Courtney Barnett: Pedestrian At Best

Music — 12.10.15

Words by Kasia Pawlowska

Image via NPR

People are calling Courtney Barnett a slacker and I don’t understand it. Melbourne-based Barnett’s reputation has been growing steadily since 2012 when she released her first EP, I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferrison, off the label she ran out of her bedroom, and the singer-songwriter-guitarist has been keeping busy ever since. Since then, she’s joined NYC’s Mom+Pop Music family and continues to garner attention and making music, releasing The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas on London’s House Anxiety/Marathon label.

On “Avant Gardener” Barnett speaksings over a lazy, surf-rocky guitar and intuitive drumming provided by her backing band (hilariously named The Courtney Barnetts) weaving a tale that evokes the stilldrunk kind of rambling you do with your friends at brunch. She has the uncanny ability to sing about ordinary things in a way that renders them fresh and interesting. Take medical mishaps for example: “I take that hit from / An asthma puffer / I do it wrong / I’m not that good at breathing in”.

The upbeat garage-pop sound of album favourite “History Eraser”, coupled with Barnett’s whip-smart lyrics and seemingly indifferent delivery, fuse together to create an idontgiveashit 90s grunge vibe. The energy of the album really carries across, making you want to bang your head and thrash around in your best flannel wherever you find yourself to be wishing your new friend crush, Courtney Barnett, was there next to you, dancing along.