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Striking Matches is an American duo consisting of guitarists/songwriters Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis.

Striking Matches
OriginNashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Years active2007–present
  • Sarah Zimmermann
  • Justin Davis


Meeting in a guitar seminar class at Nashville's Belmont University in 2007,[1][2] Zimmermann and Davis combined their talents and began honing their songwriting and performance skills. Shortly thereafter, they quit school to pursue their music career full-time.[3] The duo made their performing debut at Nashville's Bluebird Café.[4] They self-released a self-titled EP in October 2012.[4][5]

2012: Nashville (TV Show)Edit

On a trip to Nashville, the music supervisor for the television series Nashville, Frankie Pine, heard Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmermann who performed for her at the office of Universal Publishing, and decided to use their songs on the show.[6] "When the Right One Comes Along" became their first song to be featured in the show,[7] and a total of nine of their songs have been featured in the show's four seasons:[8]

2015: Nothing but the SilenceEdit

The duo became signed to the newly revived I.R.S. Records label, their debut album Nothing but the Silence, produced by T Bone Burnett, was released on March 22, 2015.[2][9] The album debuted at No. 25 on the Top Country Albums chart, with 1,800 copies sold for its debut week.[10] It also reached No. 1 on UK Country iTunes.[11]

2018: A Modern RomanceEdit

Striking Matches released their second full-length album, A Modern Romance, in July 2018 with Capitol Records.[12][13]

2019: EP SeriesEdit

Striking Matches plans to release a series three EPs in 2019 and 2020, entitled Morning, Noon, and Night.[4][3] Striking Matches released a new EP, Morning, in May 2019, which was their first release after leaving Capitol Records.[14] The group released a music video for the song "Don't Hold Back" in April 2019, prior to the release of the EP. The video was directed by Casey Pierce.

The duo release the second single off their upcoming EP Noon, "Say What You Wanna," in September 2019.[3] Noon will be released on November 15, 2019.[3]

Musical styleEdit

The duo's music has been described as being found at "that sweet spot at the intersection of country, rock and blues".[15] Regarded as a "countrified Civil Wars/Black Keys mix", Striking Matches employ tight vocal harmonies in their guitar-driven music.[16]


Studio albumsEdit

Title Album details Peak chart
US Country US Heat
Nothing but the Silence[17] 25 6


Title Album details Peak chart
US Country US Heat
Striking Matches[5]
  • Release date: October 2, 2012
  • Label: Self-released
  • Release date: May 3, 2019[18]
  • Label: Tone Tree Music

Music videosEdit

Year Video Director
2015 "Hanging on a Lie"[19] Jeff Venable
2019 "Don't Hold Back"[4] Casey Pierce

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result
2015 British Country Music Association International Album of the Year Nothing But The Silence Nominated
International Act of the Year Striking Matches Won


  1. ^ Betts, Stephen L. (3 February 2015). "Watch Striking Matches Shred Up 'Trouble Is as Trouble Does'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b Conaton, Chris (2015-06-16). "Striking Matches: Nothing But the Silence". PopMatters. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  3. ^ a b c d "Striking Matches Release New Video, "Say What You Wanna"". New Music Weekly. 1 September 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  4. ^ a b c d Holthouse, Jerry (5 April 2019). "Striking Matches Doesn't Hold Back With New Video". Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Striking Matches - Striking Matches". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  6. ^ "When The Right One Comes Along: How 'Nashville' Tells Stories In Song". NPR. May 13, 2013.
  7. ^ Thanki, Juli (12 February 2015). "John Oates, Striking Matches to play Ballet Ball 2015". The Tennessean. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  8. ^ Brown, Helen (21 Mar 2015). "Nothing But The Silence, Striking Matches, review: 'slick country storytelling'". The Telegraph.
  9. ^ Bosso, Joe (19 February 2015). "Striking Matches talk working with T Bone Burnett on their debut album". Music Radar. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  10. ^ Bjorke, Matt (April 1, 2015). "Country Album Chart Report For April 1, 2015". Roughstock. Sales figure given here
  11. ^ @strikingmatches (3 April 2015). "Back at #1 on UK chart!". Twitter.
  12. ^ "A Modern Romance". Universal Music Publishing Group. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  13. ^ "A Modern Romance - Striking Matches". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  14. ^ a b "Striking Matches Release New EP 'Morning'". Broadway World. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  15. ^ Hendrix, Kelsey (18 February 2015). "Get to know Striking Matches from SI Swimsuit Launch Week!". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  16. ^ Dukes, Billy. "Artists to Watch in 2015 – No. 2: Striking Matches". Taste of Country. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  17. ^ "Nothing But the Silence". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  18. ^ Striking Matches (1 May 2019). "Our new EP 'Morning' is out THIS FRIDAY". Facebook. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  19. ^ "Striking Matches | Hanging On A Lie | VEVO – Yahoo Screen". Yahoo! Screen. Retrieved April 2, 2015.