Country Perspective’s 2015 Female Artist of the Year Nominees

Over the course of 2015 we saw many talented female country and Americana artists put out fantastic albums. Determining who will win Country Perspective’s 2015 Female Artist of the Year award will be no easy feat. The main guidelines for determining who should win are the following: the quality of music they’ve released in 2015, the impact they have made on the genre over the course of the year and the amount of growth they made as an individual artist.

Derek and myself will ultimately determine which artist will win, but we also want to hear from you the readers who is deserving of the award. Your comments will be highly considered for determining who wins and you could possibly sway who should be the winner. So be sure to sound off in the comments! Without further ado the nominees for Country Perspective’s 2015 Female Artist of Year (in alphabetical order):

Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile

One of the most underrated albums of the year has to be Brandi Carlile’s The Firewatcher’s Daughter. Blurring the lines between country, rock and Americana Carlile delivers music that touches the mind and heart. She’s a truly great artist that deserves more attention. As I said in my review of her newest album:

The Firewatcher’s Daughter is an album you’ll need to hear multiple times to fully grasp, but trust me it’s well worth it. Carlile’s dynamic voice and the cornucopia of genres mixed together make for one hell of an album. While Music Row continues to push cookie cutter female artists who produce music that panders to the latest fad, there are talented female artists outside that bubble like Carlile making innovative music. Some people will call this album a rock album. Others will say it’s alternative or a country album. Does it really matter though? This is just great music that any music fan can appreciate.

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves Pageant Material

I feel like Kacey Musgraves sort of got lost in the fray in 2015. Throughout 2013 and 2014 she received lots of critical praise and awards from multiple outlets for her major debut album Same Trailer, Different Park. One of the big reasons why I think this happened is because her sophomore album Pageant Material didn’t have the incendiary political commentary that attracted so many outside fans and media outlets with her first album. That’s a damn shame because I felt like Pageant Material was not only a better album, but a big step forward for Kacey. I don’t think she liked all of the political attention, even though it really helped elevate her close friends Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark. Kacey considers herself just a “dimestore cowgirl” who loves to make authentic country music and that’s the place she wants to be going forward. And she’s still having plenty of success without any support from country radio.

Lindi Ortega

Lindi Ortega Faded Gloryville

Like Kacey Musgraves, Lindi Ortega has generated her own critical buzz in recent years. Her previous album Tin Star was called by many one of the best country albums of 2013. So the anticipation and hype going into her new album this year was certainly high. While Faded Gloryville didn’t quite live up to its hype, it was still a very good album full of solid music. While many mainstream female country artists love to sing about pleasing their man, Ortega sings about what pleases herself and doesn’t pander to stereotypes. She goes against the grain and sets a great example for young female listeners everywhere. Not to mention, she wrote a great piece on women in country music after the TomatoGate incident.

Tami Neilson 

Tami Neilson Don't Be Afraid

For the second straight year Tami Neilson finds herself on many of our year-end awards list. And for great reason, as she once again delivered one of the best country albums of the year. Don’t Be Afraid copes with the loss of a loved one (Tami’s father) and how to deal with this heartache and the memories you had of them. Neilson’s big and dynamic voice is capable of belting out the loudest and softest of songs, conveying the perfect amount of emotion to connect with the listener. While I don’t think many music outlets in the U.S. give her the respectable amount of attention she deserves, her home country New Zealand certainly does. Not too many artists can deliver great albums in back-to-back years, but Neilson has done it and that makes her favorite to win this award.

Whitney Rose

Whitney Rose Heartbreaker of the Year

We saw a lot of great new artists burst onto the scene from country and Americana this year. One of the best was undoubtedly Whitney Rose. Hailing from Canada, Rose teamed up with smooth-voiced frontman of The Mavericks, Raul Malo, to make her sophomore record Heartbreaker of the Year. And when you combine two great minds like this, magic happens. Heartbreaker of the Year is one of the most uniquely sounding and creative country albums I’ve heard this year. Infusing retro pop with classic, traditional country, Rose delivers stirring love ballads and quirky stories. She more than holds her own singing next to Malo on “Be My Baby” too. What’s crazy is I don’t think this is even her best work and it’s still yet to come.

Who do you think should win? Be sure to comment below. 

151 thoughts on “Country Perspective’s 2015 Female Artist of the Year Nominees

  1. NoahHibiscusEaton December 11, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    No Gretchen Peters? She’s definitely #1 on my year-end list with “Blackbirds”! ^__^

    Going along with the names you provide, Tami Neilson’s “Don’t Be Afraid” is my favorite with Whitney Rose the runner-up.

    The former is just gut-punching and intimate in a way the other contenders don’t quite replicate in their own mostly strong efforts. I was able to connect with her ache and story from front to back listening and, on top of that, some exquisite production.

    Brandi Carlile deserves quite an honorable mention though in that, while hardly country musically, it’s stone cold country lyrically and “The Firewatcher’s Daughter” is so well-rounded. Ashley Monroe also deserved an honorable mention for “The Blade”.

    Like

  2. NoahHibiscusEaton December 11, 2015 / 12:28 pm

    As much of a hard time as I’ve given Kacey Musgrave for what I thought was a highly overrated debut album (good, mind you, just not remotely as outstanding and award-worthy as critics made it out to be)…………..she definitely improved, at least in my eyes, with “Pageant Material”. It still doesn’t rate among the Best of 2015 in my eyes, but she produced a strong effort for sure! =)

    I was honestly considerably disappointed with Linda Ortega’s latest. Among releases outside the mainstream, it was second only to Jason Boland & the Stragglers’ “Squelch” in leaving a fair bit to be desired. Still a pretty good album all things considered, but it definitely felt like a transitional album: somewhat tentative and missing some of the punch of her earlier efforts and the country of “Tin Star”. Like Neko Case, it seems like she’s intending to move more to an intimate singer/songwriter style instead of squaring to a particular genre. Which I respect, but tends to make for efforts that sound a little more bland and a little less impactful.

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  3. Cobra December 11, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    Nice solid list of nominees.
    Personally, I’d add Courtney Patton and Jamie Lin Wilson to the list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NoahHibiscusEaton December 11, 2015 / 4:17 pm

      Good call! =)

      Jamie Lin Wilson also finished in my Top Twenty Country Albums of 2015 list! ^__^

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tara Joan December 11, 2015 / 9:29 pm

      Agreed, both of their albums made my t10 of the year.

      Like

    • dayle Hoeg December 12, 2015 / 7:52 am

      Whitney Rose has my vote!!! Have seen her a couple of times and she is amazing talent!’

      Like

  4. Stu Reid December 11, 2015 / 3:21 pm

    Nice that the last 3 on the list are Canadian! (Tami is NZ based but WAS born here!) Whitney gets my vote, though.

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  5. Naeem December 11, 2015 / 3:22 pm

    Rose!

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  6. Blair December 11, 2015 / 3:31 pm

    Whitney Rose is an absolute gem! Beautifully talented and a kind, gracious person to boot!

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  7. Jan December 11, 2015 / 3:58 pm

    Whitney Country all the way!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jim Mcknight December 11, 2015 / 4:25 pm

    My vote is for Whitney Rose. She has been opening for the most dynamic bands in music ,The Mavericks for the past few years. She has to be good to hold her own fronting for them. She has a great sound and is an excellent song writer.

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  9. Lois Budd December 11, 2015 / 4:31 pm

    Whitney Rose gets my vote. Such a pure sound and amazing album !

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  10. Patt Cantu December 11, 2015 / 4:49 pm

    I have to vote for Whitney Rose. A very talented individual and also an all-around genuine person.

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  11. Sherry December 11, 2015 / 4:55 pm

    Whitney Rose by far

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  12. Jane Simek December 11, 2015 / 4:56 pm

    I vote for Whitney Rose.

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  13. Sherry December 11, 2015 / 4:57 pm

    Whitney Rose

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  14. Beth Dobson December 11, 2015 / 5:11 pm

    Whitney Rose Definitely gets my vote….I own both her albums and can not wait to see what she comes up with next!!! She is an amazing person…kind hearted and very compassionate. She sings with her whole heart and puts everything she got into every lyric she sings….she truly has a voice of an angel!!

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  15. Freda Jay December 11, 2015 / 5:29 pm

    Whitney Rose gets my vote, she is an awesome country girl!!!!

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  16. Kelley Doyle December 11, 2015 / 5:32 pm

    Whitney Rose

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  17. Tara Gallagher December 11, 2015 / 5:39 pm

    Whitney Rose gets my vote!!

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  18. Louise Lalonde December 11, 2015 / 5:48 pm

    Whitney Rose all the way

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  19. Zack December 11, 2015 / 6:22 pm

    Holy shit, guess I’ll go with Whitney Rose lol

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Peter Bergbusch December 11, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    Whitney Rose for me.

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  21. bjrowley@yahoo.com December 11, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    Whitney!!

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  22. Wiebke December 11, 2015 / 6:43 pm

    Whitney Rose

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  23. Dani December 11, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    Whitney Rose!

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  24. Maureen coulthard December 11, 2015 / 9:28 pm

    Whitney has my vote. She is amazing!!

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  25. greg December 11, 2015 / 10:19 pm

    Whitney Rose!

    Like

  26. Lisandro Berry-Gaviria December 11, 2015 / 10:35 pm

    I haven’t listened to Brandi Carlile’s album unfortunately, but out of the other four I think I’d go with Tami Neilson.

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  27. Colleen Leclerc December 11, 2015 / 10:50 pm

    I would go with Whitney Rose.

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  28. Kevin Davis December 11, 2015 / 11:49 pm

    Obviously, somebody is posting under different pseudonyms in favor of Whitney Rose. They should probably be blocked, if possible.

    Whitney Rose is, in fact, my favorite among the nominees. I love Lindi Ortega, but ‘Faded Gloryville’ is nothing special within her oeuvre. It’s a very solid album, but I would sooner recommend any of her three previous albums. But Whitney’s album is special, even though I would say that her previous (debut) is just as special. It’s a tragedy that she is still on the margins of the country industry.

    Like

    • Josh Schott December 11, 2015 / 11:51 pm

      Actually it is not. These are all different people, as each have a different IP address. Whitney shared this on her social media accounts and her fans have flocked here like crazy. Gotta say I’m impressed with their support.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin Davis December 11, 2015 / 11:55 pm

        Okay, that explains it. I should not have been as suspicious, but (after blogging for years) I am skeptical about these things. Kudos to Whitney’s fans and Whitney herself. She’s a superb talent.

        Liked by 2 people

  29. Steve December 12, 2015 / 6:18 am

    Whitney Rose. Can’t wait to see you again

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  30. Glenda Meaney December 12, 2015 / 7:03 am

    My vote goes to Whitney Rose !!! Truly an amazing singer and songwriter.She warms my heart when she sings .

    Like

  31. Frank Warren December 12, 2015 / 7:26 am

    Whitney Rose for me. Love her talent as a singer and songwriter. Simply a beautiful young girl

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  32. Lori December 12, 2015 / 7:30 am

    The talented Whitney Rose!

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  33. Belinda Murphy December 12, 2015 / 7:41 am

    My vote goes to Whitney Rose. An amazing artist with a voice of an angel.

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  34. Lorraine Melanson December 12, 2015 / 8:25 am

    Whitney Rose takes it hands down. Love her singing………

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  35. pat martel December 12, 2015 / 8:31 am

    Whitney Rose rocks !

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  36. John David Best December 12, 2015 / 9:31 am

    john Best

    Whitney Rose is an exciting new artist, who can sing anything & has great stage presence !

    Like

  37. Mark Hoebeke December 12, 2015 / 9:53 am

    A lot of good choices here, but I am throwing my vote to Whitney. She did some great shows in Austin.

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  38. Barbara Gilbert December 12, 2015 / 10:11 am

    Whitney Rose has my vote, I’ve seen her a couple of times and what a voice!!

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  39. Bill Simpson December 12, 2015 / 10:15 am

    Whitney Rose without a doubt.

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  40. Ron R December 12, 2015 / 10:27 am

    Whitney Rose

    Like

  41. Laura T December 12, 2015 / 10:35 am

    Whitney Rose!!

    Like

  42. pam oakes December 12, 2015 / 10:57 am

    Whitney Rose

    Like

  43. Ron December 12, 2015 / 2:06 pm

    Sorry I gotta go with Tami Neilson hands down. Never heard a voice like hers and I’ve been listening to her over and over

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  44. Cindy kawaja December 12, 2015 / 2:55 pm

    I vote for Whitney!

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  45. Bill Coulthard December 12, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    Gotta be Whitney Rose. She’s not only a great singer but a very talented song writer. And by the way, my wife voted from the same IP address.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Brandon December 12, 2015 / 6:36 pm

    Hands down Jamie Lin Wilson or Courtney Patton, nobody on that list competes vocally and their albums are easily in the top 10 2015 releases.

    Like

  47. Tom Strutz December 12, 2015 / 7:47 pm

    The incredible Whitney Rose and “Heartbreaker of the Year” get my vote! For the ultimate… get out and experience one of her live performances!

    Like

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