GLASGOW band Ashton Lane have scored a major chart success – by writing songs with their fans.
The country duo, husband and wife pair Esther and Tim O’Connor, took the unusual approach to their new album The In-Between.
Now the pair are reaping the rewards of their collaborative songwriting process, after the LP charted at the top of the British country music chart.
The 11 songs on the album, released by Glasgow independent label OC Records, were written all written this year in Glasgow after the band gave fans the chance to write songs with them.
It saw Esther and Tim meeting with eleven fans who had submitted lyrics and ideas for songs following a social media campaign. The fans came with their stories of love and love lost as well as one about an interesting historical figure, Ruth Ellis, which inspired Marilyn Curls – the lead single from The In-Between. Ashton Lane then crafted these into Bespoke Songs for them.
Now the pair are planning to follow the success of The In-Between with a second collaborative album in 2019.
The album also saw Ashton Lane achieve their highest position on a host of other charts. They charted at 1 on the UK country chart, 6 on the UK indie chart, 34 on the Official Scottish chart, 69 in the UK national physical album chart and charted on the official UK chart for the first time, coming in at 95.
The album success comes after they achieved their first number one single on the iTunes Country Charts last year with Breathe You In.
The band preview their songs on their Facebook Kitchen Sessions and have amassed an incredible 4 million hits so far. They’ve performed at the prestigious Country 2 Country Festival in London, and were double nominated at the 2016 British Country Music Awards.
Esther O’Connor said: ”We are thrilled to see our direct to fan model really proving itself and working well. It was brilliant to hit the UK charts independently which has been a real achievement for us. Hitting the top spot on the UK country official album charts has been one of the highlights of our year.”
Tim added: “We are really excited about 2019 as we are already working on another album ‘Travelling Mercies’ where we are again co-writing songs with our fans about their stories and experiences. Writing in this way has been one of the most creatively rewarding things we’ve ever done – getting to tell the real life stories of our fans through our songs. To then see our album of co-written songs (The In-Between) hit the UK charts was a total thrill for all involved.”