The Courtneys Side-Project Big Rig Announce Debut Album

Jen Twynn Payne has shared the new single "Crying in a Corn Maze"

Photo: Geoffo Reith

BY Alex HudsonPublished Jun 3, 2022

It's been a long time since Vancouver indie pop trio the Courtneys released their 2016 album II, but the subsequent years have yielded some spinoff projects. Following Courtney Garvin's 2020 album as Gum Country, singer-drummer Jen Twynn Payne has announced her debut under the name Big Rig. The self-titled album is out June 24 on Peaceful Tapes, and the single "Crying in a Corn Maze" is out now.

A press release notes Payne learned guitar during the lockdowns of 2020 and began writing rootsy songs in a style she describes as "twangmo" (twangy emo), inspired by her upbringing in Alberta. She said in an announcement, "It all began when I rented a guitar from Long & McQuade. I wanted to write songs with a banjo on them because I was obsessed with the Alex G songs with banjo on them. I was having a real phase. I started writing songs with the three chords I knew, and then we did a Porches cover that just happened to have those same three chords. From there, Big Rig was born."

Banjo was provided by Payne's cousin-in-law Geoffo Reith, who also recorded the project's album in a converted auto garage. Giles Roy (Woolworm) played bass, Mackenzie Bromstad contributed cello, and (occasional Exclaim! contributor) Jesse Locke has since joined as drummer.

Below, hear the single "Crying in a Corn Maze," which puts a mellower, folksier spin on the Courtneys' signature indie pop sound. Big Rig can be pre-ordered on cassette through the project's Bandcamp or from Peaceful Tapes.

A press release notes that the Courtneys completed a new album in 2020, but there's no word on their plans to release it.

Big Rig:

1. Bachelorette
2. Crying in a Corn Maze
3. Clozer
4. Happy Song
5. Lemons
6. Open 83
7. Venus Retrograde

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