Tell me how you really feel? Okay. It’s been a whirlwind for Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett since we last saw her in 2014. Back then she was a scrappy jokester, ready to jump into the crowd or just muck around with her buddies on stage.
But in four years, her indie rock star’s shot into the atmosphere and on the second night of a two-night stint in Vancouver, holy wow is Courtney all growed up. In that time, she’s earned more than just road legs, she’s got road everything. Years of touring (with her own band, her partner Jen Cloher’s, with Kurt Vile) means that her guitar work is now as epic as her slice-of-life, anxiety-laced storytelling, and her band plays tighter than a magnet’s coil. It’s weird to think that the kooky kid who sorta bopped her way through the “Avant Gardener” has now got that refined, large-room performer vibe about her, but here we are, and the crowd adore her. We’re not gonna lie that we kind of miss the days when she was flailin’ and wailin’ and sparkling and frizzly a little bit more, but we’re also not going to Tall Poppy Syndrome her either. All the cool of Courtney is still there – and in songs like “Elevator Operator”, “I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch” and “Crippling Self-Doubt and A General Lack of Self-Confidence” – she shreds. Courtney Barnett is sounding fantastic, so most of all, we hope she’s still having fun. \m/