British singer/songwriter Barns Courtney was by far one of my favorite Artists to Watch of 2016. On January 27th, he released his first EP, The Dull Drums EP, containing three previously-released tracks and two new ones. I caught him opening for Tom Odell at The Howard Theatre in late 2016 and was lucky enough to hear his two new singles, “Little Boy” and “Hellfire,” live – an experience which I would highly recommend, as he is touring North America later this year.
“Fire” was the single that got him noticed, and for good reason – it’s three minutes of energy that epitomizes an artist having fun with their work. But his two new tracks are the real stand-outs – “Little Boy” highlights his musical versatility, pulling in some classic indie folk motifs while still showcasing his raw vocals, while “Hellfire” is what Courtney does best: catchy, rhythmic indie rock to a T.
The EP closes with a much grittier remastering of “Hands” than the version which he released as a single. The static and feedback definitely adds a rougher flavor than his earlier lo-fi music video would suggest, indicating an interesting new direction for his soon-to-be-released album.
Barns Courtney will make it up to the East Coast in June, although he’s not making any stops in DC. If you’ll be in Connecticut, New York, or Pennsylvania this summer, definitely check him out – his energy as a performer is extraordinary. You can get your tickets here, and stay on the lookout for his first studio album.