Premiere: Chicago’s Course Deliver a Synth-Soaked Inner Reckoning in “Too Busy for Feelings”

Course © Savannah Scruggs
Course © Savannah Scruggs
A radiant, synth-soaked reckoning, Course’s “Too Busy for Feelings” is a sonically charged exploration of our inner psyche that sees the Chicago band digging deep and having fun.
Stream: “Too Busy for Feelings” – Course

It’s high time we got ourselves another great anthem for the doldrums,

and thanks to Course, we’ve now got one. From the brutal monotony of the office environment to the pure anxiety-inducing friction of travel, much of our lives is spent doing things we don’t necessarily want to do, and being places we don’t necessarily want to be. How many folks live out 8 hours (one third) of their days in a cubicle? How much time do we spend on our daily commutes, and in just getting to and from the places we want to be?

Admittedly some of these things are outside of our control – after all, we all do need our jobs – but the sentiment remains true. Life inevitably presents us with a plethora of in-betweens, and Course’s new single is the perfect soundtrack for all those moments we’re seemingly running in place. A synth-soaked inner reckoning, “Too Busy for Feelings” is a sonically charged exploration of psyche: An eruption of sweet sound and stunning feeling, reflecting on who we are and what exactly we’re doing here.

We may not come away from this song with any concrete answers, but sometimes just asking a few big questions is enough to get the brain turning in new ways.

Tight Feathers - Course
Tight Feathers – Course
Disassociate from my emotions
I like to keep myself busy
Taking it all on, Always going
No time to reflect
Don’t want to be paralyzed
Stuck in the dwelling
Maybe someday i’ll figure it out
But there’s no telling
I’m too busy for feeling

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Too Busy for Feelings,” Course’s first single of 2023 and the lead single off the Chicago-based band’s forthcoming sophomore album, Tight Feathers releasing on October 20th. Fronted by lead singer and songwriter Jess Robbins – who’s joined by a rotating cast of musicians – Course has quickly established itself as a reliable source of exhilarating, radiant, and shimmering indie pop. Their debut album A Late Hour, released in May 2021, is an enthralling experience full of brilliant synths and stirring, soaring vocals: Atwood Magazine praised it as buoyant, heartfelt, and refreshingly dynamic upon its release, saying, “A Late Hour comes to life with irresistible melodies and raw emotions that burn a permanent place in our memory.”



A welcome and wondrous return, “Too Busy For Feelings” is a churning, aching, synth-driven fever dream that finds Course ready to blast off.

“In all honesty, my therapist told me I’m too busy for feelings and I wanted to dig deeper into that by writing a song that really dissected what it meant for me and probably many other people,” Jess Robbins tells Atwood Magazine. “I think it’s a really relatable sentiment especially in the modern age. So my producer Kyle Andrews and I sat down and wrote the song together – we discussed what it meant to be too busy for your emotions and the consequences of that. It’s interesting to me that it ended up being a very upbeat feel good song with almost a freedom to the melody. It’s a song that from the get go was a joy to sing to and just felt like a release. Hitting those high notes in the studio was also really fun!”

Both this anthemic song and its cubicle life-inspired music video, directed by Maria Belafonte (granddaughter of Harry Belafonte), prove invigorating, inspiring, and utterly thought-provoking.

“When I decided to do a music video for the song, I knew I wanted it to be more of a narrative as opposed to imagery and vibe,” Robbins says. “My friend Milo Borsuk who lives in LA produced the video and brought on Maria Belafonte to direct, and they totally understood the vision and made it better than I could have imagined. They were wonderful to work with and brought together an amazing team of people to work on the video which was shot in LA.”

“Katy Fullan, the lead in the video, is a long time friend of mine from the days back when I played guitar for an improv group for 8 years in Chicago. Katy moved to LA and I knew she would be perfect for the role. I also recruited some of my other actor friends who all agreed to be a part of the video and I am so grateful. They are all extremely talented and nice and I feel so lucky to have had them be a part of the shoot. Filming went smoothly and we lucked out on getting an office space from a family friend so everything came together nicely. When I was making the album, I watched the show Severence, so this music video is a little nod to one of my favorite shows. ‘Cause, in the end, you can’t outrun your feelings even if you try.”

Course © Savannah Scruggs
Course © Savannah Scruggs

Keep it all buttoned up
bracing for winter
Inside I’m swelling
Like a battery left out the sunshine
About ready to burst

“Too Busy For Feelings” is part-escape, part-indulgence, and fully immersive.

Course have succeeded in giving us a great anthem for the doldrums, inviting us to ponder why it is we do the things we do, and if we’re really leaning into our lives – or just trying to run from something unavoidable.

Or we can just shrug it off and keep on keeping busy.

Stream “Too Busy for Feelings” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more from Course as the band prepares to release their sophomore LP Tight Feathers, our October 20, 2023!

Don’t want to be paralyzed
Stuck in the dwelling
Maybe someday i’ll figure it out
But there’s no telling
I’m too busy for feelings

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Stream: “Too Busy for Feelings” – Course

— — — —

Tight Feathers - Course

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? © Savannah Scruggs

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