London-based doom-pop quartet Courtesans are a band on the up. Fresh from releasing the inventively dark Better Safe Than Sober EP at the end of March, the band were confirmed to be joining the likes of Megadeth and Amon Amarth at Bloodstock Festival this summer.
With a sound that relies on such a seemingly-diverse set of influences, we wanted to know about the songs that have inspired them throughout their lives. “Song writing, to us, is about invoking an atmosphere, an emotion and a memory to the listener – whether that is uplifting, melancholic, sad, sexual or happy,” they tell TeamRock. “To be able to create that in a song is why we do what we do.”
Below, the 10 tracks they wish they’d had the chance to write had Tool, Bjork and The Prodigy not got in the way…
Tool – Schism
This song pulls all the sensitive strings in us. It’s about me, it’s about you… it’s about all of us. It’s about how our inability to communicate with each other destroys any kind of relationship, creates divisions and fuels prejudice… ‘There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away… Doomed to crumble unless we grow, and strengthen our communication… Cold silence has a tendency to atrophy any sense of compassion. Between supposed lovers, between supposed brothers’
Bjork – All Is Full Of Love
It always reminds us of what’s important in life. It’s the most positive track ever written in many ways.
All is full of love… there are moments we see it so clearly and we feel it with every molecule of our bodies. As her voice and melody rise – our hearts rise with it and we are full of love. We feel at peace and everything is as it should be.
Porcupine Tree – Arriving Somewhere But Not Here
We always over-analyse things. Some of us suffer with depression; maybe depression is the outcome of our over-thinking. You are blaming yourself for an awful lot of things. There are many times one wanted to disappear completely, dreams of slowly fading away from every memory you had until the moment you were conceived and that it never happened… kind of dying in reverse which can be very soothing in a weird way. Brilliant, dark song.
Depeche Mode – In Your Room
Brings back memories of teenage years, infatuation, falling in love so deeply that the world around you could not exist… it was just the room, the bed and you two living off air filled with your breaths and drops of each other’s sweat. Wicked times!
The Prodigy – Breathe
This is a track that has everything: groove led, heavy synth riff, wobble bass ahead of its time, punk attitude, aggressive. The best punk groove track ever written in our view.
Massive Attack – Inertia Creeps
The most sexual track ever written! It makes the listener feel unsettled and horny every time. It brings to the head images of naked bodies entangled in some manic, rhythmical orgy… filled with colours, moist warm air and dimmed light.
Radiohead – Street Spirit
[This song] captures this big sadness which is an integral part of us – how fucked up this world is. We are the only species that kills its own environment, destroys its own home. We act like we have another one to go to. Only humans are capable of such cruelty and atrocities towards our own kind and other species. This system is rotten; greed and desire to ‘HAVE’ become the driving force of humanity, instead of compassion, curiosity and love. This system is doomed to fail. A self-perpetuating, cold and unforgiving machine.
UNKLE – Burn My Shadow
Another song invoking a dark atmosphere and soaring intensity that makes you feel like running down the street!
Lou Reed – Perfect Day
This is our ultimate “feel good” song. The lyrics invoke a time and a place and an era that literally makes you feel like you are living it.
Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade
This song brings Noddy Holder hundreds of thousands of pounds every single year! Who wouldn’t wish they had written it!
Courtesans’ Better Safe Than Sober EP is out now. You can catch them at the following dates this summer:
5th May: Green Door Store, Brighton, UK
3rd Jun: Mosfest, Sheffield, UK
23rd Jul: Amplified Festival, Gloucester, UK
13th Aug: Bloodstock Festival Walton On Trent, UK