By Emma Golpys
Country music has my heart but I will be honest here; I am swayed more towards the American acts than UK ones, even though it excites me how much UK country has emerged in the last four to five years.
One duo that’s helping me change this way of thinking is 24-year-old twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas, who first came onto the music scene in 2014. They’ve been dubbed “Britain’s first country stars” and now, four years later, they have released their third album “Restless Minds” which they say is their most honest work yet.
Their second album “Cartwheels” reached number one in the UK album charts, so “Restless Minds” has a lot to live up to.
This album tells of their coming-of-age in the social media generation and the anxieties it causes, with tracks such as “It’s Not Just Me”, “Ain’t That Easy”, “Lie Like Me” and “No Filter” also touching on mental health and relationships.
The sisters’ songwriting has grown even stronger in this album – especially with the heartfelt lyrics on “No Fooling Me”, “Hopeless”, “Little Girl Sorrow” and “This Too Will Pass”. And their harmonies are superb, particularly on standout track “Deepest You”.
There are several classic country tracks such as “One More Goodbye”, “It’s Not Just Me”, and “Ain’t That Easy”. But their sound has progressed and turned this into a genre crossover album with a collection of mainstream/pop tracks too.
The catchy, repetitive lyrics of tracks like “No Filter”, “Lie Like Me”, and “Rather Be Breathing” are easy to singalong with, but they stray from the classic Ward Thomas sound we’re used to.
I’m torn about the overall sound of the album; my heart says I want all the tracks to stick to the sisters’ country roots because country is who they are and why people love them. But my head says the mainstream/pop crossover tracks are an evolution of the band and show their development as songwriters.
One thing is for certain, with its inspiring lyrics and infectious melodies, “Restless Minds” will capture the attention of old and new Ward Thomas fans.