The Freshmen Series: Barns Courtney releases debut LP

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, October 4th, 2017 at 6:24 PM
The Freshmen Series: Barns Courtney releases debut LP by Dakota Palmer

English singer and songwriter Barns Courtney released his debut album, “The Attractions of Youth,” last Friday, leaving me already wanting more music from him.

Courtney, formerly a member of SleeperCell and Dive Bella Dive, was dropped from Island Records and pursued his own musical career. Broke, he took any odd jobs he could find, including a computer store worker and improvisational actor.

The album is full of heart, soul and fire — and it certainly stands out from most releases today. Courtney’s comforting, raspy vocals provide a high-energy tone that is truly hard to replicate. His voice is a great mix of gentle cowboy and lonesome rock star.

His first song, “Fire,” has a western-theme that doesn’t fit the mold of the country, rock or pop genres. Courtney creates his own category with this album, combining all of the best parts of popular genres to defy the standards of the industry.

“Golden Dandelions” is a softer song, resembling one of Young the Giant, both vocally and instrumentally. This romantic rock-ballad has the high energy of a Neon Trees song, but the soul of Bishop Briggs. Its fast-paced rhythm will leave you dancing to its contagious beat.

“Champion” is one of those songs that you can hear playing every time you see a trailer for a new drama television show. It’s the one that plays as the good guys walk away from an explosion, untouched from the blast. Right now, that song is “Black Skinhead” by Kanye, and it needs replaced since that song has been overused. “Champion” is not your typical pump-up song; it’s more

than that. It’s one of patience, perseverance and resilience. It’s one that’s motivating, yet humbling — one that we don’t find terribly often in the music world.

“Never Let You Down” strays away from the old western and cowboy vibe that the rest of the album seems to give off. This one has less energy and more heart in it than the rest, sporting simple guitar riffs that add a lot of character in such subtle notes.

The album is one of the most fun releases I’ve heard in a while, and I’m very excited to see Courtney go far. He channels the vocals of Sameer Gadhia (Young the Giant), Nathan Willett (Cold War Kids) and the KONGOS brothers (KONGOS) to create a new sound that is both unique, yet familiar. His rare musical style is one that is definitely needed in the world of pop monotony.

Stream the album below: 

Dakota Palmer is the news editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at 

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