The UK’s biggest country music export The Shires today release their eagerly anticipated new album ‘10 Year Plan’. It features the recently released ‘I See Stars’ and ‘Wild Hearts’, which have earned phenomenal airplay at Radio 2 (an A-list, a Record of the Week, and premieres from Zoe Ball and Bob Harris). They have positioned ‘10 Year Plan’ to add a successful new chapter to a career that has already included four #1 UK Country albums, 100 million+ streams and two Gold-certified records.
The Shires say, “We are so excited to finally have our new album ’10 Year Plan’ out. We celebrate 10 years together as duo next year and this album is looking back at every point on that journey – all the milestones we have had. Our hope is that this album can be the soundtrack to uplift our spirits again and enable us all to create new happy memories. We hope you enjoy it”.
‘10 Year Plan’ sees The Shires – Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes – taking all of their biggest influences and condensing them into one cohesive, confident record. Opening with the colourful, country-pop euphoria of ‘Cut Me Loose’, it’s a set that particularly excels when The Shires place their authentic country roots into arena-scaled anthems, as shown by the anthemic rush of ‘Sparks Fly’ or the soaring slowburner ‘Skydive’. Yet The Shires have no inclination to simply stick to a formula, as they voyage into the smouldering Civil Wars-style sentiment of ‘Plot Twist’, strip everything back for the raw ‘Peggy I’m Sorry’ or channel classic Americana with the pedal steel inflections of ‘When It Hurts’.
The Shires also today release a new video for the album track ‘A Bar Without You’. Crissie and Beninitially trade lines before very naturally escalating into lusciously layered vocal harmonies. They also confound country music tropes as the song’s initially sad feel is uplifted into a sweet expression of being away from a loved one. Watch HERE.
Ben says, “At first you might think this is a sad song, but if you listen to the lyrics it’s saying, ‘Don’t worry when I go, because you’re always in my thoughts.’”
Chrissie adds, “I think this demonstrates what we do best in terms of harmonies, the way we layer them together.”
‘10 Year Plan’ is available to buy or stream HERE. The Shires’ official store offers signed art prints with the vinyl format.
The Shires will launch ‘Ten Year Plan’ with intimate album launch shows next week in Kingston and Leeds, both of which will be hosted by a local independent record store – tickets are available HERE. The duo will also hold album signing sessions at three key hmv stores that same week. They will visit hmv Westfield (12:30pm on Monday, March 14th), hmv Manchester (12:30pm, Tuesday, March 15th) and hmv Vault, Birmingham (5pm, Thursday, March 17th). More details can be found HERE.
They then embark upon a huge UK headline tour in April which culminates with a prestigious show at the London Palladium. Remaining tickets for the tour are available HERE. Their summer festival schedule is taking shape with A Perfect Day in Exeter (July 3rd, headlined by David Gray) and a headline set at Castell Roc in Chepstow (August 29th).
MARCH – INTIMATE ALBUM LAUNCH SHOWS 14thKingston, Pryzm – hosted by Banquet Records 15th Leeds, Brudenell Social Club – hosted by The Vinyl Whistle
APRIL – HEADLINE TOUR 21stWeymouth, UK , Weymouth Pavilion – SOLD OUT 22ndAberystwyth, UK, Aberystwyth Arts Centre Great Hall 23rd Cardiff, UK, St David’s Hall 25thBrighton, UK, Dome 27thBasingstoke, UK, The Anvil 28thTorquay, UK, Princess Theatre 30th Stoke On Trent, UK, Victoria Hall Stoke
MAY – HEADLINE TOUR 1stBristol, UK, O2 Academy Bristol 2ndLiverpool, UK, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 4thCarlisle, UK, Sands Centre 5thGateshead, UK, Sage Gateshead 6th York, UK, York Barbican – SOLD OUT 8thEdinburgh, UK, The Liquid Room – SOLD OUT 9thAberdeen, UK, Beach Ballroom 11th Lincoln, UK, Engine Shed 12thFolkestone, UK, Leas Cliff Hall 13th Bedford, UK, Bedford Corn Exchange 15thCambridge, UK, Corn Exchange 16thManchester, UK, The Bridgewater Hall 17thBirmingham, UK, Symphony Hall 19th Oxford, UK, New Theatre Oxford 20thGuildford, UK, Guildford G Live – SOLD OUT 21stIpswich, UK, Regent Theatre 23rdNottingham, UK, Nottingham Royal Centre 24th London, UK, The London Palladium