Wednesday 13 February 2013

KOORTWAH - The Wilderness EP

EP review by

Jake Courtois will probably not be a name you're familiar with, but he creates music under the alias of KOORTWAH (a play on his surname if you're brain hasn't woken up yet). His talents haven't gone unnoticed though, and for new EP 'The Wilderness' he's managed to enlist the help of some very noteworthy guests. The EP was produced at the DFA studio with former LCD Soundsystem member Mat Thornley and also contains contributions from Midnight Magic, a group comprised of ex-members of Hercules & Love Affair and was mixed by the guy who did the last Yeasayer album. So there are some hitmakers involved, although it doesn't sound as though KOORTWAH is aiming for the big time just yet, and 'The Wilderness' is more likely to serve the purpose of building both publicity and a solid fanbase.

Aside from a forlorn sounding cover of Lucinda Williams' 'Steal Your Love', all the songs are Jake Courtois originals. As with much current synth-pop or electro-rock it's difficult not to mention the 80s, especially on 'Ancient Gods' where the blueprint for much of that decade's pop is used to create a song with modern instrumentation. It's retro in style maybe, but the music is up to date. A similar feat is achieved but with superior results on the impressive 'Second Wind', and 'Thirty Thousand Feat' has a more ambient feel but produces more emotion with it. It is 'The Wilderness' that's the best of the bunch and more like what you'd expect from the team who worked on it. Upbeat, spacious, atmospheric and more straight-out electro-pop with elements of funk brought in to spice things up. Definitely one to watch.

KOORTWAH's website

Catch him live:

Feb 21 Cameo Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

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