Courtney Barnett at The Forum
With the March release of her first full album Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit, Courtney Barnett is fast carving herself a reputation as a breezy slack-rocker with a genuinely unique sound. Hailing from the sun-drenched streets of Melbourne, her style is best described as somewhere between Lou Reed, Kurt Vile and Patti Smith, with a fuzzy slice of Fugazi grunge on the side.
Sauntering onto stage in jeans and a loose white tee, she slings on her guitar and, with a rising drum-fill slips into opening track Avant Gardener – rambling flange-y guitar meshes with a thrusting drumbeat and a rhythmic bass line to create the rebellious, free and easy vibe that characterises the new album.
But it’s the wit, tone and frankness of her vocals that gives her such a distinctive feel. Lines like “the paramedic thinks I’m clever cause I play guitar / I think she’s clever cause she stops people dying” and “give me all your money and I’ll make some origami, honey” are delivered with charmingly sardonic undertones that manage to be both funny and expressive.
After a snappy opening of edgy verses and grungy breakdowns she slows things down with lazy swayer, Depreston. It’s tracks like these that best showcase her soulful side. The contemplative, soaring chorus has the crowd belting along: “If you’ve got a spare half a million / You could knock it down and start rebuilding”.
When she ends with Pedestrian at Best, the thrilled audience urges the singer back on for an encore. As she returns, a hopeful fan screams “It’s my birthday!”. Barnett chuckles, jestingly asks the crowd “who else’s birthday is it?”, slips the fan a beer, smirks “merry fucking Christmas”, and with her effortless Aussie swagger kicks into killer final tune, History Eraser.
For further information about Courtney Barnett and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Pedestrian at Best here: