Liverpool four-piece Courting have today revealed details of their eagerly anticipated new LP ‘New Last Name’, which will drop on 26 January 2024 via Lower Third. In anticipation of the release, the band have also shared the music video for new single “Throw” as well as announcing an extensive headline EU / UK tour in February, April and May 2024, with tickets going on sale this Friday, 10 November at 10am.
The recording of ‘New Last Name’ also saw the band join forces with indie heroes The Cribs’ Gary and Ryan Jarman, who worked closely with the band on production duties.
Whilst “Flex” provided a first taste of the band’s continued ambition, “Throw” sets the tone for the record. “New Last Name” is an album as adventurous thematically as it is sonically – but as it’s title suggests, it hints at new beginnings. “It’s a theatrical play within an album,” explains frontman Sean Murphy O’Neill. “. “There’s a lot going on. It can be simply enjoyed as an album, but there are characters, acts, stage directions etc. The listeners can decide on the narrative themselves, but we want them to get lost in it.”
According to the press release, “Throw” is the first act in this play and serves as a tone setter for the record and also a prelude to a narrative flashback. At its base level, the track is fervent pop-rock earworm melding upbeat drumming, vocoder-effected vocal hooks, and ebullient riffing. However, as the track moves towards it’s close, the band flip it on its head with pop-punk indebted instrumentation and gang vocals – a clear example of the band indulging in guilty pleasures.
Going on to speak about the single, Murphy O’Neill says, “We wanted to write a song with a plot twist, a song that could be described as “an epic” … Lamenting a past love, our protagonist returns to “the city”, and remembers, misremembers, and forgets just about everything that has happened beforehand. Drawing a blank, they pray to be wished away to a simpler time.”
Commenting on the album as a whole, Murphy O’Neill says, “I’ll admit that New Last Name isn’t really a play. Whilst it IS tied together by a narrative thread – it’s actually a collection of our most contained pop songs, and strangest experiments sat side by side.
New Last Name is unrestrained and chaotic. At the same time, it is more focused and detail-oriented than anything we’ve done before. New Last Name is a study in contradictions, and it’s the best damn play south of the north pole.”
Gary Jarman of The Cribs added, “We had really enjoyed their debut LP “Guitar Music” – the knowing title and the freedom with which they were prepared to sabotage their melodies with noise really spoke to us. But underneath all of that restless experimentalism and layers of chaos it was clear that there was some very sophisticated songwriting going on. So we were really excited to see how they approached their follow up LP. The recording of a second album can be the most consequential time in an artists career – either the moment that their ability catches up with their enthusiasm and the real magic happens, or conversely the struggle to follow up on that first flush of inspiration (the dreaded sophomore slump). We knew as soon as we heard the demos that Courting were taking the step up to the next level.
Anyway – we could go on and on about how this is one of those bands of an increasingly rare breed – a group of people who need each other, personally and creatively, and how that translates through the music…but that would all be distraction from the main point here – that Courting have really stepped up to the moment and made an incredible pop album (every song sounds like a hit to us!), without compromise and without fear.”
The band also having announced a new run of EU / UK tour dates to take place in Spring next year. Having cemented themselves as a must-see live act, Courting recently toured 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 new dates are as follows:
6/2 – Portland Arms, Cambridge
7/2 – CHALK, Brighton
8/2 – Facebar, Reading
9/2 – Dingwalls, London
10/2 – The Rainbow, Birmingham
12/2 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
13/2 – The Bodega Social Club, Nottingham
14/2 – YES, Manchester
16/2 – King Tuts, Glasgow
17/2 – The Mash House, Edinburgh
18/2 – The Cluny, Newcastle
19/2 – The Leadmill, Sheffield
20/2 – The Joiners, Southampton
21/2 – Voodoo Daddy’s, Norwich
22/2 – Exchange, Bristol
27/3 – Paradiso – Amsterdam, NL
28/3 – Botanique – Rotonde – Brussels, BE
1/4 – Point Ephemere – Paris, FR
2/4 – L’Aeronef – Lille, FR
3/4 – L’Ubu – Rennes, FR
5/4 – Rock School Barbey – Bordeaux, FR
7/4 – Auditorio CCOP – Porto, PT
8/4 – Musicbox – Lisbon, PT
9/4 – Maravillas – Madrid, ES
10/4 – Heliogabal – Barcelona, ES
11/4 – Paloma – Nimes, FR
15/4 – Schokoladen – Berlin, DE
16/4 – Molotow – Hamburg, DE
17/4 – Bumann & Sohn – Cologne, DE
You can find out more details on the tour and grab your tickets here.
“New Last Name” is due out 26th January 2024 via Lower Third and the album is available to pre-order/save here.