One of my favourite albums of the past few years, wasn’t really an album at all.
Australian singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett released The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas back in 2013 and it announced the arrival of a brilliant lyricist and a songwriter who knew how to pen a quirky pop song or two.
The clue was in the title. ‘Split Peas’ was not conceived as an album but collected some of her best work to date including such gems as Avant Gardener.
Now the Melbourne-based artist has returned with her debut album proper.
Recorded in just 10 days, the scope of her songwriting is far wider than the average heartbreak and ache – although there is some of that.
But there are also dead foxes and environmental destruction.
Her observations are sharp and laced with humour albeit often delivered in a deceptively gentle manner. Her subject matter is often the ordinary but with her songwriting skills she makes it extraordinary.
Songs such as Depreston and Kim’s Caravan are of the highest calibre on an album where indie rock meets slacker meets classic singer/songwriter.
Guitarist Dan Luscombe, Bones Sloane (bass), and drummer Dave Mudie provide a sympathetic and rock solid setting for her songs.
The reviewer for the Chicago Tribune summed Barnett up brilliantly writing: “She sounds like she’s day-dreaming out loud instead of singing.’’