10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: July 2017

From a Kentucky singer-songwriter produced by Sturgill Simpson, to a London duo with a flair for mesmerizing harmonies

Ferris & Sylvester
10
3/10

Ferris & Sylvester

Sounds Like: Dreamy, deceptively lovely folk-pop that tickles the ear and softens you up for the thornier sentiments contained therein

For Fans of: The Civil Wars, the Swell Season, hard truths set to song

Why You Should Pay Attention: Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester were playing London's gig grind separately before joining together last year in a duo that spotlights Ferris' gorgeously dusky singing voice and their immaculate harmonies. They quickly gained attention – and a high-profile collaborator in Martin "Youth" Glover, the Killing Joke bassist turned producer whose credits include Art of Noise and U2. Youth produced Ferris & Sylvester’s new four-song EP, The Yellow Line (named after the danger line to stay behind on train-station platforms, referenced in the song "This Is What You Get"), concocting a rich and fully realized sound that leaves one pining for a full-length. And these are songs that don't shy away from harsh truths, as shown by the money-shot line in the chorus of opening song "Save Yourself": "Break my heart, before I break yours."

They Say: "That line comes from the awkward part of a relationship,” says Sylvester, "where you both know it's going to end, you're not sure you want it to, you're trying to muster up the courage to do something about it and you're hoping they'll do it first." Adds Ferris, "Whether we're writing alone or together, it always has to come from a place of truth. We never make anything up. It's all honest and true, and that line is something we've both felt at times."

Hear for Yourself: "Berlin," the EP's single, is pretty as a California sunset even as it describes a downward spiral the singer battles with "these pills that I’m taking." D.M.

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