I stumbled upon this new band, Courtship., while attending a concert in Washington, DC where they opened for Night Riots, and I immediately gravitated towards a sound that reminded me of synth-pop veterans such as Smallpools, Foster the People, and Great Good Fine Ok. On Courtship’s debut album, Denial in Paradise, I’m extremely grateful I found this LA-based artist, as they have encapsulated all of their high-energy showmanship directly into their debut album.
Although this duo has only been a band for the past few years, they gained a ton of notoriety in the industry as Hirsch co-wrote tracks for successful acts such as DREAMERS, and Gordon wrote for Tobias Jesso Jr. Their polished approach to songwriting is readily apparent in this blazing fast album that clocks in at just over 27 minutes. What they lack in album length, they surely make up for in catchy-as-hell tunes.
The LP gets the synths started early and often on the opening track, “The Kind of Woman,” which features the breathy vocals of front-man/keyboardist Eli Hirsch, leading to a breakneck sing-along chorus with multi-instrumentalist Micah Gordon. On the second track, “Nice Guy” Hirsch confesses, “I forgot how goodness takes/I was kind/I was great/I was a nice guy,” which tells the tale of a heartbroken guy wondering where a relationship began to fall apart. The topics addressed throughout this album are easy to relate to, that is, if you can take a break from all the dancing that the duo makes you do while listening to this stellar debut.
The second single released from this LP, entitled “Perfect People,” initially reminded me of a Foster the People-type song structure, with a casual build-up to a clap along chorus. “Sunroof,” which was featured prominently on a Snapchat campaign ad, is what this band is all about: sunny vibes and good times. On the chorus, Hirsch sings “You know we’re gonna do what we do best, best/So won’t you open up the sunroof, in my head, in my head?” It’s hard to not picture a room filled with adoring fans smiling until their faces hurt from smooth as silk tracks.
If there’s any faults to be found on this album, it’s that the sequencing of the tracks seems a tad out of place, as the lead single “Stop For Nothing” is the ninth and final track. This is easily forgivable because the album ends with a dramatic bang on the Michael Jackson-esque song that has been streamed over 3 million times on Spotify. The lyrics found on the pre-chorus are almost a call to arms when they sing: “So what are you waiting for? Just get in and close the door/’Cause all you could want and more, it’s out there/So what are you waiting for? Forget about before/Just get in and close the door, just in and close the door.” It’s almost as if the band’s direct mission statement is to leave your troubles behind and step into a care-free environment where you are more than welcome to join the ever-growing bandwagon that is following this great artist.