Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett first came to light in 2012 when her self-released EP, I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris, appeared and was roundly praised across Australia. Her conversational, deadpan delivery and garage rock-infused folk-pop style caught the attention of influential website Pitchfork, which named her song “Avant Gardener” one of its Best New Tracks during the summer of 2013. That year Barnett went on to release her second EP, How to Carve a Carrot into a Rose; the EP fed the continued international hype with songs like “History Eraser,” which was nominated for the ARPA Song of the Year in Australia. As her momentum gathered, Barnett was invited to perform at New York’s music showcase CMJ Music Marathon, as well as playing shows in Europe. Later in 2013 she put out her two EPs on one record titled Double EP: Sea of Split Peas.
American label Mom + Pop signed her to a deal in 2014 and reissued Double EP in April of that year. Yet another EP, this one a compilation titled A Pair of Pears (With Shadows), appeared by the end of 2014. Early the following year, Barnett made appearances on American television and the SXSW festival in preparation for her heavily anticipated first full-length, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit., released in March 2015. A critical and cult success, Sometimes I Sit wound up peaking at number four in Australia and reaching 20 in the U.S.; she’d later be nominated for Best New Artist at the 2016 Grammys. Barnett followed her acclaimed debut by teaming up with Kurt Vile for the duet album Lotta Sea Lice. The record was released in October 2017 and was supported by a brief American tour. ~ Scott Kerr