Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett
Courtney Barnett


After an extensive international tour, Courtney Barnett speaks with AARON BRYANS about her return to Australia and what ahead next year. Catch her at the Fly By Night on Friday, September 26, supported by D.D. Dumbo.

Courtney Barnett has seen it all and done it all in one of the smallest timespans in Australian music history; playing guitar in numerous musical projects alongside the likes of Brent DeBoer’s (The Dandy Warhols) band Union and Jen Cloher. However it is her solo work that has garnered her rave receptions. 

“I love playing just guitar in bands,” she enthuses. “Like I still play guitar in Jen’s band and sometimes we do duets and I love doing that. I love singing my songs and saying what I want to say as well; it’s nice to get stuff off your chest sometimes, but it’s also nice to step back and watch someone else so close on stage it’s really amazing. It’s a special feeling playing guitar in someone else’s band who you really respect as a musician and a songwriter.”

The last few years have been huge for Barnett, releasing two EPs through her own label Milk! Records which she would later combine into a double EP A Sea Of Split Peas which was internationally acclaimed for its incredibly engaging and thoughtful lyrical content about everyday events and themes.

“It is just kind of everyday stuff,” Barnett concurs. “I just make notes in my little book and then collect them all together until they make songs, sometimes it takes ages, and sometimes it doesn’t take long at all. The music and the lyrics are their own separate things, they both get created and put together and if they don’t work together then they get swapped around.”

“Running your own label is not very difficult at all; anyone could do it. It’s not the most traditional record label in the world but I imagine that’s how a lot of indie labels run. Anyone can do it, that’s the beauty of it.  You write music and release it yourself and it connects with people and they want to buy it you don’t have to sell it to them.”

Her international success sent Barnett off on a string of UK and US shows, with the singer/songwriter returning for Splendour In The Grass back in July.

Splendour was amazing. It’s funny we only played one festival in Australia, Meredith, and then we went overseas and did all these huge festivals and then Splendour was the first thing we did when we got back after four months of being away and it was kind of scary. Before that we’d only played to 200 people max in Australia. It had that kind of finally-we’re-home-and-it’s-really-nice-to-be-home kind of feeling about it.”

With an Australian tour kicking off in late September, Barnett has her eyes set on a 2015 release that has already been recorded with producer, Burke Reid.

“We will probably release it early next year; we’re trying to decide a date but it’s pretty much all finished and sounding cool I’m very excited. The sound has kind of evolved a little bit; it’s generally the same ideas and the same songwriting concepts, but hopefully I’ve grown as a person and a songwriter in the last year or two.”