Runaway June Brings Harmony, Heartfelt Lyrics To Country Radio

Runaway June performs at the MusicRow office. Photo: Molly Hannula

Runaway June performs at the MusicRow office. Photo: Molly Hannula

Wheelhouse Records trio Runaway June aims to bring female harmonies and astute, heartfelt lyrics back to the airwaves, with their debut single, “Lipstick.”

Comprised of lead vocalist/guitarist Naomi Cooke, with Hannah Mullholland on mandolin and vocals and Jennifer Wayne on guitar and vocals, Runaway June was born in the writing rooms of Nashville, where the trio began writing together less than two years ago.

“Hannah and I have known each other for about six years, and Naomi and I have known each other about two years,” said Wayne. “Naomi and I started writing and thought we should bring Hannah in. When the three of us got together, it was magical.”

“It’s like all three of us make up one person,” said Mullholland.

“One twisted soul,” quipped Cooke.

Runaway June with MusicRow owner/publisher Sherod Robertson. Photo: Molly Hannula

Runaway June with MusicRow owner/publisher Sherod Robertson. Photo: Molly Hannula

California native Wayne previously found success in Nashville, co-writing Eric Paslay’s hit “She Don’t Love You,” and as a former member of trio Stealing Angels. A native of Malibu, California, Mullholland began writing music at age 6, inspired by the work of Sheryl Crow. Meanwhile, Florida native Cooke performed at Nashville’s Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and spent time honing her writing talent before she teamed with Wayne and Mullholland.

“Lipstick” is close to breaking the Top 40 at country radio, and serves as the lead single from their upcoming Wheelhouse Records debut, produced by Mickey Jack Cones. “Lipstick” was penned by Cooke, Mullholland, Wayne, Rebecca Lynn Howard, and Wayne’s Stealing Angels cohort Caroline Hobby.

Runaway June with MusicRow staffers.

Runaway June with MusicRow staffers.

During a visit to MusicRow, the trio gave off a young Dixie Chicks vibe as they previewed tracks from their upcoming project, with their harmonies blending effortlessly over the strums of acoustic guitars and mandolin. Runaway June offered acoustic renditions of “Blue Roses,” “Forget Her,” and “Wild West.”

“That one is special to me because my grandpa is John Wayne,” said Jennifer Wayne, “and so I’ve always wanted to put him in a song, but I didn’t want to do it in a cheesy way.”

The trio calls “Blue Roses,” which they co-wrote with Marcus Hummon, one their personal favorites. “Sometimes you get writers who are so focused on writing a radio song and they want things to go that way, and then you have other writers like Marcus who want radio songs, but he just allows us to be writers and artists in that room and to be creative,” said Cooke.

They ended with an acoustic rendition of “Lipstick.” “We’ve been playing it on the road and people have been singing it back. It’s been a wild ride,” said Mullholland.

 

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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