Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit (Vinyl)

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Standard LP includes MP3 download card. Following the runaway success of her EP collection, 'The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas', Courtney Barnett returns with her debut album. Recorded in the Autumn of 2014 in an intense 10 day session at Head Gap studios in Melbourne, the album finally brings Barnett's incisive vision into stark, unflinching focus; her wit sharpened to a knife edge, her melodies more infectious and addictive than ever. 'Sometimes I Just Sit and Think, and Sometimes I just Sit' cements Barnett's standing as one of the most distinctive voices in indie rock. Mixing witty, often hilarious observations with devastating self-assessment over a beguiling collection of songs that reveals her as an ambitious songwriter with an ear for clever turns of phrase and an eye for story-song details that are literate without being pretentious. Depressing rentals and dead foxes, go-nowhere relationships and dead end suburbs, even her own fears, doubts and insecurities - nothing escapes Barnett's caustic sense of humour. If 'The Double EP' announced the arrival of a major new talent, 'Sometimes…' consolidates that promise and marks Courtney Barnett as one of the best and most unique voices around, period. 'A prodigiously talented songwriter.' NME 'A remarkable new talent.' Time Out 'One of the most exciting songwriters around' Q


With alternative music so dominated by British and American artists, it’s refreshing when a Melbourne artist who speaks of places and experiences that are so familiar makes it so big on both a critical and commercial level. I must say there is a whole unique level of personal enjoyment when Courtney Barnett tells tales of “Swanston commuters” (including protagonist Oliver Paul in stomping opener Elevator Operator), the “Highway Hume” (Dead Fox) and Preston (or Depreston, a vivid tale about searching for a home in expensive Melbourne). I know exactly what (and where) she’s on about. It makes a welcome change from hearing about London, Compton or some random-numbered street in New York City.

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, is an album best experienced as an invitation into Barnett’s watchfulness of the world around her, as she mulls over a myriad of nagging things. It could be feelings of isolation (Debbie Downer), environmental concerns (Kim’s Caravan) or just being a shit person (Boxing Day Blues). It could be everything, if the relentless, anxious, Pedestrian at Best is anything to go by! Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party is perhaps the most notable. A simple rocker, but also such an evocative take on the see-sawing between staying in/going out and working out where you fit in. An anthem for the introverts.

A special note on Dead Fox, an exceptionally clever take on the trucking industry (of all topics) as a network for big business and it’s impact on so many facets of society. Filled with entendre and cool reverse track guitars, somehow Barnett never comes across as preachy, but almost like she’s learning about these issues as she’s telling her stories. Especially how she goes from innocently being encouraged to eat organic food at the beginning, to providing commentary on petrol prices at the end. Humbly, she signs off “what do I know, anyhow?” A road trip song and an album highlight.

I find myself drawn to the songs with obvious energy and unique subject matter. Try as I might I don’t enjoy the meandering Small Poppies at all. But beyond this 7-minute lull, this is a rock album headed by a true personality who provides some truly moving moments as well. Courtney Barnett won’t click with everyone (many artists with a deadpan vocal style don’t), but if you can empathise with her, it’s easy to vibe with her debut.


A1 Elevator Operator
A2 Pedestrian At Best
A3 An Illustration Of Loneliness (Sleepless In New York)
A4 Small Poppies
A5 Depreston
B1 Aqua Profunda!
B2 Dead Fox
B3 Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party
B4 Debbie Downer
B5 Kim's Caravan
B6 Boxing Day Blues


Album of the year: Guardian, Sunday Times, Q.