Artist of the week: Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett is an Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist from Melbourne mainly known for her digressive lyrics and poker-face delivery. She gained her momentum at the end of 2013, thanks to Avant Gardener, a song from her second EP, that used a asthma attack as an excuse for a witty reflection about home crafting, being an adult, career decisions and mortality. The narration of mundane episodes as a springboard to make deceptively simple and acute observations on bigger themes has become her trademark in the rather traditionalist format (guitar-bass-drums trio) used to propel her songs. Though she is musically indebted to 60’s garage rock and 90s grunge, her singular voice also makes her a genuine descendent of a long line of observational singer-songwriters from Dylan to Liz Phair.
Her recently released debut full-length Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, takes to another level the nonchalant way she can turn an existential crisis into concise, funny and irresistible rock songs: the production is tighter, the lyrics are more focused and the band seems to have crystalized how to play a tune with punch instead of precision, which gives a wonderful loose ambience to Barnett’s rambling lyrics.
2015 has yet to see a more fascinating and fully formed underground rock troubadour.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.