Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit - CD
Courtney Barnett is only on her first proper album, but she’s already setting herself apart as one of the sharpest, most original songwriters around — at any level, in any genre. The Australian singer-guitarist, 27, is a self-strafing humorist à la Lena Dunham who’s also a Dylan-style word ninja, spooling out honest, funny, indelible stories wrung from the everyday stuff even a good novelist might overlook. Her loose, conversational lyrics are full of images you can’t shake and characters you need to know more about. You don’t just quote a Courtney Barnett song, you recap it.
The most surprising thing about Sometimes I Sit might be how much it moves. The tunes are tight and sticky; the guitars hit with real sizzle and bite, accented by flourishes like the garage-rock organ in “Debbie Downer” or the cowbell swing of “Aqua Profunda!” The catchy, crunchy “Pedestrian at Best” is her old-school indie hit — in 1995, MTV’s 120 Minutes would have played it between Elastica and Spacehog — complete with so-totally-Nineties anti-corporate lyrics: “Give me all your money/And I’ll make some origami, honey.”