Courtney Barnett

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

There are songwriters that like to weave fantastic stories, tales that resonate in spite of their grandiosity and sweeping gestures. And then there are artists like Courtney Barnett. The Melbourne-bred musician excels at writing songs that resonate, but her brushstrokes tend to be smaller in scope. On the aptly titled Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, Barnett’s little moments of magic spill forth out of the mundane. “I lay awake at four, staring at the wall,” she opines on “An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York).” One track later, “Small Poppies” opens with the line, “I stare at the lawn. It’s Wednesday morning. It needs a cut. But I leave it growing.” In many ways, Sometimes I Just Sit is an album about growing older and finding yourself at that strange crossroads between adulthood and youth. “Depreston” is a quiet, bittersweet ballad about house hunting in a rundown neighborhood. The rollicking “Dead Fox” finds Barnett meditating on buying organic produce; “I must admit I was a little skeptical at first. A little pesticide can’t hurt,” she sings. Relentless drums and cymbals propel “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party,” a sweet and sloppy jam that very well may be the new anthem for partied-out 30-year-olds everywhere. Taken all together, and delivered in Barnett’s perfectly disaffected, Sheryl Crow–evoking croon, it makes for a record that’s not only refreshing but also honest in the purest sense of the word.

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