Today started with a 4:30am wake-up, followed by a 130k bike ride and a 3k brick run (click HERE), a few more hours of overtime work and then, finally…a nap.
(I’m omitting the emergency clean up of cat shit).
Anyway, it’s burgers for dinner and while they’re on the BBQ we’re enjoying a new record acquisition to the ‘ol collection, this ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel‘ by Courtney Barnett.
I was really excited to learn that this was finally released.
Like, really excited.
I might have even got a wee boner over it so, of course, this qualifies as Day 29 of the 31 Day Record Challenge (Part 2); ‘The last album you were excited to purchase…‘
Maybe even more so tonight because this was HRH‘s choice to listen to this evening.
Wait, not the boner part but, yeah, I was excited.
Barnett returns here with her sophomore full-length after taking America by storm in 2015, touring behind her head-turning debut album, ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit‘, and electrifying late night with gloriously messy performances on Saturday Night Live. With a rare lyrical gift and propensity for blowing the windows clean out of the garage, Barnett’s an introspective songwriter who listeners can also air guitar to and head bang alongside.
As expected, ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’ still finds Barnett writing “Courtney Barnett” songs, but there’s an unmistakable growth in the Aussie’s compositions. Her strongest melodies yet meet an untrained voice that’s gaining confidence and a band (Bones Sloane, Dave Mudie, and Dan Luscombe) that’s learned to trust itself to breathe and show restraint at times rather than instinctively douse a song in more scuzz. On ‘Charity‘, for example, stutter-steps into the choruses and tapping the brakes for instrumental fills turn a straight-forward rocker we’ve heard before into something more urgent and unpredictable.
Lyrically, Barnett feels more accessible this time around (albeit I still think I prefer ‘Sometimes I Think…‘), letting us share her anxiety when it comes to daily threats like toxic masculinity (‘Nameless, Faceless‘) and even scaling back the syllables (again on ‘Charity‘) to simply reassure us that we’re not alone: “You don’t have to pretend you’re not scared/ Everyone else is just as terrified as you.” Here quirky wordplay and offbeat phrasing give way to simple, bare-bones sincerity, once again proving Barnett’s got multiple gears as a lyricist.
Love. This. Chick.
Tell it how it is sista!
Definitely a highlight for the 2018 year.
(Is it bedtime yet?)