Following a string of enthusiastically-received singles, the harmonious Cash & Carter will be releasing their debut EP No Use Praying on 5th January 2024.
Formed through a combined love of and skill for songwriting, Birmingham musician Shaun Smith (aka Stealth) and London producer, singer and writer Ross O’ Reilly have come together to release a set of songs under the moniker Cash & Carter. Paying tribute to the legendary country icons both through name and musicality, the duo present their debut EP No Use Praying, inspired by classic artists such as The Eagles, Creedence Clearwater Revival,and Crosby Stills & Nash, as well as the likes of Chris Stapleton and Alabama Shakes, offering a refreshing and honest take on country and Americana.
‘The writing of the EP has, in truth, taken years. It’s very much a project that has been led by the fact we had a collection of unreleased music that had a concurrent sound running through it and it was a damn shame not to have it out in the world. So in that sense getting the tracks together has taken a long time, but once we put the dots together, the project came together very quickly.
‘This is a very proud moment for us both. We have always been hugely proud of these songs and it’s a pleasure to share them with the world. We just hope listeners enjoy the music as much as we had making it.’ – Cash & Carter
The EP opens with the anthemic title track, showcasing the strong songwriting prowess the artists possess as the track builds to a chorus bursting with rich musicianship. Shaun’s soulful vocals are on full display right out of the gate, easily gliding between a low croon and a powerful belt, while Ross’ guitar skills are expertly intertwined with the harmonious backing vocals throughout. Their debut single ‘All of the Way’ also displays this knack for a strong hook, with a fierce pounding beat and a delightful heady mix of multilayered vocals in the chorus.
Describing previous single ‘Americana (Letting Her Go)’ as ‘cathartic to write’, it allows Cash & Carter to present a tender side, a muffled guitar line opening this ode to a friend lost to suicide. It’s a difficult yet beautifully moving track that manages to both pay tribute to their memory and act as a cathartic exploration of the grieving process of such a profound loss.
Following the delicately buoyant ‘Ballad of Talulah’, in a bold move, the duo close the EP with an inspired take on a classic by The Cure, ‘Just Like Heaven’. In their hands, it becomes an eerie pensive stomp which slowly builds with lead singer Shaun’s atmospheric vocal delivery, Ross’s skilful guitar and some powerful percussion taking the original into a much darker realm. Just as Cash & Carter show their capability of constructing a powerful ballad, they demonstrate their knack of extracting something hidden within a popular song to make it their own.
Explaining why they decided to record their own version, Shaun simply says it’s because ‘We loved it. The reason we chose to do that song as a cover is because we felt we could really change its feel. The original is such a fast, major song, there are a lot of things to play around with.’
With their modern mix of UK country and flashes of traditional Americana the duo have been hotly tipped for success since releasing their debut single in 2023, which catapulted straight onto the US New Music Friday Country Playlist on Spotify. Further single support has been seen from Noctis Magazine, God Is In The TV, Songwriting Magazine and Entertainment Focus.
Cash & Carter is the side project of two incredibly talented songwriters in their own right – Birmingham artist Shaun Smith (aka Stealth) and successful London singer, writer and producer Ross O’Reilly, who together possess an impressive collective stream count of over 100 million – a testament to their individual artistry and their ability to captivate audiences worldwide. Coming together to create Cash & Carter after meeting through a mutual friend, they have forged a partnership that brings their individual strengths and influences into one harmonious blend.