12 Days of Christmas Day 6!

Welcome to our new festive feature where the Belles and Gals team get together to bring you the highlights of their year. Today Liam Thomas (twitter.com/liam0324) shares his particular highlights of 2018!

2018 has been an incredible year for females in Country music. We saw in excess of 350 brand new singles, albums and EP’s and a surge in great new talents bursting onto the scene. With so many brilliant new releases this year, as well as some truly incredible live shows, it has been difficult to choose a select few of my favorites.

The number of tours this year has exceeded all expectations. Particularly within the UK. With Belles and Gals beginning to increase our number of live shows, as well as the huge numbers of US stars that have toured across Europe, lets hope 2019 continues to keep us singing, dancing and generally loving the many live shows we are offered. Here are a selection of my top 5 shows this year:

  1. Catherine McGrath’s ‘Talk of Your Town’ Tour (With Mary McGrath as Support)
  2. Kacey Musgraves’ ‘Oh, What a World’ Tour
  3. The Wandering Hearts ‘Wild Silence’ Tour
  4. The Long Road Festival Debut
  5. Country to Country Festival (With a surprise appearance from Ward Thomas)

In 2019 look out for Olivia Lane headlining the Slaughtered Lamb in London which is in collaboration with Belles and Gals!

As the resident new music guru for Belles and Gals, I listen to an ever increasing repertoire of new music. Whittling down the 350 releases from this year has been difficult but this selection aims to cover a wide range of artists, both new and established!

  1. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour (Album)
  2. Catherine McGrath – Talk of This Town (Album)
  3. Taylor Edwards – No Hard Feelings (EP)
  4. Emily Frith – Better (Single)
  5. Shelby Neubauer – EXP (EP)

There are a number of new releases already lined up for 2019 with the new year already shaping up to exceed the number of releases seen this year. Keep a particular eye, or rather ears, on the upcoming albums from Ward Thomas and Carson McHone.

With a large number of new artists breaking onto the scene, I have discovered many a new favorite this year. Alongside many of the greats, it is amazing to see so many talented artists flourishing in the genre. Here are my artists to watch in 2019:

  1. Emily Frith
  2. Roisin O’Hagan
  3. Sinead Burgess
  4. Lacy Cavalier
  5. Moriah Domby

A special mention goes to all of the team at Belles and Gals for their hard work and dedication to promoting females within country music and for the great new recommendations they have given me. It is a pleasure to be in a team with so many passionate people. If 2019 is even half as great as this year then we will be in for a treat!

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