CMT LISTEN UP - 2021
Written and recorded in her recently adopted hometown of Nashville, TN, breakout
newcomer Sykamore’s upcoming EP represents both a beginning and an end, the
culmination of a remarkable international journey and the start of an even more
promising artistic one. Sykamore’s songwriting is equal parts country and pop, mixing
intimate reflection and empathetic storytelling with instantly memorable hooks and
sing-along choruses that capture the emotional rollercoaster of youth and young love.
Her arrangements are eclectic and infectious to match, drawing on everything from
George Strait to George Michael with performances that practically beg you to hit the
highway with the volume up and the windows down. The result is an infectious
collection all about honesty and vulnerability, about the strength and freedom we can
unlock by embracing our truest selves, delivered by an artist who’s learned everything
she knows from a lifetime of listening.
“All those clichés you hear in country songs, I lived them,” says Sykamore, who grew
up outside Calgary, Alberta. “My parents met on the rodeo circuit, and I was raised on
a cattle ranch. Country was the music of my people, and that laid the groundwork for
me when I started writing my own songs.”
It didn’t take long for those songs to start garnering some serious attention. In 2014,
Sykamore won the ATB All-Albertan Song Writing Contest, and the following year, she
was nominated for prestigious CCMA Discovery Award. Soon, she had her music
featured on national television and was sharing bills with the likes of Miranda Lambert
and Josh Ritter. Sykamore’s biggest break, however, didn’t come onstage, but rather
online, when songwriting heavyweight Rhett Akins came across her music on Twitter.
“I read her name, I was curious,” Akins said in an interview. “I saw her face, I was
intrigued. I heard her voice, I was done.”
At Akins’ invitation, Sykamore joined the roster of Home Team Publishing (which Akins
founded along with his son, country star Thomas Rhett, his manager, Virginia Davis,
and Roc Nation/Warner Chappell) and relocated to Nashville in 2018. There, she
released her first EP, ‘Self + Medicine,’ which garnered more than a million ondemand
audio streams and helped land her a spot in CMT’s coveted “Next Women of
Country” class for 2020. Helmed by acclaimed producer Michael Knox (Jason Aldean,
Kelly Clarkson), Sykamore’s new EP marks her first release for Music Knox
Records/Wheelhouse Records and previews a forthcoming full-length debut.