Originally from North Dakota, sisters Kendra and Krista – AKA Tigirlily Gold – formed their band in high school before moving to Nashville and taking up a weekly residency at Dierks Bentley’s bar Whiskey Row.
They released their self-titled debut EP in 2021, including the iTunes chart-topper ‘Somebody Does’, and have toured with the likes of Walker Hayes and Ashley McBryde. Now they’re embarking on a new chapter with the release of new radio single ‘Shoot Tequila’ and follow-up ‘Blonde’ – the title track of their next project – and their own US headline tour with Lee.
Whilst they were in the UK to play at C2C, I caught up with the duo to chat about how they’d been finding the festival, the new direction of their music, how they approach their songwriting and what’s in the works for 2023.
Welcome to London!
Both: Thank you!
I mean I know you’ve only been here about five minutes…
Kendra: [laughs] Literally five minutes!
Krista: Barely made the show [at The Saloon at All Bar One]. But we made it, and that’s all that matters.
While you’re here, have you got plans to do any sightseeing or try any British food etc?
Kendra: I mean I want to have some tea, y’know, tea and biscuits. Some chips.
Krista: Yeah, we really wanna see Big Ben, all the touristy things. I don’t know how much time we’ll have for all of it but as much as we can do. Tomorrow we might have a little bit more time.
For people who perhaps haven’t heard you before, how would you describe your music?
Krista: Our sound, well, we’re sisters, so a lot of harmony. But we like to say we’re a duo but we like to have that girl group energy. It’s very uplifting and empowering.
Kendra: It’s fun and real. And even in our sad songs we’re telling people, “hey, you’re gonna be fine, you’re gonna get through this”. But we like to lift each other up and we like to lift people up with our music.
Are there any songs you’re particularly enjoying playing live at the moment?
Kendra: Oh my gosh, so many. We just released a song called ‘Shoot Tequila’ and for the first time in London today we heard so many people singing that back to us. And so that was a really magical feeling, to experience that. But that song is so much fun. So everywhere we play ‘Shoot Tequila’ it’s a party.
I was going to ask about that song as I know it’s going to radio…
Tell us a bit more about the song and how it came about, what inspired it etc…
Krista: Yeah, so ‘Shoot Tequila’, we wrote it with two other people. It was inspired by our days playing honky-tonks in Nashville. So we played those four-hour cover sets, and there are songs you do over and over that people still love. Like ‘Man! I Feel Like A Woman’, ‘Friends In Low Places’, they’re songs that have this magical energy and we just wanted to try to capture that fun honky-tonk energy in a song.
So Kendra had the title ‘Shoot Tequila’, you know, ‘I’ll shoot tequila’ [laughs]. We really just wanted to have fun with this and also make it funny and light-hearted. ‘Mama didn’t raise no quitter’ is one of the lines, the ”bout to cut a rug and call my ex, talk some trash’ [laughs]. We know the experience with tequila all too well and we thought it’d be fun to do a new drinking song. We’re tequila girls.
You’ve got so much new music coming out this year as well as your stuff that’s already out there. What song are you most proud of – either one that’s out already or one that’s coming?
Kendra: Probably a song that’s coming, it’s called ‘I Tried A Ring On’ and it’s one of our ballads on the record. And it touches on the idea it’s almost easier to get over the person than the idea of having to start over again when you thought your forever was already planned out. So that’s the whole idea behind the song. I’m just really, really proud of that one. That’s the one I have a really special feeling about.
How has your relationship as sisters impacted on you as a band, in terms of performing and writing together?
Krista: I think it helps us being sisters when we’re in the writing room together, because we’re so honest with each other what we like and what we don’t like. But it’s also fun having someone else in the band so you’re not totally alone on this journey. But Kendra and I really want the best for Tigirlily Gold, so we’ll fight over lines but it’s for the good of the song. We really truly love being a duo – it’s so fun to sing harmony with Kendra. And also, like, there’s certain things – we wrote a song about our hometown that’s gonna be coming out, and who else would share the same experiences with me? So we know each other, we went through a lot of similar experiences growing up.
Kendra: And even if we’re not going through the same experiences, since we’re sisters we can really feel what each other is going through at that time, and so that’s a really nice thing.
I wanted to ask about your songwriting more generally. Do you have a particular way you approach writing or does it change depending on the song?
Kendra: It definitely varies but we both have lists of just song titles. Every song for us has to start with a really solid idea, ’cause if we don’t have a solid idea to start I feel like it never becomes our greatest song.
Krista: No matter how catchy we try to write it, if we don’t like the idea, if it’s not clever…
Kendra: Right. So usually the title has to be there, and then Krista starts jamming on her acoustic like some sort of groove. Krista’s really amazing at spitting out lyrics left and right and I am a little bit more driven melodically. So when we pair that together it really creates the sound that we’re going for.
Your first EP came out in 2021. How do you feel your approach to your music has evolved since then?
Krista: Yeah, I still feel like that record is still very much us. But the new record’s called ‘Blonde’ and I just think it’s so much more bold and mature. And we’ve grown as writers, we’ve grown as people, we went through different life experiences. So I think we’re less afraid to say what we really wanna say now.
Kendra: I think as we get older and more into our career we try to care less too about what people might think about us. You try to be more honest and more authentic to what you’re going through at that time. So it’s just more mature, bolder, a lot of fun [laughs].
What advice would you give to your younger selves?
Kendra: Keep goin’. Just keep going, even when you feel like you don’t wanna keep going, keep going ’cause you never know what’s right about the corner.
You’ve also just wrapped up your first headline tour in the US – how was that?
Krista: Oh my gosh. So fun. So it was a little bit different than a normal tour because it was more like an exclusive pop-up tour. So we invited fans out through our texting number, and then fans would get to come out and basically hear the new record before it comes out. So we hit about 25 to 30 different cities doing that, and it was incredible.
What song do you wish you’d written?
Kendra: House That Built Me, Miranda Lambert. Well Tom Douglas wrote it.
Krista: Landslide, Stevie Nicks.
Kendra: I Will Always Love You, Dolly Parton. It’s iconic for a reason.
What does the rest of this year look like for you? Is the new record the focus?
Krista: Yeah. So a lot of new music as we talked about, our song ‘Shoot Tequila’ went to country radio. So yeah, music, a lot of touring, more and more and more. We’re ready to hit the road and to play these songs out live.
And lastly – do you have plans to come back to the UK after this trip?
Kendra: Oh my gosh. Well, not like set in stone yet but we definitely wanna come back and do our own headlining tour or coming to C2C again. But before even coming over here we just heard how amazing the fans are over here and heard nothing but amazing things. So we hope to be back again. Like we said earlier, ‘Shoot Tequila’, the UK has really grabbed hold of that song and to see people from not America, across the world singing our song, like that’s crazy to us. So we’re very grateful for that.
Tigirlily Gold’s latest single, ‘Blonde’, is out now on Monument Records/Sony Music Nashville.