Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Courage My Love have winning crowds over on both sides of the Atlantic for the past few years. Their brand of pop-rock is coated with slick accessible shine yet there is more to the trio than catchy hooks. As latest single ‘Remission’ shows, there is an emotional and heart to their songwriting. Twin sisters (and multi-instrumentalists) Mercedes and Phoenix Arn-Horn along with bassist Brandon Lockwood having a proven flair for writing empowering songs. Last year’s ‘Synesthesia’ LP was littered with synth-laden pop-rock gems such as ‘Love Hurts’, ‘Tough Love’ and ‘Animal Heart’.
With lengthy runs on the Vans Warped Tour and several trips to the UK on their CV, this weekend sees Courage My Love back in the UK as they support As It Is alongside Trash Boat and Holding Absence. However, before they head over here, we spoke to Mercedes Arn-Horn to find out about the bands that she thinks everyone should hear, her all-important touring essentials, the songs she wishes had written and more.
1 Artist I Couldn’t Live Without…
I think Phoenix and I have listened to Death Cab For Cutie almost every day since we were 11 years old, so it’s hard to say where we’d be without them. Ben Gibbard’s lyrics, and their general melodies, chords and song structures have inspired us for years. I think throughout our career you can definitely hear influences from DCFC.
2 People I Know, That Shaped My Passion For Music…
I’d have to give a lot of credit to my guitar teacher, Kevin Ramessar, for showing me how to create beautiful, out of the ordinary, chord voicings on guitar and always pushing me to think very melodically. He taught me that a song is like an emotional rollercoaster. You want the audience to feel differently after they’ve heard you play than they did before. You have to take them on a journey with you. I always think of that every time I’m on stage.
Another inspiration (although it’s actually two people) would be our parents, Judy and David. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are now. My mom was the one who got us into music lessons from a very young age and gave us the opportunities to learn and explore our art. My dad still drives us to a ton of gigs, drove our bandwagon all across the USA on Warped Tour TWICE, and is at every local show we play. Without their patience and support, who knows what we’d be doing now.
3 Songs You Wish You’d Written…
1. Ariana Grande – God Is A Woman
2. Stevie Nicks – Edge Of Seventeen
3. Radiohead – Nude
4 Bands Everyone Should Hear…
2. Purity Ring
3. Now, Now
4. Neutral Milk Hotel
5 Songs You Love…
1. Ariana Grande – Breathin
2. Frank Ocean – Pink + White
3. Tanerelle – Boys Like You
4. Third Eye Blind – Graduate
5. Death Cab For Cutie – Brothers On A Hotel Bed
6 Bands You’re Keen To Play With…
1. Terror Jr
5. Now, Now
7 Places You’d Love To Play…
We’ve played a lot of the places on our bucket list already, but the world is so huge and there are so many interesting cities that we’ve all been dying to see. I’m going to list places that we have NEVER been to and are still looking forward to travelling to.
1. Kyoto – Japan
2. Seoul – Korea
3. Sao Paulo – Brazil
4. Mexico City – Mexico
5. Stockholm – Sweden
6. Oslo – Norway
7. Reykjavik – Iceland
8 Essential Tour Items…
1. Toiletry bag (toothbrush, shower stuff, etc)
2. Comfy sweater for lounging in on long drives
3. Cards or some sort of portable game to amuse yourself with after soundcheck.
5. Laptop + recording software to lay down as many ideas as you can because being on tour is SO INSPIRING
6. A good attitude is essential to bring with you on tour… no whiners allowed!
7. A good book to read and engage your mind.
8. You think you have enough socks? You don’t. Bring more socks than any normal human would naturally need.
9 Words To Describe Your Band…
We like to play music more than anything ever!
10 Favourite Albums Of All Time…
1. Death Cab For Cutie – Plans
2. Ellie Goulding – Halcyon
3. Frank Ocean – Blonde
4. Radiohead – In Rainbows
5. Jimmy Eat World- Futures
6. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
7. Banks – The Altar
8. Beyoncé – Beyoncé
9. The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It
10. Daniel Caesar – Freudian
Courage My Love will be playing the following shows with As It Is alongside Trash Boat and Holding Absence:
25th Thekla, Bristol
26th Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh
28th O2 Ritz, Manchester
29th O2 Institute, Birmingham
1st O2 Forum Kentish Town, London