Artists to Watch in 2015 – No. 2: Striking Matches
OK, we know -- Striking Matches made last year's Artist to Watch list as well. But this year really is their year!
Seriously ... the duo's debut album is finally going to drop in 2015, and they have some pretty powerful friends to make sure as many people listen to it as possible. T Bone Burnett produced 'Nothing But the Silence,' which can best be described as a countrified Civil Wars / Black Keys mix.
Sharp songwriting and delicate harmonies are Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmermann's calling card. They met as freshman in guitar class at Belmont University when they were randomly paired for an improvisational performance. Obviously, something clicked. Like country's best duos, it's impossible to imagine one without the other. It'd be like sipping straight gin.
After writing a half-dozen songs for ABC's 'Nashville,' Davis and Zimmermann signed with I.R.S. Nashville in March. They say they dreamed of having someone like Burnett produce their music, and because of I.R.S. president John Grady's relationship with the 'O Brother Where Art Thou?' producer, their dream came true.
They didn't waste the opportunity.
The 11 songs on 'Nothing But the Silence' warble between dirty, blues-driven rockers to more wistful, acoustic love songs. Both Davis and Zimmermann write and both play all of their own instruments. It's Zimmermann's guitar playing that will really take fans by surprise. She's responsible for that nasty solo that closes 'Make a Liar Out of Me' (think Jimmy Page in Tinkerbell's body).
Striking Matches' 'Nashville' total is now up to eight songs, and it's likely more will follow. 'When the Right One Comes Along' is included on the debut effort, as is 'Trouble Is as Trouble Does.' The full album will drop March 24 with a single expected before then.