In the new issue of Music Week, we deliver a huge Nashville special. As part of our coverage, we mark the return of country superstar Kacey Musgraves with our world exclusive cover feature ahead of the release of her highly-anticipated new record Golden Hour. Plus, we speak to The Shires - the fastest-selling UK country act ever all about their upcoming third album, Accidentally On Purpose.
Both albums will be released via Decca in the UK, and at the heart of their campaigns is Rebecca Allen. Decca’s UK president told Music Week that the rise and rise of country music in the UK – as signposted by Musgraves headlining this year’s Country To Country Festival, plus the gold-selling success of The Shires – is a story that deserves more recognition.
“Decca is hugely lucky to be the home of Universal Nashville artists in the UK,” said Allen. “Mike Dungan and Cindy Mabe are two phenomenal executives and they have an incredible roster of artists. To see their acts sell out the O2, the Royal Albert Hall and to see their influence on British artists like The Shires is incredible. I think we still have work to do in gaining the recognition in the industry for the success stories happening within country music and Americana. Diversity across all music needs to celebrated.”
Speaking about Musgraves’ impending return with Golden Hour, Allen was quick to note that her performance at this weekend’s Country To Country Festival provides a crucial press opportunity.
“It gives us a huge moment to connect with her core fanbase,” said Allen. “There will be listening parties for her fans as well as key TV and radio appearances. Kacey herself has also given creative direction for the marketing of her album so there are lots of ideas being discussed, including a London bus campaign. The UK have hugely embraced Kacey and our opportunities lie far wider than for a country artist.”
Diversity across all music needs to celebrated
Also currently occupying Decca’s energies is the April return of The Shires. Allen revealed how the label is going to be measuring success with the duo this time around.
“Having a No.1 record still means something,” said Allen. “It means a lot to the artists and it means a lot to a label like Decca. We would be thrilled to get a No.1 for them, for us, but equally the excitement comes when we break through a glass ceiling and take them from gold to platinum and upwards. I think as a label we focus on volume over chart position, and therefore we create plans that span 12-18 months. We care about the longevity of artists like The Shires, and therefore it’s less about Week 1 and more about keeping a consistent campaign running for longer.”
You can listen to Kacey Musgraves' latest single Butterflies below