016 — Plus Their Best Songs!


Now that 2016 has officially begun, you’re probably looking for the next big thing in music to get you through the day — and for that we’ve got just the thing.

Here are Wetpaint’s favorite up-and-coming country music acts — in no particular order — that you should be watching in 2016 and their breakout jams that will surely get you hooked on them:

63rd Annual BMI Country Awards – Arrivals
Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images    

Maren Morris

Maren isn’t exactly a newcomer to country music — she’s been making music since 2005 — but it’s her latest work, a self-titled EP, that’s taking over the charts and helping put this 25-year-old on the map. Sounds like we’ve got the next Kacey Musgraves on our hands. Check her out on iTunes here.

Listen to: “My Church”

Haley & Michaels

Haley & Michaels — made up of Shannon Haley and Ryan Michaels — is a husband and wife duo who got married in 2015. Their first album, a follow-up to their self-titled debut EP, is due out in mid-2016. They’ve already performed on Today and landed on the iTunes charts so these two are off to a great start. Check them out on iTunes here.

Listen to: “Giving it All (to You)”

Credit: c/o Mikey Guyton    

Mickey Guyton

Mickey Guyton is set to dominate the country music scene in 2016. This chick is so legit she wrote her first single, “Better Than You Left Me,” and debuted it at the Grand Ole Opry — aka the big leagues. We're sitting back and just waiting for this talented lady to soar to the top of the charts. Check her out on iTunes here.

Listen to: “Better Than You Left Me”

Credit: c/o Two Story Road    

Two Story Road

Two Story Road, this list’s second married couple, is made up of Brandon and Jamelle Fraley. They’ve both had quite the careers before making music together and their voices are extraordinary together. They’re currently working with music producer Mark Bright, who has worked with the likes of Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, and Rascal Flatts, so watch out. Check them out on iTunes here.

Listen to: “Arson”

Credit: c/o Courtney Cole    

Courtney Cole

Courtney Cole’s first big song "Drunk" came out in 2015 and garnered lots of attention. Plus, this young lady got to tour with none other than Miranda Lambert. This rising star is set to release her debut album this year and, if it’s anything like her two EPs, we’re in for a treat. Check her out on iTunes here.

Listen to: “Loud”

Steve Moakler

Steve Moakler has written songs for some of today’s greats — everyone from Dierks Bentley to Jake Owen and even Kellie Pickler — and has released three independent studio albums. But, with his latest single “Suitcase,” this Pittsburgh native is poised to take over the radio waves. Check him out on iTunes here.

Listen to: “Suitcase”

Credit: c/o SmithField    


Trey and Jennifer, who make up SmithField, recently released their debut, self-titled EP and, having grown up together, have great chemistry when performing. They’re a relatively new duo and have already opened for established artists like Scott McCreery and Jana Kramer. These two blend their voices together perfectly and have a long career ahead of them. Check them out on iTunes here.

Listen to: “If I Were You”

Credit: c/o Aaron Parker    

Aaron Parker

Aaron Parker released two EPs last year and recently debuted his first music video for the song “I’d Go Right Now.” In an interview with Wetpaint, this up-and-comer described how his music is constantly evolving and what inspires him. Given that one-two punch, this Alabama native is a star on the rise. Check him out on iTunes here.

Listen: “I’d Go Right Now”

Credit: c/o The Last Bandoleros    

The Last Bandoleros

If there’s one band bringing the funk to Nashville, it’s The Last Bandoleros. This group admittedly isn’t country — they classify their genre as Tex-Mex meets pop-rock — but they’re taking Music City by storm and there’s a lot of buzz about them already. Check them out on iTunes here.

Listen to: “I Don’t Want to Know”