L.A. Duo Courtship Return With 'Perfect People' & Talk Massive Snapchat Synch, Sunny Aesthetic & What's Next: Exclusive Premiere
"There’s this part in all of us that wishes we were perfect"
Los Angeles based electro-pop duo Courtship -- comprised of Eli Hirsch and Micah Gordon -- have had quite a debut year. It all began with the launch of their debut single "Stop For Nothing," a disco-tinged, euphoric pop gem that has now accumulated over 3 million streams on Spotify since its release last August.
Their instant buzz was no accident, as they first found success in the industry as songwriters, with Eli penning tracks with the likes of DREAMERS and Ethan Burns, and Micah writing with Tobias Jesso Jr.
Though the buzz band has only a handful fo tracks to their name, they've already carved a niche for writing ebullient, sunny synth pop prime for the first day of summer. Their infectious tunes have also caught one major fan in Snapchat, who hand picked their most recent single "Sunroof" to feature in a Custom Stories launch campaign this May.
Today, the duo share their next single "Perfect People," premiering exclusively via Billboard.
"Being in L.A., there’s a lot of really great people, but also a lot who take themselves very seriously and are caught up in what other people think about them," Micah tells Billboard of the song's inspiration. "With that said, there’s this part in all of us, even those us who feel great about ourselves, that wishes we were perfect. So it’s really a universal thing."
Below, the fast rising duo opens up about their origin, overall sunny aesthetic, massive Snapchat synch, and what's next.
Take us back to the beginning. How did you two first connect and get started on this project?
Micah: So honestly, this band happened totally by accident. Eli was playing guitar in a cool L.A. band called Bloodboy, when the keyboard player was poached to play for Mike Posner.
Eli: Micah got called to come try out, but was feeling lazy that day and almost didn’t show up. But he did, and after about 2 months of eyeing each other and an intense vetting process of musical influences -- Blink 182, Stevie Wonder, Chilli Peppers, STRFKR, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper -- Micah was like “Wanna come jam?" So I went over to his house and on Day 1 our first song ‘"Stop For Nothing" was written, and day 2 it was produced. And we we’re like “Wow, I guess we’re doing this."
Micah: We were watching Planet Earth one day after making music, and right as David Attenbourough’s soothing voice said something about a “courtship ritual” we we’re like “That’s a sick name!” It’s also cool because it kind of encapsulates what being young is all about: Do I like you? Do you like me? Cool, let’s be in love.
You're based in L.A. – where do you do most of your writing/recording, and what does your typical songwriting session look like?
Eli: We produce everything in Micah’s bedroom. Honestly we like it that way. It’s usually both us running around like excited madmen, and then we tinker with stuff until we like how it sounds. We actually had an Airstream for about 5 minutes and moved the studio into it, but it was in Micah’s backyard and the cops came literally 10 times in a week for noise so we had to shut it down
You’ve had quite a fast rise since your debut single. What was it like to see that one have such an impressive reaction? Did you expect that?
Micah: It’s definitely really cool to see that our music has an impact on people. Even if it’s small right now, it’s been amazing to connect with these awesome kids, on Instragram/Twitter and hear that our songs have affected them positively. But honestly we just make music we love and if it works it works!
Your music has a sunny aesthetic, very California – do you feel like your atmosphere and surroundings have shaped this sonic quality in your music?
Eli: How could it not? We also are pretty upbeat guys and enjoy making fun music, so it’s all just kind of a combo of us, and our surroundings.
Your album artwork is very sunny as well, comprised of yellow doodles over snapshots. How did you come up with that design series?
Eli: The whole idea around the doodling was kind of inspired by our new song ‘Perfect People’. It’s a song about not taking yourself too seriously - so we thought about how when we we’re kids, we used to deface stuff. Newspapers, magazines, everything.
Micah: So our good buddy and amazing artist Jack Herzog designed the ‘winky’ logo for us, and our creative director Drew Le Fore Escriva helped us bring the whole idea of ‘defacing’ to life.
Your recent single “Sunroof” was used by Snapchat in a recent campaign, and they reached out to you out of the blue. What that was like to get that message?
Eli: It was amazing of course. The people at Snapchat are genuine music lovers. Manny and Ike Adler who work in music there really get it, and are all about supporting new artists which is obviously super cool. Long story short we were thrilled.
The app is a huge platform for your music. What has the reception been like – have your friends and family started snapping themselves watching the ad?
Micah: The day it came out, we were probably hit up 100 times by people we know saying “oh my god your song was in the Snapchat thing!” What’s so cool about Snap is it allows us to have a real dialogue with our fans. We talk to them all day long on Snapchat and it’s awesome. For us, courtship. Really is more like a big friend group rather than a band with fans.
Your “Sunroof” video was shot on an iPhone 7 for a $176 budget. How did you decide to go the DIY route?
Eli: Well first off, we did it 'course because we have no money! But really, that’s kind of a great restriction. It challenges you to come up with a cool idea, that really embodies who you are, without the help of bells and whistles. By far the coolest part of the Sunroof video was how most people we’re so excited that strangers we’re coming up to them asking them if they wanted to dance - rather then standoffish or mad.
Playing the singles game for past year, is an EP/album in the works?
Eli: Maybe! What’s cool, is that because we make and produce all our stuff ourselves, we can do whatever we want. We could drop a triple album tomorrow if we wanted. But definitely look out for a lot more music this year.
Are you planning to take these songs on the road?
Micah: Hell yes. We’ll see you this fall
For more Courtship, head here.