Stars and Flops: Who?

Every once in a while, an Aussie will come literally out of nowhere and suddenly take the American industry by storm. Yeah, it’s pretty rare, but it happens and we’re all left wondering who the fuck this person is and where they came from. What’s even more weird is when it happens and they had next to no exposure in the mainstream Aussie industry, but have just launched themselves at America.

This week’s column is about an Aussie who has done just that, and has done it to the absolute extreme. When we woke up to the Grammy nominations on Tuesday, there was one little surprise that no-one saw coming. Little known to mainstream Aussies, a singer named Courtney Barnett had made the cut. Now if that’s not bona fide stardom, then we don’t know what is.

Hailing from Sydney, growing up in Hobart, and now living in the hipster trash city we know as Melbourne (no-one is surprised tbh), Barnett has become super popular thanks to her quirky lyrics and long as fuck album and EP titles. But, as there always seems to be, there were a few bands along the way before her individual fame.

She started her musical exploits in a garage-grunge band Rapid Transit, who released an album on cassette tape. In 2010. Cassette tape album in 2010. We’re just gonna leave that there.

Luckily she had the sense to leave those grandpas alone and moved onto a psych-country band Immigrant Union for three years. She appeared on their album, and in that time released her first EP I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris. But what we really want to know is where the people get the idea for a psych-country band. Like huh????

Anyways, after slumming it with those guys until 2013, Barnett released her second EP How to Carve a Carrot Into a Rose (see what we mean about quirky and long as fuck names?) which was when she really started to get some international recognition.

By international recognition we mean online blogs and magazines, but hey we’re all that matters after all. Screw you mainstream.

A year later she released her third EP, A Sea of Split Peas, and one of the songs made it to 51 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 last year.

Finally, FINALLY, she released a full length studio album earlier this year named Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Give us a moment, we need a break after typing that out.

Okay, accompanying that release came an American tour, and a performance on the biggest late night show in America, Jimmy Fallon. And from there it’s only been up. She killed it at the ARIAs a few weeks back, taking home four of the eight awards she was nominated for. Add to that the Grammy nom, and we feel like we should be bowing at her feet tbh. #goals.

What’s best about this story is the way that mainstream Aussie media was slower to get on the bandwagon with this girl. But once they did, in the way they only can, they made sure to remind us that she is Australian and that we own her. DID YOU SEE THAT AUSSIE THAT GOT NOMINATED FOR A BEST NEW ARTIST GRAMMY THAT’S FROM AUSTRALIA? YEAH MATE SHE’S AUSTRALIAN.

Every damn time.


Mirna Farah


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