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Runaway June

Runaway June – 2018 (Wheelhouse)

Reviewed by Andrew Greenhalgh

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Finally, after two long years of hard work and positive buzz, Runaway June has dropped its debut self-titled EP. With hitmaker Dann Huff on board as producer and early tracks having received praise both in print and in concert. So, is it worth all the hype? In a word, yes.

While Runaway June, comprised of Naomi Cooke (lead vocals, guitar), Hannah Mulholland (vocals; mandolin) and Jennifer Wayne (vocals; guitar), are fresh to the scene, they play together like a well-oiled machine. With a sound that recalls the vocal stylings of acts like The Dixie Chicks and Pistol Annies, Runaway June nonetheless possesses a voice of its own, drawing from those influences and adding their own signature flair.

That is seen in tracks like "Buy My Own Drinks," featuring an easy going, radio ready backdrop that showcases Cooke's warm lead vocals, buoyed by a lyric of strong female empowerment. The harmonies are flawless, and the song stands strong as does previously released single, "Wild West," with its subtle fills of steel guitar and tale of western-themed love.

"Got Me Where I Want You" is a clever wordplay accented by some smooth harmonies, definitely reminiscent of The Dixie Chicks, the arrangement warm and achingly beautiful while the group's cover of the Dwight Yoakam hit "Fast As You" showcases some playfulness and energy into the proceedings. "I Am Too" rounds out the setlist with more strong vocal harmonies stealing the show on another mid-tempo, ready for radio arrangement.

Runaway June's debut is packed with great harmonies, honest lyrics and easy hooks.