Courtney Barnett is More Than Just a “Pedestrian at Best”

Jacob Cutler ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Assistant Editor

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This year’s Grammys has nominated Courtney Barnett amongst others for “Best New Artist”. With the year that she has had, it is no surprise that Barnett was nominated. From a chart topping album to sold out shows to appearances at festivals and to late night television performances, Courtney Barnett has accomplished a lot in 2015. The “garage rock queen” has the best chances of winning, or at least should win.

The first thing to start with is Courtney Barnett’s sophomore effort Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I just Sit. It was one of the most anticipated albums of 2015 and it definitely did not disappoint. Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I just Sit is the perfect mix of indie rock, garage rock, lo-fi, and indie pop. The album is driven by the Barnett’s beautiful lyricism . Each song tells a story and each one has characters that the listener feels like he’s met.  “Depreston” tells the story of when Barnett went house hunting in Preston, a small, bleak, and depressing suburb in Australia. It goes further into detail about the house describing it as a “California bungalow” and how it has a nice garden with pressed metal ceilings. The song also describes the mundane interaction between a buyer and real estate agent. As well as that it also portrays Barnett’s guilt about looking at a house owned by a recently deceased woman.  

As well as lyrically driven, some of the standout tracks on this album are very musically driven as well. It is almost as if it is a reincarnation of the electric era of Bob Dylan. You have a majestic poet backed by a very solid band that don’t necessarily defy music norms but came up with some very creative and musically appealing riffs. One track that stood out musically was “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party”. It has this amazing guitar riff that is very simple but really drives the song. It originally starts off as some background music, but  after the bridge it becomes front and center with a modern take on the guitar solo. As well as this album being musically and lyrically sound it also topped Pitchfork’s, The AV Club’s, and Stereogum’s end of the year lists.

After the release of the album, Barnett went on what seemed to be a never ending world tour. She started off with smaller audiences, eventually selling out major venues and playing major festivals such as SXSW, Mountain Jam, Newport Folk Fest, and Bonnaroo. Courtney Barnett has not showed any signs of her slowing down. Barnett recently announced that she will be playing at Boston Calling in May and Governors Ball in June. The extensive touring has allowed her to reach a very wide audience and helped her become popular on a global scale.

I think that it is safe to say that Courtney Barnett stands a chance against the other nominees. In this ever changing musical landscape, Courtney Barnett has proven herself worthy of winning best new artist.

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