Owned and operated by record store manager Roger Shepherd, Flying Nun Records has been a respected independent record label since 1981. The Christchurch, New Zealand-based label has released albums from such luminary acts as Bailter Space, The Bats, The Chills, The Clean, Straitjacket Fits, Tall Dwarfs, The Verlaines, The Vibraslaps, and that was just in their first decade.
However, since their formation, Flying Nun Records has never signed a band outside of their home country…until now.
Singing the praises of Flying Nun Records and their influential roster was Vancouver Canada’s The Courtneys. When the band ventured to Australia and New Zealand to tour in 2015, they caught the eyes and ears of Flying Nun Records and before Jen “Cute Courtney” Payne (lead vocals, drums), Sydney “Crazy Courtney” Koke (bass, vocals), and Courtney “Classic Courtney” Loove (guitar, vocals) knew it, they were signed to one of their favorite record labels.
“We were contacted by Pablo from Bone Soup, and he was super friendly, we thought it would be awesome to work with him, The Courtneys said of their introduction to Flying Nun. “We usually just wait for people to propose ideas to us, then we know that they really are into the idea! We asked Pablo if we could tour NZ as well, because of course we wanted to meet the people behind Flying Nun! We never really thought it would be possible to release something with them until we met, and it seemed like it would be a really good idea. The shows were soldout, people knew the words to the songs. The tour with Flying Nun, Pablo from Bone Soup, and Amanda from Future Popes PR was life changing. We had such a blast and can’t wait to go back.”
With a lo-fi indie pop sound influenced by early ’90s bands Teenage Fanclub and Pavement, it is easy to see why Flying Nun took the leap to make The Courtneys the first band they signed from outside of their home country and release their new long player simply titled ‘The Courtney’s II.’
The band feels right at home at Flying Nun with their new record, saying, “we aren’t into pressure.”
There shouldn’t be any worry for the Courtneys, they’ve dealt with several different labels in a few different counties in their short time as a band. The Courtneys’ self-titled debut album was released in 2013 on their hometown label, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Hockey Dad Records. The infectious debut had legs and was issued in Australia on Conquest of Noise, Japan’s Waterslide Records and here in the States, Burger Records and Gnar tapes picked up the album.
Since the release of their debut full length, The Courtneys have also released a pair of singles and made five artistic music videos. Carrying that momentum, The Courtneys are perfectly content at their new home at Flying Nun Records and are focused on spreading the word about their bright 10-song power pop gem ‘The Courtney’s II.’
“We try not to get too caught up in the future of our band. You never know what can happen! We just work hard, and we are happy with the record whether people love it or hate it,” The Courtneys said.
When you hear the new songs, it is hard to sit back and not get involved. From top to bottom the songs have infectious choruses, Koke’s bass lines are the back bone giving the tracks that extra punk kick in the ass to keep them rolling along. Loove’s guitar work is jangly pop riffs with an occasional shredding solo full of feedback and Payne’s drums keep simple, yet strong 4/4 time while she sings catchy and campy songs about celebrities, dating and pop culture. Forced to describe their sound, the band called The Courtneys sound “fuzzy slacker pop” and “artisanal grunge” adding, “We made up those terms and, to us, they describe our music! Describing music with words is silly anyways.”
In the past, the band has toured Canada twice where they opened for fellow Canadians Tegan and Sara both times, the USA three times, Australia, and New Zealand. With ‘The Courtneys II’ showcasing the growth of the band both as musicians and songwriters, it’s certain the girls will be on the road for quite some time supporting the new record.
“We have a lot of dream tour mates, and we’ve been lucky to get to tour with some of them already! We love touring with pals, cause then it is like camp. We are dreaming our new record will carry us to some distant lands we’ve never toured like Europe, Japan, and South America.”
THE COURTNEYS LIVE DATES:
3/14: Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore
3/16: Calgary, AB @ Broken City
3/18: Saskatoon, SK @ Amigos Cantina
3/19: Winnipeg, CA @ The Good Will
3/20: Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
3/21: Madison, WI @ The Frequency ^
3/22: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry ^
3/23: Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club ^
3/24: Chicago, IL @ Schubas ^
3/25: Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s ^
3/26: Toronto, ON @ The Garrison ^
3/28: Allston, MA @ The Great Scott ^
3/29: Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right ^
3/31: Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle ^
4/1: Washingston, DC @ DC9 ^
4/6: Denver, CO @ Lost Lake City ^
4/7: Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court ^
4/8: Boise, ID @ Neurolux ^
4/10: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir ^
4/11: Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt ^
4/12: Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile ^
4/14: San Francisco, CA @ TBA
4/15: Los Angeles, CA @ TBA
^ – w/ Jay Som