The Courtney’s – The Courtneys II (Flying Nun Records)

Genre – Garage Rock

Canadian female rockers The Courtneys were the first act from outside New Zealand to be signed by the country’s iconic Flying Nun Records, and their second album shows why the Kiwi label has invested so much faith in them.

With their lo-fi garage sound, the three piece have a brilliantly laid back yet uplifting nature about them, like a relaxing ray of sunshine on a cold winters day.

Over the last few years they’ve continually built on their live act, and their desire to hit the road again can be seen in the track Tour. As the name suggests, the song discusses life on the road, and a desire to get back out and play to crowds, and the vibe will rub off on you! It will make you want to start booking festivals!

This uplifting track follows the flow of an album which opens with Silver Velvet, a classic garage number with chirpy, positive vocals and catchy lyrics that make you want to sing along.

Mid album number Lost Boys offers a drum led number that once again focuses on the open air, with lyrics of ‘take me on a motor cycle, heading on the open highway.’ The song also focuses on more pressing issues and how hard it can be to find that ‘simple piece of mind,’ but still manages to keep the happy, laid back rock vibes flowing in an effortless style.

Throughout the album The Courtneys find themselves fighting their way through a wall of feedback, but marry it with simple melodies that take their direction from the drums. This simple flow has ensured that the Courtneys have managed to create an album were each song leads expertly into the next.

The album at times feels like one big chorus, and has a power pop vibe, but tracks like Virgo and Iron Deficiency have a much rougher, rockier edge to them. Both tracks focus massively on vocals, and once again there is a distorted feel from the huge volume of feedback, but it’s purposeful and controlled.

With such uplifting, sing along qualities, January is a strange time to release this album in the UK. It’s much more of a summer album. It’s an album that takes your cares away. It takes the stress out of your life and makes you feel free.

The Courtneys II is an album that will surprise and excite. Make sure you give this hidden gem a listen!

RUSHONROCK RATED – 8/10 A hidden gem!