How Country Trio Midland Are Bridging the Country-Pop Divide
There’s chaos over the phone, with Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson and Cameron Duddy of Texas country trio Midland trying to sort out its position between members.
“Give us one second,” Wystrach, the group’s 37-year-old lead singer, says. “We’re trying to figure out the – ” and the phone breaks up again.
The band flew into Nashville two hours ago, and now they’re crammed into a vehicle on I-65 South, an hour from Huntsville, Alabama, where they’re booked for a promotional radio visit. It’s no accident their song “Drinkin’ Problem,” a whiskey-soaked slow dance filled with three-part harmony…
[PREMIERE] JASMINE THOMPSON’S “WONDERLAND” OF WASTED YOUTH
“Wasted youth in wonderland.” That’s the verse that carries the tone of Jasmine Thompson’s latest single.
A dark and eclectic melody plays under her eerie vocals as she sings about wasting your teen years away. The 16-year-old British singer is well beyond her years and feels that today’s youth is being wasted, with kids being forced to sit behind desks at school rather than being able to go out and live, love and create freely.
“You get to a point when you’re in school, you kind of feel like you’re wasting your youth,” Jasmine told Galore. “Youth can be a negative and positive word, but I feel like it’s so positive. Youth is where you’re free and you have no limitations and you have all of this time on your hands. So the fact that we feel like we’re just stuck doing nothing and we feel like we’ve got all of this creativity inside of us.”
Top 10 Country Songs of 2017 (So Far)
The best country songs of 2017 get played so often, the album art starts to singe itself into the screen on your phone like Silly Putty. These ten songs include established hitmakers, country newcomers, a RISER and a debut single at No. 1 (so far).
Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town seem to park themselves on Top Country Songs lists each year, and 2017 is no different. Each has a spot on this first edition of our Top 10 list, with Urban’s duet with Carrie Underwood trending upward to No. 1. It’s going to be difficult to top the best-selling song of the year so far, however. Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like a Back Road” is already crossing over to pop radio, making it a no-doubter to remain one of the best picks come December.
GETTING BELOW THE ROOT OF MYSTIC BARRIERS: A CONVERSATION WITH XYLØ
As siblings, Paige and Chase Duddy utilize their connection and generate some of the most uniform sounds that Los Angeles itself has contributed to the world of music. From what began as the band releasing songs solely on SoundCloud to them embarking on tours across the country, one can conclude that their rapid growth is due to not only overwhelming support from friends and fans, but also undying dedication and hard work.
20 Social Media Stars Who Have Cracked the Billboard Charts
Does a more haunting version of Macy Gray’s “I Try” than Jasmine Thompson’s riff on the single exist? The London singer-songwriter rose to fame by featuring her serene, smoky voice on YouTube covers, and while her cover of Passenger’s “Let Her Go” cracked the Rock Digital Song Sales tally, remixes with Felix Jaehn on “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)” and Robin Schulz on “Sun Goes Down” each made the Top 40 of the Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
5 Things to Know About XYLØ, the Vocals Behind The Chainsmokers’ ‘Setting Fires’
XYLØ’s indie-pop beats are sure to spark your fire.
Chase and Paige Duddy, who just rounded up a nationwide tour with The Naked and Famous and produced the vocals for the Chainsmokers‘ hit “Setting Fires,” became an internet sensation before they even had one single track.
Here are five things you need to know about the brother-sister duo:
1. They set the bar high in the Chainsmokers track “Setting Fires.”
There isn’t a song The Chainsmokers release that doesn’t instantly turn into a hit, and Chase says XYLØ feels “really lucky” to have landed the vocals for “Setting Fires,” a track off the DJ duo’s five-track EP, Collage.
Midland Make a Grand Escape in Retro ‘Drinkin’ Problem’ Music Video
The storyline adds a touch of excitement to the mid-tempo jam, which focuses on alcohol mending the broken heart: “People say I got a drinking problem / But I got no problem drinking it off / They keep on talking, drawing conclusions / They call it a problem, I call it a solution.”
Midland bass player Cameron Duddy directed the retro music video. In an interview with Sounds Like Nashville, lead singer Mark Wystrach seems proud of the band’s final product.
Midland Gets Soulful in Acoustic Rendition of ‘Check Cashin’ Country’
Grabbing a couple guitars for a pit stop on what they called a National Lampoon-style car ride through multiple states and over dangerous cliffs, the guys busted out their harmonizing vocal chops to show fans that a little road fatigue doesn’t stop the talent from overflowing in this exclusive video premiere of “Check Cashin’ Country.” The song itself embodies the trio’s spirit throughout their time together and that connection seems to be ever-present throughout their smooth and laidback style in the clip.
See Smooth-Country Trio Midland Harmonize on 'Drinkin' Problem'
New country trio Midland’s self-titled debut EP is a must-hear. Over five songs, the Texas-based outfit of Mark Wystrach, Cameron Duddy and Jess Carson, blend their voices to produce country music that recalls a mix of George Strait, Urban Cowboy and Seventies yacht rock. If ever there were a country band that Michael McDonald should sit in with, it’s these guys.
MIDLAND MOVES UP
Following Midland’s performance at the Apple Music House on Friday at SXSW, the BMLG-repped Texas trio’s debut single, “Drinkin Problem,” soared to #14 on the iTunes country chart, where it holds at press time.
This is BMLG’s fastest-climbing debut single since the Scott Borchetta-led company’s inception in 2005. And it’s been one of the Most Added songs at Country radio for the past four weeks, with more than 100 stations currently spinning it.
Meet Midland: Five Things to Know About the Texas Country Trio
There’s a new trio ready to take the country world by storm.
Midland’s Cameron Duddy, Jess Carson and Mark Wystrach released their debut EPlast fall, introducing the world to their Texas sound.
The group was recently named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “Artists Who Will Rule 2017,” and are now starring in a photo shoot for Man of Metropolis magazine.
“All of our music is an amalgamation of our musical influences,” Duddy tells the magazine. “Throw in some rock n roll, some soul, and a heavy dose of country music and your got yourself a Midland stew.”
PEOPLE has a first look at the Man of Metropolis images, and everything else you need to know about Midland as the video for their first single, “Drinkin’ Problem,” debuts.
15 Songs You Need In Your Life This Week
… 7. There’s nothing more country than being drunk and also lonesome: Midland‘s “Drinkin’ Problem” is a fun and soothing update on a timeless theme.
8. “Matrimoney,” a high-pitched song about being in love with money, comes from Swag Hollywood and Richie Souf‘s just-dropped mixtape, which goes.
9. Chance The Rapper, with Jeremih by his side, hopped on his lil’ brother Taylor Bennett‘s dreamy R&B track “Grown Up Fairy Tales.”…
XYLØ X COMPOSURE
Chase and Paige Duddy are brother-sister electronic pop duo XYLØ — new on the scene and here to stay. With early hits like “America,” “Fool’s Paradise,” and the collaboration with The Chainsmokers, “Setting Fires,” XYLØ is a name you’ll be hearing a lot. The only question is: Are you ready?
Composure Magazine: You’re brother and sister, 10 years apart. That lends itself to an interesting dynamic even before bringing in the artistic partnership. What was it like growing up together?
Paige Duddy: Well, growing up, since we’re 10 years apart, we didn’t really hang out that much. So for a while we didn’t really know each other that well, not for any other reason besides that we were living different lives.
DJ Vice's 'Steady 1234,' Feat. Jasmine Thompson & Skizzy Mars, Is Latest #NextWave Winner on Musical.ly
Hoping to expose its 160 million users to new and emerging artists, the lip-syncing app Musical.ly launched the #NextWave program and created a special folder that contains 15 buzzy new songs. Following the success of #NextWaveOctober winner Anne-Marie, the #NextWaveNovember winner is DJ Vice‘s “Steady 1234,” featuring Jasmine Thompson and Skizzy Mars.
In November, there were a staggering 1.3 million videos created to the 15 #NextWave songs and 261 million views on those videos.
“The power of the internet is amazing,” the DJ/producer told Billboard. “I randomly came across this sample on Musical.ly and knew instantly I had to do something big with it.
Watch Corey Harper's Wanderlust-Inducing 'Beneath' Video: Exclusive Premiere
Folk-rocker Corey Harper has already gained acclaim from both fans and media alike, all without having released his debut EP. Said EP, On the Run, will arrive this fall but until then, Harper has already graced listeners with a handful of tracks that showcase soothing instrumentation and his deep yet crisp vocals — a pairing that works well to deliver a warm and inviting sound.
On Wednesday (Oct. 12), Harper is sharing his latest track, the rollicking “Beneath,” along with its music video exclusively on Billboard. “‘Beneath’ came alive sonically from a riff I had heard on a song called ‘Broken’ by Jake Bugg,” Harper tells Billboard. “I went to the guitar to try and get something with a similar feel, and started singing lyrics mindlessly, finding melodies that fit the story I was searching for.”
A NEW OBSESSION: MIDLAND
Big Machine’s Midland finds a remarkably sweet spot where classic country, southern rock and “yacht rock” converge—authentic, richly melodic and breezy. The Texas band’s freshly released EP is among the most promising new releases in some time, thanks to smart, soulful songwriting, gorgeous harmonies and terrific musicianship. “Check-Cashin’ Country” is a declaration of purpose from a working band—“if you don’t two-step, we don’t eat”—though they may have to adjust that lyric about not having a song on the radio pretty soon.
The tune, like all five tracks on the set, just feels good, like bourbon-on-the-rocks good. The Midland boys (who are co-managed by Jason Owen’s Sandbox and Matt Graham of L.A.-based BRND Management) have distilled a hybrid of Merle and Waylon, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles…
Hear Corey Harper Evoke John Mayer on Radiant 'California Sun'
He has the blonde, fresh-scrubbed looks of a young West Coast surfer, but Portland, Oregon, musician Corey Harper’s radiant “California Sun” takes its musical cues from soul-baring sand and grit rather than crashing waves. With vocals that suggest Harper as John Mayer’s breezier fraternal twin, his tunes are a mix of Seventies country-rock touched by Mississippi blues. The 21-year-old’s “California Sun,” from his upcoming debut EP, is highlighted by a melodic chorus that finds the singer-songwriter dealing with the emotional fallout of a break-up, but resolute as to why he’s remaining rather Zen-like about the whole situation.
“I’m not going anywhere fast ’cause you always come right back,” he sings. “You remind me of the California sun. I don’t feel you as much when I get drunk.”
Born in Missouri, Harper picked up guitar at a very early age, having come across a Fender Stratocaster at his uncle’s house in Kansas City. With help from his uncle and father, he learned simple chords and honed his skills by watching videos of guitar greats Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, copying what he was hearing them play.
Meet Midland, a Country Trio to Watch From Taylor Swift's Record Label: Exclusive Video
Billboard is excited to bring you an exclusive video sneak peek at a new trio that’s sure to be one of the acts to watch in 2017 — Midland. Comprised of Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson, and Cameron Duddy, the trio — signed to Big Machine, home to Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts — has a definite George Strait ’80s New Traditionalist feel to it, combined with the rich California harmonies that made The Eagles legendary.
Hailing from Hays County (Dripping Springs), Texas, the band — who takes their name from the Dwight Yoakam song “Fair To Midland” — actually came together in a different state. Duddy was about to tie the knot in Jackson Hole, WY, and Wystrach and Carson rolled into town a week early. The guys began playing around musically on the front porch of Carson’s cabin, and things stuck.
Singer Cody Simpson and Radio Disney host Alli Simpson made headlines in Rio de Janeiro on Friday with a brother-sister moment that was nothing short of gold. The Australian siblings invited fans to watch them run with the Olympic Flame in Rio’s Ipanema Beach on the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay.
“It’s one of those things that falls so far outside of anything that you could ever imagine yourself being presented with… an opportunity like that is really one of those once in a lifetime opportunities,” Cody said.
10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: November 2016
Sounds Like: Cleverly blending Seventies California country with Eighties crossover vocal groups, Midland are a Friday-night back-porch guitar pull where everyone knows the songs and isn’t afraid to sing along
For Fans of: George Strait, Eagles, Glen Campbell, honky-tonk karaoke
Why You Should Pay Attention: Three words: Solid. Country. Gold. The chemistry between bassist Cameron Duddy, lead singer Mark Wystrach and guitarist Jess Carson is undeniable – both to fans who discover them and to the members themselves, who jammed for the first time at Duddy’s wedding. Named after Dwight Yoakam’s song “Fair to Midland,” the band captures harmony-rich, California country on their new self-titled EP for Big Machine Records. The trio recently finished up a run of shows opening for two of their heroes, Yoakam and Willie Nelson, and will hit the road with labelmate Aaron Lewis in January.
Listen to The Chainsmokers' New Single 'Setting Fires' From 'Collage' EP
The Chainsmokers still burn up the charts, and today (Nov. 4), the duo turns up the heat.
“Setting Fires” is the latest single from the duo’s newly released five-track Collage EP. It’s a slow-burning sensual beat with exotic undertones. XYLØ provides the slinky, breathy vocals. “Setting Fires” follows preceding Collage hits “Closer” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” and by the sound of this chorus, it’s probably destined to for serious commercial heights.
Thomas Jack Turns Up the Funk on New Single 'Rise Up'
Take a trip through time to the swingin’ ’60s with Thomas Jack and Jasmine Thompson. The tropical house king gets groovy on “Rise Up” while Thompson vocals hang in the air like purple smoke. This summer song will have you breakin’ out the paisley long sleeves and bright pastel miniskirts. Expect to hear this one at Jack’s Billboard Hot 100 Festperformance.
“Rise Up” is available now on Spotify and iTunes.