New Noise, a brand new featured section on Far Out, will see a renewed focus on the realm of new music as we look at some of the emerging artists you need to start adding to your playlist. These are the artists looking to make 2021 the year in which they step out of their shadows, armed with an arsenal of material ready to get the recognition that they duly deserve.
Liverpool four-piece Courting are gearing up to release their debut EP, Grand National. If the pounding title track is anything to go by, then the new material will be a thrilling, pummeling listen. The first offering explains why, if you haven’t already, you need to put Courting right to the top of your radar. The blend of wit, anger and thudding energy that grabs you by the collar is irresistible. If you thought Courting were the latest run of the mill post-punk outfit from the seemingly never-ending conveyer belt, then you couldn’t be more wrong.
There’s an innate explosive nature to Courting, but that’s not all they have, and they’ve carefully curated their debut EP to showcase the multiple sides to their personality, work that proves that they are not one-trick ponies. The four-track EP features the recently released title track and previously released jangly single, ‘Popshop’, but the second half of the record is an entirely different ballgame with Courting expressing a side that nobody has previously heard.
“By releasing the first half of the EP, I worry that people have no idea of what to expect on the B-Side,” Courting frontman Sean Murphy-O’Neill says about the track. “‘Crass’ is our best song, in my opinion, and features the best lyrics we’ve written, whereas ‘Slow Burner’ is literally a slow burner.
“I feel like a lot of people use EP’s for throwaway tracks and B-sides before an album, but this is quite calculated for us, and I consider it a proper statement of where we’re at artistically. I think if people like what they’ve heard so far, then they’re in for a treat with the rest of it.”
It’s been less than two years since Courting shared their visceral debut single ‘Not Yr Man’. Since then, their sound has continued to mature into more adventurous areas with every passing release, adding texture and layers, which make Courting one of the most electrifying new bands in the country.
Of course, being a guitar band from Liverpool can make for lazy comparisons with other groups from the city and, on certain occasions, Courting is the latest example of that. However, there is no other act from the area resembling their riotous sound one bit and, in truth, there’s nobody quite like them in the country — but that doesn’t stop them from taking pride in their hometown.
“I think as a city, Liverpool is very accepting of change and appreciative of interesting music, which is something that I really enjoy,” Murphy-O’Neill explains. “Every band seems to hit their stride in their own lane, and I like to take inspiration from that.”
Humour is one personality trait linked to Liverpool, probably more than any other region in the country. This asset is something that Courting have in abundance but is delivered in a slow, non-sanctimonious manner. Tracks like ‘Football’ and ‘David Byrne’s Badside’ poke fun covertly at the curtain-twitching community that makeup middle England.
Murphy-O’Neill makes sure that their swipes at society are done in a clever and wry manner, rather than reaching for the lowest hanging fruit. “I think it’s very easy to become pretentious when you’re singing about topics which are socially relevant, and it’s something I work quite hard to weave back out of our lyricism,” the frontman notes.
“We wrote ‘Not Yr Man’ when we were like 17, and looking back, it’s just too on the nose for me now. Being immediate and reactionary has its perks, but it’s probably not going to actually change someone’s mind on the subject. I feel like if you want to actually change peoples minds you’ve got to be a bit more subtle with it. At the same time, we keep it cheeky and playful for ourselves because, at the end of the day, it’s all just meant to be fun.”
Divulging more about his approach to writing, the singer adds: “I like to write in a way in which interpretation can be left entirely to the audience. If you want to make ‘Football’, ‘Grand National’, or ‘Popshop!’ into something more complicated, then that’s up to you as the listener. Often when I write them, my songs don’t mean much to me apart from the fact that I really like them and then maybe I’ll realise there was a more personal reason a few months down the road.”
Following the release of Grand National on April 9th, their aim for the rest of the year is to “play every single show that we’re offered, write even better music. Maybe include a bass drop in a song somewhere along the way too.”
Their tracks are born to be played live, and once Courting get the opportunity to get themselves back on stage, you best believe that they will be tearing up a venue near you as soon as they get the chance. Courting are a band that is destined for greatness. Once live music returns, do yourself a favour by getting yourself down for a show before even more undoubtedly discover them, and the stages suddenly swell.