Liverpool four-piece Courting is under starters orders, ready to release their first EP, Grand National on April 9th.
Post-punk, indie-rock quartet Courting will release their new EP, Grand National April 9th, concurrent with this year’s fabled race. Having released their 2019 debut, ‘Nt Yr Man’ during their final college year, followed by ‘Football’ and ‘David Bryne’s Badside’ in 2020, the group are laying the foundations for a rewarding career ahead.
Though this EP, much like their previous sounds is akin to fast-paced punk-poets such as Sports Team, Do Nothing and Squid, Courting are far ahead of their years. An apt example being their title track, ‘Grand National’. It is the first of four songs and a clear expression of 19-year-old frontman Sean Murphy-O’Neill’s disdain towards the sport. The Grand National, an annual horse race hosted by Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool – Courting’s birthplace and thus, an issue close to home. Whilst remaining irked, the lyrics mock betting fanatics with punchy wit and sarcasm: “I don’t care if it dies, its entertainment, don’t call it cruel, define exploitation” and “I wouldn’t place a bet if you paid me!
The second track, ‘Popshop!’, is unlike anything that they have previously produced. Yes, it still spits kick-drums, riff pops and talk-singing into the faces of a generation that is ready to spit back, however, the style is independent from the rest of the EP. The band wrote on Nice Swan Record‘s website that LCD Soundsytem’s electronic synths and alternative-rock riffs were a shining light during its birth. Though the lyrics, mostly accurate, aim to critic mainstream music listeners, it was perhaps an indicator of the band’s age.
In an interview for Far Out magazine, O’Neill shares that ‘Crass’, the third track, is “our best song…and features the best lyrics we’ve written.” After hearing “I think me and Kanye might still have sex” and “making Richard [Branson] richer” belted over what sounded like a faulty microphone, I would have to agree. Nearing the end of the EP, the band finish with slow burner, ‘Slow Burner’. With a gradual introduction, this might be around the time an audience would slowly disperse in search of their belongings. But hold your horses, Grand National is not over yet. As the occasional cow-bell jingle increases in both frequency and intensity, the vocals begin to distort, the drums pick up and the hypothetical crowd heaves back it.
Overall, Courting’s debut is exciting in rhythm, truthful in vocals and a sound that I am keen to hear more from. And, so are others! Their UK 2021 tour is selling fast and the band features in multiple compilations, including Group Therapy Vol. 2.
Grand National is out this Friday, April 9th and is available to pre-save and pre-order now