Album Review: Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

Alliteration never felt so delicious, that is until we got our hands on Courtney Barnett’s debut record Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. She writes authentic songs that every day people can relate to; because her stories are ones we’ve all lived. This is why Courtney Barnett is currently the name on the lips of anyone who matters.

Courtney Barnett Photograph: Remote Control Records

Aside from being as real as it gets, Barnett’s lyrics are proof an artist doesn’t need to rely on an over-hyped lifestyle to succeed in the music industry. Her writing style, simply put- is remarkable. For an artist to achieve such recognition for capturing everyday life, turning it into stories even the simplest of minds can understand is what sets her apart in the industry.

Kicking the record into gear ‘Elevator Operator’ tells the story of a guy named Oliver. Barnett sings in her almost-spoken-word style about how shit Oliver’s day has been. From tripping over potholes and meeting rude old ladies, it all comes to an end with him sitting on a roof and the voice of reason (we assume is Barnett) thinking Oliver has decided to off himself, but he’s just there for the view.

An admirable trait of Barnett’s is the way she is able to turn a three-minute song into a story that literally has more vivid content than the Fifty Shades series. What makes it even greater is they aren’t just regular stories. Barnett has this gift of relaying real experiences; one listen and thoughts of, “hey, I’ve experienced this” come flooding in. Tracks like ‘Small Poppies’ and ‘Pedestrian At Best’ perfectly tap into the average person’s everyday emotions and thoughts, making them relatable and memorable.

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is a look into the life of a young woman who’s had her fair share of shit experiences, but hasn’t let it get to her. ‘Depreston’ is a standout track that really shapes the mood of the entire record. Its story stems from the time Barnett spent living in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, and puts a melancholic looking glass to the idea of moving forward, and discarding old memories.

An eye-opener on the record ‘Dead Foxes’ paints a picture of the state the world is in. The line, “Taxidermied kangaroos … a possum Jackson Pollock painted on the tar” clear as day, provides this picture of any roadside located outside of cities in Australia. Once again we’re taken aback, but amused Barnett has included something so familiar and so Australian. We can only chuckle and imagine what the rest of the world thinks when they hear lines like these.

Courtney Barnett Photograph: Remote Control Records

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is a cleverly produced record that takes us back to the days of music that had meaning behind it. Yes, we all like to get turnt to whatever’s playing on the Top 40 occasionally, but Courtney Barnett’s debut is a reminder that authentic songwriters still exist. When her record comes to an end, you get this feeling of accomplishment. Without a doubt you will have found a song that almost entirely defines how you feel about the world.

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is in stores now through Milk! Records/Remote Control.


Alex Parker


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