Leaving Thomas is one of the most exciting young country acts in Canada. And with their self-titled debut album, increased exposure at home and in the United States, and a willingness to push themselves as far as they can go – we have no doubt Annika and Bryton are well on their way.
We caught up with Leaving Thomas on the phone to talk about the album while they worked in Nashville on new music that could very well end up on their next record.
I asked Annika and Bryton about Blame It On The Neon being played on SiriusXM The Highway and having the video in rotation on CMT in the United States and they told me that it was exciting to say the least. Annika (a longtime SiriusXM listener) compared it to hearing your song on the radio station that you grew up on, but with the added wide audience satellite radio brings to the table. They also said that they’re proud to represent Canada and Canadian country music south of the border with this exposure.
Canadian country should be proud and excited to have them as representatives.
By the numbers not many Canadian bands particularly and country music make a splash in the US market. However, the talent, drive, and energy that Leaving Thomas put into their music and career should give them as much chance as any to make it work.
I told Leaving Thomas that Sykamore mentioned them in a recent round of 5 Quick Questions as the artist she thought people should be paying more attention to, and that she mentioned the LT show and how much she liked it. I asked the duo what it means to them to have social media platforms like YouTube Facebook and Instagram to create and share content that connects them to their fans.
Annika and Bryton told me that as they approach the one year anniversary of the LT show on YouTube, they recognize how effective it has been for them. They told me that had people have come up to them, having seen them on YouTube first, and then going to find their music. They also told me that they’ve had fans of the music check out the LT Show and find a deeper connection with the duo.
Note: The character of Sue-Z is a certified hit. She is mentioned by fans on a regular basis and Annika told us she has been asked in person by fans when they can hang out with her over the top alter ego.
It should be noted that these two have other fans and admirers in the industry. Dallas Smith (he of the four straight number one hits at Canadian country radio) had this to say about Leaving Thomas last September…
“I saw Leaving Thomas perform at the CCMA Awards Industry Lunch and Annika’s vocal performance on ‘Blame It On The Neon’ knocked me off my seat. What a jaw dropping performance!” – Dallas Smith
While we had leaving Thomas on the phone we got them to play a quick round of 5 quick questions with us. Check it out…
5 Quick Questions with Leaving Thomas
Q1) What was the first song you performed in front of an audience together?
Both) Jo Dee Messina – I’m Alright
Q2) Do you remember the first album you bought ?
Annika) Gavin Degraw – Chariot
Bryton) Avril – Let Go
Q3) Do you have a dream collaboration partner?
Both) Dan + Shay
Q4) What is your favourite place on earth to be?
Annika) At her family home, at the kitchen table with loved ones.
Bryton) At his parent’s place in Phoenix with the family
Both) On stage together, performing
Q5) Is there an artist you think people should be listening to more?
Bryton) Gavin James
Other names mentioned as we talked about this one included Jillian Jacqueline and JP Cooper.
Leaving Thomas Album Review
We’ve had the chance to listen to Leaving Thomas’s debut album over the last few weeks, playing all eight tracks, and learning the words to the ones we didn’t know.
From the top of the record and Call It A Night, to Heart In Me at the end, Leaving Thomas show off everything that makes them who they are as a duo. Annika’s soaring vocals and the pair’s energy, enthusiasm, and passion for what they do shine through the entire album.
Leaving Thomas’s first three singles, Waiting Kind Of Girl, Best Adventure, and Blame It On The Neon certainly shine on this debut offering, and all three songs have become fan favourites at live shows as crowds have had the chance to be exposed to them. And adding the five other tracks to that small collection will allow for more singing along and emotional connection at home and in the audience when Leaving Thomas plays from coast-to-coast in 2018 and beyond.
At 27 minutes long, Leaving Thomas’s debut album is a quick listen that doesn’t drag. And yes, we do wish it was about three songs and 10 minutes longer, but honestly, the strength here is that there are no fillers – no songs to skip over, and nothing to take away from the heart of the matter.
Another strength, from our point of view, is that there is no clear fourth single. Depending on the direction that Annika, Bryton and the MDM Recordings team decide to go, we can easily see Call It A Night or Shame On Me coming to radio next.
And while we may not see If This Is Love, Thinking, and Heart In Me getting the chance to be released as singles (we’ve been wrong before), they hit a ton of marks when it comes to the emotion, story telling, and connecting that we love from country music.
Over eight songs, Leaving Thomas has shared a legitimate offering of who they are musically, and what they want to present to the world.
Annika and Bryton should feel proud of this album, and we hope they take the chance to revel in the excitement of their release, and everything that is coming next in their career.
Leaving Thomas Tracklist
1. Call It A Night
2. Waiting Kind Of Girl
3. Blame It On The Neon
4. Shame On Me
5. If This Is Love
6. Best Adventure
8. Heart In Me