Here's Yr Ultimate Breakdown Of The Six Best Courtney Barnett Bangers
There's a reason Courtney Barnett has had the overwhelming global success she's had. Besides being an absolute fiend on the guitar and being an all-round humble legend, the way she writes songs is truly like no other. She creates whole worlds within her songs, makes you fall in love with characters with her incredibly detailed descriptions and has you completely immersed in the vivid stories - all over scorching guitar riffs.
She has set herself apart from every other artist out there, and she's done it all with a bloody smile. Now, she's coming to bless the MTV Unplugged Melbourne stage this October and, to get you pumped, we're breaking down six of her best songs that you'll have on repeat for months to come. You're welcome.
Avant Gardener (2013)
This track feels like summer. It feels like blinding sunlight and relentless sweating, but it also feels like the wash of relief you get when you walk in front of the air con. Frankly, the whole song is a bit of a whirlwind - it's a story about Barnett having an asthma attack while doing the gardening. Troubling yet relatable. "I'm not that good at breathing in", she sings over the chorus, as it feels like you're in a sunshine daze right there with her. The song is about overall anxiety and panic, but Barnett turns it into a full-fledged plotline - with some absolutely breathtaking lyrics.
"The paramedic thinks I'm clever 'coz I play guitar / I think she's clever 'coz she stops people dying."
Pickles From The Jar (2014)
Get prepared to have "You're from Adelaide, I'm from Hobaaaart" in your head for the rest of your life, because 'Pickles From The Jar' is as catchy and as tasty as Courtney Barnett songs come. It's a bit silly and it's heaps of fun, but it's ultimately about the weird little differences and disagreements you have with the person you love. None of it really matters a shit in the end, but it's hard not to get caught up in those things, right? Plus, any chance you get to belt out "I LOVE CHRISTOPHER WALKEN!" is a chance you better take.
"We couldn't be more contrary if we tried / Oh, chalk and cheese, we rarely see eye to eye."
Pedestrian At Best (2015)
Otherwise known as "Da Big One." This is arguably Barnett's most successful song to date, and rightfully so - it's a scorcher. The riffs hit hard, the chorus was made for headbanging and the lyrics are practically screamed out as Barnett loses herself in conflicting emotions. It's actually a pretty meta song, with some people believing it's about Barnett's rise to international fame - which is ironic, of course, as this song only accelerated that rise. She bounces between feelings of self-acceptance and self-doubt (don't we all?) and throws some shade towards the music industry while she's at it.
Not to mention that third verse is a belter.
"I'm a fake, I'm a phoney, I'm awake, I'm alone, I'm homely, I'm a Scorpio!"
Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party (2015)
"I wanna go out but I wanna stay home," Barnett repeats through the chorus, just in case you needed the reminder that is truly One Whole Mood.
Need A Little Time (2018)
Barnett is known for her deadpan vocal delivery, but 'Need A Little Time' is one of her melodic and slow-burning tracks, and it's absolutely beautiful. It almost feels like the aftermath of both 'Avant Gardener' and 'Pedestrian At Best', seemingly referencing her anxiety and her now hectic work life. The song is - you guessed it - all about taking some time out for both yourself and for those around you, whether it's your partner or your job or your friends. Everyone needs to be alone sometimes, and Barnett expresses that perfectly here. But don't just take our word for it - Barack Obama himself said this was one of his favourite songs of 2018. Consider this presidentially approved.
"I'm sorry that I lost my patience / You deserve better it's true / You need a little time out."
Nameless, Faceless (2018)
Often, and especially in her debut album, Barnett's songs exist in another world. They centre round herself or other characters, and tend to find the inherent beauty in life's most boring moments. 'Nameless, Faceless', however, shoves all that aside and puts an all too important societal and political issue at the forefront - violence against women. She is losing all fucks to give, and is calling out abusive and aggressive men directly. "I hold my keys between my fingers" she sings, echoing the fact that plenty of women do this in public when they're by themselves in fear that they'll get attacked. She calls out men who sit online bashing other women, even using a line a troll used against her after she released her first album: "He said, 'I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and spit out better words than you' / But you didn't". BUT YOU DIDN'T. Say it louder for those in the back, CB.
"I wanna walk through the park in the dark, men are scared that women will laugh at them / I wanna walk through the park in the dark, women are scared that men will kill them."
MTV Unplugged Melbourne: Courtney Barnett will go down on October 22, register here for tickets!
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