Thursday, September 14, 2023

'End Of The Day': The New Instrumental Album From Courtney Barnett

The surprisingly mellow and sombre 'End Of The Day' is the latest release from Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett. While many will expect her usual monotone vocals, witty lyrics, and indie rock style, 'End Of The Day' couldn't be further from the Courtney Barnett we all know.

Composed of 17 improvisations, the album was originally recorded as a part of the Anonymous Club documentary released last year in March of 2022. The documentary follows Barnett from the years 2018 to 2021 and goes into depth of the emotional turmoil and feelings of imposter syndrome that the artist was going through whilst touring, and after the release of her 2018 album 'Tell Me How You Feel'.

Anonymous Club shows the vulnerability and anxiety that Barnett possesses as an introverted artist feeling as if her music is the only way she can express her thoughts and feelings. The soundtrack to the documentary being ‘End Of The Day’ provides the perfect exploration into Barnett’s feelings of acceptance that she cannot be the perfect “rockstar” that she wanted to be perceived as.

The album opens with the track 'Start Somewhere', which immediately sets the tone of the entire album. There is an unexpected drone and mellow guitar which shows from the start that this is not a usual Courtney Barnett album. It is followed by 'Life Balance' and ‘First Slow' which were all originally released as singles before the full album release and has a dream-like feel which is a recurring theme throughout the album.

'End Of The Day' is in fact the last album to ever be released from Courtney Barnett’s own independent record company Milk! Records. Milk! Records is responsible for rocketing Barnett to fame alongside others such as Hachiku and The Finks however is now closing down business after a successful 11 years of operation.

The remainder of the album continues on with a strangely melancholy feeling. Notably the songs 'Gold Room' and 'River' encompass this theme. The album could be described as the perfect album to study, read, or sleep to with the mellow and relaxing feeling being continuous throughout ‘End Of The Day’.

The entire album captures a feeling of sadness yet acceptance, a feeling so many of us are familiar with and now are finally graced with a soundtrack that encapsulates it. Perhaps this comes from the closure of Barnett’s record company or is simply a reflection of the trials and tribulations of life on the road touring and the pressures of releasing new music. Either way 'End Of The Day' is profoundly tranquil proving that the turmoil is at a stage of acceptance for Barnett and as a result we are blessed with a beautiful album.


Jodie Marshall 

Instagram: @jodiemarshall_

Twitter: @jodiemarshall_

Image:  Pooneh Ghana


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