Aussie singer Courtney Barnett's music is a look at social problems [Review]

Aussie singer Courtney Barnett's music is a look at social problems [Review]

 

Australian indie rocker Courtney Barnett's debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is a rambling monologue about how the singer feels about the social problems in her country. Covering large issues from unaffordable housing to environmental degradation, Hong Kong listeners will probably relate, despite the lyrics' frequent Australian references.

Barnett has a photographer's eye for details, and she helps you notice things you might otherwise miss. You can practically see the scene she's describing through her lyrics. And when words are insufficient to convey her emotions, there's music, too.

Kim's Caravan, for example, is a powerfully emotional piece both lyrically and musically. "So take what you want from me," Barnett mourns helplessly. She seems to have given up, but then the frenzied guitars roar in defiance.

The stomping opener Elevator Operator also proves that Barnett's is talented enough to pack a story about a frustrated worker skipping work for some roof-top respite in three minutes.

The whole album has an unpolished zeal to it, as if Barnett refuses to play by the rules. That's probably how she likes it.

 

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
She's got a lot on her mind

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