Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
If you’d asked me a year or two ago, I would have said that the British were pretty hopeless at country music. But that has changed with the emergence of two strong UK country acts, sister duo Ward Thomas and my personal favourites The Shires. Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes have received great support from Radio 2 and built up an impressive live following. They finally release their debut album this week, and I think they have a good shot at reaching the top ten. Considering well-known pop acts like Charli XCX and Union J have failed to achieve this with their latest releases, it will be even more impressive for a niche act. I chose Brave, the album’s title track, to feature here because I like how it builds from a very quiet, sweet, intimate ballad into a rousing country-pop anthem with a powerful hook.