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Striking Matches – Nothing But The Silence album review

The rising Nashville duo release their debut album.

Striking Matches
Credit: Decca

Nashville duo Striking Matches aka Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis got their big break when several of their songs were selected for inclusion in hit ABC series Nashville. Recorded by the show’s stars, the songs – including When The Right One Comes Along and Hanging On A Lie – have become fan favourites giving Striking Matches the perfect opportunity to launch themselves. Following a storming set at C2C: Country To Country 2015, Striking Matches are releasing their debut album Nothing But The Silence.

Striking Matches combine classic storytelling with country-pop rhythms putting their harmonies centre-stage. Whilst they tackle parts of each song separately, the magic happens when they are harmonising or trading off against each other. Opener Trouble Is As Trouble Does perfectly illustrates that with Zimmerman and Davis trading lines and backing each other up throughout the uptempo number.

For the most part Nothing But The Silence is an uptempo affair. The groovy Make a Liar Out Of Me is an early highlight on the record whilst lead single Missing You Tonight mixes striking electric guitar riffs with husky vocals for a slice of subtle but effective country-rock. The duo can pull off ballads too as shown on When The Right One Comes Along, recorded by Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen for Nashville.

One of the standout moments on the album comes on Hanging On A Lie. It’s one of the songs that featured in Nashville where Hayden Panettiere’s Juliette Barnes performed it. The punchy beat combines with slick electric guitars before exploding into a catchy chorus. If you’re not singing the song long after you’ve heard it then we’ll eat our hat.

The album comes to a close with the ballad God and You. It’s a low-key end to an album but one that showcases Striking Matches as a band with many different sides and impressive versatility.

Nothing But The Silence is a strong debut from the much-buzzed Nashville duo. Striking Matches have a bright career ahead of them and they are one of the most exciting country acts in a while. They are welcome relief from the bro-country clichés that are rife in mainstream country and they have the kind of crossover appeal that could seem them perform well commercially here in the UK. Believe us when we say that Striking Matches are worth keeping your eye on.


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