Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

CBRating: ★★★★☆

Courtney Barnett is one of the most buzzed about artists of this year and with reason. Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is her first proper album and she’s already taking the indiesphere by storm with her no-fucks, laid back yet creatively catchy buzzy rock songs.

The first half of this album is fast paced and opens up quickly with “Elevator Operator,” which has Barnett spitting out her tongue-twisting tale spinning lyrics about people she encounters. Her storytelling is lucid and smooth, talking about the colorful characters that she comes across and the imagery sticks out impressively. Meanwhile, the music is complementary to this style but doesn’t ever overpower the lyrics on this first number, but serves as a slight accompaniment to the story. “Pedestrian at Best,” reverses this effect somewhat; while the lyrics are still filled with quick quips and assonance, the garage fuzz is equal in the mix, and Barnett’s vocals weave in and out of the loud rock. This is one of those songs you have to get up off your ass and jam along as the track spirals slowly out of control.

This album consists primarily of songs like these first two: descriptive, unapologetically raw and rambling, but wholly honest and easy to enjoy. I personally like “Aqua Profunda,” which is all at once rock and sugary pop; the guitar licks are all rock, but those drums are smooth and crisp. Later on, Barnett cools her jets for a bit on the last two songs to get a little sentimental, even putting down the electric guitar and trading it for acoustic on the very last track of the album. “Kim’s Caravan” the second to last track is an emotive and powerful track, starting gently and growing slowly to its final crescendo of gritty and twangy guitars and shimmering percussion. These two songs back to back bring you down from the high that was the rest of the album, but a part of me wishes this mood would have been dispersed a little more evenly throughout the earlier tunes.

So yes, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is a pretty fun and groovy first record, but Courtney is the first to say “put me on a pedestal and I’ll only disappoint you.” These tunes are casual and laid back, which works for the most part, but leaves us with one level to connect with Barnett. I connect, I dig it, but then I want a little more than the one dimensionality. Perhaps a sophomore effort will see her reaching a little further at least in variety, for now, this is just fine.

SXSW Superlatives: Nathan.Lankford

AlvvaysWith SXSW this year there was lots of hubbub about fewer bands and less corporate entities flooding the streets, but despite all that, I still managed to have myself a good old time.  I’ve got some thoughts and awards to hand out, and these are strictly my experience, as we tried at ATH to split up and cover as much as we possibly could.  You can read on, if you’ve got the time, to see what I had to say.  Read more

Milk! Records Free Sampler

milk!Milk! Records is a record company based out of Melbourne, Australia, which is growing to be a hub of indie rock these days. They’ve specialize in signing their own and among those include Courtney Bartnett and The Finks and many more. Anyways, they have a free sampler of their heralded favorites of 2014 that I stumbled on. Each song on this little sampler is pretty great, so hit play and catch up on what’s been happening over in Australia this past year and then head over to Milk! Records website to pick up these releases. Enjoy!

 

Courtney Barnett to Get Re-Release Via Mom+Pop

courtneyThose of you that missed out on the great release from Courtney Barnett, The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, will be happy to know that said album will be getting a re-released version on both CD and LP formats. It actually only came out via digital formats, so the collector nerd in me is really excited I’ll be able to get a hold of this in a physical form. This sprawling song of relaxed folk beauty is precisely the reason she’s come in to the limelight; it’s almost 6 minutes, but you can’t pull yourself away from the song.  The male counterpart vocal adds a nice touch too, creating a subtle break to ward off monotony. Mom + Pop are the label behind the re-release; it hits stores on April 15th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/06-Anonymous-Club.mp3]

Download: Courtney Barnett – Anonymous Club [MP3]

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