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Courtney Barnett begins a lush toned new era with Things Take Time, Take Time

"Things Take Time, Take Time"

Release date: 12 November 2021
7/10
Courtney barnett things take time take time art
08 November 2021, 07:00 Written by Lana Williams
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Authentic and witty, Courtney Barnett’s knack for creating seemingly effortless folk infused cuts has cemented herself as one of the most unique acts to emerge out of the Aussie music scene in the 21st Century. Back with her new album, Things Take Time, Take Time in tow, Barnett lends lush tones as she discovers the importance of appreciating the little things in life. Ten tracks intricately woven reveal themselves full of splendour - Barnett’s ternary studio offering urges to be played at full volume.

Opening the narrative with a lamentation on simple things, “Rae Street” takes a deep dive into "stepping back and smelling the roses". Embracing the mundanity of everyday tasks, Barnett launches a discourse on changing the bedsheets before delving into the often-avoided subject of money. Her vocals are instantly recognisable, with her sultry raspy intonations breathing life into every word against the backdrop of an insatiable bass line that completes the mellow overtone. Harmonising with a noticeable smile, Barnett ponders on the beauty of simplicity, “The parent teaches the child how to ride / The bike wobbles side to side / Two dogs entangle, everybody smiles”. Equally full of longing and heartache, she utilises witty lyricism to create a unique blend of conflicting emotions.

Moving onto the sunny handle of the next track, “Summery Sundown” is exactly that. Featuring bright and brilliant synth warbles the cut offers a blissful escape into an Aussie world. Amongst a delightful cacophony of instrumentation, we find Barnett doting on a lover in “Here’s The Thing” – an honest confessionalism on long-distance romance.

Sonically fantastic and dulcet, Barnett’s sweet vocals shine through on "Before You Gotta Go". The blues folk-infused cut emanates melancholy and desolation as she bids farewell to a lover with sweet lyrics and exquisitely layered instrumentation. Deliberately monotonous, a drilling percussive beat emphasise Barnett’s scattered intonations to drive home the message of the track.

The synth and heavy beat driven “Turning Green” offers a stark contrast to the soft tones of the rest of the LP. Featuring a sultry bassline reminiscent of her work with Kurt Vile, Barnett speaks on anxieties and fears in life, concluding that “they’re never gonna serve you in the end” before handing over the torch to allow electric guitar riffs take centre stage.

Similarly nodding back to her early work, “Take It Day By Day” acts as a reminder of how far Barnett has come as an artist, as we see her moving away from tongue-in-cheek wit to focus more on deep societal observations.

Continuing with the veining theme of appreciation, "Write a List of Things to Look Forward To" reflects on the circle of life in a short and sweet sonic exploration. In a comforting spin on existentialism, Barnett delves into the wonder of friendships through though provoking lamentations as she harmonises “Sit beside me / watch the world burn”. Drawing on inspiration from discovering different forms of communication during lockdown, she lends honest observations on the goings-and-comings of life as she awaits a letter from her friend – “I’m looking forward to the next letter that I’m gonna get from you”.

Rounding off the album with slow-burner “Oh The Night”, Barnett offers a final whip-around on appreciation and sentimentality through leisurely vocalisation and droning harmonies. We hear the protagonist pleading with a partner to “meet me somewhere in the middle” before ending on the final lamentation “I know it’s only in my mind”.

Whilst being worlds away from debut Sometimes I Sit And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit, Barnett’s latest sonic venture marks a new era for the Aussie musician, and one we’re all the better for.

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