Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Must Listen To Album: Tell me how you really feel, Courtney Barnett

This week’s must listen to album, is from the Australian singer-songwriter, Courtney Barnett. 

Tell me how you really feel is a body of observational angst and dry humour. Compared to her debut album, Barnett expresses her societal frustration in a much darker manner.

It opens with Hopefulness, an eery ballad foreshadowing themes of twisted guitar and snarling sarcasm. ‘No one’s born to hate’. This is certainly reflected in Nameless faceless where Barnett is at her angriest. Raging at modern social misogyny: ‘I hold my keys between my fingers’. She quotes Margaret Atwood ‘men are afraid that women will laugh at them; women are afraid that men will kill them’.

City looks pretty and Need a little time take on a more upbeat potency; picking apart relationships. This is in particular, relating to her struggles with the pressure of fame ‘friends treat you like strangers and strangers treat you like their best friend’. It dims the light of fame and allows for listener reflection.

Walking on eggshells: under its relaxing exterior of undulating country tones, is unnervingly relevant. Dissecting romantic miscommunication much like one does with the quiet between texts - ‘walking on eggshells gets tiring’.

Titled Crippling self-doubt and a general lack of confidence is utterly ironic, considering Barnett’s oblivious talent.

Despite the heavily emotional content, tell me how you really feel is almost a coming of age audio-pilgrimage. Barnett has put her heart on her sleeve for us all to prod at and share…

- Mollie German


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