Courtney Barnett, “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit”

Courtney_Barnett-2015-Sometimes_I_Sit_And_Think-Cover_ArtCourtney Barnett
Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
MOM + POP
7/10 

Based on her scrappy, confessional music, Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett seems like the kind of thoughtful person that scribbles down observances alongside doodles and then tucks them away for later inspiration. Last year’s international release of her compilation The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas showed an innovative artist that knew how to wring every possible drop of drama out even the most banal of sources. This spirit continues on Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. A song about house-hunting in a suburb of Melbourne (appropriately titled “Depreston”) turns into a haunting rumination on the memories a home can hold. Although Barnett’s sense for setting a scene is well-established, she also dares to let the music speak for itself on the garage-pop track “Aqua Profunda!,” the ripping punk freak-out “Pedestrian at Best,” and the excellent opening track, “Elevator Operator.” Even when an initially slow song like “Kim’s Caravan” almost takes the wind out of Barnett’s sails, her band goes and tears the roof off the building. With Sometimes I Sit, Barnett sidesteps any quaint expectations and delivers a true debut album that can surprise listeners with its depth and universality.

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