Liverpool four-piece Courting return with details of their much anticipated debut album “Guitar Music”, which is due out 23rd September via Play It Again Sam. To mark the announcement the band have also shared a new single titled “Loaded”, which follows the release of last month’s critically acclaimed track “Tennis”.
The new album comes on the heels of Courting’s 2021 debut EP “Grand National”, which saw them earn plaudits across a wide array of media for their boisterous, whip smart lyrics and angular instrumentation. The release saw them land two singles on the BBC Radio 6 Music Playlist (including an A list), as well as coverage in multiple end of year lists. However, whilst the album follows closely on the back the EP, the new material sees the band making a marked step in a new direction, exploring more dynamically expressive songwriting than ever before.
Whilst “Tennis” provided a first taste of this new musical evolution, the latest single “Loaded” perfectly exemplifies how the band are deconstructing their sonic template in order to playfully piece it back together whilst toying with new sounds, textures, and songwriting techniques. There is still very much a backbone to the track, one in which the melody still seeps through along with an infectious groove, but it is overlayed with experimentation. Chaos, noise, and distortion all coalesce to create a clattering and intense concoction of sound which combines driving basslines, smatterings of electronic idiosyncrasies, autotuned vocals, and unpredictable instrumentation.
Speaking on the new single, frontman Sean Murphy-O’Neill says, “In Loaded we tie together a lot of ideas about change, and stagnation. It is inspired heavily by pop music, specifically artists like SOPHIE. It is us just throwing everything at the wall and trying to create something fun and ridiculous.”
This new approach to songwriting is key to the whole ethos of the new record, which was produced by double GRAMMY nominated producer James Dring (Gorillaz, Jamie T, Sorry, Lana Del Rey, Blur, Loyle Carner). Going on to speak on the album Murphy-O’Neill says:
“Guitar Music is realising you actually love the music you hated when you were 13. It is lip fillers and being thousands of pounds in debt. It is missing mundane things about your childhood and mourning celebrities you were only aware of posthumously. It is dancing with your friends. It is falling in love with a drawing and it is always online. It is touching toes in bed, hearts carved into trees. It is swimming outside and listening to pop smoke. It is fireworks over family parks and Guitar Music is the opposite of our early releases in that it is very emotional. The stories told may be from the perspective of other characters at times, but these songs are filled with actual emotion rather than us trying to hide.
We felt that Guitar Music as a phrase was reductive and therefore decided to create a record with the intention of it being a body of work that could redeem being a “guitar band”, by pushing it to different boundaries. To us, this record is a statement piece, it felt very exciting to make, to us, it feels a lot more special than we’d originally expected it would be.”
“Loaded” is further proof that the new direction and approach to composing on “Guitar Music” only stands to accentuate Courting’s propensity for captivating and melodic songwriting whilst never being content to rest on their laurels, and with further live dates on the horizon, there is no better time to get on board.
“Guitar Music” is out 23rd September via Play It Again Sam and is available on LP, CD, cassette, and digitally. There are also exclusive formats available directly via the Courting store including an LP with limited coloured flexi disk and exclusive CDs with additional unreleased audio.