Essex boys Jack Cooper and Robert Gulston have been working hard building their fanbase over the past couple of years. The duo, who have been friends since their school days, have been picking up attention after performing at C2C: Country to Country and seeing their debut self-titled EP land in the Top 10 on UK iTunes Country album charts. More recently the band has been on tour with Dexeter to coincide with the release of their brand new EP Roots.
Roots features 5 brand new tracks, including new single Little Harder, and aims to show the band’s diverse range of influences. Anyone who has seen them live will know that the duo specialises in harmonies and catchy hooks. Little Harder is a good indicator of what to expect from this collection of songs. It kicks things off on an uptempo note and it’s the perfect example of what Holloway Road is capable off. The song’s melody is strong, the vocals solid and the instrumentation interesting and memorable.
The majority of the EP keeps things uptempo. Sonically the songs straddle the Country and Pop genres perfectly blending them together and giving the duo a sound that could help them cross into the mainstream. All My Life is a bouncy number with a driving beat, EP closer Let Me Go mixes an almost R&B style delivery on the verses with a memorable chorus, and title track Roots has the kind of soaring chorus that is sure to become a sing-a-long moment during the band’s live shows.
Good Thing Gone Bad is the only ballad on the collection and it showcases a different side to the duo. An acoustic number layered with banjo riffs, the song allows you to concentrate on the vocals away from the more polished production of the rest of the EP. The song’s sound is one that suits the duo well and I’d be interested in hearing more acoustic tracks from them in the future.
Roots serves as a good introduction for the uninitiated and a solid collection of new songs for existing fans. I’ve been interested in Holloway Road’s output since their performance at C2C: Country to Country in 2015 and they definitely show a lot of promise. Roots is a strong collection from the guys and I’m hoping that we’ll get a full-length album sometime soon. Holloway Road is one of the best emerging homegrown Country acts we have and the fact they’ve carved out their own sound rather than try to emulate the US stars is a testament to their talents.
Track Listing: 1. Little Harder 2. All My Life 3. Good Thing Gone Bad 4. Roots 5. Let Me Go Record Company: Holloway Road Release Date: 18th April 2016