The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
"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.