Five (more) singer songwriters you need to hear in 2014

We get submissions from every possible genre from every nearly every continent on the planet. So in order to bring you (beloved reader) the best of the best we have to have discerning ears. These singer songwriters are some of the best we’ve found – not only because they can write good music – but because they can evoke powerful, moving emotions. Give them a spin, will you?

Stuart Wicke – 10217
Dripping with raw talent, Stuart Wicke is a young troubadour with a knack for Dylan-esque songwriting. His phrasing and guitar runs sound like vintage 60s folk music. This introductory album gives listeners a sense of what is to come. It will be great to hear what he can do with a higher production quality to draw out the best sound from his exceptional songwriting.

Wes Kirkpatrick – Short Dream
If you’re one of the pretentious snobs that thinks there’s no hope in Nashville these days, you need to give Wes a chance. His music has that perfect blend of the heart of Nashville and the reality of the 21st century. We can’t have Hank Sr. today. It doesn’t work for our world, but Kirkpatrick’s sound does. Equally comfortable in a posh uptown apartment or down on the farm, his easy acoustic style is quintessentially country while still being accessible to folks who haven’t shucked a lot of corn in their day.

Stephen Simmons – Silly, Sad and True
The bandcamp page for this album says that they don’t fit together. They’re just a collection. That’s just fine by me. What a phenomenal collection from a true country songwriter. The opener is a bit awkward (“Poor and horny”), but much of the album has the characteristics of pop country music. What gets Simmons on this list is his overall ethos. His voice is good and he embodies the road-weary country singer. Some people are going to really love that.

Sarah Hoy – Compass of Your Life
Hoy is a refined vocalist. The crystal clear quality of her voice is both endearing and captivating. Her lyrics are eminently quotable. She sings smart acoustic music. She’s not just riffing off old timey tunes. She’s acoustic more like the girl with the new Martin she’s recording on an iPad in a coffeeshop rather than a girl in the mountains with an old hand-me-down and a bottle of shine. That said, Hoy’s soft and esoteric sound is captivating. Much of the album feels understated, probably intentionally so, and she’s sure to be a hit with fans of smart acoustic music.

Meghann Wright – Self-titled EP
Wright has a sound that is one part country, another part Broadway. Her songwriting is a unique sound that’s not easily categorized or described. What makes her so special is the tonal quality she has with a particular intonation that feels both fresh and mature at the same time. It’s evident that she’s been honing this craft for a bit. Balancing her lyrics between intellectual and simply profound, it’s the kind of album that gets listeners thinking about life in meaningful ways.

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