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, Melbourne-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Courtney Barnett 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 praise across the world. The acclaimed Aussie artist collaborated with Kurt Vile on 2017’s critically and commercially successful Lotta See Lice, which landed at #5 on the Aussie charts, #11 on the British charts and #51 on the American charts.
Her sophomore solo album, 2018’s Tell Me How You Really Feel, which featured the motorik groove-driven “City Looks Pretty” continued an enviable run of critical and commercial success. Barnett supported Tell Me How You Really Feel with a three month world tour that included some of her biggest tour steps in Australia at the time.
Barnett’s Stella Mozgawa co-produced third album Things Take Time, Take Time was released last month through Mom + Pop Music and Marathon Artists. Centered around intimately detailed songwriting, Things Take Time, Take Time finds the acclaimed Aussie crafting a journey through heartbreak, recovery and all the soft moments in between that speak to the feelings and experiences that are innately human.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the lovely ballad “Before You Gotta Go.” Centered around a sparse 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, “Before You Gotta Go” is a simultaneously a frustrated kiss-off and a gracious send-off rooted n a bittersweet, lived in-experience: the hope that the last words between you and a love be to unkind because nothing is guaranteed.
The acclaimed Aussie artist is currently in the middle of a lengthy and extensive North American tour that includes a February 5, 2022 stop at Radio City Music Hall with Julia Jacklin. As always, the rest of the tour dates are below. But in the meantime, Barnett was recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where she performed the introspective, garage rock-like “If I Don’t Hear From You Tonight,” a empathetic portrayal of the desperate self-doubt and awkwardness of a crush that’s probably requited, yet not exactly confirmed.