Nicknamed Music City ✰, Nashville is the home and origin of many artists, including a number of whom are quickly gaining popularity in the past year. Here is my list of the top 10 emerging Nashville-based artists that everyone should look out for in 2022.
Amassing over 600,000 followers on TikTok through covers and snippets of original music, Abby Cates is a singer-songwriter with a penchant for capturing the college student experience. From her first official single “roadtripsong” to her most recent release “saw ur mom at the grocery store,” Cates portrays the highs and lows of relationships that we navigate during this era of our lives. On top of her official singles, she also has a killer cover of “Levitating” by Dua Lipa that went viral over the summer with 11.8 million views. Watch out for this rockstar and listen to her first three singles here:
Originally hailing from Boston, MA, Amber Ais is an indie pop artist making waves in the Nashville scene with a recent feature at Breaking Sound Nashville. As a “self-proclaimed wholesome sad girl,” this singer-songwriter writes about her previous relationships and fictional characters, making her music relatable to the masses. Listen to her discography on this playlist created by Ais herself, including her most recent single “Ordinary” released on March 18th:
After opening for both Sara Kays and Samia this past year, Annie DiRusso is creating her own specific audience with deeply honest lyrics on top of an indie rock sound. I saw her live in October, and her heart-wrenching songs are a cathartic experience in person when everyone is singing along and trying not to cry. Thankfully, DiRusso will be performing live again soon, as she embarks on her first headline tour in May. Catch her at The Basement in Nashville, TN on May 20, 2022. Tickets available now: https://www.anniedirusso.com/tour.
Caroline Culver is a singer-songwriter trying to explore how to sonically and lyrically capture what it means to be in your early 20s and the reckless abandon that tends to come with this era of life. Culver evidently takes influences from a number of different artists and takes a unique spot with her music dipping into indie rock and americana. See her opening for Annie DiRusso this summer, and make sure to check out the music she has released thus far below:
Per her socials, the “Hummus Queen of Tennessee” Cece Coakley is a singer-songwriter figuring out her exact sound as she released one fabulous single after another. Her first release, “Cliché,” was an instant hit, collecting over 1.2 million listens on Spotify, and her more recent releases are likely to follow suit. Throughout the past year, Coakley has gained experience opening for a number of artists, from Medium Build for a few days in October to Bahamas this months. Exploding onto the scene, she will be playing at Bonnaroo on the second day of the festival in June. For now, listen to her most recent single, “Monday Morning,” here:
Selling out his first headline show in Nashville, Daniel Nunnelee is certainly leaving his mark on Music City. Putting out three EPs in as many years, Nunnelee has been busy writing and releasing music, but each EP is a strong collection of songs that tug at your heartstrings and beg for a listen. Accordingly, his social media presence has gotten the hint, with several of his videos featuring his newest single, “Pick and Choose,” going semi-viral, including one with over 2.1 million views. Building upon his growing popularity, Nunnelee will be going on on tour this summer:
A true star-in-the-making, Hana Eid is a singer-songwriter capturing the experiences of being a young adult, as she explores love and other feelings through her music. The TikTok algorithm did me right by sharing “Dancing to The Smiths” before its official release, but everyone can now listen to the full songs in its glory and experience the wonderful anticipation of a budding relationship as it begins. While streaming her first five released singles, watch out for any local shows and her next release (which will hopefully be “Moonroof,” an unreleased song for which a snippet is available on TikTok).
With his first single, “Space Jam,” finding itself with over 1 million listen on Spotify, Jarren Blair is making an impression on the music scene. Combining stellar lyricism and an ear for a good sound, Blair is securing his spot Nashville’s hip-hop circles as a representative of the future. Keep an eye out for his next release, “Ring Pop,” coming out on March 25th, and make sure to see him perform at WRVU’s Sham Jam on March 26th!
For Palmer Hubbell—otherwise known as Palmertrees, the recipe for musical gold is solid. After all, what can go wrong with an acoustic guitar and some pleasant vocals? He takes that tried-and-true formula and uses it to his advantage, in order to play around with different sounds and share different stories. Touring in the fall of 2021 as an opener to artists like Gatlin and Jordy Searcy helped secure an audience, and it seems like the stars are the limit for Palmertrees. Stay ahead of the rest, and browse his whole discography here:
With the release of her debut EP “Sorry I Hesitated in February, R.E.N is making a splash on the Nashville scene with a wonderful set of songs grounded in her stunning vocals. In particular, “My Mind” is a stand-out track from the EP, but the entire thing is a must-listen. This is one artist that you want to pay attention to before she goes mainstream. Watch out for any local performances in the area, and find R.E.N’s EP here: