Q Magazine

Column - Courtney Barnett's guide to her debut album

Column - Courtney Barnett's guide to her debut album
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Courtney Barnett has just released her debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Currently in the middle of a European tour – including dates tonight (9 April) and tomorrow (10) at London’s Electric Ballroom – she’s written Q a personal guide to the record.

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Elevator Operator

Just your classic “middle-age lady with mildly bitter insecurities and unjust judgment about the youth of today projecting her problems onto an innocent bystander” story, set in a Melbourne CBD elevator, sung in one breath to a bluesy little riff in G#. Includes a couple of subtle head nods to the late great LR. For fans of: Singing In The Rain.

Pedestrian At Best

A long-time tinnitus induced prophecy, predicting fifteen minutes of culture vultures, the eternal damnation of resentment through friendship, the questionable validity of external appreciation and approval, the complexities of love, the sexualisation of independence and university entrance scores. Is it better to burn out or fade away. Chorus written by the Statue Of Liberty. For fans of: Harper Lee

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Illustration Of Loneliness (Sleepless In New York)

Inside insomnia, off Lafayette Street, while simultaneously, at the same time, concurrently laying outside of love, just off St George’s Parade. Inspired by the bittersweet synchronicity of Sleepless In Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. Also includes, a brief exploration of time-zone science and sun/moon global positioning system. Looks like: Brett Whiteley; self portrait in the studio.

Small Poppies

Tarquin vs Sextus.

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A morbid tale of mortgage and mortality, set against the bleak backdrop of inner suburbia. Features cameo’s from smooth jive talking real estate agent, not so nimble lonely old lady (deceased) and young bright-eyed mortgage-wary vagabond. Gentrification, taxes, and death. Location non-specific. Close to public transport. Guitar riff: Streets Of Your Town?!

Aqua Profonda

Hockney inspired freestyle love song written on the back of a towel at the Fitzroy swimming pool while I was living on Easey Street, Collingwood. Smell the sun-baking Sallies, feel the pages of the Saturday Paper turning, hear the The Lucksmiths discography spinning through a discman with portable computer speakers. Summer lovin’ had me a blast.

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Dead Fox

Corporate greed and cauliflowers: big business bullying small business. The alarming complacency of not knowing what’s in our food. Roadside pies made from roadkill, Sweeney Todd style. Burgers made from cash cows etc. Big-name burger joints subsidising highway construction. Market domination at what price? Where: Hume Highway, Melbourne to Sydney.

Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party

Social anxieties at The Tote jukebox, two bucks for three songs. FOMO, ICYMI, ROFL, ETC, instant messaging, paranoid pariah, blah blah blah. Indecisiveness coupled with a crippling apprehension of socialising and not fitting in. Everyone is as nervous as you. Also, the absurdity of drinking culture, yet succumbing hourly, daily, eight days a week.

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Debbie Downer

Friendship faux pas. Communication breakdown. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Are you sick of me yet? Alternative titles: Downer, Negative Creep. Sounds like: a pop song.

Kim’s Caravan

An apocalyptic tale of our world painted black with oil and soot, painted red with blood and greed. The song was born when blessed with to reflect, feeling the frustration and helplessness of the destruction of my environment and the litter of humans within it. Watching: Black Rain Falls – Midnight Oil.

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Boxing Day Blues

A summer-time lacrimosa.

Courtney Barnett@courtneymelba

For more head to Courtneybarnett.com.au.


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