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: Progressive country with an indie flair, like Jenny Lewis' twangier cousin
FOR FANS OF: Nikki Lane, Kacey Musgraves, Aubrie Sellers
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: Ruby Force, AKA Erin McLaughlin, lives up to her vivid stage name. On her debut album Evolutionary War, she paints colourful tales using a broad sonic palette, drawing from country, Americana, rock and indie pop for a sound that lands somewhere between Rilo Kiley and Nikki Lane. While some tracks – the single "Cowboy" – dabble in retro influences, Force's music is a glimpse at the promising direction in which left-of-centre country music is headed.
SHE SAYS: "Evolutionary War is sort of a collection, like a box of photos you find from a certain period of life. It strings together like a narrative essentially, about how I love," McLaughlin says. "If these songs can find their way into people's hearts, not to mention playlists, I would feel like I've accomplished something of eternal value."
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: "Ode to Vic Chesnutt" pays homage to the beloved late Athens songwriter and to "life spinning like a wheel" with sweet harmonies and an optimistic, driving beat.