Runaway June might be moving forward with their best version yet. The trio began with Jennifer Wayne, Hannah Mulholland and Naomi Cooke, with Mulholland leaving the band in 2020, followed by Cooke, who announced earlier this year she was leaving Runaway June to focus on a solo career.
Natalie Stovall came in to replace Mulholland, but when Cooke left, Wayne and Stovall realized they were at a crossroads with their music, deciding how they wanted to move forward.
“I really went from being a brand-new member to suddenly a senior member of this band overnight,” Stovall reflects to Everything Nash. “That’s a strange thing. It’s amazing how quickly you can change roles. Jen and I even did a couple of shows, because we had shows on the books, just the two of us. But Runaway June is three-part harmony. It’s three women. This is what we love. And so for us, we were like, ‘Okay, we can do this, but let’s just see …’ We became ultimate Instagram stalkers, and started looking at everyone that we could possibly think of.”
It was Wayne who found Stevie Woodward, who quickly became their first choice to replace Cooke, after Wayne discovered her music on social media.
“She was literally the first person that Jen sent to me,” Stovall recalls with a laugh. “That kind of scared us. because immediately I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ We felt like, ‘That’s her. She’s incredible.’ And then we started writing together and we didn’t tell Stevie that anything was going on. The writing chemistry was immediate. It really was, ‘Well, this just feels normal.’ And so we didn’t have to keep looking. We met our girl.”
Stovall and Wayne knew that they wanted Woodward to join the trio, taking her to breakfast to issue the formal invitation.
“They took me out to breakfast one morning,” Woodward recalls. “I had an inkling that something was going on. Like, ‘Why are my co-writers asking me to go to breakfast?’ They basically told me the story, what was going on, and said, ‘Do you wanna join the group?’ My first reaction was just, I was honored. My world changed overnight, and they’ve made it nothing but comfortable and beautiful. I love them so much.”
Runaway June might be in its third version of the group, since their debut “Lipstick” single came out in 2016, but Wayne hints that the group with her, Stovall and Woodward, is the strongest, and most promising, version of Runaway June yet.
“With Stevie in the band, we started writing and creating music, and Natalie and I were just like, ‘Oh my gosh, we didn’t know music could be this fun,” Wayne boasts. “She’s just changed our world, really. It’s been the most fun experience having her, and we’re so happy. People are like, ‘You girls are just so happy on stage.’ I’m like, ‘I know. We really are.'”
Runaway June is hard at work on new music they are excited to release, showcasing all of their vocal talents and abilities.
“Natalie and I have gotten so close and strong,” Wayne says. “I feel like we’re two pillars, and this is gonna be the band. And also musically, I have never been so excited about the songs that we’re creating … This is the most excited I’ve ever been about music. That is so important, ’cause sometimes it can get away from being about music. Now, this is back to being about music, and it’s so fun.”
Keep track of music and tour updates at RunawayJune.com.