At a time when country music is exploding into the mainstream with huge collaborations between Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton, and Bebe Rexha and Florida GeorgiaLine, Catherine McGrath is poised to become the first international crossover star from the burgeoning UK country scene.
That superstar-to-be status is underlined with the release of a brand new official video for her current single ‘Wild’. Contrasting fun times in Nashville with a romantic interest with being effectively alone at a gig, the bittersweet video reflects Catherine’s own experiences of going on a date to a Coldplay show with a guy who was still fixated on his ex. The video was directed by Justin Nolan Key (Taylor Swift, Cassadee Pope).
“I grew up inspired by so many artists who were based in Nashville and obviously the country music scene is so huge there, so to have filmed this in the heart of the city was incredible,” says Catherine. “My last two videos used home footage and animation, so it was cool to do something so different for ‘Wild’ – especially as it tells such a specific story. It’s definitely my favourite song and video that I’ve released so far.”
Catherine co-wrote the song with Steve Robson as well as Lindy Robbins (Dua Lipa) and Jeffrey Steele (Rascal Flatts). The track previews the July 27th release of her debut album Talk Of This Town, which was recorded at various locations in Nashville and London, and affirms Catherine’s credentials as an artist and songwriter to be reckoned with.
The album Talk Of This Town features three tracks which have each exceeded a million streams at Spotify in the shape of the ‘Cinderella’, ‘Thought It Was Gonna Be Me’ and ‘Just In Case’ as well as a wealth of new material. Other highlights include ‘Don’t Let Me Forget’, a duet with the American country sensation Hunter Hayes; the anthemic ‘Lost In The Middle’, a celebration of the escapist qualities of country music; and the closing ‘She’ll Never Lose You’, a stripped-back ballad which showcases the power and finesse of Catherine’s vocal.
Raised in Rostrevor, a small rural village in Northern Ireland, Catherine McGrath is the personification of how country music is opening its borders to talent from far outside of its epicentre in Nashville. In fact, Catherine was immediately embraced by the community upon her first visit.
Working with a kindred spirit in the shape of producer Steve Robson – a Geordie who became a force within the scene after co-writing Rascal Flatts’ smash hit ‘What Hurts The Most’ – Catherine went onto collaborate with a number of Nashville powerhouse producers and co-writers such as Jimmy Robbins (Keith Urban), Liz Rose (TaylorSwift), Forest Glen Whitehead (Kelsea Ballerini) and Sam Ellis (Hunter Hayes).
Country music is of course rooted in Irish folk, so it feels natural that Catherine is at the forefront of a new wave of country. It’s fitting on a personal level too. Catherine was raised in a music loving family, and has regularly performed at her parents’ spirited Fiddler’sGreen festival, which attracts musicians from as far afield as North America and Germany. And when Catherine was ready to reach a wider audience, she posted covers of her favourite country songs to YouTube which resulted in her obtaining management and signing a deal with Warner Bros. Records.
Hailed as a major new talent by Sir Elton John, Catherine McGrath’s ascent has been backed by Radio 1 support from Adele Roberts, Scott Mills and Cel Spellman; a playlist at Radio 2, where Bob Harris has been a long-term fan; and ten consecutive tracks which have been added to Spotify’s New Music Friday UK playlist.
Catherine McGrath is quickly building a reputation in the live area too, with highlights including two performances at Country 2 Country, further festivals including Latitude and Wilderness, and tours with Dan & Shay and The Shires. Her debut London headline show at Camden Assembly was sold-out, while next month’s Bush Hall gig also sold-out within two hours and her Manchester show at the Deaf Institute soon followed suit. Ticket sales are also strong in Glasgow, which looks set to sell-out imminently.
Her touring profile has just been boosted with the news that she’ll support Michael Bubléat the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park on July 13th.
1st – Manchester, Deaf Institute (SOLD OUT)
2nd – London, Bush Hall (SOLD OUT)
4th – Glasgow, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
5th – Live At Leeds
27th – Coventry, Radio 2’s The Biggest Weekend
23rd – Isle of Wight Festival
13th – London, British Summer Time (support to Michael Bublé)
15th – Oxford, Cornbury Music Festival
25th – Portsmouth, Victorious Festival
7th – Leicester, The Long Road Festival