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NonCOMM Recap: Courtney Barnett gives the Free At Noon crowd a taste of what’s to come

Courtney Barnett | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

Australian singer, songwriter and all around force of nature Courtney Barnett will release her highly anticipated new record Tell Me How You Really Feel this Friday, and she’ll headline Union Transfer tonight, but before all that, she stopped by NonCOMM to give us a preview of what’s to come.

Barnett’s appearance this afternoon was a long time coming for many in the audience — she was in Philadelphia last fall touring behind her collaborative project with Kurt Vile, and again to play guitar in her partner Jen Cloher’s band, but this is the first time we’ve seen her play solo material since the last album cycle (which included an appearance at #XPNFest 2015). For both die-hard Barnett fans and those of us who have been waiting for ages to see her (uh, me), today’s incredibly dynamic performance met, exceeded, and blew away any and all expectations.

Performing in trio form, Barnett and band delivered a fast-paced and powerful eight-song set to the midday crowd, alternating between the forthcoming record’s singles, brand new soon-to-be-released songs and some older favorites off 2015’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Barnett is a musician so essential to XPN listeners that sometimes it’s easy to forget she came from all the way across the world to perform here; when the band opened with Tell Me How You Really Feel track “City Looks Pretty,” it seemed that Barnett could easily have been singing about Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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Courtney Barnett releases instructional video for new single, “Sunday Roast”

Courtney Barnett | still from video

Courtney Barnett’s latest video opens like many YouTube tutorial videos may open. “Hey guys, its me, Courtney Barnett. Today I’m going to show you how to play ‘Sunday Roast,’” Barnett says, greeting the viewers on the other side of the screen. The instructional video doubles as Barnett’s latest single release off her upcoming album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, out May 18.

The video features Barnett sitting on a futon strumming along to the track, flanked by two figures cropped out of the frame. Close-up shots of Barnett playing the guitar float across the screen throughout the 4-minute video, instructing viewers on how to play along at home.  Continue reading →

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Courtney Barnett unpacks ideas of home in her new single “City Looks Pretty”

Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett | photo by Pooneh Ghana | courtesy of the artist

The forthcoming Courtney Barnett album (just four weeks away!) is steadily shaping up to be pretty incredible. We’ve heard two singles, “Nameless, Faceless” and “Need A Little Time,” and now Barnett has a third. Called “City Looks Pretty,” it’s a soft and catchy, starting off fast-paced and frantic, and slowing down to a calming lull midway through. It’s also a bracingly honest exploration of how we define home, and how relationships can be strained when you’re not always present in one place. Continue reading →

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Just Announced: Waxahatchee will open for Courtney Barnett this October

Waxahatchee at Union Transfer | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Just announced as opening support for Courtney Barnett’s Fall run of U.S. shows is local-favorite Waxahatchee, which includes a stop at Fishtown’s Fillmore on October 23. The announcement comes the day after Waxahatchee rocked Union Transfer, and we couldn’t be more excited for the pair of rockers’ show in October. Check back in to The Key later this afternoon for our recap of Waxahatchee’s set at last night’s co-headlining gig alongside Hurray For The Riff Raff. Continue reading →

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Courtney Barnett trades a dystopian reality for the cosmos in the new “Need A Little Time” video

Courtney Barnett | photo by Pooneh Ghana | courtesy of the artist
Courtney Barnett | photo by Pooneh Ghana | courtesy of the artist

The dystopian fantasy world depicted in Courtney Barnett‘s video for new single “Need A Little Time” doesn’t look anything like our world, but it’s just as strange and unwelcoming as real life can often be. So, it’s no surprise that Barnett would want to escape this reality to float through space, playing her guitar among the stars. Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Courtney Barnett covers INXS, Laura Veirs sings with Sufjan Stevens, Chris Cornell’s voice appears on a Johnny Cash tribute

Courtney Barnett | photo by Pooneh Ghana | courtesy of the artist
Courtney Barnett | photo by Pooneh Ghana | courtesy of the artist

It’s a terrific Tuesday of new music including Courtney Barnett’s cover of the INXS classic “Never Tear Us Apart”; Chris Cornell’s contribution to a Johnny Cash tribute album, and Laura Veirs’ new song featuring vocals from Sufjan Stevens. Continue reading →

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Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile take Lotta Sea Lice to the seaside for Pitchfork Live

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Danny Cohen | courtesy of the artist

The powerhouse collab that is Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile released their album Lotta Sea Lice earlier this month, and now we can watch a live performance of the duo’s chill and laid-back songs right where they belong — by the seaside. Hometown favorite Vile and Melbourne, Australia’s Barnett teamed up with Pitchfork Live to record a full 50-minute set comprised of their collaborative songs from the new album and some of each artist’s own solo work. Continue reading →

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Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile provide comfort and compassion with their new single, “Continental Breakfast”

 

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Danny Cohen | courtesy of the artist

Indie singer-songwriter heavyweights Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile have returned with another teaser of their upcoming collaborative album, Lotta Sea Lice, coming out October 13th. The new “Continental Breakfast” is a worthy follow-up to Barnett and Vile’s lead single “Over Everything”; their vocal chemistry is great and they exhibit an ability to mix back and forth lyrical dialogue with seamless harmony-based choruses. Both artists have established themselves as two of the more influential songwriters in the indie rock scene, so this album is shaping up to be a tour de force. Continue reading →

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Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile made a record together, are touring together, playing the Tower Theater in November

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile | photo by Danny Cohen | courtesy of the artist

This is just too much good news in one shot, so we’ll do our best to keep our excitement in check.

Remember that story this spring about Philly’s Kurt Vile being spotted in Melbourne’s Newmarket Studio with Courtney Barnett? Yeah, well they weren’t just tracking a one-off single or doing some for-funsies collab…it was part of a full record they recorded together.

Better still: they’re taking the album on tour together across north America this fall.

And they’ve an all-star group of players, or what Vile is terming “A cookin’ band and an intercontinental country duo for the ages-minus the country.” The band will be a revolving cast of Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Rob Laakso (The Violators, The Swirlies, Mice Parade) and Katie Harkin (Harkin, Sky Larkin and touring member of Sleater-Kinney and Wild Beasts) They’re calling themselves The Sea Lice.

Oh, and they’re playing The Tower Theater in Upper Darby on Friday, November 3rd. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 9th, at 10 a.m. More info at the XPN Concert Calendar. (Phew.) Continue reading →