Courtney From Work goes big, keeps it fun on sophomore album 'Yarb Hundy'
Local rock act celebrates new record with a release show at Ace of Cups on Saturday, July 17
Like most of us, last year didn’t turn out the way local rock act Courtney From Work had planned. The four friends intended to go on a month-long tour in April of 2020 in support of the band's debut album, Wonderful, but instead the bandmates didn’t see each other at all for two months.
Eventually, Courtney From Work — guitarist/vocalist Jacob Fournier, guitarist Colin Cavanaugh, bassist Conner Hannah and drummer Andrew Davis — reconvened for rehearsals, which led to recording sessions for a few new singles. “We had such a good time doing that, we were like, ‘All right. We should do another album,'” Fournier said recently by phone.
Good times aren’t hard to come by for the guys in Courtney From Work. Fournier said the bandmates are friends first, and while they love playing music, they don't take it too seriously. Indeed, with big, garage-rock guitars; a snide, punk-rock attitude; and Wonderful song titles like “Drunk,” “Banger” and “Piss ‘n’ Vinegar,” Courtney From Work calls to mind the youthful antics and hook-drenched sounds of bands like Sum 41 and New Found Glory.
That sound gets more of a sheen on new album Yarb Hundy, out Friday, July 16, followed by a release show at Ace of Cups on Saturday, July 17. Courtney From Work home-recorded Wonderful in a basement, but for Yarb Hundy, the band enlisted engineer/producer Jakob Mooney. “I wanted to make it huge — way bigger than our last one,” Fournier said. “We thought, let's just go into the studio and make the songs sound sick. … I think we ended up pulling everything off pretty well.”
Yarb Hundy came together more collaboratively, too. “Kids Across the Nation,” for example, began to form after Hannah sent Fournier a riff as a voice memo, which Fournier used as the basis for the song. Some of the tunes had been sitting around for years in demo form while others Fournier wrote during the pandemic in response to a relationship that fell apart during lockdown.
Closing song “I Love U More” is a departure for Courtney From Work, trading a wall of distorted guitars for an acoustic, downtempo love song, complete with a string section. Initially, Fournier wrote the song for a girl and uploaded it to his personal Soundcloud account, but Davis heard it and encouraged Fournier to try it with the band.
"I thought, we should just put it on the album as the last song. Bands like Nirvana with ‘Something in the Way,’ or Green Day with ‘Good Riddance,’ where the last song is a nice little acoustic song, I was like, ‘We can get away with that, too,’” Fournier said. "It's a nice credit-scrolling song if you're still listening and you've made it that far. It ends the album on a positive note.”