At the beginning of 2020, while her home country burned and the rest of the world was waking up to a global pandemic, Courtney Barnett was in Los Angeles. She’d just completed an American tour; her plan was to find herself an apartment and stick around a little longer to work on songs.
Then – after “it all got really wild” – she came home to Melbourne. For maybe the first time in six years – since her 2016 hit Avant Gardener turned her into the newest “New Dylan” – Barnett finally had time to sit and think. “There was a bit of a personal shift of some sort in my brain,” she says carefully over Zoom, from a Spartan-looking room that offers no clues. “I felt myself opening up in a different way.”
Barnett’s personal life had been riven with upheaval, even beyond the virus that wreaked havoc on her industry. Her relationship with Jen Cloher, with whom she founded her label Milk! Records in 2012, had ended in 2018 (the business partnership remains intact). There had also been “some deaths” – she doesn’t say whom. “I was just checking in with myself, on a different level than I maybe had done previously.”… Read more..