For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.
SOUNDS LIKE: Modern day Americana imbued with the spirit of classic country and the occasional pop flourish.
FOR FANS OF: Iris DeMent, Brandy Clark, Alison Krauss
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: Twenty-four-year-old Dori Freeman grew up in Galax, Virginia – population: 7000 – in the Appalachian region of the U.S. Between the location and the fact that her father was a bluegrass musician whose band would practice in their home, it's not surprising that, after a brief dalliance with metal and punk as a teen, she found herself drawn to traditional country and Americana. Her debut self-titled album is anchored in the sounds of her upbringing ("Go On Lovin'" channels Loretta Lynn, whom she recently supported), while a slight Sixties pop influence slips into the likes of "Tell Me" and "Fine Fine Fine". The LP was recorded in New York in three days with a band featuring Jon Graboff from the Cardinals, and produced by Teddy Thompson, whom Freeman approached via Facebook. "I didn't think he'd respond," she says, "but I thought, what's the worst that could happen?" Freeman plays the Sydney Festival this month, before returning in March for solo shows and the Port Fairy Folk Festival.
SHE SAYS: Freeman got her start early. "I started singing with my dad when I was a teenager. I would go with him to shows that he played on the weekend, and I got my footing on stage playing songs here and there. He'd have me up to sing a couple of tunes in his shows."
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: Gorgeous but defiant LP opener "You Say", featuring the killer line, "You say you can save me/But I never asked you to."