NEWS: Courtney Barnett @ Newcastle University | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Coming across Australian songwriter Courtney Barnett on a trawl through last year’s Glastonbury line-up, my spreadsheet (yes, I have a spreadsheet for Glastonbury, what of it?) demanded I take a listen, and boy was I glad I did. I’m not a big fan of earnest female singer-songwriters, and were it not for my ridiculous OCD I’d likely have passed her over, assuming yet another girl-with-acoustic-guitar combo. But hooray! This girl’s got sass! And guitars. Loud ones! And best of all, she’s playing Newcastle University on Tuesday 31st March.

Courtney’s debut release in 2013, a collection of her first two self-released EPs, is a rough and ready introduction to a songwriter of astonishing talent. With unflinchingly honest lyrics, sometimes to the point of cringyness, she takes an unselfconscious look at herself and the people around her. In the awesome Avant Gardener, a bluesy guitar slides over a tale of loneliness and depression with devastating results – but this isn’t a self-pitying drone, her skill as a lyricist, canny knack with a catchy melody and an ear for the odd screechy guitar solo sets her poles apart from her peers.

Her highly anticipated new album, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, is released on 23rd March, and first single Pedestrian At Best typifies her style: a furious tirade of scuzzy guitar, whip-smart lyrics spat out in an Aussie twang; sassy, clever, funny and a bit fucked up – just like all the best rock songwriters should be.

Courtney Barnett releases Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit on 23rd March. She plays Newcastle University on Tuesday 31st March.

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