Music City has a fresh new country-pop duo on their hands, and they might just be the next big country duo to top the charts. Remember the names – Brooks Hoffman and Austin Gee, because they are the innovative minds behind Nashville’s rising duet, SixForty1. Their astonishing songwriting chemistry and chilling harmonies are what captured the attention of country music fans in the ten-year town.
The two budding musicians met at Murray State in Kentucky and packed their bags to pursue music in Nashville in 2018. Upon arrival, leading names in the industry such as Brantley Gilbert, Eli Young Band, Walker Hayes, Niko Moon, and Michael Ray saw the fire burning within them and jumped on the opportunity to take advantage of their rare talents early on in their career. The two men joined forces with the hitmakers out on tour, which opened a window for endless opportunities. While growing their community and sharing their infectious sound – SixForty1 continued to stay ahead of the fast-moving music industry by writing and releasing captivating ballads that are infused with impressive country-pop elements. The way they intertwine their raw storytelling and southern roots make them destined for mainstream radio success.
SixForty1 latest love-inspired EP, Started Right Here – arrived just in time for cuffing season, as each thought-provoking tune delivers a little something different. From reminiscent melodies like “Me and Your Memory,” “Started Right Here,” to break up ballad “Not Me Missing You,” and even heaters about a lover boy chasing after his dream girl – SixForty1 carefully crafted a well-rounded six-track collection that perfectly pairs well with any emotion.
With the good vibe project, Started Right Here under their belt, the two unstoppable independent musicians will be making their Grand Ole Opry debut in no time. Music Mayhem has listened to their sophomore EP, Started Right Here– released on Oct. 22 top to bottom and have ranked each ballad.
On the cusp of a massive breakout, Brooks Hoffman and Austin Gee dropped their up-tempo anthem, “Bad.” The lyric-driven melody is about a man who can’t escape his internal thoughts and emotions about a girl. The pop-centric introduction gives off Taylor Swift’s “Our Song” vibes, as the lead vocalist kicks off the tune by singing about a girl from Murray State riding shotgun in his car.
“If you knew what I was going through/ since the last time I had you/ sliding in shotgun with your Murray State hoodie on/ You were shooting me looks all the way home/ since I dropped you off at your front door/ I have been feeling lost/ I have been craving more,”the musician sings in the intro.
The lyrics about not having the willpower to walk away from someone you love or wanting them so “bad” that it takes up room in your head is heart-wrenching and relatable all at the same time. The beat to “Bad” is equally addicting, as his obsession with his college crush that is perfectly portrayed in the passionate storyline.
“Never Gets Old”
It’s no secret that Brooks Hoffman and Austin Gee know how to win over a lady with their dreamy play on words. The rising stars penned the fairytale-like smash hit alongside Brandon Day and Michael Whitworth. The good-time anthem is intended to be blasted through bumping speakers with your hand tightly interlocked with your significant other. As the two blend their country twang to sing the moving bridge – “Same old butterfly when kiss me/ same shake me down to my soul/ long as she’s here with me/ I swear it never gets old,” it encourages music-goers to live in the present and to embrace the special someone who constantly brings the joy, fun, and love into their lives.
“Never Gets Old” comes across as a summertime anthem, and it reminds us that the weather is getting colder and the bright days are getting shorter.
“Started Right Here”
SixForty1 released the reminiscent song back in June to give their community a taste of what the six-track collection would be like and also to show how their sound has evolved since their self-titled EP in 2020, which featured their successful hit “Somebody’s Gonna.”
It won’t be long until the buzz-worthy track dominates country radio with its mesmerizing lyrics and remarkable harmonies, as it showcases the duo’s wide vocal range and control. The gratifying hit exemplifies modern country and how they have polished their irresistible sound to fascinate hungry music-goers. Music Mayhem is providing the country newcomers with a 4.5/5 for sharing their growth as vocalists.
“Not Me Missing You”
The soulful track “Not Me Missing You” is the song of the season. While the holidays spark new relationships and love might be in the air, Music Mayhem can’t help but think about the individuals walking into the festive months alone or coping with a messy breakup. The sad song is a must-have on a breakup track list, if you are looking to get a hold of your rollercoaster-like emotions.
The earworm tune proves that the duo can get in touch with their vulnerable side at the songwriting table. If a listener closes their eyes, they might just mistake Brooks Hoffman and Austin Gee as multi-platinum artists Thomas Rhett or even Sam Hunt. This mellow melody scores a sold 5/5 for pulling at our heartstrings.
“Me and Your Memory”
The country newcomers understand what it is like to live with a broken heart, as their recently released track “Me and Your Memory” shares a story about the one who got away. “We just wanted to shed some light on ours in hopes that whoever needs to hear it knows they aren’t alone, and everything heals with time,” the duo told The Boot about the inspiration behind the lyrics.
“Not it’s just me/ Me and your memory/ Gone, gone, but you never leave… Sometimes I wish it could be like it used to be/ When you were more than a ghost sittin’ next to me,” SixForty1 co-wrote alongside Mason Thornley and Matt Geroux.
As the singer-songwriters take the melody down a notch, listeners can hear their passion, and well-trained vocals take on challenging notes. However, the seasoned musicians tackle each verse with confidence and poise – leaving music goers wondering why they are not signed to a record label just yet. Music Mayhem is scoring the sad song a solid 3.5/5, as the instrumentals empowered their vocals on certain parts of the track.
The pop-infused country banger “All Night” is easily giving us some summertime sadness. The dynamic duo does a wonderful job of painting a picture of an ideal summer evening filled with laughter, good vibes, and strong thirst-quenchers. “Just keep pouring ’em all night/ Mix ’em up strong ’til the sunrise,” the band harmonizes in the party-like chorus that encourages fans to forget about the future and to live in the moment.
The carefree anthem will leave you feeling empowered and wanting to get together with loved ones. Although the leaves are falling and the air is brisk – Music Mayhem highly recommends grabbing a bottle of wine, calling up your friends, and turning the volume up because “All Night” should be on repeat rolling into your Halloween weekend.
We rate this smash hit a 5/5 for authenticity, good vibes, and for reminding country music fans to never sweat the small things in life.
SixForty1 currently just arrived back home from their Nashville Hits The Roof Tour, where they played alongside of budding musicians in venues across the United States. Keep a close eye on SixForty1’s whereabouts, as they are the country music duo to watch this year.