Echo Courts “No Damage”

Press Photo

Courtesy of Echo courts

Vincent Johnson
      Staff Writer

With a style that is reminiscent of legendary rock acts like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Echo Courts have managed to develop a sonic mural that sounds like a dream, a break-up and a trip to the beach all at once. Melodic, heartfelt and at times humorous, their style is a seamless blend between ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll and ‘90s pop. Sonically, their records are driven by the central instrumentation of guitar, bass, kick and snare, while their vocals exude playfulness and bleed pain. Their songs tell stories of heartbreak, loss, love, women and desire with the lyrical potency and imagery of a rap legend like Nas, but through the musical landscape of rock ‘n’ roll.

An example of this can be heard in the closing song of their 2014 “Ice Cream Social EP,” “Candy Nova” in the haunting lyrics, “I love your sister Sandy, how she taunts and how she teases me, in the sunshine she breaks my bones…” Echo Courts currently have two projects out and available for download purchase through BandCamp, including 2013’s “Sumerian Lakes,” and the aforementioned “Ice Cream Social EP” from 2014. Having made it fresh off of their week-long Winter Tour where they performed in southern cities such as Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans and more, Echo Courts is gearing up for the release of their next project, “No Damage,” which will be released through Already Dead Tapes & Records.

The current Echo Courts roster consists of vocalist and guitarist Kelly Fahey, vocalist and guitarist Luc Swift, bassist Davis Alderson and drummer Zach Koontz. When talking about the band’s origins, Fahey explained, “It really just started out with me just singing and recording songs in my bedroom and from then it just really grew. Over the years we’ve had a rotating cast of musicians.”

One word that could be used to describe Echo Court’s sound is “vintage,” so when Fahey explained talked about the band’s influences, it was easy to understand how their style was developed. “We’re influenced a lot by old school rock music. Like a lot of stuff from the 60’s and a lot of garage band type of stuff,” Fahey said.

As the band has grown and evolved over the years, so has their creative process. Echo Courts first project, “Sumerian Lakes” was released in July 2013. Fahey described the inspiration and behind it as a laid back, relaxed and natural process.

“The first one was mainly just recorded in my bedroom, just sitting around drinking beers, hanging out and writing songs with friends. The whole thing just happened pretty naturally,” Fahey explained.

In November 2014, the band released their second project, “Ice Cream Social EP.” Fahey described the inspiration and process as building upon their original foundation. “For our second project, the ‘Ice Cream Social EP,’ we decided to record our music in a professional studio for the first time. We recorded every instrument track by track. Our latest project, ‘No Damage,’ was recorded at a professional music studio as well. But the inspiration and writing process was a lot different from our other projects. For one, we started the album after I had graduated from college. And most of the songs were written about that weird summer space where you’ve already graduated and you don’t really have anything to do, so most days you’re just dicking around. And also, we just started touring last year. So it involved a lot of writing and performing our new material on the road which was a new experience and a new environment. So moving forward we’re definitely going to be doing more recording at studios but we’re also going to get back into home recording for some songs as well.”

Echo Courts’ songwriting process is a lot different from other groups and artists. Unlike others, they usually play all of their new songs at live shows before actually getting in the studio and recording them.

“I write all of the songs right now,” Fahey explained. “And then we just learn them and practice them together. We always make sure to get a lot of practice in and learn them really well before recording. And we perform all of our new material at shows before we actually lay it down in a studio.”

Although “No Damage” is the first project that they are putting out with Already Dead Tapes & Records, they do have previous experience with record labels. “We actually used to put out music with Swan City Sound, which is our friend Clifford’s label. But with Already Dead Tapes & Records we have a deal where we’ll put out a fifty to hundred cassette tapes of our album, and if those sell we’ll get to make more. So this is a new experience but it should be interesting,” Fahey said.

With any creative process there are always obstacles and challenges that come with recording an album. But when you’re working in a band, these challenges can be even greater. Fahey elaborated, “We definitely faced some challenges while working on the album. For one, we’ve been finished with the album since last February. But it took us a long time to find the proper medium to put the project out. Also, this was the most collaborative group effort out of all of our projects. We were really trying to make a product that we would all be happy with. Another challenge we faced was having a couple of people leave the band and having to rebuild. But now that we’re finally about to release our new music, I would say that the most rewarding part of the whole process is getting to put out something new for the fans and the people. It’s been a really long time since we released new music. We’ve been doing so much touring and stuff so it’s going to be great to finally have new material out.”

With the release of their new album on the horizon, Fahey also looked back on the ways he thinks their music has grown since the first project. “I just feel like we’ve developed a more focused sound and we’re getting closer to where we want to be,” Fahey reflected. “We’re not there yet. And with music you know you never truly feel like you’re where you want to be as far as sound goes. But our new music is definitely a lot more polished than our old stuff, and it definitely sounds more pretty.”

“We’re really excited about the release of this album,” Fahey continued. “We’ve got another tour coming up in March. And we’re definitely looking forward to the fans getting to hear it. But we’re actually wrapping up our full length project next week, so we’re also looking forward to putting that out sometime later this year as well.”

“No Damage” is currently available for streaming at, while “Sumerian Lakes,” and “Ice Cream Social EP,” are still streaming at Be on the lookout for “No Damage” and be sure to catch Echo Courts playing live at New York Pizza on January 29.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Reviews, Uncategorized

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