On paper, you would assume established indie king Jamie T would easily outsell relatively a new country act to reach the pinnacle of the Official UK Albums Chart. At this present moment, however, his fourth album ‘Trick’ is engaged in a chart battle with Ward Thomas‘ ‘Cartwheels’. An impressive feat from the latter, but just who are they and what are they about?
Who are they?
Ward Thomas are 22-year-old twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas. They grew up on a farm in rural Hampshire and have been writing songs together since sixth form.
What’s their story?
‘Cartwheels’ is their second album and looks to be their breakthrough into more mainstream circles. They released their debut album ‘From Where We Stand’ in July 2014, which peaked at Number 41 on the Official UK Albums Chart. However, it went to Number One on the UK Country Chart and was named the UK Album Of The Year at the British Country Music Awards so if this new record does top the charts it won’t be their first taste of success.
The twins got their start after playing a song they’d written to their singing teacher, Ann Bailey, who had been a session singer in Nashville. She sent some of their music to contacts there and the sisters were soon in the home of country, recording their debut album and working on new tracks for ‘Cartwheels’.
Who’s influenced them?
On their Facebook page they list country-star-turned-pop-phenomenon Taylor Swift, Dixie Chicks, Kacey Musgraves and Fleetwood Mac, while in interviews they’ve also name checked the grand dame of country, Loretta Lynn, amongst others.
How big a deal is it that they could get a Number One album?
Massive. If Ward Thomas claim the top spot they’ll be the first country act to do so in UK chart history. What’s more, it would signal a big achievement by the pair, who are still playing tiny venues like Cambridge’s Portland Arms on their upcoming October tour. It’s kind of surreal to think you could see a chart-topping artist in a 100 capacity space, but that could seen be a reality if the charts go in the twins’ favour.