21st Century Music: Courtney Barnett
21st Century Music postings are focused on artists that have released all their music since the year 2000. These are shorter entries and playlists intended to highlight newer acts that may be of interest to readers that enjoy the older music that is the focus of Ceremony.
When I first heard “Avant Gardener” on my monthly compilation from CMJ magazine it jumped out as one of the most unique sounding songs I’d heard in a long time. However, in these days of voluminous music at our disposal it took awhile for me to check out more of Courtney Barnett’s music. Once I did, I quickly realized that single was not a one-off, and this was a different and intriguing artist worth exploring.
From Australia, her short career started by playing in bands around Melbourne, moving in and out of rock and country sounds. She went solo in 2013 while also playing on her partner, Jen Cloher’s, music. After releasing two EPs her new label, Marathon Artists, released them as a single package, and with a little distribution help Courtney started to grow an international audience. She released her first full-length LP in 2015 and it’s one of the best albums released this decade. After a couple of singles and an album with Kurt Vile (ex-member of War on Drugs), she is preparing to release her second album in May.
Her music ranges between folk, country, rock, and a jangly, slacker-style indie sound. Her often blasé vocal style and sardonic lyrics gives her an intriguing sound and sets her apart from the sea of indie bands making the rounds these days. I missed the opportunity to see her a couple years ago as the show sold out quickly but did catch her at Massey Hall late last year with Kurt Vile. She is coming again this summer for two shows at the Danforth Music Hall. The first show sold out quickly and I suspect the second will too. Check her out while you can and enjoy this fresh, engaging young artist.
- Avant Gardener \ The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas (2013)
- Pedestrian at Best \ Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (2015)
- Dead Fox \ Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (2015)
- Three Packs A Day \ Non-album single (2016)
- Over Everything \ Lotta Sea Lice (w/ Kurt Vile) (2017)
- Let It Go \ Lotta Sea Lice (w/ Kurt Vile) (2017)
- Nameless, Faceless \ Advance single from forthcoming album, Tell Me How You Really Feel (2018)