With the release of 2012’s I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Farris EP and 2013’s How to Carve a Carrot Into a Rose, the Melbourne-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Courtney Barnett quickly received critical acclaim from outlets across North America, the UK and Australia for work that featured witty and rambling conversational lyrics, often delivered with an ironic deadpan paired with enormous power chord-driven arrangements. And although her success may have seemed like it came about overnight, it wasn’t; Barnett carved out a long-held reputation for being one of Melbourne’s best guitarists: she had a stint in Dandy Warhols’ Brent DeBoer’s side project Immigrant Union and guested on Jen Cloher‘s third album, In Blood Memory.
Barnett’s full-length debut, 2016’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit, which featured “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party” and the T. Rex-like “Elevator Operator was released to critical acclaimed across the world. Back in 2017, Barnett collaborated with Kurt Vile on the highly acclaimed and commercially successful album Lotta Sea Lice, which landed at #5 on the Aussie charts, #11 on the British charts and #51 on the Stateside charts. The Aussie singer/songwriter and guitarist continued an enviable run of critical and commercial success with her third album, 2018’s Tell Me How You Really Feel, which featured the motork groove-driven “City Looks Pretty.” Barnett supported the album with a three month world tour that included some of her biggest Aussie tour stops.
The acclaimed Aussie artist’s highly-anticipated third album, the Stella Mozgawa-co-produced Things Take Time, Take Time is slated for a November 12, 2021 release through Mom + Pop Music and Marathon Artists. Centered around intimately detailed songwriting, Things Take Time, Take Time reportedly finds the acclaimed Aussie artist pulling the curtain back to reveal an optimistic and serene side. “Sometimes I try to say everything in one song, or put my whole belief system into a vox pop, but you just can’t do that — it’s impossible,” Barnett says in press notes. The album represents the realization that ideology is represented through the way you treat others, not what you say in a song — that some things are more felt than said. And yet, the album is full of the strangeness, busyness and undeniable warmth of life.
Things Take Time, Take Time‘s latest single, the lovely “Before You Gotta Go” features a sparse and atmospheric arrangement that begins with a warm drone, before gently adding layers of twangy guitar, Barnett’s tender vocals, synths, drums and percussion in a slow-burning crescendo. But at its core the song is a deceptively complex song that’s both a frustrated kiss-off and a gracious and thoughtful love song centered around a bittersweet yet very real sentiment: that if something bad were to happen that the last words between you and your lover not be unkind.
Directed by Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore, the recently released video for “Before You Gotta Go” is fittingly both lovely and surreal. We see Barnett, as an idiosyncratic, suit wearing ethnographer, collecting field recordings of trees, dogs, horses, mushrooms, insects and enormous statues and even plants with her own face, pushing through the ground. “Making this clip was an interesting experience for me,” Sangiorgi Dalimore says in press notes. “I love how brilliantly simple Courtney’s idea was, it brought real joy shooting part of it together, just me, her and my DOP with the other part being two long days directing over zoom across the Tasman Sea. I watch it now and feel that sense of peace, that potent calm you can only get immersed in the beauty of nature.”