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BROCK BUTLER

The best country songs have always been the most fearless, but somewhere along the way, Nashville became as sanitized as an operating room. Thankfully, Heartwreckers are here to dirty it up again. The duo of Brock Butler and Ryan Garrett are two singer-songwriters with an endless supply of hooks and melodies, but absolutely no filter. Not only do they say what they mean, they write and sing about it too — which makes them one of the most honest new duos to hit the scene in over a decade. “I can't tell you how many times I’ve been writing songs in Nashville and you throw out an idea and everyone in the room says, ‘Oh, that's sick!’” Brock says. “But then they immediately follow it with, ‘But we can't say that.’” 
The proof of that statement lies in Heartwreckers’ upcoming debut EP, Shut Up And Drink. A collection of five envelope-pushing country songs all written by Brock and Ryan, the project reflects the unblinking lyrical and sonic approach the duo applies to country music. Ryan likes to call the sound of the EP — produced by Andrew Baylis (Jelly Roll, Austin Snell, Pecos & The Rooftops) and mixed by Jim Cooley — “Country. Ass. Rock.” “With the periods!” he stresses.

First single “Shut Up” is a candid conversation between a heartbroken dude and his buddy, who advises him the best way to forget his ex is to “shut up and drink.” It’s surprisingly more tender than the chorus might suggest, and underscores the bond between Brock and Ryan, who both attended the same Boerne, Texas, high school but didn’t meet each other until they moved to Nashville.

Brock, a Louisiana native who moved to Texas after Hurricane Katrina, already had an impressive resume before forming Heartwreckers: Brock had a publishing deal, had written with Tim McGraw, and had accumulated hundreds of hours of stage time and toured the country in a reggae band.

Heartwreckers’ unique worldview and no-fux-given attitude is poised to make the May 24 release of Shut Up And Drink a game-changer. They already have summer tour dates on the books and are eager to get in front of crowds in clubs, too. Brock and Ryan, who trade off lead vocals, are at their best when they’re working a stage: Brock as the grounding core behind the microphone and guitar.

“I want the fans to feel the music and sing the words and mean it,” Brock says. “Not because they heard a song 1,000 times, but because they heard it one time and it grabbed them.”

Brock predicts a movement is on the way in country music, one driven by a return to unvarnished, honest lyricism and a hefty dose of rock — the kind of music Heartwreckers make.

“We can all see it starting to happen. It’s got the beauty of grassroots, the beauty of great talent, and a lot of rock & roll,” Brock says. “Music is supposed to be one big melting pot and there’s nothing cooler than that.”

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