Proving not all country artists come from America, Catherine McGrath is an Irish singer and songwriter whose music blends fresh-faced pop with influences straight from Nashville. Born in County Down in Northern Ireland in 1998, McGrath learned guitar from her grandmother, who taught her to play and sing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Her parents also sang and played, and were frequent performers at the annual Fiddlers Green Music Festival. She honed her skills by watching her parents on-stage and instructional videos online. McGrath took up songwriting, and in addition to performing her own material, she began making videos of herself performing current pop hits, which she posted online. McGrath’s style was informed by contemporary pop as well as the updated country sounds of artists such as Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, and Maddie & Tae. McGrath’s videos attracted the attention of Instrumental, a company that finds talent online and grooms them for larger success; McGrath moved to London to work with the firm, and after only a few months, she began traveling to Nashville for periodic songwriting and recording sessions. In the summer of 2016, McGrath, then only 19, landed a recording contract with Warner Bros., and December 2016 saw the release of her four-song debut EP, the four-song One. She spent the following year writing and recording her debut full-length, Talk of This Town, in both Nashville and London. The record arrived in the summer of 2018. ~ Mark Deming