By Izzy Parker
A plethora of excitement lies on the horizon for Liverpool band Courting this autumn, as they see the release of their debut LP, Guitar Music, and embark on a subsequent UK tour. It’s already been a momentous couple of years for the prosperous four piece emerging from the often called pool of life- this month’s Guitar Music promptly follows last year’s debut EP Grand National, as well as a fresh record contract with Belgian indie label Play It Again Sam at the beginning of the year.
This summer, they’ve taken their acute indie-pop sound across the country, playing a fair few of the indie festivals, from Community London and Leeds to Latitude and Truck festival, and appeared alongside the likes of contemporaries Wet Leg and Sports Team. Continuing their triumphant reign, Courting are set to hit the road this September with an extensive catalogue of UK and EU tour dates- including a home show! But first, new music!
Jumper, the latest release from the band comprised of Sean Murphy O’Neill on guitar and vocals, Sean Thomas on drums and vocals (always admire a singing drummer!), Josh Cope on guitar and Connor McCann on bass, is self-described as their ‘pop moment’. Recent uni graduates, the four piece suggest they ‘should be able to pay off their student loans’ following a track (and ensuing album) like this one! I don’t think they’re too far wrong, either!
Produced by double GRAMMY nominated James Dring (who works with names such as Gorillaz and Lana Del Rey), Jumper is solid gold, a true coming of age track. It feels like a definite exploration of the parameters of what Courting have to offer, verging away from the post-punkier sound they have previously encapsulated. Undeniably bright, hopeful and commanding a degree of nostalgia, it certainly shows a different side to Courting, and I’m not complaining!
Drums introduce the track, followed by chirpy guitars which introduce the crooks of the song. That jagged, jaunty guitar really carries the song both in groove and danceability, but unlike many bands of a similar genre, the overall instrumentation of the track fits perfectly, complimenting its themes very nicely! Sean Thomas on drums creates a baggy backbeat, reminiscent of a Happy Mondays tune. Moreover, those transitional drum fills of Thomas’s going into verses give us the feel that we are moving chapter by chapter through a story, as Murphy O’Neill’s swirling vocals narrate with wistful lyricism, plus bright backing from Thomas, of course. The story, you ask? The former named frontman says “Jumper is an outlier on the album. It is a gentle story of true unrequited love, meant to playout like a 2006 romcom. It is about growing old and believing everything will fall into place, the mundanity of doing dishes, and leaving oppositional film reviews.” Lyrically, though it tells a tale of unrequited love, the track is joyous and possesses all the comfort, blind faith and glitter of a 2000s rom com. Even the most cynical of listeners could surely be charmed into imagining that the two will be doing the dishes together when they’re forty!
Jumper has a detectable Liverpool influence to it, not dissimilar to the likes of The Farm. Though different to previous material, what remains constant throughout Courting’s discography is a contagious energy and promise. They truly feel like the kind of band who are going somewhere, and you can feel it in their songs. Presumably this transpires to their live performances, meaning catching them on one of their upcoming tour dates is vital for any budding music fans. Beginning the UK leg of their travels on September 17th, tickets can be purchased here for a range of locations from Wigan to Guildford. September 30th will see them play a Liverpool Arts Club show, supported by homegrown bands Blondes and Cassette Theory and debuting songs from Guitar Music. Not one to miss, that’s for sure!
Speaking 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.” Due for release on September 23rd, Guitar Music can be preordered here, with the tracklisting found below. We’ll certainly be listening come September 23rd!
1. Cosplay/Twin Cities
5. Crass (redux)
7. Uncanny Valley Forever
Photo Credit: Alex Bex