Photo: Irma Ali
British indie-rock artist Barns Courtney is on fire with his debut album, The Attractions of Youth. Influenced by the likes of The Velvet Underground, David Bowie, Coldplay, and even poet Charles Bukowski, Barns Courtney is making waves with a gritty, vintage rock sound all his own. His modern anthems call to mind Mumford & Sons, Bishop Briggs, and The Shelters, with fierce, driving beats and powerful vocals.
It’s easy to appreciate the Londoner’s folk and blues-based rock, pervading all his music with a sense of deep, soulful honesty and rawness. The passion and urgency with which Courtney performs is unmistakable throughout The Attractions of Youth. An almost surprisingly deep voice paired with a roguish, rugged aesthetic lends well to Courtney’s brand, both sonically and visually. With all the wild rebelliousness of Nirvana, he boldly and simply states, “I’ve got fire in my soul,” on the track “Glitter & Gold.”
The fiery rocker blazed onto the scene in February 2017 with The Dull Drums EP. All of the songs, including fan favorites “Fire,” “Glitter & Gold,” and “Hellfire,” made it onto the full-length released today, Sept. 29. Newer singles in advance of his debut album included well-received “Golden Dandelions,” “Never Let You Down,” “Kicks,” and “Champions.”
Worth noting is Courtney’s turbulent past within the music industry. Signed to his first label deal at only 14 years old, everything seemed to be looking up for the young artist and his band. However, as these things unfortunately often go, Courtney was dropped from Island Records before his first album was even released. After everything falling apart, the teen’s trajectory in life felt aimless–until he scored his next chance with Virgin EMI. As the once-struggling artist shared, “All of the music [on the new album] is influenced by this angry, defiant, passionate plea to do something with music.”
Admitting to hands-down loving live performances over studio recording, the soulful indie rocker is surely an electrifying live performer worth witnessing. Barns Courtney kicks off his fall 2017 North America tour in support of The Attractions of Youth on Oct. 2 in Toronto and ends in Los Angeles on Oct. 19– see all dates here and listen to the new album below: