Echo Courts
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Echo Courts

Greensboro, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Greensboro, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Pop Psychedelic





Echo Courts is a band with a lot of experience under their belts already. Currently, they’re finishing up a multi-state tour, and had the pleasure of opening for Christopher Owens in their home state of North Carolina. Two EP’s have already been completed from this five-piece psych-pop group, and now they’ve given us their newest single, ‘Bloodstream’. You haven’t heard it yet, so listen up.

The distorted sounds of the fuzz guitar in this track highlight the psychedelic part of this group’s dynamic, and the harmonies of their vocal tones help define the pop part of their identity. They may be young on the scene, but their talent impresses us and builds the expectation for a long future. Check them out while they’re still fresh! - The Wild Honey Pie

"Track Premiere: Echo Courts – “Fuck Your Party”"

Echo Courts look like the kind of friendly bohos you’d like to crack open some Pabsts with at a summertime rooftop party. And this premiere of Fuck Your Party, despite that antithetical title, plays out not unlike how that party might go. It starts out strummy and chummy and light, and gets progressively a little loopier, background noise and voices ultimately overpowering the guy right in front of you, and suddenly ends too quickly and with a thud, like your face meeting the floor on the way out.

Like any band that started as a bedroom thing (this one in Greensboro, NC), the founding duo of Kelly Fahey and Jacob Darden have juggled lineups a little since 2013. But they’ve since released two EPs and toured a bunch after securing a new drummer last summer. They’re working on their debut full-length for later this year, and Fuck Your Party will be sitting on that one. You though should stand up and go catch them on the road right now. - CMJ

"“I’ve Been Down” - Echo Courts"

Carving out a space in surf-rock must be a disheartening venture in indie-rock, given how well-trodden the territory has become in the last few years. It’s hard to tell with Echo Courts, who seem at home with a little reverb and rhythms built for bright, powerful sunlight. "I’ve Been Down" is the first track off Ice Cream Social, a debut that’s somewhere between Kaputt and Belong on the spectrum of romantic placelessness.

The main refrain features singer Kelly Fahey detailing the vertigo of heartbreak “I’ve been down for so long it feels like up to me,” but it’s not clear whether or not he’s concerned about it. The lyrical ambiguity never ends, but when they’re not busy talking about getting stoned or issuing pithy statements about time, the band puts a confident foot forward in several directions at once.

For instance, take the highlight moment in “I’ve Been Down.” Fahey raises his voice, the guitars sear across, and suddenly Echo Courts find a little more than sheer comfort. It’s success, and it fades to black in a way that tells you that they’re aware of it.

Echo Courts will be playing North Carolina’s Phuzz Phest this year. You can listen to the rest of Ice Cream Social over at their Bandcamp. - Nothing Sounds Better

"EP Review: Echo Courts Spin Soundscapes With Ice Cream Social"

“I can picture you holding the hand of someone new.”
The mist from the sea breeze falls on your skin as you are enjoying a walk down the boardwalk. You walk slowly, taking your time, because hell, you got all the time in the world, because “Oh Lord, don’t ask why,” you can’t seem to shake off this feeling of serenity, because you know that everything will be alright. You keep walking, taking your time, and then you wake up. You wake up to a café in the cold and wintery depths of snow banks, ice on the ground, and Echo Courts. What do you think?
This is the first thing that comes to mind: Echo Courts knows how to keep you into their songs. They craft deep soundscapes spun across from song to song that hold different values that seem much the same when looked at in a larger context. Each song has its own characteristic that seems to provide a tied and webbed embodiment of the character of Echo Courts.
There is this intangible characteristic that you want every band to possess, this quality of serenity. You want every artist to be able to talk you into a mood, to be able to take writing and some chord progressions and transform it into music, into feeling, and into something human.
Something that is able to make you feel joy, weep, think, and relate, because we all want to relate. We all want to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves, and that is exactly how Echo Courts has me feeling as I listen to each consecutive track on their Ice Cream Social album.
What first struck me with each song was that I felt like I was at the beach, that I was enjoying my time spent in a sunny day somewhere in Southern California. I felt alive. I was able to take away from each track, and I was able to feel what they were trying to express with each progressing track.
Stream Echo Courts’ Ice Cream Social below and catch that feeling for yourself. - Speak Into My Good Eye

"Chart Discovery: Echo Courts (WUAG), Wildhoney (WLOY) And More"

Echo Courts on WUAG
Well for starters, how could we pass up an album with “ice cream” in the title. That aside, Echo Courts dish up a sweet serving of swoon-worthy dream pop. Their reverb-soaked guitars and emotion-laden vocals helped land Ice Cream Social a spot on WUAG’s chart. - CMJ

"Interview: Echo Courts"

Echo Courts are a North Carolina quartet who caught our ears with their wonderful release, Ice Cream Social. Today, we’re stoked to welcome them back to The Grey Estates in the form of a fun and informative interview from contributor Dan E Brown.

Dan: Give us a little history of Echo Courts. How did the band come to form and what made you decide that you wanted to start playing music together?

Echo Courts: Well Jacob and I (Kelly) met through his other band playing on my former radio show when I was in college. We started hanging out through mutual friends and I always loved his songwriting so I figured I’d show him some stuff that I was working on. We started by just recording one track at a time and overdubbing everything on this 16-track recorder and eventually had a modest collection of tracks that we felt needed to be released.

It was all sort of haphazard, recording at very odd times of night in various bedrooms, whoever had mics or drums or guitars, we would go there, but it was really fun. We had a few different variations of the band before we settled on this one, but Chris our bass player is an old friend of mine from High School so he was a logical choice to join in from the start

Dan: So when you formed was there any concept behind the band? Things you wanted to achieve, people you wanted to emulate, or was it just an envoy for the collections of songs you both had?

Echo Courts: All of our songs on the first EP were very light-hearted and summery on the surface, but had a lot of melancholy and despondent themes. That definitely came from countless hours of talking about and listening to Girls when we first started.

But in terms of things I wanted to achieve I really don’t know back then. I was happy with just playing shows in town with my friends. I was only 20 and didn’t really take it too seriously but lately we’ve really put in a lot of work, which has made us want to achieve more and more if that makes sense

Dan: If you’re not playing live, recording or just being in a band, what are you guys normally up to?

Echo Courts: Zack (our drummer) and I valet park cars, it’s pretty miserable and cold but it’s laid back and you have to make money somehow. Chris lives in Chapel Hill and goes to UNC and Jacob bar tends and is literally nocturnal haha. But for fun I personally watch a ridiculous amount of King Of The Hill, and I like to cook a lot.

Dan: Favorite pizza topping?

Echo Courts: Jacob likes banana peppers and sausage I think? Or maybe hamburger meat? Zack likes BBQ chicken as a toping. I like just cheese. When I moved to North Carolina I learned the practice of covering cheese pizza in hot sauce and dipping it in ranch dressing so I really haven’t looked back since then.

Dan: So, if Echo Courts were a person at a party, what type of person would they be?

Echo Courts: That’s a great question. We’re all so different, I really don’t know how we’re even friends. Give me just a moment to answer this correctly. We would be the guy that’s way too drunk begging whoever is playing the music to put on “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen, while our friends embarrassingly pretended like they didn’t know us. Or Cowboy Song by Thin Lizzy

Dan: If you were to go into a record store, what genre section would you head to first?

Echo Courts: Dollar records for sure…A. I’m broke and B. Nothing better than finding a sweet old record for a buck. If I have money though I like going to the new records though so I can support folks that are making music now and stay current on new stuff

Dan: So, lets talk about the songwriting on Ice Cream Social for a bit. You talk how a lot of the songs were a collaboration of both yours and Jacobs. What’s the thing that gives you the most inspiration for songwriting?

Echo Courts: Well first off, just so you can know, Mary, I’ve Been Down and Transient Pleasures are songs that I wrote mostly and sing, and Fast Ellie, Pistol and Candy Nova are Jacob’s. He has a kind of stream of conscious style that amazes me, doesn’t write out lyrics and changes them a lot. A lot of his stuff seems to come from scribbles in notebooks and stuff that he pieces together. I usually write everything on guitar first and the lyrics come way after, from things that have happened to me or my friends. A lot of them are made up stories and things that have never even really happened to me or I elaborate on a feeling that I have about someone or something. Lyrics seem really final to me so I wait a long time to finally commit to them then I never change them, just because I feel connected to the after that.

Dan: What were your top three favorite releases of last year?

Echo Courts: Oh man. So many awesome releases. Can I do friend’s bands and not friend’s bands? Ok, not friends bands Foxygen - ‘…And Star Power, Alvvays - ‘Alvvays’ and Angel Olsen - ‘Burn Your Fire for No Witness.’ Friend’s bands, Ameriglow- ‘Heavy Heaven for Robby’ (Jacob’s other band), Black Santa – ‘Sorry If This Is Weird’ and Native America (band we’ve played with a few times from New Orleans) – ‘Grown Up Wrong.’

Dan: Give us a fun fact about yourselves?

Echo Courts: Me (Kelly) Zack and Jacob all work construction together now.

Dan: In light of your EP title, what ice cream flavor best describes Echo Courts?

Echo Courts: Mint Chocolate Chip. Not for any reason that’s just my favorite one so I think that’s what I’d choose

Also you need all flavors to be an ice cream social, but it’s not a party without mint chocolate chip - The Grey Estates

"Echo Courts - "Ice Cream Social" Melts In Your Mouth- Captivating Stories in Contrasting Styles"

Echo Court's sound is steeped in such an embraced romance that they feel more like eruptions of emotions than well crafted songs. The deep well of feelings comes through in the cadence of the lyrics that stand alone as beautiful poems. As you listen to their latest work "Ice Cream Social" there is a decidedly tonal shift between the swaying cool indie rock of songs like I've Been Down, Transient Pleasures and Mary and the more tattered and torn reveal of Fast Ellie, Pistol and Candy Nova. This partition of styles and attitude does not hinder the impact of this collection of songs. It, instead, give it a wonderful contrast, a push and pull, a dark and light (or less dark) due to the split singing and lyrical duties of Kelly Fahey and Jacob Dardin. Kelly tells his stories on the first three songs I refer to and Jacob on the last three.

In I've Been Down (for example) Kelly's vocal delivery feels like a man deep in thought but with muted emotions (at least on the outside). When he sings, "I know I'm wrong but by now your so far gone... I can't picture you holding the hand of someone new...What should I do?" the feeling is hurt but cool. Stay cool as to not show the pain. The music is bright and sparkly but cool too. In this way, Kelly's triad of songs has deep down inside that "Smiths" thing happening in some small way.. the cold proper Morrissey thing deep down somewhere, not in the sound at all but in attitude. In fact, Kelly's vocal attack soars in a wonderful way. The progression and stirring musical chaos at the end of the song is dreamy. Kelly's songs have as much a current indie sound as that 60's influenced early 80's Brit Pop / post punk sound. This is no more apparent in Mary that jams with that "Mersey beat" feel.

In contrast, Jacob's tone as on the evocative Fast Ellie feels like earnest Americana Folk with an almost 50's sock hop torture ballad tone stirred in. Emotions are stripped bare and laid out on the table with it's fair share of stoic barbs as he sings, "She takes pride in her tracking skills...She likes the hunt.... And baby Jesus gave you good looks but tonight that's not enough." For me, it is instantly captivating. The blunt nature of the storytelling, the music swelling with pure melodrama and desire culminates into a cinematic climax. In a similar, but more vast way, Pistol has dynamic dashes of hope (false and otherwise), "All those secrets that you keep... your mouth is a faucet... it's empty, it leaks." There is a lost in a carnival feel. Jacob's songs have a touch of Springsteen and a heavier touch of Father John Misty (whom I love).

I have focused so much on the two singers / storytellers and failed to mention the stellar musicianship by all as well as the production flourishes. It all works utterly and completely. I can listen to "Ice Cream Social" on repeat a dozen times and feel more each and every time in the nuanced performances. The funny thing is that each time the stories get bigger too. - American Pancake


2013: Sumerian Lakes
2014: Ice Cream Social



Echo Courts is a band from North Carolina. We formed in Greensboro in the summer of 2013 after discovering a mutual admiration for the songwriting of Phil Spector and the bands he produced like the Crystals and the Ronettes, along with more modern dream-pop and the incredible bands from our state that continue to inspire and influence us. After spending the summer making homemade recordings that we would eventually call Sumerian Lakes and playing a few local and regional shows, we took a break to record our first studio EP and to focus on other endeavors. After what would become almost a year without playing shows, we released Ice Cream Social and began doing some regional tours in support of the record. After a hectic 8 months or so filled with over 50 shows and 3 tours on the East Coast, we have started working on our debut full-length record which we hope to have finished this fall. 

Band Members