The Courtneys’ breezy guitar-pop melodies may sound deceptively simple, but a lot of hard work and research goes into the Vancouver band’s music. For their sophomore release, II, members Jen Twynn, Courtney Garvin and Sydney Koke analyzed the idea of a “perfect song,” by looking to bands like Scottish rockers Teenage Fanclub. Their conclusion? “There is no such thing as the perfect song,” says Koke. “But you can try to get close!”

As a result of their many discussions about song structures and songwriting over the years, their process has been refined to “taking a riff, or a bass line, or some sort of concept, and searching for the best possible home for that idea.”

“There is no such thing as the perfect song. But you can try to get close!” – Sydney Koke of The Courtneys

And as their research has proven, that strategy has indeed led them close to creating some near-perfect songs, propelled by snappy, succinct melodies like the job-search refrains of “Insufficient Funds,” or their ode to long-distance love on II ‘s single, “Silver Velvet.”

II, just like its predecessor, is brimming with sun-soaked earworms that owe a great deal to ‘90s sounds (which was a heavy influence on the band from their days of listening to the radio or watching MuchMusic growing up), but ultimately bear their own unique signature.

A core component to that signature is the idea of fun. When the band first formed, they admittedly did so to hang out with their best friends. But now that The Courtneys have grown and had to deal with a lot more business alongside the pleasure, they haven’t lost sight of the lighter side of things.

Says Garvin, “I think we’ve realized that the business side can actually be weirdly fun sometimes, too.”