After our ‘Artists To Watch’ article highlighting which American artists we think might breakout or breakthrough in 2018 we thought it would be a good idea to look at homegrown artists and highlight the ones we believe are destined for big things this year.
Gasoline and Matches:
Sally Rea Morris and Steve Marks are Gasoline and Matches. Their debut single ‘Fools Gold’ is being released on January 15th and we can quite confidently say, having had it on repeat all Christmas, that you are going to love it. Sassy, funky, Little Big Town-infused Country music right from the heartland of the UK. Alittle about the duo from a recent press release: A unique blend of Fleetwood Mac-esque harmonies, Brad Paisley-infused guitar solos, and lyrics resembling an early Aimee Mann, Gasoline & Matches made a powerful impact on the UK scene this year. We are currently in the process of lining up an interview with Sally Rea and Steve so stay tuned for that one and check out ‘Fools Gold’ on the 15th when it’s released, you will not be disappointed.
With a new album, the follow up to the awesome ‘1000 Days of Rain’, due this year we think 2018 might be the year that sees Darren Hodson and his bunch of south-coast troubadours achieve big, big things. Lazy journalists might paint Darren as the UK version of Zac Brown but his influences and sound run much deeper than that. Their sound carries with it the weight of extensive touring and studio experience gained through years as session players for a wide range of other artists such as Rumer, Lana Del Ray, James Morrison, Lulu, Pete Townsend. Think ZBB, think Jason Isbell mixed with Del Amitri, think a healthy dose of 70’s rock all mixed together by Darren’s years of experience and you’d be close to identifying what the Southern Companion are about. Watch out for new music soon.
We think Katy and her fiery voice are destined for big things. To describe who she is and what she can we couldn’t write any words better than Paul Sexton, who writes this about her on her website: “Katy Hurt has lived a whole lot of country for an artist who’s yet to hit 20. American culture is stamped on her singer-songwriter soul, from a childhood partly spent living there with her family. Then she returned to the UK to put her love of Nashville sounds and styles to very good use. Hence the rapid emergence of one of the most exciting prospects on the burgeoning British country scene. Hurt’s confident, distinctive EP Pieces Of Me is the latest evidence of a career that’s already produced an iTunes UK Country No. 1 in last year’s ‘Love You More,’ among other successes.”
Two Ways Home:
The talented Two Ways Home have been making music together for a few years now. Their voices mix perfectly, think Civil Wars, but a (mostly) British version. A number of EP’s have lead to co-writes with the likes of Logan Brill and the duo have even branched out in hosting their own songwriter evenings in London, The Round Up, on a regular basis. Venturing out of the capital to reach other areas of the country, their name will become synonymous with real, earthy, music full of emotion and integrity.
Paul’s last album, ‘No More Holding Back’ was a strong release full of up-tempo, modern rock-infused Country songs and some more traditional sounding music. His energetic live shows brought an ‘Entertainer of the Year’ award at this year’s BCMA’s and we are waiting patiently for the follow up – due later this year – and his return to the stage. Similar to Two Ways Home, Thorne Hill has established a solid fan base in one area of the country and now needs to get out on the road and expand it further.
There’s not many English artists that can say they have appeared on Rolling Stone Magazine’s monthly ’10 New Country Artists You Need to Know’ feature. Emily has!! Her song ‘Open Road’ is opening doors for her and winning fans everywhere. An EP, recorded in Nashville, is on the way in 2018 and we are waiting expectantly to see what she has to offer. Having studied songwriting at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute she is well placed to wow us all with her honest and traditional approach to Country music.