Posts Tagged ‘Courtney Barnett’

“Living among uncertainty can make you forget that certainty is everywhere, all around us. Courtney Barnett’s first two albums told stories of the tiny splinters that pull on the very fabric of the world: The way panic attacks and unmoored comments and unsightly, unseemly vistas can make knots and tears that are impossible not to fixate on. Her third album steps back, takes a breath, takes a beat, asks you not to fixate on the little things.

It’s quieter and smaller than you might expect from Courtney. If you don’t like it — although you probably will — it’s no big deal; just give it another go tomorrow. “Things Take Time, Take Time” is finely woven, soft to the touch; spanning 10 wide-eyed, open-hearted vignettes, it traces the gentle arc of a life, forgoing pithy detail in favour of generous scene setting and graceful character development.

It’s an object of beauty made for everyday use and, like most things of that ilk, a lot of work went into it, emotionally and physically. My new song If I Don’t Hear From You Tonight is out now! The video clip was directed by Claire Marie Vogel and filmed in Landers. Thanks to Stella Mozgawa and Cate Le Bon who played on this song and appear in the video clip.

Things Take Time, Take Time is an assured leap forward for Barnett; a breakthrough really. This is Barnett at her most relaxed, creative and joyful. An exquisite look at the intimate, private world created by Barnett and her producer Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint, Sharon Van Etten, Kurt Vile). It’s consequently her most beautiful and intimate record to date.

the new album ‘Things Take Time, Take Time’ released 12th November 2021

Sharon Van Etten’s career since the release of her second album, 2010’s epic is well-known; critically lauded albums, films, and television shows have continually displayed her expanding artistry. Upon its release, epic laid a romantic melancholy over the gravel and dirt of heartbreak without one honest thought or feeling spared. Her songs covered betrayal, obsession, egotism, and all the other emotions we dislike in others and recognize in ourselves. Van Etten’s grounded and clenched vocals conveyed a sense of hope–the notion that beauty can arise from the worst of circumstances.

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The resulting epic Ten is a double LP featuring the original album plus the new album of epic covers and reimagined artwork.

Epic” laid a romantic melancholy over the gravel and dirt of heartbreak without one honest thought or feeling spared. Her songs covered betrayal, obsession, egotism, and all the other emotions we dislike in others and recognize in ourselves. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this special album’s release, and to acknowledge the convergence of Van Etten’s present and past work, she asked fellow artists she admired to participate in an expanded reissue, where each artist would cover one different song from epic in their own style.

Released April 16th, 2021

Fiona Apple

The music of Sharon Van Etten offers this strangely familiar ethic and aesthetic. She is Patti Smith finishing a pint of Pilsner as the pool cue cracks in the back of the dive bar. 

Van Etten’s newest release, “Epic Ten”, is unlike any other. In one sense, it’s a reissue of her 2010 sophomore record, Epic. But it’s also much more. The reissue includes covers of each song from the original release from such heavyweights as IDLESLucinda WilliamsCourtney Barnett, and Fiona Apple. In this way, “Epic Ten” is two albums at once in a compact 14 tracks, ranging in creative impact from Van Etten’s ghostly harmonies to IDLES’ industrial wallop. 

The record begins with the acoustic-propelled “A Crime.” The lyrics, saturated with anger and remorse, are also breathy, dreamy. But through the sonic lens of Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver’s Big Red Machine, the song is more electric, like a Radiohead song played through a spotty AM radio connection in a beautiful contrast. “Peace Signs” harkens to ’90s rock ‘n’ roll, part Smashing Pumpkins, part Melissa Etheridge. All the while the kick drum bangs. When IDLES take hold on the record’s flip side, that kick portends guttural screams, an explosion. 

On “Save Yourself,” Van Etten sings over slide guitars. There’s a new eeriness to her voice now—she’s the last person in the Dust Bowl, and she has one last song to sing. Lucinda Williams understands this mood, she was once that person, too. And her rendition is elongated, patient, dark. By “Dsharpg,” Van Etten has become the breeze through cracked slats in the attic. She is the sound of one’s own personal church. Shamir laser focuses this vibe and offers a neon blue candle to pray to on his cover.

Mid-album track “Don’t Do It” is reflective. It’s a gritty electric guitar with an angel moaning in the distance. Van Etten is low-eyed, fed up at the heft while also acknowledging there are better days ahead. It’s bad, but not all bad. When sung by Courtney Barnett and Vagabon, the song is up front, close, in your ear. It’s as if Barnett doesn’t feel the song itself is enough at this point. 

On the album’s penultimate track, “One Day,” Van Etten seems to be remembering the important days now in her rearview mirror. It’s a song she might sing in the tour van, the rest of the band strumming guitars, playing tambourines as the highway stretches past. St. Panther takes the song in the direction of bedroom pop, made with a laptop and the buzz from caffeine at three in the morning.

“Love More” has a solid perspective—it’s the song of someone who’s accepted adulthood and the very personal ups and downs that inevitably come along with that. Friends leave, loved ones pass, but the strength to sing can still grow stronger. Though life is dangerous and dramatic, there is hope, if only borne from your own voice. Perhaps no one knows that better than Fiona Apple. For the one who told us to “fetch the bolt cutters,” fame has been painful. Growth out of that is the only medicine, escape. 

Sharon Van Etten’s “Epic Ten” anniversary reissue arrives on digital platforms tomorrow, and now she’s shared the final advance single: a cover of “Love More” by recent Grammy winner Fiona Apple.

The double-disc “Epic” reissue has already spawned several thrilling updates to old songs: Big Red Machine’s “A Crime”, IDLES’ “Peace Signs”, Shamir’s “Dsharpg”, and Courtney Barnett and Vagabon’s “Don’t Do It”. “Love More” is the closing track to both Epic and Epic Ten, and Fiona Apple puts her mark on the song right from the beginning with newly-added claps and hand drums. Where the original derived its atmospheric power from pulsing synths and the sparing use of percussion, Apple’s take comes with gentle pianos and insistent heartbeat drums.

In a statement, Van Etten wrote about the darkness that inspired “Love More”, and how Apple’s version reframes the song with “the hope it deserves.” She said,

“The emotional rawness and visceral angst and honesty of Fiona Apple’s music was first met by my teenage years, sharing a bedroom with my little sister — who so patiently studied for school as I tried to write, sing, and play guitar in a way I wasn’t ready for yet. Fiona made me want to be a better player. She made me want to have something to say. Although music has always been an important outlet for me, I knew I hadn’t lived like she had. Having no concept of age, I heard her voice as experienced and wise and someone that I wanted to be or to know. I carried her with me.⁣⁣

“The closest we came to meeting was when we played SXSW at Stubbs back to back in 2012 and I teenagerly posed in front of her road case. I dared not overstep the line of comfort at a festival… but her set was incredible. New, and true to herself and vulnerable…⁣⁣
⁣“Love More is the most revealing song about one of the hardest times in my life, and the mark of change. When I admitted I needed help. When I leaned on others and acknowledged my weaknesses, when I was accepted at my lowest of lows, with support, and was able to move on. I was in a dark place when I wrote this song, I was in a safer space when I was able to record it, and now that Fiona’s version will exist in this universe, it helps me feel even farther away from the darkness I had to experience in order to write this song. She brings it life and light. She has given me her hand after all these years… and it is with pure joy to finally share this song in a brand new light by someone I always wished I could be.⁣⁣

“Thank you, Fiona. I admire you so much and now I wish for everyone to hear this song with the hope it deserves. It is so nice to meet you. Xoxo”

In total, Van Etten’s reissue of Epic Ten is a success. She’s achieved the relighting of her past release while doing so with a fresh torch. With hope, the album will burn long and in many hearts.

You can listen to “Love More” below. Epic Ten makes its digital debut tomorrow, April 16th, with physical versions arriving June 11th via Ba Da Bing Records. Besides that, Van Etten will stream an Epic Ten documentary and full-album concert on April 16th and 17th, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Los Angeles venue Zebulon.

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Sharon Van Etten‘s sophomore album “epic” turned ten years old last September and to celebrate, the veteran singer-songwriter will release a deluxe version of the album,epic Ten”. The two-disc collection features the original album on one CD and a collection of covers on the other. Featured artists on the covers disc include Fiona AppleCourtney Barnett and VagabonLucinda WilliamsBig Red Machine (Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon), ShamirIDLES, and St. Panther.

On Wednesday, Sharon Van Etten shared Courtney Barnett and Vagabon’s take on “Don’t Do It”.

This marks the latest collaboration for Barnett and Vagabon, who released a collaborative cover of Tim Hardin‘s folk standard, “Reason To Believe”, back in January. Prior to that, the two had shared the stage—also for a performance of “Reason To Believe”—at the Palace Theatre in Los Angeles on February 14th, 2020. That concert, billed as Courtney Barnett & Friends, served as a benefit for Newport Festivals Foundationand also saw appearances from LuciusSharon Van Etten, Father John MistyWaxahatchee, and more.

Barnett and Vagabon’s take on Etten’s “Don’t Do It” sees an amalgamation of all three artist’s unique styles. Etten’s lyrics present the guidepost for Barnett’s grungy, deadpan delivery that is only bolstered by Vagabon’s delicate, if reserved, backing vocals.

Etten said of Barnett,

Courtney Barnett has been an important musical influence on me since 2014, when we first met at The Neptune theater in Seattle. From the first time we met, I felt like I made an immediate friend. From performing together, to having home hangs in between tours, commiserating with the very specific mixed feelings of tour life assimilating back to home life and figuring out the in between as we have been learning how to nurture our domestic lives while paying attention to our creative selves outside of the album and touring cycle. I admire Courtney’s writing style in that she has such a unique and intimate narrative approach while being personal and funny, without giving too much away. I feel connected to her music and perspective, while always wanting to learn more – and as a friend she has offered me guidance and advice while also being an ear when I have been in a rut or when I am in need of a new approach to look at my writing in a new way.⁣

“Don’t Do It” (By Courtney Barnett Feat. Vagabon) on Ba Da Bing!

After a year full of strange collaborations, 2021 started off with a joint track that’s more exciting than surprising, and certainly not nearly as weird recent tourmates Vagabon and Courtney Barnett are sharing a collaborative cover of Karen Dalton’s home-recorded track “Reason To Believe” which is itself a cover of a folky Tim Hardin song later also performed by The Carpenters, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Cher, and plenty of others.

“I recently discovered the Karen Dalton version of ‘Reason to Believe’ for the first time,” Vagabon’s Laetitia Tamko noted in a press release. “I became obsessed and so a few days after discovering it, I was encouraged to record a cover of it in my garage. The decision to have Courtney sing it with me came after we performed it together live at the Palace Theatre in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day 2020.

“I’m a huge fan of Vagabon and Karen Dalton so this was a dream,” Barnett added. “They both have a voice that absolutely knocks the wind out of me. I really admire Laetitia and am constantly inspired by her song writing, production, and our sporadic FaceTime chats.”

Vagabon performs Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe” featuring Courtney Barnett:

No photo description available.

On October 22nd 2019 Courtney Barnett performed a unique and special show at the invitation of MTV in her hometown of Melbourne. The “Unplugged” performance features Barnett as you’ve never heard her before, warm, vulnerable and emotional, performing a stirring set of eight songs to an intimate audience including “Depreston”, “Avant Gardner” and “Sunday Roast”.

Joined by her usual band Dave Mudie and Bones Sloane, she also enlisted cellist Lucy Waldron. Barnett made the night even more iconic by inviting some of her favourite musicians to collaborate including legendary songwriter Paul Kelly, angelically-voiced New Zealander Marlon Williams and Milk! Records label-mate Evelyn Ida Morris.

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The performances include covers of Leonard Cohen, Archie Roach and Seeker Lover Keeper as well as a never-before-heard original track from Courtney herself titled Play It On Repeat</strong

Released December 6th, 2019
The Band:
Courtney Barnett – guitar & vocals
Dave Mudie – drums & backing vocals
Bones Sloane – bass & backing vocals
Lucy Waldron – cello & backing vocals

w/ special guests
Paul Kelly – guitar, harmonica, vocals (Charcoal Lane)
Marlon Williams – guitar & vocals (Not Only I)
Evelyn Ida Morris – piano & vocals (Nameless, Faceless)
and piano (Avant Gardener)

All songs written by Courtney Barnett except
Charcoal Lane written by Archie Roach
Not Only I written by Sally Seltmann, Sarah Blasko & Holly Throsby (Seeker Lover Keeper)
So Long, Marianne written by Leonard Cohen

Image may contain: 2 people

Anna Calvi has recruited Courtney Barnett for a new version of “Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy”, which will feature on “Hunted” – a reworked version of Calvi’s 2018 album Hunter.

Hunted will also see Calvi team up with Joe Talbot of IDLES, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Julia Holter for new versions of Calvi’s Hunter tracks.

Speaking about Hunted and working with Barnett, Calvi explains, “During a break from touring I went back and listened to the first recordings I ever made of Hunter. These recordings capture the very moment I first wrote these songs, and recorded them on my own, in my attic studio. I find something especially intimate about sharing these most private recordings with my favourite singers and asking them to lend their voices and artistic sensibility. Courtney Barnett is an amazing artist. Her voice and guitar playing together are mind blowing. Her ability to connect the profound to the smallest moments of human experience is the unique talent of a true artist.”

Barnett adds of the collaboration, “Anna is a completely awe-inspiring performer, it’s impossible to take your eyes off her onstage. I love her songwriting for its beautiful and perfect balance between aggression and tenderness.”

The first single to be released from Hunted is Calvi’s new version of “Don’t Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy”, featuring Courtney Barnett.

On Friday a new Milk! Records compilation called “Milk On Milk”. It features my version of “Keep On” (written by my friends Loose Tooth) n playing with me on that recording is Jen Sholakis (drums), Dave Mudie (bass) and some extra vocals by Anika (Hachiku).

This is the third compilation we have made as a label (the first two featured my tracks ‘Pickles From The Jar’ and ‘Three Packs A Day’). Barnett and Jen Cloher asked every artist to pick their favourite song by a label-mate and record their own version of it.

It includes some truly amazing tracks from Tiny Ruins, Jade Imagine, Jen Cloher (ft. The Letter String Quartet), Hachiku, Evelyn Ida Morris, East Brunswick All Girls Choir, The Finks, and Loose Tooth. It was (mostly) produced, engineered & mixed by Anna Laverty at (mostly) Audrey Studios in Coburg!

 

Courtney Barnett photo by Ian Laidlaw

hey how are you? Courtney Barnett here, i have a new song out today called ‘Everybody Here Hates You’. I started writing it in May 2017 at my freezing cold warehouse on an out-of-tune and unplugged Fender Stratocaster with rusty strings. It was from the paranoid pile of Tell Me How You Really Feel but the lyrics didn’t get finished in time to make the album. to be honest the words felt too vulnerable n I didn’t want anybody to hear them. When I finally found the chorus, I decided to record it with my band in September 2018. Bones Sloane played bass, Dave Mudie played drums, Dan Luscombe lay on the carpet and played the organ. They all sung wonderful backing vocals.

it’s available now in all the usual places, hope you like it and thank you for your support, love ya xo

ps. everybody here does not hate you. please reach out to somebody you trust or google your nearest mental health support lifeline if you need to talk to someone x

Barnett says she was inspired, in part, by the Jeff Buckley song “Everybody Here Wants You.”

Courtney Barnett: guitar, vocals
Bones Sloane: bass, vocals
Dave Mudie: drum, vocals
Dan Luscombe: keys, vocals

Courtney Barnett started Milk! Records in 2012 to release her first EP I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris. Soon aftercame the second EP How To Carve A Carrot Into A Rose. She took her band overseas with a condensed back catalogue called The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas. In 2015 Barnett released album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit to worldwide critical acclaim. 

“Small Talk,” is an outtake from Courtney Barnett’s 2018 album Tell Me How You Really Feel sounds a lot like most songs on the LP: an expansive, vamp-based affair with sunny choruses. Barnett’s hook-writing has only gotten sharper as time goes on. Where her early work would have been satisfied to let the interlocking organ/bass line groove ride for the entire runtime, here she injects an immediately felt, warmly rendered chorus of group singalongs. Her lyrics are, as always, sharp as a tack.

She takes the title seriously, regaling us with the shaggiest of shaggy-dog stories about whatever seems to float into her mind. “I’ve got a brother, Blake / he’s four years older than me / and I guess he always will be,” she sings, somehow managing to be both hilarious and weirdly philosophical. If she never got into business as a musician, Barnett could roundly kick all of our asses at this writing thing.

‘Charity’ is taken from Courtney Barnett’s album ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’

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Released May 18th, 2018

Courtney Barnett – Guitar, Vocals
Bones Sloane – Bass, Backing Vocals
Dave Mudie – Drums, Percussion
Dan Luscombe – Keys, Organ, Guitar, Backing Vocals
Kim Deal – Backing Vocals (Tracks 5 and 7), Guitar (Track 7)
Kelley Deal – Backing Vocals (Track 7)

All songs written by Courtney Barnett


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