I got really into this album when I was visiting Colorado Springs, CO a couple summers ago. I remember laying on the couch in the damp basement listening to “An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York)”. Courtney Barnett is one of my favorite artists; she seems like a normal girl, like someone who I could cultivate a relationship with. I particularly love how unique her vocals sound. Her voice is really deep and at times it sounds like she is more talking than singing. Barnett has a talent for writing deep and relatable lyrics in really simple words.
Courtney Barnett via Bruce
Songs That Stood Out to Me
An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York)
The guitar in this song is what made it stand out to me instantly. It has a really great sound that just sticks in your head. This song is about Barnett thinking about her love interest and how she goes about her day. It’s relatable for anyone who’s ever had a crush on anyone. There is a line about halfway through the song that goes, “Wondering what you’re doing, what you’re listening to,” and I think that line is a great example of Barnett’s talent of connecting with her listeners through simple lines that mean a lot.
I feel like this song really highlights Barnett’s aversion to doing things outside of her comfort zone. This song focuses on a Barnett looking into maybe buying a new house. The lyrics suggest that she’s uncomfortable with the idea. At the end of the song, she delivers a great line that goes, “If you’ve got a spare half a million/you could knock it down and start rebuilding.” I love how casually she sings about a spare half a million because she knows that pretty much no one has a spare $500,000 lying around.
The guitar and bass riff throughout this track is what caused it to make the list. It’s sounds so groovy and her voice flows along to the beat so well. Besides the sick guitar/bass, I really enjoy the lyrics to this track. She sings, “it’s a curse, my lack of athleticism,” and I love that because of how that connects with people everywhere. Im sure everyone has a story where they were trying to impress someone they liked and failed because of a lack of athleticism.
To Wrap It Up
Barnett has a unique talent for making every single one of her tracks relatable. I really wanted to review both of her albums, this one and “A Sea of Split Peas: The Double EP” because they both include some incredible tracks but I had to narrow it down. However, I think the song “Don’t Apply Compression Gently” from “A Sea of Split Peas” deserves an honorable mention. That track is so good and the lyrics are too relatable for me. I digress, Barnett is one of my favorite artists and I appreciate her vocal and lyrical talent the most but the guitar in her songs is always spot-on.