The UK Country scene is going from strength-to-strength as the genre has finally taken a hold on this side of the pond. In large part thanks to the success of the TV show Nashville and the annual C2C: Country to Country festival, the success of Country music has led to our own homegrown artists finding a platform to showcase their music. One such band that has become very popular, and has the British Country Music Association nominations to prove it, is Backwoods Creek. The five-piece – Jamie Wood, Yannick Van Riet, Dean Parker, Jack Densley and Kamil Bartnik – have found a keen audience on the live circuit and they recently released their new EP It’s About Time.
It can be a hard line to keep a British identity when drawing inspiration from US Country artists but Backwoods Creek have managed it. There is a little US drawl put on here and there, mostly for effect, but interestingly Backwoods Creek have taken a lead from traditional Country with a little rock thrown in for good measure. The end result is an EP that features six well-polished tracks that should work wherever in the world they’re heard.
Things kick off with Memory Lane, a nice throwback to the 90s sound that dominated the genre. The beat-driven track is led by Wood’s lead vocals and striking guitar rhythms. It’s the kind of song that gets everyone on their feet and it’s a strong start to the EP. Showing their knack for a good melody, Backwoods Creek keep the energy up across the tracks here. The punchy Keep Off the Grass combines a rocky sound with soaring fiddles and a memorable melody while Don’t Take Much starts off low-key before transforming into a bit of a hoedown.
When I Grow Up changes gears a little with a whistling intro over an acoustic riff. It shows a different side to the band and is a moment to catch your breath among the energy-fuelled tracks that surround it. Miles & Miles has definite commercial appeal and would sound great on radio alongside the current popular songs.
The EP closes with Drunk?!, one of the best tracks here. It touches on one of the Country genre’s favourite tropes – drinking – and it deserves to be listened to loud while you have a glass of whiskey in your hand. The band’s personality shines through and it’s a superb end to a strong collection.
Backwoods Creek have managed to capture an authentic Country sound that feels organic. Nothing about the band sounds forced and they aren’t just imitating the US, like some of the current crop of UK artists are trying to do. They’ve found a sound that works for them and there’s a fun energy to It’s About Time. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next.
Track list: 1. Memory Lane 2. Keep Off the Grass 3. Don’t Take Much 4. When I Grow Up 5. Miles & Miles 6. Drunk?! Record label: Spinnup Release date: 31st August 2018 Buy It’s About Time