Origin: Melbourne, Australia
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Courtney Melba Barnett (born 3 November 1987) is an Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist from Melbourne. Known for her witty, rambling lyrics and deadpan singing style, she attracted attention from the North American and UK music press in October 2013 with the release of two EPs and well-received performances at the CMJ Music Marathon. At the latter event, Barnett was mentioned by both Rolling Stone and The New York Times as a standout performer.
Barnett’s rambling, sly garage-pop, streams forth with the free-verse feel of text messages. She says that many of her earliest lyrics were, in fact, texted to herself while working as a bartender and waitress. “I’d have all these two-word texts and I didn’t know what they were—it was hard to put it together,” she remembers.
Beginning in 2010, Barnett played guitar in Melbourne garage grunge band Rapid Transit, then joined Australian psych/country band Immigrant Union from 2011-2013, a musical project founded by Brent DeBoer of The Dandy Warhols and Bob Harrow. In 2012, Barnett established her own label, Milk! Records, and released her debut EP, I’ve Got a Friend called Emily Ferris, to glowing reviews around Australia. Barnett received international critical acclaim in 2013 with her second EP, How to Carve a Carrot into a Rose. “Avant Gardener” from the album was named ‘Best New Track’ by Pitchfork Media in 2013.
In 2015, Barnett’s debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, was released to widespread critical acclaim. On October 16, Courtney Barnett released a new single produced by Jack White. It’s part of Third Man’s Blue Series (in conjunction with Milk! Records and Remote Control). The A-side is “Boxing Day Blues Revisited”—an epilogue to the Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit track “Boxing Day Blues”—and the B-side is a cover of the Roland S.Howard-penned Boys Next Door song “Shivers”.
Barnett leads the number of nominations, with eight, for the ARIA Music Awards (Australian Grammys) of 2015, including for Breakthrough Artist, Best Female Artist and Album of the Year for Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.
Barnett has produced a tune “How to Boil An Egg,” from Split Singles Club, a 7″ collaboration between Milk! Records and Bedroom Suck. Split Singles Club was created by a community of musicians living and working in Melbourne, Australia. They have one thing in common–an obsession with documenting the creative activity that happens around us each day.
The newest of these collaborative events is Ms. Barnett’s friendship with American musician Kurt Vile. Her admiration and his appreciation of it is evident in their work together on her release Lotta Sea Lice (with Kurt Vile). Sacramento’s K-ZAP is playing the song “Continental Breakfast” from this new effort.
Hear their newest on K-ZAP 93.3 FM and our stream. Get the free app! K-ZAP.ORG/APPS/
Courtney Barnett – vocals, guitar, songwriting
Bones Sloane – bass, backing vocals
Dave Mudie – drums
Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (2015)
Lotta Sea Lice (with Kurt Vile) (2017)