Alt-country duo Two Ways Home are one of the leading acts on the UK country music scene, winning over fans with their gorgeous harmonies and emotional lyrics.
They topped off a summer of touring the UK’s festival circuit last week with a performance at London’s Borderline as part of Country Music Week.
After the show, I sat down with Lewis and Isi (plus their guitarist Michael) to talk about new single Outlaws, travelling up and down the country, and their hopes for playing C2C: Country to Country next year…
Hi guys! How did you find Country Music Week? What were your highlights?
Isi: It’s been amazing!
Lewis: We’ve seen Marty Stuart at Cadogan Hall – that was a highlight for me.
I: Then we saw Logan Brill on Friday at Bush Hall which was amazing as well. There was a couple of other bands we saw there as well – Temecula Road…
L: Who were great – and Walker McGuire and Levi Hummon. I’m remembering all the names!
You’ve been out on the road this summer – is there anything you’ve learnt from that?
I: I’ve learnt driving in the UK actually from these tours! [laughs]
L: Previously I would do all the driving but we had some really long hauls. We played up in Chester a couple of times.
I: Manchester, Liverpool…
L: Folk on the Dock Festival in Liverpool, which was really good.
I: That was amazing, so fun.
L: But again, yeah, Isi’s driving has come on no end!
I: Normally I always drive in Europe and America because that’s the correct side for me [laughs], so I was doing some more driving here. Now I’m a bit less stressed driving on the wrong side of the road!
L: Right side. For the record.
You mentioned you’ve got a new single coming out…
L: This is pretty much the first announcement I think we’ve made.
Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
I: It’s called Outlaws and… it’s just amazing! [laughs]
L: Yeah, so it’s a slightly different sound to how we’ve gone before. We’ve gone for a very kind of thick production on this one, which is just what the song needed. We’ve got the lovely Michael Clancy playing on this one as well.
I: And the rest of the band, actually…
L: So we have Chris Brice on drums.
I: Dominic Talbot on bass. So they normally play with us but as we had short notice for this gig we just thought ‘trio’ would still be enough. I do love the trio because it’s quite nice to just have a lot of harmonies and just focus on that.
Do you have any favourite venues?
L: We really like playing stadiums! 60,000 people…
I: [laughing] That’s happened in our brains!
L: We would like to be. I think we love a tiny little crammed-onto-a-stage gig as much as we love a big gig. We just played the Borderline today and it was nice to be able to spread out and move around.
I: Although I do like it when the guys are quite close to me as I feel like it’s nice to have all the harmonies kind of blend nicely. And being closer together you kind of feel more like a unit, so I do like that.
You’ve been hosting the Round Up over the summer – can you tell us more about that?
I: So we do these Round Ups – we started in February and have done one every month except August which was kind of our break. We’ve got one coming up this Thursday which is also at Gail’s Kitchen, and next month is going to be the 2nd November. Then in December we have a Christmas special at the Underbelly in Hoxton Square. It’s gonna be exciting.
Michael: That’s gonna be cool.
You’re always really supportive of other UK country artists – is there anyone you’re really into at the moment, or who you think people should know about but don’t yet?
I: I really love Laura Oakes – she’s a good friend of ours and we’ve written with her quite a lot.
M: We supported her at the Borderline which was really cool.
I: And then Jake Morrell, who’s a friend of ours who is also amazing.
M: I really like Jake Morrell – he’s great, really lovely.
L: We’ve played with quite a few over the year. I really like Katy Hurt as well, I think we’ve got a good band, they’ve got a good sort of rocky – I don’t want to say bro-country. I think in Katy Hurt’s words she once said ho-country [laughs] but I am in no way insinuating anything! But she makes a great noise.
I: I’ve also kind of discovered this new act, Izzy Walsh. She’s pretty cool – we saw her at FSA Fest when we played there. I think she’s quite young but she has this really deep voice and it’s just really amazing. I really love her voice. So she’s kind of a new one to look out for I think.
Are you doing any writing at the moment?
I: Yeah, always writing.
You guys are always writing, aren’t you?
L: I’m trying to think of who we’ve written with recently… We had a great write with Laura Evans, who’s brilliant. We also wrote with Twinnie-Lee Moore; that was a great write too. Have we got any in the diary? We’ll see.
I: There’s always stuff happening, I guess. It’s come to this point where you have to look at the diary all the time because you’re like ‘Oh I don’t know who I’m writing with!’[laughs]
Have you got any favourite people you like to write with?
L: Jess Thristan’s always great to write with. We’ve written two really good songs with Logan Brill – there is another one somewhere there behind the scenes that we need to figure out. And then I really like writing with the Kanes in Nashville.
I: It’s just such a laugh.
L: Cause there’s five of us – because we’re a duo if we write normally there’s only ever two other people there, but with the Kanes it feels like a big clan when we all write together. We love those guys.
What’s next for you guys – more touring, a new EP?
L: The next thing is Outlaws which is our next release, and we’ll have a video to go along with that.
I: I’m really excited for that.
L: And then we play quite regularly in London with the Round Up, but I think we’ve got a gig every one or two weeks.
I: Yeah, dotted around the UK.
M: And then a full band thing in December.
L: December 13th is the one that we’re really excited about at the moment as we’ll have a full band. Other than that, releases-wise we’ve got lots of songs that we’ve written. We’re definitely thinking about an album but also thinking about what’s the best move for us to do next.
If you had a bucket list for the band, what would be on it?
I: Well small things we could do just in the near future would be playing C2C this coming year – that would be amazing.
L: It would be great if we could get a pop-up stage or even a main stage [Isi laughs]. We’d love to play that festival. As yet we’ve been unlucky as I’m sure a lot of artists have, but we’d love to fit into the bill somewhere. And for me some way down the road making an album would be great if we could get a good budget.
I: But then obviously playing stadiums in the long run! That’s on the bucket list.
L: Yeah, with the aim of playing stadiums. Bring on Wembley!
Two Ways Home’s new single Outlaws is available to download and stream now.