Interview: courtship. on Influences, "Million Dollar Smoothies", and Pre-Show Traditions

courtship. is the indie-pop outfit of Micah Gordon and Eli Hirsch. At the time of their meeting at an LA gig, the duo were both session players with differing musical backgrounds. Eli's upbringing surrounded by Blink-182, Passion Pit, and Weezer combined with Micah's experience as a classically-trained jazz pianist (influences included Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Miles Davis) make for an electrifying and charismatic united sound.


Photo by Emily Nava

In 2016, courtship. emerged with their breakout debut album, Denial in Paradise, amassing more than 50 million streams on Spotify and sparking conversation over hit tracks such as "Tell Me Tell Me" and "Sunroof" by Billboard, NME, and Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. The pair has spent the last few years touring with the likes of Passion Pit, Weezer, Day Glow, Magic City Hippies, and Night Riots.


Most recently, Hirsch and Gordon released their single "Million Dollar Smoothies", which was debuted live on NBC's American Song Contest representing the state of Oregon. Check out the full performance here. More than just a catchy summer bop, the single is a playful poke at Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop, expensive health drinks, and the hypocrisy of consumer culture at large. "Million Dollar Smoothies" blends clever lyrics, bouncy electro-pop beats, and sugar-sweet synths–a recipe for success.



Like 2021 singles "I Try", "Prom", and "80 in the friend zone", "Million Dollar Smoothies" is a taste of courtship.'s highly anticipated sophomore album, which is set to be released later this year. We talked with courtship. about their influences, new music, pre-show traditions, and more. Read the full interview below and listen to "Million Dollar Smoothies". Let us know what you think.


 

At what age did you start playing music?

I (Micah) started playing piano around eight years old, but I didn’t really take it seriously until I was 11 or 12, when I heard jazz for the first time. I was like, “holy shit! What is this devilish music and how can I play it?”


How did the band form?

The band formed on a fateful day in 325 BCE, when I asked Eli if I could borrow his mule to carry my water up the hill.


How would you describe your sound?

Our sound is the cosmic baby of Eli’s rock-hard guitar licks and slapping bass lines with my funky keys and penetrating drum grooves. Others would classify it as biblical indie-pop.


Who are your biggest musical influences as a duo?

We love Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire, ELO, Passion Pit, Foster the People, Blink 182, and the song “Starving” by Hailee Steinfeld.


Do you write music collaboratively or bring ideas to each other?

We write and produce collaboratively, but we also bring in ideas. We don’t really like to have a set way that we write–it keeps things more interesting.


Where did the name “courtship.” come from?

We were sitting around watching Planet Earth and Sir David Attenborough gave us a lesson on the courtship of the bottlenose dolphin. Then… BAM! The name courtship. was chosen.


"We were sitting around watching Planet Earth and Sir David Attenborough gave us a lesson on the courtship of the bottlenose dolphin."

Share about your experience on NBC’s American Song Contest.

It was amazing getting to work with the insanely talented production designers, Jerry and Paul. They told us their vision for the song and we were blown away. It was crazy to see this insane idea of a huge green smoothie cup and smoothie dancers, also known as the “smoothettes” come to life.


"It was crazy to see this insane idea of a huge green smoothie cup and smoothie dancers, also known as the “smoothettes” come to life."

Tell us about your latest single, “Million Dollar Smoothies”.

Gwyneth Paltrow inspired it. The best line is definitely rhyming "latte" with "yacht-e"…


Do you have any pre-show traditions?

Eli jumps up and down and Micah uses the restroom.


How do you design/come up with concepts for album art and visualizers?

Our buddy Jack Herzog does everything. He’s amazing and we love him.


What’s next for courtship.?

There’s a new record on the way, touring, and saying hi to all you beautiful people.


Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?

We love you!