Courtney Barnett
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Courtney Barnett

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Pop Garage Rock

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"Courtney Barnett - History Eraser"

Single of the year? It’s certainly up there. Courtney Barnett has outdone herself with her new single and we get to premiere the clip, in all its competitive-bicycling glory. The first missive from a new EP due early next year, ‘History Eraser’ is a brilliant ramble of lyrics that name-checks The Stones, The Triffids, ticket inspectors, hipsters and all those people who go to “arty school.”

Barnett reckons she “subconsciously re-wrote” both Bob Dylan's ‘115th Dream’ and Nick Cave’s ‘Dig, Lazarus, Dig!’ for the song, which also has the free-wheeling cheekiness of Dan Kelly in there. Barnett makes the most of the arid voice heard all over this year’s breakthrough EP I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris, sparking a charismatic friction between her half-spoken, running-commentary verses and that dead-eyed chorus.

Recorded at Head Gap in Melbourne and mixed by Dann Hume (Alpine, Lisa Mitchell), the song features Barnett’s band The Courtney Barnetts as well as The Drones’ Dan Luscombe on guitar and Mellotron. As for the clip, it sees her and her bandmates on bikes around Northcote, Thornbury and Brunswick, peaking in a race in colour-coded uniforms around the track at Brunswick Cycling Club.
‘History Eraser’ will also be available on an upcoming split 7" with Jen Cloher featuring the latter’s ‘Mount Beauty’, on which Barnett plays guitar. The pair are setting off next month on a dual headline tour behind the split, and that might just be Cloher making a cameo in this clip as a cheering fan. And of course, Barnett is playing a Mess + Noise Lunchbox gig at a secret location (to be disclosed Nov. 16) as part of Melbourne Music Week. Lots of chances to hear this tune firsthand, then. - Mess & Noise


"November's Best Music"

Courtney Barnett - History Eraser
It's hard to pin down what exactly defines that distinct 'Australian' sound. For all the ringing guitar riffs and choruses sung in unison etched into our collective memory, there's something about Australian music that still flails an antipodean flag. We isolate ourselves on the coast; we recycle stories about strangers, lovers and backyard melancholia; we make poetry championing the suburbs. Melbourne singer Courtney Barnett is certainly at home on her track History Eraser. A colloquial ode to The Triffids, ticket inspectors and nights with good company, this track is a perfect summary of the earnest freewheelin' and rambling wit that makes music from this end of the world just so great. - The Guardian


"LISTEN: Courtney Barnett"

Courtney Barnett is a genius poet. In case you didn’t know. This is her new track ’Avant Gardener’. It’s amazing. It tells the story of a very hot sunny Monday. Like any other day. You wake up and decide to clean up your front yard because you realise your rental probably looks “like a meth lab”. You know what I’m talking about. A little gardening. It’s good for the soul. It makes every slacker feel productive. And slightly less guilty when the old lady across the road stares at your wheelie bin that you left out cause it’s almost bin day… again. So you pull some weeds. Plant some herbs. And girls plant sun flowers (which I think look creepy) and guys dig up shit and plant way too many tomato plants.

Anyway, all of a sudden our pal Courtney can’t breathe and calls 000 (yeah that’s the right number!) and gets a shot of adrenaline. Nice story. Humbly recounted like spoken word and soundtracked by her friends including Dan Luscombe who makes guitar scratching and squealing sound bloody beautiful. The harmony is great, the tune rolls along like a road trip and Courtney’s matter of fact dry lyrics have inspired this lengthy rant and probably a whole heap more reviews that will detail the story and how good she is. Everyone is getting a piece of her on support slots but get along to one of these single launches. - Who The Hell


"Courtney Barnett - Avant Gardener"

Your first impression is probably right, even when your instincts try and tell you it's faltered. On one of our recent podcast episodes (and it's times like this I'm somewhat thankful for the single digit subscription tally) I mentioned how Courtney Barnett's music reminded me of Sheryl Crowe's style. Of course, that's a compliment. Crowe is a poet, a perfect picture painter, with a flow that would make Nasir Jones (circa pre-Kelis) envious. But, obviously that kind of comparison could be seen as a tad lazy — and even patronising — given the pop/mainstream stigma associated with Shezza and the fact she hasn't been in the public spotlight since her days of berating Lance for shooting up in the kitchen.

Well, you tell me...

**** Courtney Barnett - Avant Gardener ****

Avant Gardener is perfectly wordy. Quotable lines are literally tripping over each other to get to the front. There's not even room for a chorus, as Courtney retraces the details of the time she went into anaphylactic shock while gardening during a heatwave.

"The paramedic thinks I'm clever coz I play guitar, I think she's clever coz she stops people dying".

But the best facet of this song is the way in which Barnett slowly drifts off-course. She frequently strays from the linear storyline of the scary and life-altering event, falling into little pockets of brilliantly unessential detail — including an explanation on why she's unable to correctly work the breathing apparatus ("I was never good at smoking bongs") and a small jab at our unbalanced health system ("I'd rather die than owe the hospital 'til I get old"). - Polaroids Of Androids


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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