At a time where there is calling out for female artists to gain more parity and recognition within country music, the tide could be starting to change with the debut self titled EP from Runaway June.
A trio of guitar slinging ladies that bring beautiful three part harmonies to deliver a unique blend of an organic and traditional rootsy sound combined with a fresh and modern take on the world. Comprised of lead vocalist Naomi Cooke from Florida along with Hannah Mulholland and Jennifer Wayne both from California, the ladies are beginning to be regularly mentioned in the same sentence as The Dixie Chicks which having listened to the five track EP and being fortunate enough to get to see them live earlier this year is not an exaggerated comparison.
The first track and current single in the States is “Buy My Own Drinks” which an infectiously catchy track about female strength and independence where not needing a man to hold their hand or do things for them. From a general perspective (from not being female) the better way to be able to relate to this song is about confidence to feel good about yourself after a breakup and that you can do things independently. This was the song that where I had seen them for the first time, stood out for me and was the most memorable, firstly because of the melody and how it got stuck in your head but also I remember the way they introduced the song and how their personality shone so strongly on stage.
The song was written with Hillary Lindsay and Josh Kear and is a different sort of song that reflects on a breakup as it is not dwelling on the past or attacking it in any way that is a really refreshing take and promoting the ability to be independent.
This is followed up by “I Am Too” which is a more reflective breakup song again rift with those strong harmonies and another addictive melody but this time depicting the considerations of what the other side of a breakup would be going through whilst realising you are going through the same emotions. “Got Me Where I Want You” is an out and out ballad about that is so relatable about a relationship that you can’t really live without and is infectious to you but at the same time you know there is a part of you that knows it’s necessarily the best thing.
The penultimate track is a fantastic cover with a great arrangement of the Dwight Yoakam classic “Fast As You” which in addition to the great harmonies that the girls collectively bring that Naomi really has such a strong and powerful voice.
The album ends with seeking that love that makes you feel special and almost magical with a track that is rife with images and metaphors in the form of “Wild West”. This is the track that justifies the level of excitement in these girls. The melody, the harmonies, metaphors in the lyrics and like them it is very unique because on one hand is a very traditional sounding country song but at the same time is so modern and relevant that people can relate to. This a song that Jennifer wrote with Billy Montana and Justin Lantz that epitomises the imagery of the wild west and includes reference to Jennifer’s grandfather: the ultimate cowboy John Wayne.
1) Buy My Own Drinks, 2) I Am Too, 3) Got Me Where I Want You, 4) Fast As You, 5) Wild West
Runaway June’s self titled EP is available to stream or download in all the usual places from today and I really hope that we get to see these ladies playing shows here in the UK very soon.