12 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

"I much prefer the mundane," sings Melbourne's Courtney Barnett on the brilliant "Avant Gardner." It's a loaded statement. In the context of that song, Barnett would have rather stayed in bed than wind up in an ambulance following an asthma attack. In the context of this album—a beguiling collection of earthy rock that plants itself in your heart and then grows and grows—you sense that Barnett prefers the seemingly mundane simply because she can do so much with it artistically. With a gift for turning the quotidian into the profound, Barnett writes about how nice it'd be to plant tomatoes, and about the contents of her wallet. She couches her lyrics in rolling basslines, jaunty rhythms, and crunchy guitars. Even her voice is deceptively simple, a half-spoken drawl that strings together seemingly disparate syllables with perfectly detached cool. She may not be much of a gardener, but when it comes to harvesting nourishing hooks, Barnett has a green thumb.

EDITORS’ NOTES

"I much prefer the mundane," sings Melbourne's Courtney Barnett on the brilliant "Avant Gardner." It's a loaded statement. In the context of that song, Barnett would have rather stayed in bed than wind up in an ambulance following an asthma attack. In the context of this album—a beguiling collection of earthy rock that plants itself in your heart and then grows and grows—you sense that Barnett prefers the seemingly mundane simply because she can do so much with it artistically. With a gift for turning the quotidian into the profound, Barnett writes about how nice it'd be to plant tomatoes, and about the contents of her wallet. She couches her lyrics in rolling basslines, jaunty rhythms, and crunchy guitars. Even her voice is deceptively simple, a half-spoken drawl that strings together seemingly disparate syllables with perfectly detached cool. She may not be much of a gardener, but when it comes to harvesting nourishing hooks, Barnett has a green thumb.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
65 Ratings

65 Ratings

Chris the used car salesman ,

Velvet Underground gets minor vocal improvements

This is actually a really good album. Always been a fan of that particular sound made popular by Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. They definitely apply their own spin to it. Lyrically this is one of the more genius albums I’ve come across in quite a while! Great listen.

JennLitz ,

A songwriter of a better caliber...

...than 99% of songwriters/musicians because of her flawless blending of sardonic, poetic, humorous and relatable lyrics. She has a firm individuality as an artist that wins, with my ears, on every level. Can't wait for future albums.

BelleKell ,

Pretty Good!

This is some fun music—as is her first “real” album (Sometimes I Sit).

She’s a bit irreverent, a bit witty, a bit batty-sounding, but I like it.

Rolling Stone Magazine likened her to Dylan with the lyrics and the first song I heard I thought, yeah, they’re right. No, I’m not saying she’s like Dylan or as good as Dylan with the lyrics or the music, but there’s definitely a Dylan—esque element going on here.

The music also has a heavy pinch of 90s grunge, which sounds great with her voice, accent and the lyrics.

She ought to be pretty interesting to watch. Much more interesting than pretty much everything new I’ve heard recently.

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