The Courettes


The Courettes Back in Mono LP

I can’t lie: aesthetically, I was dead-set on hating this. Another garage duo, and outfits calling back to the go-go era and Brando’s The Wild One get-up that so many rocker dudes can’t hang up in the closet. But yeah, okay, sure, that’s just the record jacket. And my mom always taught me…you know. Truthfully, this album is a pleasure. Great crackling and cavernous production that gives some edge to its sprawling harmonies and baroquely early ’60s pop structures. These two Danes clearly have no interest in leaving the past where it is, and while those types of outright recreations can often feel like forgeries, you just can’t call a good song bad. And these are good goddamn songs. Written with intention and educated ears, played to hip-swinging perfection. There’s even a sort of NANCY SINATRA by way of ’60s spy spoof soundtrack number (“Until You’re Mine”) that just works. I’m almost irritated, but ultimately just happy to see someone out there pulling off this sound without sounding precious.

The Courettes Salta Il Ramo / Non Ti Lascerò 7″

For me, the COURETTES are the next big thing, though I think it’s likely they’ve been around for a bit given their volume of released music. Still, this Danish/Brazilian duo takes a favorite genre of mine (garage punk) and really delivers it in a special way. This single happens to be two of their originals, this time recorded in a foreign language. I would have expected it to be Brazilian (or even Danish), but it seems it’s Italian. Doesn’t matter—two real garage rockers here that will keep your head bouncing while doing internet research trying to figure out who the fuck these guys are. Female-fronted, which is always a plus for me.

The Courettes Hop the Twig / Only Happy When You’re Gone 7″

For some reason I’m drawn to duos. I’m also a fan of female-fronted punk rock. And I like my music firmly rooted in a garage. That this duo has one member from Denmark and one from Brazil is kind of amazing to me. How did these two find each other? Anyway, this is some seriously rocking garage punk. The A-side is a rocker that’s super catchy and melodic, and on the B-side they rip into a classic ’60s girl ballad. While only a single, I think I could listen to these two tracks all day long. How have I not heard of these two before?

The Courettes Misfits & Freaks / Killer Eyes 7″

Everything from the album layout, to the way they dress, to the music itself, feels like this came out of Detroit sixty years ago—but don’t be fooled, this duo is out of Denmark and giving us this fantastic pop-rock right now! This 7”, released four months ago, is already sold out! What’s happening? 1960s garage/girl group influence has really been showing up lately, like with the EXBATS, who I just reviewed, for example, but the COURETTES take the influence to the next level while modernizing the lyrics. If “Misfits & Freaks” doesn’t get used at the climax of the next feel-good indie apocalypse film, then it’ll be a major missed opportunity. The aforementioned A-side starts off with tambourine claps, a clever acoustic guitar riff, and a lamented version of the chorus vocals before the drop of distortion, a full drum kit, and a faster tempo. It’s irresistibly catchy with backing “ooh”s and “ahh”s under the line “Cheer up, you misfits and freaks.” This song came from their 2021 Back In Mono LP, but they’ve reworked it a little here to give an even more devil-may-care attitude that came from the uncertainty of the pandemic lockdowns. The B-side, a brand new track, starts up with the same riff and “Cheer up, cheer up” backing line from the previous song, only to switch gears to surfy guitar strums that lead to “The way he looks / And all his charms / I could die in his arms,” with all the trappings of ’60s girl groups, and they certainly pull it off. Please, have a listen.

The Courettes Want You! Like a Cigarette / Night Time (The Boy of Mine) 7″

I’ve always loved that the Scandinavians have a real appreciation for music history. The music they put out rarely exists in a vacuum. Female-fronted garage rock’n’roll, this one has a real feel for the girl vocal bands of the early ’60s. It’s got the harmonies, the handclaps, the melancholic vocals and lyrics. And while the focus is on the vocals, it’s not at the expense of the finger-snapping garage fuzz that carries it all. I find the production nicely balanced; it’s nicely done, but not overdone. They knew what they were trying to achieve and they achieved it.