Courtney Barnett

Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas (House Anxiety / Marathon Artists)

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014 Saturday Reviews

Courtney Barnett

The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas (House Anxiety/Marathon Artists)

Although cobbled together from a pair of EPs released in her native Australia, Courtney Barnett's stateside debut offers a seamless, offhandedly poetic gem. With a deceptively casual drawl and a dry, bemused lyrical wit, Barnett mines infectious, free-flowing folk-rock grooves, while spinning conversational, slice-of-life anecdotes that might seem ordinary if not for the playful verbal tangents that lend an air of mystery and wonder to her stream-of-consciousness rambles. That's the case with "Avant Gardener," which turns its singer's ill-fated horticultural misadventures into a compelling existential meditation, and the breathlessly daydreamy "History Eraser." Yet Barnett is equally effective when she ventures into more bittersweet territory on the haunting "Anonymous Club" and stirring, seven-minute "Porcelain." Throughout Double EP's dozen tunes, Barnett's quirks never feel like affectations, and her distinctive sensibility and boundless imagination mark her as a dazzlingly distinctive original. (3:35pm, Orange stage)


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