Courtney Barnett: Tiny Desk Concert Barnett can tell you a story like she's your best friend, provided your best friend is a funny Australian poet. Hear three of her thoughtful, acerbic rambles, including the new "Depreston."

Tiny Desk

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/302900658/302901692" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Courtney Barnett can tell you a story like she's your best friend — provided your best friend is a funny poet with an Australian accent. Listen to "Avant Gardener," an autobiographical account of trying to turn a life around through gardening, only to be foiled by a severe allergic reaction. The tale that follows at this Tiny Desk Concert, "History Eraser," is a ramble in an alcohol-fueled dream state; it features some of the best lyric-writing in music today. Here's a sample from that song:

I found an Ezra Pound and made a bet that if I found a cigarette I'd drop it all and marry you. Just then a song comes on: "You can't always get what you want" — The Rolling Stones, oh, woe is we, the irony! The Stones became the moss and once all inhibitions lost, the hipsters made a mission to the farm. We drove by tractor there, the yellow straw replaced our hair, we laced the dairy river with the cream of sweet vermouth.

The only downside for a fan like me is that these songs have been kicking around my head for more than a year. As she played them, I found myself hoping for something new, too. And so it was that Barnett graced the Tiny Desk with a brand-new tune, not yet on a record, about a suburb near Melbourne known as Preston; it's a song about house-hunting that she appropriately calls "Depreston." The song is thoughtful, acerbic and funny, just like the woman who sings it.


Set List

  • "Avant Gardener"
  • "History Eraser"
  • "Depreston"

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Olivia Merrion; photo by Jim Tuttle/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Flatbush Zombies plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Flatbush Zombies (Home) Concert

Watch the hip-hop group perform a stripped-down set from a house in Los Angeles for Tiny Desk's quarantine series.

Víkingur Ólafsson plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Víkingur Ólafsson (Home) Concert

Watch the rising young pianist, in a final performance from his Berlin home, make the case for two seemingly disparate French composers born nearly 200 years apart.

Becca Mancari plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Becca Mancari (Home) Concert

The Nashville-based rock musician recorded a five-song set for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Moses Sumney plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Moses Sumney (Home) Concert

The singer-songwriter performed music from his new album, græ, from his home in North Carolina.

Melanie Faye plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Melanie Faye (Home) Concert

Melanie Faye stole the show during Masego's Tiny Desk concert, so we invited her to perform her own quarantine concert.

Kate Davis plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Kate Davis (Home) Concert

One of our favorite indie rock lyricists performs a four-song concert for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

John Legend plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

John Legend (Home) Concert

This four-song set for Tiny Desk's quarantine series is utter joy.

Lyric Jones plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Lyric Jones (Home) Concert

The Boston-born, Los Angeles-based rapper does it all in this performance for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Thao Nguyen plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Thao Nguyen (Home) Concert

Thao is joined by two cellists in this remarkable set for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Lucinda Williams plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Watch Lucinda Williams Play A Tiny Desk From Home

Lucinda Williams and her guitar mate, Stuart Mathis, set up shop for a Tiny Desk home concert at Thirty Tigers' headquarters in Nashville.

Back To Top