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Before forming their band in Los Angeles, the HawtThorns both enjoyed acclaimed careers of their own, leaving their marks upon the intersecting worlds of rock, country, and pop music. California native KP (formerly Kirsten Proffit) launched her solo career with 2006’s Lucky Girl (a record whose tracks found their way onto TV shows such as Dawson’s Creek), and was touring the US by 2012 as a member of CALICO. As a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer, Johnny Hawthorn had already released three solo albums and performed with bands like Toad the Wet Sprocket and Everclear by the time he crossed paths with KP.

The connection between KP and Johnny was immediate, and the two spent their first date playing songs together. Before long, they were writing originals – melodic music that made room for KP’s voice, Johnny’s guitar, and plenty of collaboratively-written hooks. The two became newlyweds, too, their sound mirroring the mutual respect and reverence found in their marriage.

Morning Sun is the HawtThorns’ debut, a collection of warm, West Coast-influenced songs that balance the most engaging parts of the bandmates’ different backgrounds. It’s an amped-up Americana album, laced with touches of lap steel guitar, strings, organ, and thickly-stacked harmonies. It’s a record about intersecting lives and finding that balance, with songs that rely equally on Johnny’s guitar lines and KP’s melodic sensibilities, showcasing the combined experience of the two musicians. Morning Sun is every bit as bright as its name indicates – together, the HawtThorns have successfully shined up classic country music with sumptuous harmonies and innovative instrumentation.