Label: Dot Records
Last year, Maddie & Tae turned the country genre on its head with their anti-bro country anthem, “Girl In a Country Song.” And while that single ignited a revolution of sorts (see #saladgate), the cute-and-quirky song was, at its heart, somewhat of a novelty. On their debut, >Start Here, Maddie (20) and Tae (19) impress beyond their years with bright, compact harmonies, and manage to sound sweet without being cloying. The very excellent “Shut Up and Fish,” and the Dixie Chicks-sounding “Sierra,” are among the more cutesy offerings, but they entertain in a humorous, relatable way. Elsewhere, songs such as “Waiting on a Plane,” and “The Downside of Growing Up,” speak to the more universal theme of leaving home and are made warmer by the girls' incredible harmonies.