This Courtney Barnett article was written by Rosie Conning, a GIGsoup contributor
A therapist could sit for hours and try to pick the brains of the disheartened and the unstable; but you’d probably get a more accurate insight by listening to this album!
The aptly named, ‘Sometimes I sit and think and sometimes I just sit’, is an album that brilliantly de-constructs Barnett’s everyday jumble of thoughts and insecurities into witty and relatable lyrics. True to music as an art form, Barnett writes songs like Banksy paints! Each song is like the chapter of a book that you can really see unfolding before your eyes.
From a purely instrumental perspective, Courtney Barnett acquires a unique approach to her album with her quirky concoction of grungey, bluesy and rocky tunes. Yet her refreshingly open lyrics, unconventional deadpan vocals and raucous guitar appear to really overpower any variety; bringing the songs together into an album of pure artwork.
Unique and effective, her lyrics are of course the selling point as she sticks to her roots in this scrapbook of songs. Pedestrian at best lyrics, ‘under worked and oversexed I must express my disinterest the rats are back inside my head, what would Freud’ve said’ are pure poetry. This song in particular is like a psycho-analysis of herself as she fights with her demons, but her portrayal is so witty and almost humorous that we can’t help but keep listening. The album twists and turns between incredibly dark subject matter and the bland regularity of everyday life. We see a portrayal of the loss of childhood innocence in Kim’s Caravan to Depreston as we see her partake in the menial task of looking for an affordable home. She makes the banality of modern life manageable and our lucid nightmares relatable. Even the most mundane tasks are looked upon with awe when captured by Barnett’s lyrical genius, ‘Jen insists that we buy organic vegetables and I must admit I was a little sceptical at first, a little pesticide can’t hurt’ –Barnett gushes in Dead Fox. Yet, for an album so ripe with metaphors, each listener has the potential to interpret Courtney’s lyrics on a different level; just another one of the wonders of Barnett’s genius.
This entire album is an expression of pure talent and poetry. It’s like Nirvana has been reborn and is back with a vengeance, Barnett shares an unusual likeness to that of a late Kurt Cobain, both expressing a very honest yet somewhat unnerving mentality towards life as we know it. A brilliantly imaginative new sound! Will this be the launch pad for indie existentialism?
Expect unforgettable lyrics, raucous guitar and a variety of genres. No wonder everybody’s going crazy for this album.
Watch this space…we’re going to be seeing a lot more of Courtney Barnett.
‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’ is out now on Marathon Artists