Vevo announces the release of Courtney Barnett’s live performances of “Everybody Here Hates You” and “Small Talk.” Courtney Barnett is one of the most distinctive and compelling voices in indie rock, a singer-songwriter who mixes deeply insightful observations with devastating self-assessment. Fueled by the nimble crunch of her guitar and the loose groove of the rhythm section, Courtney Barnett’s songs are wild and shaggy and wordy, her lyrics plainspoken and delivered like she’s making them up on the spot. The music is rooted in the slack jangle of the late 1980s and the early 1990s, which has prompted the adjective “slacker” from journalists and critics around the world. That word is fitting for tunes that sound like they only just roused themselves out of bed. As a description of Barnett’s work ethic and musical influence, however, “slacker” has proven to be all wrong.
With countless awards in her home of Australia as well as Grammy and BRIT nominations, fawning press and an adoring audiences, Barnett’s rise to global prominence feels both unprecedented and important. 2017 saw the release of the wonderful album Lotta Sea Lice, an introspective but beautiful album of duets with Kurt Vile and a gorgeous place-holder until the release of her world-weary-but-fierce sophomore solo album Tell Me How You Really Feel in 2018 and the 2019 single “Everybody Here Hates You.”
Her songs may not sound tightly coiled, but they are carefully and exactingly structured. Her lyrics may ramble, but each word is carefully chosen. She is, however, no perfectionist. In fact, she may be an imperfectionist: Barnett strives to fine-tune her songs as much as possible, but she knows that their flaws—a missed note here, a flubbed line there—can make the music sound more human, more relatable, more sympathetic. “My songs follow me as a normal human with normal emotions,” she explains, “so there are great highs and great lows. They span everything in my life.”