It's been almost three years since Courtney Barnett, the Australian stream-of-consciousness singer-songwriter, released her debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. But she never really drifted away from the public consciousness. She toured relentlessly in 2016, put out an upbeat single, then released a daydream of an album with Kurt Vile last year.
So, it wouldn't quite be right to say that Barnett is back with "Nameless, Faceless," the first single from her newly announced second album, Tell Me How You Really Feel. But the song does show Barnett shifting through the gears, seemingly responding to anonymous misogynists and rage-filled creeps. She's more lyrically concise now, cutting gender inequality down to a singalong chorus: "I wanna walk through the park in the dark / Men are scared that women will laugh at them / I wanna walk through the park in the dark / Women are scared that men will kill them." She's still brilliantly balancing sunny-day melodies with loose, distorted, late-grunge choruses, but she's tightened them up even further than she did on, say, "Pedestrian at Best." Courtney Barnett never really went away, then, but we can probably call this Courtney Barnett 2.0.
Watch the video for "Nameless, Faceless" at the top of the page. Tell Me How You Really Feel is out May 18 on Milk! Records. Pre-order the album here.
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