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Video of the Moment #2794: Courtney Barnett

 
By on Thursday, 22nd February 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Courtney Barnett has some exciting news. The Aussie slacker rock artist will be releasing her sophomore album ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’ in May. This follows the critical acclaim she received for her collaboration with Kurt Vile on last year’s ‘Lotta Sea Lice’.

To preview the upcoming record, she’s unveiled a promo video for the feminist-leaning LP lead single ‘Nameless, Faceless’. On backing vocal duties is Kim Deal of Pixies and Breeders fame; both she and her sister feature on Barnett’s album. Check out the Aussie artist on already revealed North American tour around the time of the release of the new LP on the 18th of May on Mom + Pop, Marathon and Milk! Records. For more on Courtney Barnett on TGTF, go here.

 

Live Gig Video: watch Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s Tiny Desk Concert at NPR

 
By on Thursday, 14th December 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

While collaborations between two established, beloved stars is nothing new, sometimes the results don’t hit the spot. When Aussie Courtney Barnett decided to join forces with American Kurt Vile, the result was stunning, in the form of album ‘Lotta Sea Lice’. Our Steven reviewed the long player, and you can read his review for TGTF through here. If you’re wondering what the pair are like live, playing off of each other, wonder no more. The two musicians recently showed up at the NPR offices in Washington, DC, to perform one of the public radio station’s now famous Tiny Desk concerts. In the video below, you can watch them perform ‘Over Everything’, ‘Continental Breakfast’, ‘Blue Cheese’ and ‘Let It Go’. Enjoy.

‘Lotta Sea Lice’ is out now on Matador Records. Learn more about the collaborating pair on their Web site. To read TGTF’s past coverage on Courtney Barnett, follow this link.

 

Album Review: Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice

 
By on Wednesday, 22nd November 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile Lotta Sea Lice album coverWhen two artists collaborate, the air of expectation can often kill the project before it’s even landed, especially when it comes to two of music’s most coolly laidback songwriters, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile. The waves they’ve made separately have been tremendous, bringing the art of songwriting to the modern age with a feeling of ease. So the idea of them collaborating is almost too much to bear. Now that it’s here, we can finally unpack what they’ve given us.

Let’s face it, there was never going to be any form of groundbreaking EDM mixup collab featured throughout. Instead we find two minds that manage to bring out the inane and give it an acoustic tinge. Even from the first strum, a cool wave washes over you, as you wait for the journey to take you away.

Album opener ‘Over Everything’ is a track that finds its origins from Vile writing from the perspective of Barnett. The words perfectly set the scene, conveying the collective mindset of its makers with the immortal opening line of “when I’m all alone on my own by my lonesome” that truly encapsulates the life of two of modern music’s greatest songwriters. It doesn’t all quite stay so immediately breezy though. ‘Let It Go’ opts for a far more wandering and less direct approach. The intricately picked guitars entwine while Vile and Barnett take turns. There’s no real latch point that makes it less approachable, but there’s still a light energy about it that keeps you involved.

In stark contrast, the laughter that introduces ‘Fear is Like a Forest’ indicates a serious change in tone. While the actual track doesn’t really correspond with the jubilant entrance, the darkened nature mirrors the depth within the minds of the creators. Likewise, ‘Outta the Woodwork’, a cover of Barnett’s original interpreted by Vile, keeps along the darker edge, feeling entirely bluesy. However, once the two artists’ vocals pair up in the faint chorus, with their trademark lazy feel, it goes from feeling driven by emotion to a clumsy amalgamation of their talents.

Dissecting the minds of two revered songwriters is a task that could require many an essay, especially two like Barnett and Vile who seemingly see foolishness as a representation of the pitfalls of life. ‘Continental Breakfast’, for example, perfectly portrays the life both have undertaken. While they’re both heading toward their own end, they somehow come together to form a perfectly melodic account, placing you in the middle of these two journeys. One of the more intriguing moments comes from ‘On Script’. It’s another slow, blues-tinged number, but constantly feels like it’s heading to something more. On the verge of exploring even deeper territory, and while there is somewhat of a crescendo to get lost in, the fact it never truly delivers on this teased promise means you’re kept hanging on for more.

If ‘On Script’ was intriguing, then ‘Blue Cheese’ is straight up mind-boggling. Everything about it seems perfect, all the bricks are there for a solid track until you hone in and listen to the lyrics. That’s when you hear what is tantamount to nonsense (see: “now I’m calling the cops on you, nanny nanny boo boo”). Still, there’s an affection you can’t help but feel, and there’s nothing but positivity radiating from it. ‘Peepin’ Tom’, a Barnett solo over of the Vile original ‘Peepin’ Tomboy’, is exactly what a cover should be: a fresh interpretation of a track that means something to the covering artist. Light and stocked with a subtle power, be prepared to make a difficult choice on which is better, the original or this fantastic cover.

Closing the album is another cover, this time pretty unexpected. It’s a cover of dream pop band Belly’s track ‘Untogether’. A perfectly apt closer, it brings both voices together in unison, with the addition of chords that echo the dream haze from the original, it’s equal ground that truly show’s off the talents of these two great modern songwriters. ‘Lotta Sea Lice’ is a rare album that holds itself close whilst seemingly giving everything away. Just as confusing, and precious, as you’d expect anything from them both to be.

8/10

‘Lotta Sea Lice’ is out now on Matador Records. Learn more about the collaborating pair on their Web site. To read TGTF’s past coverage on Courtney Barnett, follow this link.

 

Video of the Moment #2136: Courtney Barnett

 
By on Monday, 11th July 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Courtney Barnett can’t put a foot wrong, can she? The Aussie lo-fi darling has a new video out for ‘Elevator Operator’, the opening track from her debut album ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’, released last year. (You can read our review of the album back here.) In the video for the single, Ms. Barnett plays – what else? – a beleaguered elevator operator. And there are some pretty funny cameos in here to boot: Sleater-Kinney, Kath and Kim’s Magda Szubanski, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, plus legends from Down Under including The Drones, Tim Rogers and Paul Kelly. It ends with southpaw Barnett and her band performing on the top of Melbourne’s Nicholas Building. What I want to know is, how good can her playing be if she’s wearing white gloves? Watch the video for ‘Elevator Operator’ below. ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’ is available now from Mom + Pop Records. For more of TGTF’s coverage of Courtney Barnett, follow this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-wm0EdoeN8[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: Courtney Barnett and band perform ‘Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party’ outside Camden Town tube station

 
By on Tuesday, 25th August 2015 at 4:00 pm
 

Last week, Courtney Barnett and her live band stormed the area outside Camden Town tube station in north London to do a guerrilla gig and filming. So what was it all for? To produce enough footage for the live promo for ‘Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party’, of course. As you might imagine, with Barnett being such a big indie star now, the noise and hubbub of them setting up grew a big crowd for the actual performance. Watch the raucous impromptu performance below.

‘Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party’ will be released on the 11th of September on House Anxiety / Marathon Artists. For everything Courtney Barnett on TGTF, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZOGlFdReMM[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #1804: Courtney Barnett

 
By on Thursday, 14th May 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Courtney Barnett has just revealed a new single titled ‘Dead Fox’ from her album ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’.  On the surface, the song is one of the lightest and most upbeat tracks on the record, but its subject matter is somewhat weightier, dealing with “the destructive powers of big business (and) the death and destruction caused by corporations.”

The accompanying video for ‘Dead Fox’ was directed and animated by Rory Kerr and Paul Ruttledge in response to Barnett’s subversive concept of animals taking revenge on human beings.  The vivid, childlike animation seems innocent at first, much like the musical quality of the song itself, but it takes a grisly turn as animated foxes, emus and sharks in a variety of vehicles are shown glibly running down human pedestrians.

As announced earlier in the week, Courtney Barnett will be touring the UK in November and December 2015.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/Njb3JTZ1ibY[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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