Ten favourite....artists to watch in 2016!

After ending 2015 with a 'ten favourite albums of 2015' article, Tara and I decided to start this year with our artists to watch. Some of these names may be more recognisable than others but there is no doubt that all five of these artists are very talented and have a possible break-through year ahead of them. I hope you'll take a listen and let us know what you think!

Aubrie Sellers
Already making a name for herself and her music from her various tour dates, Aubrie Sellers is set to release her debut album later this month. The Texas/Nashville singer-songwriter already has a dedicated fan-base and, after a very strong performance at last year's Country To Country Festival, is making waves in both the US and UK. Aubrie has an impressive social media presence, frequently chatting with her fans, something that is sure to build upon the support she already has. A very talented singer and songwriter, she is certainly set to go far.

Charlie Worsham
It is rumoured that we can expect to hear new music from Charlie Worsham at some point this year. Whether it is a full album release or not, 2013's "Rubberband" set a strong platform for what we might hear next. Charlie himself is clearly enthused about new music and has the support of artists, press and fans alike through his strong music and sweet nature. His tone is distinctly softer than a lot of his contemporaries, and, if "Rubberband" is anything to go by, his next set of music is going to be very impressive. He is also set to take part in the CMA Songwriters Series here in the UK, something that will undoubtedly introduce him to a whole new audience and solidify the support of his existing fans.

Frankie Ballard
Having recently released new music in the shape of "It All Started With A Beer", as with Charlie, it also seems likely we will see an album release from Frankie this year. "It All Started With A Beer" immediately sounds like a development from the sound displayed in his debut album which has certainly intrigued a lot of potential listeners even before album details are actually released. Opening for Florida Georgia Line has certainly introduced a lot of people to Frankie's music, his distinctive tone and charismatic delivery is also sure to endear him to a lot of people.

Carly Pearce
Already set up with a very full tour schedule this year, after debuting at the Grand Ole Opry early last year there is a lot of buzz about Carly. As yet, listeners can only purchase a few digitally released singles from her but her website gives you more of a distinct impression of her sound and you can tell there is a real buzz about when we might hear a full length album from her. Carly's touring is sure to help her make a name for herself, already a promising artist.

Katie Armiger
With an already considerable fan base Katie's unceremonious dropping from her label last year left fans with a lot of questions. She is undoubtedly a talented artist and, with whispers of something in the planning from her, we can assume that we are likely to hear new music from Katie this year. She is already slated to be a part of a US tour this year and any new music is sure to be welcomed.

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TARA

My five are a mix of t40 "ones to watch" and "ones you really should give a listen." Some are already on a trajectory to be the next big thing, and others should be.

Drake White
One of the most powerful and passionate voices many have yet to hear. "A Simple Life" introduced him to radio listeners, “It Feels Good” was a foot stomping, groovy good time (without being cliché) and his live performance literally takes you to church. If you like Stapleton, give White a listen.

Aubrie Sellers
She's the one on everyone's list as an artist to watch, and with good reason. She has the songs and the vocals chops with a mix of sweetness and sass that will have her winning over fans from Steamboat to Nashville to NYC.

Brandy Clark
The well-respected songwriter returns with her new (as yet untitled) album sometime this year. The lead single, "Girl Next Door," is already generating tons of buzz and should find her once again a critical darling, but may also find her in new territory: hearing the songs she sings on the radio.

Mike and The Moonpies
The Texas based band saw lots of critical love heaped on their 2015 release, Mockingbird....and deservedly so. The Moonpies make God honest country music that would make the legends proud. Their first Steamboat and another Northeast run (hitting NYC in February) sees them continuing to expand their touring presence, gaining new fans at every turn.

Kaitlin Butts
Her album Same Hell, Different Devil is one that you may have missed last year, but no worries, there's no better time like the present, no day like today to give this Oklahoman a listen. Butts' writing is on point: touching, witty, sharp and importantly, real; tackling love, heartbreak, revenge and jealousy with a scary ease.

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So there are our thoughts on those artists you will want to be keeping an eye on this year. We'd love to know your thoughts too!

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