While the perpetual cynics hem and haw that great Americana music is in scarce quantity these days, 2015 proved such assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth. Several new artists emerged from a variety of stylistic realms, proving emphatically that there remains a wellspring of excellent contemporary folk, country, soul, and Americana performers just waiting in the wings. Here then, are our picks for those who warrant be watched in the year ahead.
David Myles has built a sizable following north of our borders, but he’s yet to share his talents with a wider Stateside audience. The songwriter has already penned several albums and received practically every award there is to win (including a Juno and various accolades accumulated in his native Nova Scotia) and sounds like a cross between James Taylor and Michael Buble, thanks to a low-key, unassuming style that ingratiates him from the first notes forward. While much has been made of the fact that Myles easily leaps from rock to jazz, Latin music and hip-hop to purely country croons, his recent album, So Far — his first to be released in the United States — parlays a pure Americana/folk feel. With tastes running from Don Gibson and Roger Miller to Frank Ocean, Aretha Franklin, and Smokey Robinson, Myles’ So Far was an apt title considering the fact that it not only sums up his strengths but also bodes the promise of what’s to come.
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