Courting drop sophomore LP in collaboration with The Cribs
New creative heights give Courting’s sophomore studio album, New Last Name, a heightened sense of edge and maturity while not straying too far from their catchy, riff-heavy template. The Liverpool foursome does a fantastic job of fleshing out their post-punk origins found in their 2022 debut, Guitar Music.
“We started writing the album before the first record, we wanted to finish the second album before we heard any feedback on our debut. We wanted to write something completely natural, not defined by the first album or what people thought about it.”
For this genre-subverting follow up, Courting have installed indie-royalty twins, The Cribs (brothers Gary and Ryan Jarman) in the production room.
“It was fun. We know each other through our management and have similar ideologies as bands. They came down to Liverpool and worked as kind of producers on some songs. We love those guys, we have that northern connection. There is a definite level of kinship there.”
Their indie-leaning tendencies are apparent on the opening track, ‘Throw’, but quickly the album reveals further depth. Stand out lead single, ‘Flex,’ is full of character and angst, coupled with a driving rhythm section from Sean Thomas (drums) and Connor McCann (Bass) in full flow.
“Last summer we played at TRUCK festival just after releasing ‘Flex’. When we played that song, the response was just emphatic. It gave us so much confidence in the album and generally being in a band.”
Moving into the second half of the album, ‘Emily G’ proves that Courting are intent on innovating their template. With a lot going on sonically, the light-hearted pop song is taken to new heights by a complex electronic backing. This new experimentation adds massive depth to the album, and takes songs like ‘Happy Endings’ to different and exciting places.
“The whole album was made with a fresh slate; [Guitar Music] threw off any shackles of being just a post-punk band. In some ways this album felt like a debut that we could take in any direction we liked. The album’s name sort of comes from those ideas.”
As its title hints, New Last Name feels like an album that pushes forward to a new beginning, without leaving behind too much of Courting’s pop appeal found in hit songs like ‘Popshop!’ It’s an album that hits in most of the right spots, swelling to an impressively impactful finish. The anthemic closer ‘America’ manages to tie together the multitude of concepts found in this jam-packed project.
Courting is about to embark on an extensive stretch of touring throughout the UK/EU to promote their sophomore album and are very keen to keep fans on their toes with a series of imaginative gigs.
“Our gigs will be wall-to-wall hits, we are bringing a pair of giant dice and roll them to decide what song we will play. Sounds like a joke but we just want to keep people on their toes. It’s a challenging album to play; there’s a lot going on but it’s a challenge we are really enjoying.”
Courting seem to be dedicated to one thing: making music that keeps moving forward. Their latest effort hits most of the right notes in doing so. Powered by some energetic singles in ‘Throw’ and ‘Flex’ and cascading to a seriously impactful finish, New Last Name proves Courting have no intention of standing still.
New Last Name is out now on all major streaming platforms. Order / Stream it right here.