Born in Sydney, Australia, Courtney Barnett moved to Melbourne after studying at the Tasmanian School of Art and played in bands such as Immigrant Union, whose line-up also included Dandy Warhols drummer Brent DeBoer. Inspired by the storytelling folk stylings of singers such as Darren Hanlon, she began writing her own material, releasing her debut EP I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris (featuring DeBoer on drums) on her own independent label Milk Records in 2012. The following year, follow-up EP How To Carve A Carrot Into A Rose appeared, instantly attracting international press attention for her frank, conversational lyrics and ‘slacker’ indie rock hooks. The two EPs were later combined as a double LP entitled A Sea Of Split Peas, with the track Avant Gardener nominated for the APRA Song of the Year in 2013.
At the start of 2015, Barnett released a video for new track Pedestrian at Best, followed swiftly by her debut album proper, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, in March. The record was awarded The Skinny’s Album of the Month, with our review praising her ability to “summon profundity in the most banal of subject matter, whether house-hunting in grim satellite towns (Depreston) or simply falling in love with a stranger at the swimming baths (Aqua Profunda!).” In our accompanying interview, she explained her love for songwriters like Stephen Malkmus and Jonathan Richman, and discussed how an Australian tour with Billy Bragg resulted in her duetting with the folk-punk singer on a televised cover of The Velvet Underground’s Sunday Morning – which subsequently became a Youtube hit. The UK tour promoting the album quickly sold out, with her Manchester performance prompting The Skinny to explain that: “live, it’s the ramshackle, rough-around-the-edges nature of the compositions that comes to the fore, and the results are thrilling.”
Barnett’s band previously included guitarist Dan Luscombe, of Melbourne garage rockers The Drones.
Courtney Barnett Band Members
Courtney Barnett (vocals, guitar)
Bones Sloane (bass)
Dave Mudie (drums)
Dan Luscombe (guitar)
Courtney Barnett Discography
Courtney Barnett has released one album, following the compilation The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas, which collected her first two independently released EPs. Her first official single was History Eraser, released on a split 7" with Jen Cloher via Barnett's own Milk! Records. The singles Pedestrian At Best and Depreston were released with music videos ahead of her full-length album Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit in early 2015.
- The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas
Courtney Barnett Past Tours, Awards & Nominations
Since appearing at The Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City in 2014, Courtney Barnett has embarked on several UK tours – which have quickly sold out – as well as appearing at festivals including Glastonbury, Green Man and ATP's Nightmare Before Christmas. She has also toured Australia with 'the Bard of Barking', folk-punker Billy Bragg.
In 2013, the song Avant Gardener was nominated for the APRA Song of the Year, while Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit saw Barnett nominated in eight categories at the 2015 Aria Awards in Australia, including Best Album.