Frenetic, electrifying, and viciously creative, Barns Courtney possesses an unbridled passion that’s increasingly rare in the modern music landscape. On his forthcoming third album, “Supernatural,” the UK-born, Seattle-bred singer/songwriter offers up a body of work informed by his far-ranging obsessions (the writings of Oscar Wilde, ritualistic iconography and ancient mythology, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, to name a few), all crystallized in an elaborate narrative centered around a post-apocalyptic cult leader. Expanding on the extraordinary dynamism that prompted Rolling Stone to praise him as a “stomping, swaggering rock & roll balancing act teetering between blinding light and total darkness,” the album ultimately marks the start of Courtney’s most captivating era yet. Barns has already received critical acclaim with multiple Gold singles in the US and UK including “Glitter and Gold” and “Fire” Gold Certified, as well as hitting Top 5 Alternative Radio with “99.” Performances on Conan, The Late Late Show with James Corden and video game syncs including Apex Legends, FIFA 17 and more, have all helped propel Barns to the forefront of the rock world. Boasting over one billion global streams to date, Barns Courtney is soon to be “out with the old” and eager to return with even more accolades.
Made with producers like six-time Grammy Award-winner David Greenbaum (Beck, Gorillaz, Cage the Elephant), Courtney’s latest effort emerged in a series of free-flowing sessions at legendary studios like Sunset Sound, Henson Recording Studios, and United Recording, ultimately being completed by Barns and Martin Eden at the Libertines Studio “The Albion Rooms.” “I’ve never had more fun in the studio than we did at United,” he notes. “We erected a tiki bar in the hallway and there was a revolving door of musicians and drifters coming in and out, plus an immense amount of mushroom chocolates. It’s not rock & roll if you don’t enjoy a bit of frivolity.” While each song spotlights the commanding vocal presence he’s brought to past hits like “Fire” (a Top 5 Triple A radio smash) and shown onstage at such illustrious gigs such as opening for The Libertines, Ed Sheeran, My Chemical Romance, The Who, and more, the album unfolds in a high-wattage sound ranging from glam to punk to gloriously scrappy garage-rock. And as Courtney reveals, creating such an ambitious project helped to undo the disillusionment that followed a prolonged period of relentless touring.
“After five years of doing what I absolutely love, I felt extremely tired and burnt-out,” Courtney recalls. “Making this album allowed me to corral the things I care about, like climate change and our dying planet, and explore them in a way that felt just as invigorating as when I started my first band 15 years ago.”