ALBUM: The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
ARTIST: Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett has settled into the nest of the term “slacker,” with her apathetic vocals and drowsy guitar riffs, but under the wrong impression that her style parallels her work ethic. The Australian native released The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas only a little bit over a year ago today, started her own label Milk! Records, and is touring endlessly with big name festivals under her belt this summer, including Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Glastonbury, Coachella. This does not sound anything like the indifferent and sardonic characters Barnett depicts in her story-like lyrics in “Avant Gardener” or “Are You Looking After Yourself,” where she hasn’t purchased a new TV for over four years. The talented lyricist quit her job as a bartender in order to pursue her calling as the next Melbourne singer to fly the coop and seize admiration worldwide - no couch potato insight.
The twelve track release is a combination of Barnett’s previous released EPs, How to Carve a Carrot Into a Rose and I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris. Barnett stated in an interview with Pitchfork that she doesn’t consider the double EP an actual album.
Quotes like this help to paint a picture of life struggles and lyrical playfulness, as her detailed imagery and stone-faced sarcasm are the vivid colors illustrating a cool portrait of Barnett. Her genius lies in the narrative and her versatile vocals that range from fragile to indifferent, reflecting a prism of Barnett’s personas. Barnett makes the music personal, accessible, and comfortable, engaging the listener and transforming him/her into more than just an eavesdropping bystander. It feels as though Barnett is actually speaking with you rather than at you, which her laid back and personable lyrics emphasize. She makes you actually listen to the words that she’s saying, anchoring the listener, as they await every moment of her commentary.
“The album is essentially just songs that I’ve written over the past year so it represents where my mind has been over the past year, and it’s unrealistic to think people stick to one wavelength. It’s got the ups and downs that everyone has — the emotional, life things"
“I found an ezra pound and made a bet that if I found a cigarette I’d drop it all and marry you.”