Courtney Barnett: “Avant Gardener”

Photo by Leslie Kirchhoff

Courtney Barnett’s music might not immediately grab you. Instead, it slowly works its way into your memory with patient, simple melodies and incisive lyrics. Caught somewhere between Byrds-ian jangle and Kurt Cobain’s dark humor, the young Melbourne, Australia singer-songwriter writes songs that ramble and breathe; her singing often sounds more like a loose conversation than a go-for-broke rock star moment.

Barnett got her start with a small, self-funded label called Milk! Records in 2012, which she used to release her own music and albums by her friends. It became a self-contained universe, just a fun distraction from day-to-day monotony. But soon Barnett’s own chronicling of that monotony started catching ears. The slacker charm of songs like “Avant Gardener” have an immediate appeal, thanks to Barnett’s easy-going band (hilariously dubbed Courtney Barnett & The Courtney Barnetts) and her deadpan sense of humor. Last fall, she packaged her two EPs together as The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas and picked up raves from Pitchfork and Rolling Stone. Barnett & the Barnetts stopped by Studio 1A while in town for Fun Fun Fun Fest and cut an electrifying version of “Avant Gardener,” today’s song of the day.

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