Review: The Courtneys – ‘II’

The sun is shining on a bright summer day, so you and your friends decide to hit the beach. You’re cruising down the highway with all the windows rolled down, belting out the words of whatever song is blasting from the radio. In this moment, everything about life is absolutely perfect.

This atmosphere of youthful freedom is what it feels like while listening to the sophomore album of Vancouver B.C’s The Courtneys. Titled II and released on February 17th via Flying Nun Records, this record is spunky, fresh, fun, and a perfect soundtrack for the summer.

Each of the tracks on II possess similar aspects of their instrumentals that make them as catchy as they are. Riveting bass lines, fuzzy guitars and a repetitive songwriting structure are a few of the factors that give each song the power to easily get stuck in your head. It’s also easy to see that The Courtneys are more than comfortable making music together. Releasing their debut album in 2013 and a couple of singles the previous year, the abundance of time that they have spent as a group pays off within their second record. Every component of the music blends perfectly together. The Courtneys manage to work seamlessly as one unit while still holding on to each member’s individuality.

II as a whole is a definite feel-good album, though many of the lyrics throughout it are more melancholy than you might think based off of all the chipper tunes. The Courtneys sing of heartbreak, confusion, and loss in many of their songs, such as in “25” where they croon, “Is it you I want? Or is it you I want to be?”

The Courtneys succeed in delivering an album that’s dripping with exuberance, creativity and sunshine. From the track “Tour,” where you can almost feel the anticipation that builds up throughout the beginning instrumental, to “Mars Attack,” which utilizes vocals sang in a minor key to create a different vibe than the rest of the album, there isn’t a single song that you’ll want to skip within the entire 10 track album.

(You can stream the album below via Bandcamp and get more info about The Courtneys on Facebook HERE.)