Barns Courtney sounds like: he’s been working on the railroad. All the live long day, etc.
Similar artists: Elbow, George Ezra, Tom Odell, Johnny Cash
His story: Barnaby George ‘Barns’ Courtney was born in Ipswich and then moved with his family to Seattle when he was just four years old.
He then formed a couple of bands, one of which got signed, the other appeared on the now-defunct Orange Unsigned talent show on Channel 4.
Barns then decided to go solo and funded creating his art by doing odd jobs and generally remaining homeless to save the pennies. Fortunately his big life-gamble paid off.
He got signed in 2015, released two singles in the same year – Glitter & Gold followed by Fire – appeared on TV soundtracks, played the Conan O’Brien Show and appeared on FIFA 2017.
All that and he’s only just released his debut EP, The Dull Drums.
What’s so great about him: Hearing someone’s story of perseverance and staying true to their dreams is always a cool introduction to a new artist but his music stands up to scrutiny.
Opting for a bluesy rock and roll wrapped with plodding rhythms, Barn’s authentic American accent adds to the atmosphere.
Indeed, his live show (from what we have seen) sees him opt for solo outings on huge stages (he has already supported everyone from The Who to Ed Sheeran) armed with little more than his acoustic guitar and boyish charms to win over crowds of thousands.
Again, it all seems to work rather brilliantly.
Most-streamed song on Spotify: Fire (8.9 million listens thus far)
What will he be doing in 2017: The guy seems to be permanently on tour and, sure enough, he is about to embark on a near-two month live outing covering most if not all of the US throughout May and June. Honestly, it’s a lot of dates.
Other than that, we hear that he’s writing and recording his debut album this year.