IN 2016 twin sisters Lizzy and Catherine Ward Thomas made music history when their album Cartwheels became the first UK country album to top the charts.

Fast forward three years and Ward Thomas have a new album and a major UK tour including a date at Manchester’s Albert Hall on Wednesday.

“It’s a very exciting time for us,” said Lizzy. “It’s also a bit nerve-wracking as we’ve done all the hard work with the album, it’s now up to the public to say whether they like it or not.”

Whereas Cartwheels could definitely be filed into the new country section of your collection, the most recent album Restless Minds - which itself went top 10 on its release last month - is much harder to classify.

“We always want to show development and progression with every album we do,” said Lizzy. “Cartwheels was great and we love it and it will always be there but with Restless Minds we wanted to show that we are different people now. We’ve been influenced by different music and been writing with different people.

“We hope that people see a growth through this album.”

The sister’s country leanings are still evident in Restless Minds and their almost telepathic harmonies remain but pop influences also come into play.

On the album they haven’t been afraid to tackle social issues such as mental health and the pressure of social media.

“We were talking about a lot of these topics in the songwriting room, and Catherine and I had conversations about them with our friends,” Lizzy explains.

“We were very conscious when were writing it, we didn’t want to sound preachy,” said Lizzy. “But it’s been so encouraging that songs such as No Filter have really connected to people. It shows a lot of us are on the same page about issues which are affecting so many people, which is very encouraging.”

Now 24, Lizzy, the blonde one, and Catherine, the dark haired one, share a cottage in Hampshire near to the family home. They are very much country girls at heart and prefer walks with their dogs to the showbiz glitz which often accompanies success in the music industry.

But they are equally at home on the road, loving the opportunity a tour presents them to get in front of their fans.

“We have been working on our setlist for a while,” said Lizzy. “It’s so important that we take people on a journey through the show. Of course songs from the new album will feature prominently but we’ve got some older songs in there too.

“We still have a lot of love for them.”

Ward Thomas first started getting noticed when they were 16 and their trademark harmonies remain as captivating as ever.

“We were very lucky to be brought up in a musical family and it’s very normal for us to sing together” said Lizzy. “Even though the harmonies do come naturally to us, we still work very hard on our vocals.

“For Restless Minds we have shown our individual voices a little bit more. We wanted to create something different and new that is fresh to us as well as other people.”

Ward Thomas, Albert Hall, Manchester, Wednesday, March 6. Details from