Remember These Guys? They Don’t Look Like This Anymore

By kncitom on September 17, 2018

There was a time around 2012/2013, The Band Perry were poised to become one of the Next Big Acts in country music. They’d had a slew of singles (If I Die Young, You Lie, Better Dig Two, Chainsaw), they’d won numerous awards, including Grammys in 2010 for Top New Vocal Duo or Group and Top New Artist and a 2012 ACM for Top Vocal Group. Kimberly, Reid and Neil seemed to have the country music world right where they wanted it.

And then they stepped away.

In 2015 they announced that, while they still wanted a presence in country music, they wanted their music to be considered by other genres as well, and to achieve that, they signed with pop label Interscope.

Crossing over from one format to another isn’t impossible, but it isn’t easy. And usually it sort of happens by accident; a song–say, Breathe, from Faith Hill–becomes a huge smash on country radio and it’s so big, pop music can’t ignore it, and so radio stations in that genre start playing it as well. But deliberate crossing-over is never a guarantee of success and for the Band Perry, their attempt to straddle multiple formats didn’t go well, with music released to both pop and country radio not really gaining traction in either world.

But rather than come back to country, which a lot of people thought would happen (a move even indicated by band members in various interviews) it seems instead that they’re now even stepping away from pop. Taste of Country reports the trio will release a 5-song EP of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) this Friday (Sept 21). According to TOC, Variety call their new sound “so unapologetically electronic it makes their previous couple…pop singles sound like vintage Carter Family.”

And their new sound comes with a new look, too.

Photo: Getty Imagess

Hey, far be it for me to criticize any artist on the direction their muse takes them. That’s what being an artist is all about. But, it is kind of surprising, knowing how incredibly tough it is to make it in any genre of music today, that anyone would walk away from as close to a sure thing as one can get in the music business. As noted, being a crossover artist is rare and usually more of a fluke than anything. For someone to cross entirely over from one genre to another is a near impossibility. Taylor Swift of course has done it, and in the reverse, Darius Rucker has managed to become a country superstar following his years as lead singer of the 90s rock band Hootie and the Blowfish.

But, they’re the exception. It’s a very difficult thing to accomplish.

All that said though, we wish them well. Kimberly, Reid and Neil were always very nice and approachable and, beyond that, they’re undeniably talented. Let ’em do what they want.

But, you have to wonder, if the EDM thing doesn’t pan out, will they try to come back to the format that first embraced them? And will the door still be open? You’d like to think so. But like I said, it’s an incredibly tough business, and there are no guarantees.


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