Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit is the debut album by Australian singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett. It follows on from the brilliant Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas which was released in 2013. Filled with lyrically sharp, catchy songs, this album confirms Courtney Barnett as a genuinely brilliant and unique artist.
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Australian prankster Courtney Barnett is back for the first proper record of her deconstructionist indie pop, in which she talks her way into songs and jokes her way out of dodgy situations. We’ve talked a lot about how happy we are with the potential cancellation of Top Gear and the death knell for Jeremy Clarkson recently, but I would like to see Barnett get a chance to host the show: she’d start by talking about a car and finish screaming about an epiphany she had in the greenhouse. No other artist is able to find inspirational majesty in such total mundanity.
Barnett’s previous set of EPs showed a knack for slacker indie rock in the vein of Pavement -- but even more slurred and lazy (shout out to total classic “Avant Gardener”) -- while also being able to rock like a garage band who genuinely worshiped the Rolling Stones. ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’ is the same versatility, but flowing seamlessly: “Pedestrian at Best” and “An Illustration of Loneliness” show a feral, freewheeling side off before paving the way for tracks like “Small Poppies”, which roll through arpeggiated chords like a lonesome, twanging Neko Case tune. The whole thing is kept together around tight, compact ideas of performance: it’s mainly Barnett and her band having guitar showdowns and letting the drums lazily pick up the background. I’ll spill out a little more on “Small Poppies”, since that’s the way it ends: it gorgeously fizzles out with an array of miniature guitar riffs and absent-minded strums.
Barnett sounds freer than ever on this record, master of her sleepy universe, wringing out sly chord sequences and non-sequiturs like, quite simply, it ain’t no thing. It ain’t: as she mumbles her way through a myriad observations on the jangly “Dead Fox”, she occasionally heightens the drama in her voice as if these quiet fractions of wisdom aren’t enough. They are, though. Barnett is funny, serious and very sick.
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