When describing the Charlotte music scene in 2019, a word that can be bolded and underlined several times would have to be “growth,” and that especially goes for the duo Courtney Lynn & Quinn. In the last year, not only did they make powerful moves throughout our city, touring and leaving their marks on many of our beloved venues, but all the while working at their sophomore project, the Remiss EP, which dropped on Friday, Jan. 17.
This is the first release recorded by Courtney Lynn & Quinn as a duo, though they’ve gained plenty of recognition together locally performing songs from Courtney Lynn’s solo debut, Wander Years, so it’s been hard to separate the married couple from that work. Remiss, however, takes the first step in allowing fans to do so.
Upon pressing play, it quickly becomes easy to see the ways in which Remiss branches out from what made Wander Years great — making the next effort greater while still tackling familiar emotions with a bit of grit. Audiences got a taste of that sharper edge with the first two Remiss singles, “Tired” and “Fire,” both released in 2019, but the four tracks added onto the stack truly brought the EP home and defined what the married couple are about under their now joint moniker, showing progression in their genre and serving in part as a rebirth.
It shows almost immediately from the opening track that the couple wanted to create that distance by truly exploring the dust settled in between run-ins with past situations. “Tired” hits right at the heart of the issues that can come from an unbalanced give-and-take within a relationship. The lyrics perfectly capture the cracks that form when the hurt becomes too much and the only obvious choice is to part ways.
The song comes off as a last-ditch message from the wronged to the party in the wrong. Paired with “Forgive You,” which portrays a similar vibe and message, a fuller picture develops. The latter does more for context, but speaks the same in reaching the finale between partners.
“Running” brings the listener to a time after the relationship ends, in which all we can do is keep moving with what was and isn’t anymore. We all have those people in our lives that would rather withhold judgment until after a situation ends, and the song directly speaks to how we can seem aimless after heartbreak. “Better” picks up from there, giving an inward picture of how a break-up can truly hit us, yet we try to carry on as if the pain isn’t there. No matter how it ends, it always feels like we’re missing pieces that were long ago and forever transferred into the would-be union.
While much of this EP’s content differs at its core from Wander Years, it isn’t devoid of hope and the warmth of love; that’s where “5 Minutes” and “Fire” truly shine out from the rest. During Courtney Lynn & Quinn’s recent release party at Visulite Theatre, the pair gave a bit of background to “5 Minutes,” stating that the track was inspired directly from how they approached each other before getting together. It’s a familiar bottle of emotions to juggle, and all romantics are familiar with it — that instinctual notion that it could be worth it to approach a crush, fought by all the anxiety that a chase can spark.
The EP ends on “Fire”, the first debut track from 2019, and possibly the best finisher for it. “Fire” ties the warmer feelings of the pair together, speaking for them to the audience, relaying that despite what came before, they truly found the missing pieces in each other.
In Remiss, the mess that love can create and the push-and-pull of sticking with it shatters the vibes left from Wander Years and reassembles them in a dynamic way. The new EP is an immense high water mark in the couple’s musical career together, albeit early, as they strive to continue growing in their transplant home of the Queen City.
As musicians, expanding into not so different territory yet reflecting in familiar areas, Remiss draws out the things many of us find ugly and hard to express or think about. This EP was still about love, but the build truly sets it apart as a starting point in discussions of those darker moments that are all too easy to simply bottle up inside.
Remiss is now on Courtney Lynn & Quinn’s Spotify channel for streaming. Watch for upcoming dates for an East Coast tour coming closer this spring.