It's all about brutal honesty and dry wit for the Aussie indie darling.
Music fans and critics are heralding Aussie alt-rocker Courtney Barnett as a kind of songwriting Lena Dunham -- an unapologetically visceral, totally riveting, precocious over-sharer. "Bottling things up is not ever going to help," the 27-year-old explains, "so I like the extreme form of not bottling things up."
Like Dunham's, Barnett's confessions on her full-length debut, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, released March 23 on her own Milk Records through indie stalwart Mom + Pop, can seem both personal and universal, as if the singer-songwriter-guitarist has been charged with channeling her generation's inner dialogues. "I'm a fake, I'm a phony, I'm awake, I'm alone, I'm homely," she drones on the single "Pedestrian at Best." "Depreston," a song about rising house prices in a Melbourne suburb, turns banal details (shower handrails, coffee cannisters) into vivid beauty -- one of the reasons NPR recently declared her the greatest lyricist in rock today. (Ellen DeGeneres introduced her March 16 performance on her show by calling her "one of my favorite new artists.")
"I put a lot of time and effort into getting the lyrics just right," she says, revealing a perfectionist streak that belies her laconic, stoner-kid vibe. "If I hear a lyric that I cringe at, I can't f---ing handle having that on a record for the rest of my life."