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COLUMN: Courtney Barnett leaves listeners hanging on her every word


Courtney Barnett performs at the Concorde 2 Brighton on March 27, 2015, in Brighton, England. Bernett released her second solo album on May 18. Tribune News Service Buy Photos

Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett has released her second solo album, “Tell Me How You Really Feel.”

The 10-track album came out May 18 under Barnett’s Milk! Records, Mom + Pop and Marathon Artists.

Barnett has been gracing the world with her "garage rock-infused, folk-pop style of music," as described by her Spotify page, since 2012.

Her self-released EP “I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris” was praised in Australia when it was put out in 2012. The EP, along with a few others by Barnett, can't be found on Spotify. However, the six-track debut by Barnett can be found on her bandcamp. 

In October 2013 Barnett released her second EP, “How To Carve A Carrot Into A Rose,” and her song “History Eraser” was nominated for ARPA Song of the Year in Australia, according to Barnett’s Spotify page.

Barnett graced the world with her first full-length album in March 2015, “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.” The album reached number 20 in the U.S., 16 in the U.K. and four in Australia, according to her Spotify page.

Since “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit,” Barnett has released two more albums, “Lotta Sea Lice” with Kurt Vile in October 2017, and most recently, her second solo album, “Tell Me How You Really Feel.”

“Tell Me How You Really Feel” is a 10-track masterpiece that perfectly embodies Barnett’s signature sound along with her witty, cheeky lyrics.

“He said, ‘I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and spit out better words than you.’ / But you didn’t / Man, you’re kidding yourself,” Barnett sings in the song “Nameless, Faceless.” 

“Tell Me How You Really Feel” is so beautifully similar to what Barnett has put out in the past. Her music could be combined into one album and it would blend together perfectly. 

Artists typically change over time, but Barnett tends to stay consistent and it’s one of the things I admire most about her. I always know what to expect when she puts out a new album or song, and even before listening I can tell it’s going to be something fantastic.

Her voice is enticing – Barnett has a way about her that leaves listeners hanging on her every word. Her mellow voice always mixes perfectly with the garage band-style music that plays behind it.

The album closer, “Sunday Roast,” is a slow, heartfelt song by Barnett. “Sunday Roast” was the fourth song to be released as a single before the album came out.

“Just bring yourself / You know your presence is enough,” Barnett sings softly behind the tranquil music.

"Tell Me How You Really Feel" is yet another masterpiece from Barnett. Barnett has never disappointed me with her music, and, truthfully, I don’t think she ever will.

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