Courtney Barnett made her name with 2013's "Avant Gardener," a deadpan, loosely rambling account of a severe anaphylactic attack. The song, like its counterparts on her early EPs, was many things — wordy, funny, surprising, wittily crafted — but it wasn't forceful.
Today, the Melbourne singer-songwriter is a full-fledged rock 'n' roll star, leading a tight and aggressive band through songs that stomp harder and harder as they progress. But Barnett also doubles down on her dense, intricate, wonderfully written wordplay, and loses none of her sublime quotability along the way. On her new album, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, she can positively rage — a far cry from the mellow slacker fans heard in her early work.
Performing in NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas, Barnett more than matched the album's energy, as she and her band careened through most of Sometimes I Sit And Think with power that felt positively gigantic. They've only recently begun playing these songs live, but you'd never know it.
- "Elevator Operator"
- "Pedestrian at Best"
- "An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York)"
- "Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go to the Party"
- "Aqua Profunda!"
- "Dead Fox"
- "Kim's Caravan"
Producers: Saidah Blount, Mito Habe-Evans, Otis Hart; Technical Director: Kevin Wait; Director: Mito Habe-Evans; Videographers: Katie Hayes Luke, Morgan Walker, Carlos Waters, A.J. Wilhelm; Audio: Timothy Powell/Metro Mobile; Assistant Editor: Carlos Waters; Production Assistants: Lizzie Chen, Nathan Gaar Special Thanks: SXSW, Stubb's BBQ; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann.