The Courteeners’ sixth album is an ambitious dive into the world of psychedelic electro-indie. And they have smashed it.
The 2010’s indie band has been delivering reliable indie rock for the best part of a decade. More, Again, Forever avoids going down the indie-rock nostalgia path and instead shoots in new directions with new ideas and edgy new sounds.
It is clear that things are going to be different this time from the opening track “Heart Attack.” The Courteeners mix Tame Impala synths with a bit of Coup de Grace and Temples. There’s a new funkiness to the band’s sound and this carries on through the rest of the album. Subsequent track “Heavy Jacket” sticks with that classic Arctic Monkeys indie-rock sound only there’s something a little more glam about it. The Courteeners are having fun with their new sound and this rubs off on us, the listener.
The album’s titular track is a true testament to this “fun” vibe. Instead of taking a political route, The Courteeners have stuck to singing about Friday nights and people they love. Liam Fray slurs: “Friday is the best, you let me take you dancing / And all these ridiculous people / Can stand and watch us.” The Courteeners are taking a strange nosedive into spoken word only there’s nothing sanctimonious about it. It’s all just a bit of fun.
Although they avoid singing about modern politics, the lyrics manage to stay fresh with just the right amount of nostalgia. “Joys of Missing Out” is incredibly relevant with the dawn of a sleepy 2020. Fray sings: “I just miss the joy of missing out / Northern skies and crystal streams / The eyes of a loved one and all their dreams / A New Year’s Eve with no one missing /
Are the only things I need.” These lyrics are humble and relatable, and that’s what indie rock is all about.
Overall, More, Again, Forever is an impressive record. It experiments with new electronic sounds without the feeling that The Courteeners are panicking and trying to do something different. This is a band that has stayed true to themselves and successfully evolved with the times. The new record is a reminder not to underestimate The Courteeners again.