Will Courtney: “There’s No Answer”

Songwriter Will Courtney is a rambler, a restless spirit always on the move. As a musician, he’s played and worked with some heavy-hitters, but he’s about to strike out on his own with a brand new solo record called A Century Behind.

Courtney was born in Tennessee, and grew up in Texas. When he was old enough, he packed up and headed out to California. He played in a few groups and helped out folks like Zander Schloss (of Circle Jerks and Alex Cox-films fame) and Ric Menck. After some time on the West Coast, Courtney pulled up stakes and headed back to Texas. Once he made it to Austin, Courtney started a new project with his sister Lily and a few of her friends called Brothers and Sisters. The band garnered critical praise at home and abroad, and played shows with high-profile locals like Trail of Dead, Okkervil River, The Black Angels and Spoon. Brothers and Sisters called it quits in 2010, and Courtney once again hit the road. He split his time between Nashville and Texas, writing and producing records.

Courtney sequestered himself for a year in a cabin in Texas to write the tunes for his new solo record. Even at the record’s fullest arrangement, Courtney leaves the songs with plenty of room to breath. The solitary setting yielded a record that’s beautiful in its warmth and stripped-down simplicity. As a straight, acoustic tune, “There’s No Answer” would be lovely enough. Courtney’s voice is polished but unpretentious. But he lays an electric organ and a reverb-drenched electric guitar line give over the gentle acoustic tune, and it adds some alluring, downtown bite. The touches are simple, but they add incredible emotional depth, and leave you slightly off-balance in the best way. Courtney’s skill as a songwriter’s been honed over many years, and many miles, and it’s come into full flower on his solo debut.

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