Music review: Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett. Tell Me How You Really Feel. Milk! ★★★

Courtney Barnett makes lackadaisical-sounding music about being uptight.

Breezy, sung-talked tunes for our times sweat the small stuff. She despairs of affording organic vegetables and makes the best of house-hunting somewhere depressing.

Meanwhile, effortless melodies fit into a grand tradition of overthinkers, from Jonathan Richman through to the Breeders. Breeders Kim and Kelley Deal guest here.

But this writer of microtonally observed tragicomedy, has now taken the gloves off, entering high grunge dudgeon.

The minor downside of a more emotionally muscular set is that there is a slight loss of art in compensation. But even without the kitchen-sink details, Barnett is still a songwriter to beat, processing difficult emotions, lunging at optimism.

- Kitty Empire/The Observer


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