Liverpool four-piece Courting share a dramaturgic new single titled Flex. The track marks the band’s first release since their genre-bending debut album ‘Guitar Music’, which came out in Sept 2022 to widespread critical acclaim, and follows a sold-out UK tour with Circa Waves last month, as well as extensive headline tour dates, and numerous packed-out festival appearances.
Building on the energised and borderless hyper pop influenced sound cultivated on their recent debut, the new single Flex sees that band further explore their thirst for creativity. A power pop banger at its roots, the track leans into vivacious riffing and upbeat drumming, alongside a euphonious and wistful horn section, and lightly effected, hook heavy vocals that explore themes of social media and online relationships through a number of acts about feeling wanted and seen.
Speaking on the concept of the track, frontman Sean Murphy-O’Neill, says “Flex is designed to be a theatrical performance, a short play. Our protagonist is wealthy, successful, and famous… but at what cost? Our protagonist misses their ex (after seeing their glow-up), wears Ricks, chainsmokes, sends thought-out emails about their wellbeing to people they should’ve replied to sooner, and has increased their screen time by 25%
In the thrilling conclusion, our protagonist does donuts in a closed car-park, in a 1967 mustang, with all of their friends. The event is livestreamed on twitch to be rewatched until the end of time.
‘Flex’ is as sincere as we can be. Sometimes the lines between real life and fiction get blurred here, but we’re nothing if not committed.”
Watch the video for Flex via YouTube below.
The band’s latest album ‘Guitar Music’ saw the band make a statement in just about every possible sense. Whereas their earlier ‘Grand National’ EP was a punchy and dynamic burst of indie with a touch of art-pop, the latest album marked the immediate sound of a band recalibrating.
Having set out to eschew the convention and predictability that comes with being tagged under the album’s namesake, the record – produced by double GRAMMY nominated producer James Dring (Gorillaz, Jamie T, Sorry, Lana Del Rey, Blur, Loyle Carner) – saw them deconstructing songs rooted in indie-rock in order to playfully piece them back together whilst toying with new sounds, textures, and songwriting techniques. Their trademark hook-filled melodies and sardonic lyrics still seep through along with an infectious groove, but they are overlayed with experimentation – the record is filled with driving basslines, 808 kicks, smatterings of glitchy electronic idiosyncrasies, autotuned pop vocals, and unpredictable instrumentation.
The reaction from press was overwhelmingly positive with the band earning 5-star reviews, a 7.2 from Pitchfork, and extensive plaudits from the likes of The Needle Drop, DIY, Dork, NME, Alt Press, and CLASH. The release also saw the band land yet another playlist spot on BBC Radio 6 Music and multiple plays across BBC Radio 1, Radio X, and more.
Having cemented themselves as a must-see live act, Courting have also just come off of a UK tour as main support for Circa Waves. The band also 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 band will play further dates and festivals this year including:
22 – Truck Festival
23 – Tramlines Festival
28 – Kendall Calling
30 – Y Not Festival
4 – Haldern Pop Festival
5 – Dorks Day Out, Signature Brewery
11 – 110 Above Day Out
27 – Victorious Festival
8 – SMG Music Festival – Belgium
‘Guitar Music’ is out now – order / stream HERE