Artist Spotlight: Courtney Barnett

"The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas" Shows off Unique Musical Talent
Nicole Duque

Melbourne based talent Courtney Barnett, takes a different spin on the word “slacker” in her recently released EP, “The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas”. Usually, someone who is lazy is defined as a person who just wastes their time in front of their television, however Ms. Courtney does it way better – her television broke five years ago and she still hasn’t fixed it.

Barnett started running a record label out of her bedroom 2 years ago called, “Milk! Records”, which she likes to best describe as, “a little independent label”. The first release from the company was Barnett’s debut EP “I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris”, which was combined with her 2013 EP “How to Carve a Carrot into a Rose”, re-released under the quite extensive, characteristic, long-winded name, “The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas”. Despite the numbers off the album to be considered, witty, wordy and quite articulate, they’re always proven to be down-to-Earth, basically Barnett in a nut shell.

In her long yet charming song “Are You Looking After Yourself”, a few chords pair with Barnett’s “lazy”-Tuesday droning voice, alternating the concerning of a parent (“Are you working hard my darling?/We’re so worried”) and her own care free responses (“ I don’t want no 9 to 5/ Telling me that I’m alive”). Like any other person, eventually her guilty conscience begins to swallow her whole. Perhaps it is time she get a husband … or perhaps a dog? A job? This doesn’t last too long, as for the next three-and-a-half minutes, she throws these worries aside just so she can play her guitar a wee bit longer.

It’s a Monday, it’s so mundane”, Barnett breathlessly shares on Split Peas’ best song, “Avant Gardner … “What exciting things will happen today?” Ironically enough, the song quickly becomes intense and exciting. This song in particular proves that Barnett has a great gift for writing; she can turn any mundane scenario into a captivating and mesmerizing story. It’s almost as though she’s recounting the situations for you at your local bar later that night. “Avant Gardner” (hence the name) gives the story of a failed attempt to get caught up with some gardening in the middle of a heat wave, resulting in a panic attack …. and a trip in the back of an ambulance.

A track quite similar in vibe and speed is, “History Eraser”, definitely another song considered top from her EP. This time however, Barnett didn’t have any outdoor mending to attend to … or even get out of her own bed for that matter. She delivers a drunken daydream, breathless at that, in which she and the object of her affection have a cute ride on a tractor, catch a riverboat to a casino and magically sprout straw … where their hair used to be. This all happens to what could best be descried as 1960s-inspired folk tunes.

This album isn’t all about how much it can just drone on in quite the funny way; there are also up-beat numbers that prove that Barnett’s backing band actually compliment her own style. They serve as her energy without distracting or extracting the emphasis of her clever lyrics. Honestly though, if your imagination ran this wild … constantly … would you really need a television? Let that one sink in a bit.

If you haven’t yet, check out both her music video for “Avant Gardner” and “History Erase” down below – It’s FREE!

Avant Gardener

History Eraser

Montclair State | New Jersey

Nicole Duque

Undergraduate student with strong passion in journalism and editing. High interest in digital media and television production. Quick thinker, creative, determined and strong under pressure while maintaining organization. Hands on experience with professional broadcast production equipment, editing software, interviewing and writing for a newspaper.