Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit is the debut studio album from Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett, released just last month. Its tracks tell a story about a girl in her mid-twenties, with a mundane job and a great ability to self deprecate, yet trying to be witty in everything in order to get through daily life. If this sounds like you or your friends you will probably enjoy this album, a lot.
Hailing from Melbourne, the conversational-lyricist caught the attention of the music industry when she came out with Avant Gardener – a single taken from her second EP, How to Carve a Carrot into a Rose - in the summer of 2013. Performing in the alternative rock store, Rough Trade East, for the first time, Barnett proved that she was worth the buzz that has been surrounding her ever since.
Her garage rock-infused folk pop style, combined with her wit and wordplay, seems like a solid package – a distinct musical identity that every performer must have. She came on stage looking as innocent as could be, her make-up free face somehow making her appear all the more enticing.
Have you ever had a crush on someone, then, looking at yourself, realised the amount of insecurity you have and pretty much left it, feeling like a failure because you can’t even make a move? Well in Pedestrian at Best, Barnett sums this scenario up perfectly: “Tell me I'm exceptional and I promise to exploit you, give me all your money and I’ll make some origami, honey,” and then later: “I’m a fake, I'm a phony, I'm awake, I'm alone, I'm homely, I'm a Scorpio”.
In Aqua Profonda, Barnett talks about how she feels when trying so hard to impress someone she met in a swimming pool: “I tried my best to impress you, held my breath longer than I normally do... my lack of athleticism, sunk like a stone, like a first owner’s home loan. When I came to, you and your towel were gone.” Many of her lyrics skilfully sound like unconscious spontaneity.
Barnett’s strong vocal ability and tactful lyrical focus make her music relatable to a lot of mid-twenties listeners that are trying to work out their world and the universe around them. Sound like someone you know? Then recommend them this album.
Words: Dimas Bian
Photography: Debi Del Grande