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Photo: Elizabeth Weinberg / GQ
Festival Tip: Tell Courtney Barnett how you really feel
As the high season of music festivals commences, we allow ourselves this one blunt recommendation: Courtney Barnett - who's very confident songs about lack of confidence will find a large Nordic audience.

Aussie singer-songwriter Coutrtney Barnett sings convincingly about “Crippling self-doubt and general lack of confidence” on her long-awaited sequel album “Tell Me How You Really Feel”. It has certainly lived up to the high expectations of both fans and critics. The album debuted on the official Top 10 album list in the UK and has received massive  praise from critics everywhere.

“Have you lost faith in rock, try over with Courtney Barnett. She meets the high expectations”, Aftenposten says, adding: “Recognized as the new Bob Dylan and as the fastest rising star on the sky of rock, Courtney Barnett impresses us once again.”

Barnett, who plays Rockefeller in Oslo on November 5, will no doubt go far in Scandinavia with her self-deprecating attitude and her ingenious ability to turn the most mundane topics into clever, in-your-face lyrics. 

With her newly released album, Barnett takes dissing and insults to a new level, turning it into great songs with clever lyrics and a seemingly high level of confidence. An insult directed at her, “I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and spit out better words than you”, made her laugh, she says in an interview with Rolling Stone:

I just thought it was kind of funny, it was just someone saying I sucked and it stuck in my mind. I was like, “Well, I’m gonna use that, so fuck you”. She ended up sticking the snarky line in her song “Nameless, Faceless,” followed by a response to the troll who wrote it: “You’re kidding yourself if you think the world revolves around you.”

GQ adds to the heap of praise:

Courtney Barnett never planned to be a commercial success. She’s a DIY rocker from Melbourne, after all. But now that her excellent debut album shattered anyone’s wildest expectations (even scoring a Grammy nod), Barnett finds herself in the throes of the difficult sophomore record.

Most of her lyrics are speckled with a high level of her attitude shining through, and the world is taken by storm. We can barely wait to see her live at Rockefeller in November, looking forward to experience what The Globe and Mail explains her music as:

“Although the end result tends to be breezily cathartic, rather than panic-inducing. It’s an apt metaphor for her career, which has seen her go from a poet of the outskirts to a kind of new-wave slack-rock hero, backed by Grammy and Brit Award nominations and chumming about with spiritual brethren.”

More often, though, it’s thanks to her lyrics, which are thoroughly packed with deft observations, delivered in a manner that would seem to be childishly playful, if they weren’t so frequently accompanied by the hefty smack of all-too-adult dreads.”

1 Aftenposten
Arild R. Andersen
2 Rolling Stone
Kory Grow
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Courtney Barnett Wants to Know How You Really Feel

The singer-songwriter talks trying to transcend hopelessness on her new LP

3 GQ
Eve Barlow
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Courtney Barnett Is Gonna Say Whatever She Wants

Courtney Barnett never planned to be a commercial success. She’s a DIY rocker from Melbourne, after all. But now that her excellent debut album shattered anyone’s wildest expectations (even scoring a Grammy nod), Barnett finds herself in the throes of the difficult sophomore record. Her move? Write a song called “Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence.”

4 The Globe and Mail
David Berry
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Singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett reminds us we’re all in this together

The first song that carried Courtney Barnett’s ambling Aussie accent beyond Melbourne was a rambling story about an attempt to garden that ends with an ambulance ride. It’s not about errant tools and blood, though: Avant Gardener details an anxiety attack, the debilitating result of her brain taking in an otherwise mundane day and spinning it into something almost entirely overwhelming.



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