Folk rock singer/songwriter Barns Courtney is maintaining the fast and furious pace he set for himself back in March at SXSW 2016. Having only just returned to the UK after an American radio tour, Courtney recently announced the upcoming release of his new EP titled ‘Hands’, due out on Virgin EMI on the 27th of May. The title track has already received radio play from Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, and on Wednesday Courtney teamed up with NME to unveil the promo video for ‘Hands’.
The main players in the video are Courtney and his well-worn acoustic guitar, which appears to be the same one I saw him play in Austin Saturday night at the British Music Embassy. Apparently filmed in various locales across the United States, the video emphasises the gritty sound of that guitar and the raw emotion in Courtney’s voice. The intensity of the vocals and the song’s aggressive four-to-the-floor rhythm are suggestive of a man possessed by the charms of an elusive lover, as Courtney sings in the repeated first verse lyric “all that you left me was a number on the back of my hand”. The song’s frenetic tempo only pauses momentarily for breath in the catchy, rhythmically off-kilter descending chord sequence of the chorus.
‘Hands’ will feature on the EP of the same name, along with three other tracks: ‘Goodbye John Smith’, ‘Glitter and Gold (Zibra Remix)’ and Jefferson Airplane cover ‘Somebody to Love’. At the time of this writing, the ‘Hands’ EP appears to be a UK-only release, as American audiences get more familiar with previous tracks ‘Fire’ and the original version of ‘Glitter and Gold’. If you’re keen for more on Barns Courtney, TGTF’s previous coverage can be found here.