Boxing Day Blues (Revisited) by Courtney Barnett is the latest in the Blue Series of singles to be released on Jack White’s Third Man Records. It is also produced by Jack White. The A Side is the postscript to Boxing Day Blues, which closed Barnett’s critically acclaimed Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit album in brilliant yet solemn fashion. The b-side is a cover of Shivers, which was written by Roland S. Howard for the pre-Birthday Party band Boys Next Door. Essential for Courtney Barnett fans!
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Courtney Barnett slowed down album ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think’ with a slice of near-ernest melancholy called “Boxing Day Blues”; here she does what any person with a guitar does these days and visited Jack White at Third Man, the world’s bluest label. “Boxing Day Blues (Revisited)” acts as an addendum to the last song we heard from her, wobbling at a slow pace like a tightrope walk across something real bad. White’s at the producing helm, but it’s Barnett and her band that make it special, as ever: her guitar twangs as silly guitar affectations bump along, peering round the corner like pantomime characters. Ian calls it the Third Man response to “When I’m 64”’; he’s not wrong.
On side B, also known as Act II, there’s another slow jam, a cover of Rowland S. Howard’s gruesomely lovelorn Boys Next Door song, “Shivers” -- her voice situated in a large, empty room, Barnett’s brood of “I’ve been contemplating suicide” is terrifying, especially considering the artist’s propensity to tackle personal confession through the lens of dramedy storytelling. These two are slow and devastating, especially considering their source. Great gloom.
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