There is a cascade of discs from female country singers plotting to dominate annual best-of lists eight months down the road. Kacey Musgraves and Kelleigh Bannen are staging rookie breakouts.


Kacey Musgraves poses near the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain for The Washington Post)

Ashley Monroe‘s sophomore album, ‘Like a Rose” is the first great album of the year. Lead Dixie Chick Natalie Maines is returning from exile. And the great Gretchen Wilson has promised —count ’em — three new albums by year’s end. So if you’re already hooked on ABC’s twangy record biz soap opera “Nashville,” why not lean your ear toward the real deal?

Here are a few recent singles from some of those artists.