Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
Marathon Artists, 2014
My favorite albums of the year always seem to be the ones that I listen to like a regular human being. The great records strip away the part of my brain that goes “I HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW” and I just enjoy the music. Like a regular person without this sick, sick compulsion. It’s Year End List season now, and whilst getting my affairs in order I totally forgot the period this summer where I was constantly jamming this record when I was cooking dinner. It’s such a pure, perfect record it didn’t cross my mind that I should immediately go and write down my favorite lines from “Avant Gardener" ("The paramedic thinks I'm clever cos I play guitar/ I think she's clever cos she stops people dying" and "Oh no, next thing I know/ They call up triple O/ I'd rather die than owe the hospital" are both winners). That’s a track that’s going to crack my Top 5 in my Songs of the Year post and I just now added it to the fold. Realizing I’d left it out and rediscovering how great and fresh and clever that track is was like listening to it for the first time. The sickly guitars drowing in an ocean of reverb, the half-spoken, slightly stoned sounding vocals, and an Indian Ocean’s worth of charm from the Australian singer-songwriter. So much charm and wit and sneaky pop bliss. Honestly, this slacker rock stuff is wonderful, but the attitude of it all, is what makes this one an instant classic. The amount of fucks given, I mean, it’s pry hovering around the ZERO mark. Just such an easy, fun, unselfconscious record that captures that rare vibe of sounding instantly familiar and totally fresh and interesting at the same time.
And as if I needed more selling, here's Barnett covering the Lemonheads, which adds even more instant respect on top of what she's already earned with her original songs.