Runaway June Celebrates New Music, New Creativity and Unstoppable Joy [EXCLUSIVE]

Runaway June is unstoppable. The trio now includes founding member Jennifer Wayne, plus Natalie Stovall, who joined in 2020 to replace Hannah Mulholland, and Stevie Woodward, who replaced former lead singer Naomi Cooke in 2022. It is, in many ways, their best iteration of Runaway June, almost a Runaway June 2.0, finding new freedom in writing, singing and collaborating that hasn’t been fully tapped into, until now.

“I can’t even think of what it was before this,” Wayne tells Everything Nash. “This feels like it’s always been this the entire time, and I’ve never been so happy.”

Woodward’s role might be as the main vocalist, but she is quick to make sure all of the voices and talents in Runaway June are equally heard.

“That’s what a group is,” Woodward maintains. “It’s collaborative. Of course, you have a lead singer and different spots for vocals, but at the end of the day, we’re individuals, and that’s the beauty of a group. You look at people like Fleetwood Mac, or the Beatles, they were all their own thing, and that’s what made them special. And so I think if we all have the opportunity to have a spotlight and do our own thing, when you come together, it’s really cool.”

The true power of Runaway June can be heard in their new EP, Smoke, Wine & Whiskey, out now. The three-track project, a precursor to a highly-anticipated new record currently in progress, includes their current single, “Make Me Wanna Smoke.” Smoke, Wine & Whiskey is the first release on their newly-signed deal with Quartz Hill Records.

“We signed a new record deal, and the label actually pitched us ‘Make Me Wanna Smoke,’ and so that was the first song that we were like, ‘Okay, we’re going to go record the song with the new deal,'” Wayne shares. “And then we were working around that vibe of, we’re going a little edgier, a little more rock and roll, which is where these girls thrived too.”

Smoke, Wine & Whiskey also includes “Fine Wine,” one of the first songs the three songwriters penned together, and the first hint of what the threesome were capable of accomplishing, together.

“I think when Stevie first joined the band, she kind of came in and had to learn all the old Runaway June songs,” Wayne explains. “We were on the road, and so we really didn’t get to form who we are as a band. And so now, we’re finally there, and we’ve been writing. It’s so fun to see what comes out of it, because I feel like all three of our influences shine, and it’s a really cool sound.”

Woodward was on track to be a solo artist when she was hand-picked by Wayne and Stovall to become the missing third member after Cooke left. Although a major, and unexpected, career shift, she is now profoundly grateful for the surprising new chapter.

“I think your life ends up where it does, and it’s a beautiful thing,” Woodward says. “It’s so funny, when you think of what you imagined for your life when you’re younger, that you want to be a solo artist. But what comes is so much better. It’s a beautiful thing. And I think we all mesh really well together, and we are one artist. It’s so awesome.”

The energy and entertainment they provide on stage, and what comes through in their music, is authentic and real, all three members maintain. It’s a camaraderie and shared friendship that can only make both their albums and their live shows a force that can’t be tamed in country msuic.

“Every time we go out, we’re always laughing about something,’ Woodward says. “Even when we’re on stage, we’re always looking at each other and cracking up. We have such a great time together.”

“We have fun together, and I think that’s what’s cool about being in a trio, because doing it by yourself would be so difficult, because it’s not easy,” adds Wayne. “And so to have friends out there, just makes it better.”

Fortunately, amid their busy touring schedule, Runaway June is also finding time to complete their first full-length album together, one that will show the true impact of their collaboration.

“We’re working on some now,” Stovall hints. “We’ve been writing so much. We wrote one on the road the other day. Jen came in and she was just venting about life, as we do. She said something, and we were all like, ‘Oh my gosh, we have to write that this second.’ So we ordered some more wine and some parmesan fries, and we wrote most of the song. We finished it the next day in the car.”

As excited as fans might be to hear more music from Runaway June, no one is more excited than the three women to flourish in their exciting new season.

“Jen keeps saying, it’s like we have this moment of creativity that is happening,” Stovall reveals. “We’ve locked into something, and so we’re trying to embrace that as much as possible. We’re figuring out the dates to go into the studio now, and so it’s going to be a full album that we’re recording, which we’re so excited about. So, Smoke, Wine & Whiskey is great. We’ve got the three songs out, but we can’t wait to make that a full-length project.”

Find Smoke, Wine & Whiskey and all of Runaway June’s music and upcoming shows at