The Shires’ release new single Guilty

The Shires' new single is Guilty

The Shires' new single is Guilty - Credit: Supplied by Carver PR

The Shires, the biggest-selling UK country act of all time, have released their new single Guilty.

Out today (March 9), Guilty is the first track taken from the duo’s highly anticipated third studio album ‘Accidentally on Purpose’, which is due for release on April 20 through Decca Records.

An infectious country/pop track, Guilty was written by the band during their trip to America last year.

The first single from the band’s new album had its world exclusive first play on Ken Bruce’s BBC Radio 2 show yesterday.

You can listen to the track here.

The Shires’ Ben Earle, who lives in Hertfordshire, said: “This song encapsulates our writing trip to Nashville back in October.

“Nashville really is a party town and there were parties almost every night, it was hard to turn down the invites.

“We were certainly Guilty of having a good time out there!

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“As soon as we received the demo back from our co-writer and producer Lindsay, Crissie [Rhodes] played it as her warm-up track while she got ready to go out.

“It always got her in the mood for a night of partying.”

Crissie Rhodes added: “As a songwriter, you always write down any ideas that come to mind so that when you go into a writer’s room, you can look back for inspiration.

“Ben had the title ‘Guilty’ written down and threw it out to us in the session.

“We all loved it and knowing the party scene of Nashville, it flowed quite easily to us all.”

UK country music superstars Ben and Crissie – hailing from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire – entered the history books in 2015, when their debut album Brave became the first ever British country album to enter the UK top 10.

Their second album, My Universe, also broke new ground by becoming the fastest-selling British country album of all time and reached the top three in the UK charts.

With two gold certified albums under their belt within 12 months of each other, and nine playlisted tracks across BBC Music, The Shires are back and they’re raring to go.

Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, The Shires’ new album combines massive country-pop choruses and emotive words about the band’s journey, relationships and their time in the States.

Increasingly, US country music is taking influence from the mainstream with pop-inspired hooks, a sound that The Shires’ new album reflects.

• Country star of The Shires is at home in St Albans

Ben and Crissie said: “Our new album Accidentally on Purpose is full of personal songs that really sums up the whirlwind journey we’ve been on together.

“From the day we met, we’ve been crazy dreamers with big plans, who really believed that country could break into the UK mainstream.

“For all those dreams, we never imagined it would all happen so quickly and we’re so proud and excited to be releasing our third album.”

The new CD features a track written by Ed Sheeran, a beautiful, anthemic love song called Stay The Night, which was written by Shape of You singer Ed after he met the band on a night out in America.

The full track listing for Accidentally on Purpose is:

1. The Hard Way

2. Echo

3. Guilty

4. Sleepwalk

5. Accidently on Purpose

6. Stay The Night

7. Ahead of the Storm

8. Speechless

9. River of Love

10. Strangers

11. World Without You

12. Loving You Too Long

The trailblazing duo will also be hitting the road this summer, performing their new music across the UK, including London’s Royal Albert Hall on May 18.

• The Shires 2018 UK Tour dates:

May 12: Guildford G Live

May 13: Bournemouth Pavilion

May 14: Cardiff St. David’s Hall

May 16: Bristol Colston Hall

May 18: London Royal Albert Hall

May 19: Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall

May 20: Sheffield City Hall

May 22: Ipswich Regent Theatre

May 23: Cambridge Corn Exchange

May 24: Oxford New Theatre

May 27: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

May 28: Gateshead The Sage

May 30: Carlisle Sands Centre

May 31: York Barbican

June 1: Birmingham Symphony Hall

June 3: Stoke Victoria Hall

June 4: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

June 5: Llandudno Venue Cymru

June 6: Manchester Bridgewater Hall

June 8: Nottingham Royal Centre

June 9: Brighton Dome

June 10: Basingstoke The Anvil