Courts, aka Dan, Luke, Reece, Chris and Joe, hail from Basildon in Essex. Making self-confessed “music with a message,” the band have received radio support from the likes of Huw Stephens (BBC Radio One), Ally & Jen (BBC Introducing), and BBC Essex. They were also hailed as Zane Lowe’s last ever ‘Next Hype’ with their last single “Part Of” (Invader Records.)
Now, the Essex boys are back with the addictive and energetic ‘Sanatana’. High Octane, this track speaks volumes of talent; building into an utterly dream-worthy chorus, and showcasing the sheer breadth of talent and influences that the band share; with wild inspiration that leaves them sounding like the love child of Mac De Marco, Stone Roses and The Streets.
With inspiration deriving from Disco, Hip Hop, Indie, and beyond, Courts’ sound lends itself to something truly unique. Creating a hybrid genre, that’s almost impossible to define, Courts serve the purpose of filling an open gap on the UK Scene. Bringing back a guitar-heavy, summer sound, ‘Sanatana’ promises to linger long after listening.
Music editor Lulu Jones caught up with the guys to talk about their new single.
Where does the name Courts come from?
Chris suggested the name in a rehearsal room in Basildon when we started the band. It’s difficult finding a name that hasn’t been used before – Courts hadn’t been and we thought it sounded right for us.
How did you guys meet?
Chris and Dan met at college on a music course. They both wanted to start a band so began jamming together. We played with a few different people until Joe joined on drums. We had our mate Lewis in the band with us but a few years ago he decided it wasn’t for him, that’s when Dan’s brothers Reece and Luke joined and the band started to become what you hear today.
What was the inspiration surrounding your new single ‘Sanatana’?
There is never a conscious thought behind anything we do. We don’t say “lets write a song like this”, it just happens. Usually someone will bring a riff, hook, bassline etc to the table and then we work off that if everyone vibes off it. If we doubt it, we scrap it and move on because we don’t want to waste time writing half arsed songs when something better could be waiting to happen. The song came from the opening chords you hear when the song starts. The name is taken from an alternative name for Hinduism, ‘Sanatana Dharma’ . It means ‘the eternal path’ and seemed fitting because of the ideas and themes the lyrics explore throughout the track.
Especially in this song, you’ve moulded together a really interesting fusion of genres, textures and sounds, how did this develop?
Again, very naturally. As a band we listen to a lot of different music individually as well as collectively, so we all take influence from that and as you’d expect, it all ends up in the music we make.
Sanatana has received support from amazing thought leaders in the music industry like Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens – what are the next steps for Courts?
To keep doing what we love doing and to constantly remind ourselves of why we do it. It’s easy to become disillusioned when pursuing something creative but we know as a group there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing than making music with each other. We plan to keep our heads down, carry on writing and continue putting stuff out. We dream of quitting work and doing this all day every day, so we focus on being able to achieve that and then embracing whatever else happens.
What’s the music scene like where you’re from in Essex?
The local scene hasn’t been too good over the last few years. There’s been a few decent bands come out of Essex but overall there’s not been much exciting happen. We think that’s mainly down to the lack of decent local venues and the fact people haven’t been bothered to go out to gigs as much – there’s a lot of ‘internet fans’. In fairness though, it seems to be picking up recently and there’s been a lot more decent acts coming out – maybe the lack of scene has somehow helped that. Essex seems to be more under the industry microscope than we’ve ever known it to be though, so hopefully it’s leaning in the right direction towards something special.
And finally, what would you be doing if you weren’t in Courts?
We’d all be pursuing music in one way or another. It’s all we really care about.