Liverpool four-piece Courting release their critically acclaimed new album “New Last Name”. To mark the album’s release the band have shared a new song titled “The Wedding” and have announced details of a new hometown headline show (with support from FEET) at The Hanger, Liverpool on 24th May. Having sold out their last hometown show within just ten minutes of announcement, and with it following their forthcoming EU / UK tour, the performance promises to be one to remember.
The new album follows the band’s 2023 return and was recorded in collaboration with indie heroes Gary and Ryan Jarman of The Cribs, who worked closely with the band on production duties for a number of tracks. Lauded London duo DJ Sabrina The Teenage DJ also lent their production skills to Courting’s recent single “We Look Good Together (Big Words)”, which was announced earlier this month.
“New Last Name” is an album as adventurous thematically as it is sonically – but as its title suggests, it hints at new beginnings. “It’s a theatrical play within an album,” explains frontman Sean Murphy O’Neill. “. “There’s a lot going on. It can be simply enjoyed as an album, but there are characters, acts, stage directions etc. The listeners can decide on the narrative themselves, but we want them to get lost in it.”
2023 singles “Throw”, and “Emily G”, bookend the first half of the album, and whilst the former serves as a prelude, the previous single “We Look Good Together (Big Words)”, marked the opening of the performance, while showing a clear evolution of the band’s steadily maturing, explorative sound.
Going on to speak about the new song, Murphy O’Neill says, “‘The Wedding’ is the 7th Act of New Last Name, with the overall narrative starting to come to its conclusion. Our protagonist appears to have come to terms with everything, and looks back with misty eyes.”
From the baroque strings in “Flex” or even the country-tinged stylings of “Babys”, it would be an understatement to call “New Last Name” adventurous. That’s all before you even come onto the drum and bass drumming of the vibrant and vital “Happy Endings”. Brimming with nuance and pop culture references, the only constant is that the Liverpool group maintain their irrepressible sense of abandon.
Going on to speak about the album, Murphy O’Neill says, “I’ll admit that New Last Name isn’t really a play. Whilst it IS tied together by a narrative thread – it’s actually a collection of our most contained pop songs, and strangest experiments sat side by side.
New Last Name is unrestrained and chaotic. At the same time, it is more focused and detail-oriented than anything we’ve done before. New Last Name is a study in contradictions, and it’s the best damn play south of the north pole.”
That play goes on the road next month, with the band also having announced a new run of EU / UK tour dates. The band recently announced their tour supports for these dates which include Cosmorat, Flat Party, Duvet, Saloon Dion, and Sterling Press. Having cemented themselves as a must-see live act, Courting toured as main support for Circa Waves last year and toured “Guitar Music” extensively last Autumn as well as performing at multiple summer festivals including Reading & Leeds Festival, Wide Eyed Festival, Latitude, Truck Festival, Live At Leeds, Community Festival, and The Great Escape. They also came together earlier this year for “The Wedding” – a hometown wedding-themed show which saw the band unveil new material for the first time – which NME reviewed, describing them as “one of the most innovative and elevated acts of the moment.”
The new dates can be found here.