Monday 23rd March cannot come sooner. That is the day when Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is released, the debut album of Courtney Barnett. An Australian singer/songwriter, her national inflection accentuates witty lyrics that are coated in a magnetic deadpan tone. Barnett’s lyrics are not strained to fit a certain beat, but languidly fall into place among foot-stomping and head-bobbing tunes.
A talented individual, Barnett began her own label in 2012, called Milk! Records, and released several EPs on it, including History Eraser. The song is both thought-provoking and cheeky, made from the concoction of Barnett’s direct tone and charismatic beat.
Barnett writes amazing lyrics that are often simple and short, and yet they resonate with something spectacular and are most definitely earworm material. Her new song, for instance, Pedestrian At Best is snappy and fun, but Barnett can also create some emotive pieces, such as Anonymous Club, that despite being sung in an expressionless tone, is calming and fresh.
Music allows everyone to have a personal stake in the lyrics and the beat, as individual memories and meanings attach themselves to them. Are You Looking After Yourself? especially resonates with me, with the last verse sung in heavy irony:
I don’t know what I was thinking, I should get a job
I don’t know what I was drinking, I should get a dog
Should get married, have some babies, watch the evening news.
This to me says don’t give up. Keep on resisting socially endorsed lifestyles and live how you want to live. It’ll be worth it.