Sunday, 22 March 2015

Recommended music: 'Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit' by Courtney Barnett

Sometimes I Sit and Think
The first album proper from Melbourne-born Barnett, after her EP collection 'A Sea of Split Peas' is a bright shining beacon of sass in the world of mediocre mainstream music. With more attitude than a bag full of rattlesnakes and more hooks than an abattoir, her music is the type that smacks you firmly in the face but then kisses you better afterwards. From the brilliantly punky first single 'Pedestrian At Best', with its insanely catchy chorus, through to the downbeat but not morose closer 'Boxing Day Blues' this is an album that never fails to entertain. Lyrically Barnett covers subjects ranging from the trials of buying your first property in the crap part of town; "We drive to a house in Preston / see police arresting a man with his hand in a bag / How's that for first impressions!" (Depreston) to being stuck in the wrong job; "I'm not suicidal just idling insignificantly / All I ever wanted to be was an Elevator Operator / Can you help me please?"

Musically the production is bright and crisp and gives the feel of a record that's been 'played live' while it was recorded. That feel even extends to the track sequencing - it feels like almost the perfect order for a live show - a powerful finish, then a chance to calm down a bit before building the energy back up. It's clear that Courtney is a natural talent who is just beginning to blossom, and she's got enough musical strings to her bow to match the wit and insouciance of her lyrics. The two long songs ('Small Poppies' and 'Kim's Caravan', both around the 7-minute mark) never seem to drag, but she can still nail a perfect two minute pop song on 'Aqua Profunda!'. There are tracks on here that sound like The Velvet Underground and tracks that sound like The Kinks, but it's still a totally modern and relevant album.

Perfect post-punk pop from someone who may just be the saviour of indie guitar music.

PS It's worth mentioning that on the orange vinyl version of this that I've got there's a secret bonus track at the end which may well be the title track (as she sings the title in it).

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