Boston-based rocker, TJ Courtney brings listeners back to the powerhouse vocals and insightful, angst-ridden lyrics reminiscent of 90’s grunge on his debut EP Into The Sky. Songwriting is a thoughtful, introspective process for TJ, with songs like the first single, “One Day,” which questions our impact as a species on the world, or “Who Are They,” a song that brings to light this generation’s paranoid obsession with online voyeurism. Into The Sky was released today and TJ gave up the inside scoop on all the songs! Check it out!
Into the Sky
I wrote Into the Sky soon after I started working with Patti and Rodel. Before I had them on my side I felt like I was banging my head against the wall pursuing a career in music. I was the drummer of a band that almost signed with Maverick Records when I was 17 (Dead Legend) and after things fell through and that band fell apart I started writing my own stuff, and it took quite a while to get noticed by anyone. Once I had a few people on my side and I was in LA working with some high-end writers, producers, etc. it felt like the entire journey made sense. At the time it seemed like things were picking up really quickly and I started to freak out a little bit and wonder if I was ready for any of it – which is when I thought of the metaphor of being “launched sightless into the sky.” So the entire song is a struggle between the positive side of these new opportunities and the anxiety that comes with them… with the song ending with the realization that I have to “trust in the ride.”
This is an older song that has been re-written several times. The end result is a song that questions our impact on the environment. It serves as an ominous warning about future consequences – the ironic part being that I finished the song & the recording of it several months before my childhood house was hit severely by a tornado. This was the first tornado to hit our area in over 50 years, and I am convinced it was related to our impact on the environment. We shot the music video for One Day among the destruction a few days after the tornado hit.
This song is about my ex-girlfriend. We were together for three years and it was that tumultuous, unhealthy relationship that everyone goes through at some point. She was a cheater and I kept giving her more chances. This song was written after we’d been broken up for about a year and we started hanging out again and hooking up again, and pretty soon she was talking about getting back together and moving in together, etc. I said I wouldn’t do it, but we kept hanging out for a while and before long all the crazy fighting picked up where it left off, and eventually I cut her out of my life completely. The song is written in retrospect – about how I knew exactly how things would end up, but I went there again anyways…
Who Are They
This song is about social anxiety, which comes and goes for me, and specifically how it can culminate in the form of online voyeurism, and the paranoia that goes along with giving anyone access to your personal life and information. In the song I am asking who my real friends are, which applies to the superficial level of having a lot of friends on social networks and not really knowing them, but also on a deeper level applies to some friends in the past who have been one person to my face and someone completely different behind my back.
I worked on this Duran Duran Cover for a licensing project, and when we decided to bump “Enemies” to be the title track of a follow up EP, I thought this would be cool to throw in as the fifth track on this EP. I found the lyrics to be incredibly relatable – I think everyone has felt estranged and like an outsider after losing someone they depended on.