Oregonians Rachel and Chad Hamar of the duo Cloverdayle have built themselves a fanbase large enough to call an army and name them our 2018 Group of the Year. Following the release of their self-titled album and touring throughout the Northwest, Cloverdayle has inspired many. Reflecting their laid back style and country roots, this 16 song album feels like a baby to the duo. Having began the writing process three years ago, their new album includes a variety of stories and emotions. The track “I’ll Remember” was written in honor of two close friends who lost the fight to cancer. Wanting to remember them at their best, Cloverdayle kept the track upbeat with a nostalgic feeling. Meanwhile “Love Changes Everything” speaks about today’s political climate, preaching love above hate. For classic country fans, “State of My Heart” plays with the traditional sound of a steel guitar. Additionally Cloverdayle choose to include their rendition of “Strawberry Wine,” the first song they learned to play together.
Runner up: Auburn Road
Teen trio Auburn Road is sure to mesmerize you with their collaborative harmonies. Comprised of lifelong friends Alicia Paulson, Paxton Martin and Kristen Brown, the trio isn’t afraid to express their true selves and beliefs in their music. In fact Auburn Road often pushed the boundaries of the modern genre. Releasing their single “Outlaw” this year, Auburn Road is taking control of what’s to come next by booking shows whenever and wherever they can.