Following the release of their acclaimed debut album ‘1917’ and their successful Pledge Music campaign; in March of this year Courtesans released their stunning new E.P. ‘Better Safe Than Sober’. Blending dark pop smarts with industrial subtleties and combined with an alternative rock, trip-hop soundscape; Courtesans new E.P. is one of the first unique sonic amalgamations to be heard in 2017. Having seen them at Bloodstock this summer, I was impressed with their stage presences and showmanship. Their image on stage is memorable, with the four members of Courtesans; Sinead La Bella – Vocals, Saffire Sanchez – Guitar, Agnes D. Jones – Bass, and Vikki Brown – Drums, all showing their own style. Their live sound was great, their musicianship and interaction was tight. They are a force to be reckoned with.
Hailing from London, England, the four members of Courtesans come together in 2012 as one to deliver songs that shake up establishments, break down walls and fearlessly dare to be different amongst a plethora of carbon copy carnage. Dark meets light, disturbing yet liberating (We want more women to pick up instruments. Be musicians, tour managers, sound engineers and say f**k it! Don’t leave it up to the boys, but do not dumb down your femininity to be respected, be yourself and be free! We want to not only encourage women in music but for more men to accept that it is ok to look up to female artists). This mentality reminded me Tairrie B of My Ruin (former Tura Satana, Manhole), who has been a strong female figure in the alternative scene since the early 90s. 2017 needs the Courtesans to show the music industry that women can produce music without being half naked on stage or in videos, they are like a breath of fresh air.
Their album ‘Better Safe Than Sober’ is a fantastic mix of sounds, I was instantly taken back to my love of 90s altrock/grunge. With songs like ‘Knowhere’ I was reminded of just pioneering bands such as Elastica, Hole and L7 as Sineads’s beautiful vocal style leads the melodies, with harmonys and choruses. Her mix of singing and spoken word, brings a unique style to their songs (‘Tides’). The backing vocals from Saffire and Agnes build up on ‘Feel The Same’, creating a choir of angels. The doom/down beat feel of the album at times (‘John Doe’), is thick with thoughtful lyrics and ideas. Lead single ‘Mesmerise’ was my first introduction to Courtesans, the feelings and emotions it raised within me were memorable. The video creates the same vibe; shot in black and white with mesmerising (yes I know lol) video shots. The whole E.P. is a thoughtful listen, with beautiful songs, powerful riffs and melodies. Mixed with real lyrical substance, portraying a true romance with the darkness within us all. A top listen for 2017!