With his unique cocktail of a rag’n’bone man-esque, soulful voice, indie instrumentals and a big, pop production, Barns Courtney made his name in 2017 with his debut album, ‘The Attractions of Youth’. The album was a huge hit, with the tracks mounting a combined total of nearly 113 million, especially the singles, ‘Fire’ and ‘Glitter and Gold’ which were paraded across adverts for months. Now, after barely any rest, the London based singer-songwriter has returned with a two track single titled ’99’.
The title track of the single delivers a slightly different sound from his previous style, yet may be his most infectious yet! The song starts with a mellow, vocal sway that creates the atmosphere of lazy summer nights sat by a campfire in Southern America. Although previously described as weary, Barns’s voice carries a certain level of character and personality that is becoming increasingly hard to come by. No auto-tuned high notes, but a soulful expression that bursts through the instrumentals and adds a layer of depth to the track. The single is uplifting from the first note, yet this feeling is fully explored with the eruption of the chorus. Barns has explained that the track “is a song about losing touch with your former self and the needless formalisation of fun in our daily lives as we age”. You can certainly feel the freedom from past restraints in this euphoric chorus which sounds like something off Kings of Leon’s ‘Come around Sundown’ album that has been given an explosive pop remix! ‘ ’99’ ‘ comes complete with a brand new video which Barns described as “is an imagining of life on a different path. And a an insight into my own struggles with identity, and the bizarre ritual of growing up”.
The other track released on the single, ‘Good Thing’, has a more angsty feel, with a strong pulse providing the backdrop to a Gospel-inspired chanting chorus. Brimming with swagger and arrogance, the second track compliments the first perfectly and will be well suited to an extravagant live performance in his highest profile UK headline tour to date this November. With eight shows across the UK, including a night at London’s Heaven and further dates in Europe. Glasgow and Amsterdam are now both sold out!