The Shires (c) Instagram
The Shires think Taylor Swift made country music "cool".
The British country duo - which is made up of Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle - believe they have the 'Blank Space' hitmaker to thank for bringing the music genre into the forefront.
They said: "Taylor Swift is really the artist over the last few years who has put the ball up for anyone to hit in terms of making country cool. I mean she has just made it so cool. She's an absolute star...
"So hats off to her, she's the one who should be held up there, because she's incredible. The new stuff as well. I know a lot of the purist country fans have gone, 'Oh, she's gone pop,' but it's great. I think it still has that country sensibility."
The duo - who recently made UK chart history by becoming the first British country band to reach the top 10 in the Official UK Album Chart with their debut LP 'Brave' - have admitted they are not quite sure whether they will follow in the footsteps of the 25-year-old star and change their sound as their career progresses.
Speaking to the Official Charts, they added: "I don't know what the future holds in terms of where we will go with our sound, but I think we'll always be country at our core because that's what we love about music.
"We always focus on the song and that honesty and whatever comes out, comes out. If our tastes start to change and we start listening to other stuff, then maybe."