Always happy to hear new music from new UK country artists! Hengistbury are a new country act made up of Jessie Mary and Pete Briley. In November 2017, the duo hunkered down in a tiny studio on the Dorset coast – filled with guitars, fiddles, lap steels, banjos and just about every other instrument they could lay their hands on – and began writing and recording their debut album.
The first single to come out of those sessions, ‘What Folks Don’t Know’, is the true story of escape and a great adventure.
While the lyrics in this song are about the US, the song is distinctively British. The song displays the duo’s dreamy harmonies and makes their appreciation for music. What I particularly like about this single, is the way in which Hengistbury use their instruments to create a sound that is catchy and charmingly country. The song gives off a chilled vibe, whilst remaining upbeat throughout, making it the perfect sound for summer.
‘What Folks Don’t Know’ errs on the side of folk, while still feeling relevant to the mainstream country scene. The instrumental introduction to the song is Kacey Musgraves-esque, this is clearly a band who values instruments in making a good country song.
With the UK country music scene growing both in artists and fans, I think Hengistbury have the potential to be something big within it. Their sound is different to current UK country artists, yet fits among the likes of The Shires and The Wandering Hearts.
Check out the video for the new single, which tells a story through lego figures, featuring both Jessie and Pete.