Courtney Barnett, an Australian indie folk artist, finally gained traction when she was nominated for a 58th Grammy for “Best New Artist” last year. While she didn’t win, the media wouldn’t leave her alone and ultimately helped boost her into notoriety. When Rolling Stones, The Times, and The Guardian all declare your album as the best in 2015, you know you’re going places. While I can’t claim to be a master of the guitar, I can at least relay that guitarists from around the globe praise the realistic and gritty guitar skills of Barnett. It’s not hard to see why the music world has fallen in love with her.
Courtney, or Cornetto Barnetto as she’s called by her fans, could be summed up by the word “quirky”. She’s left handed, so she plays only guitars that are made for lefties, although she says she can play right handed guitars flipped upside down (which most lefties do). She also hates the sound of picks on a guitar and refuses to use them. Then there’s the name of her latest album, “Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit”.
In her song “Elevator Operator”, Courtney sings the story of a young boy who feels trapped in life and sees himself on a rooftop ledge. He tells the listener that he just wants to be an elevator operator. While Barnett’s music isn’t addictive pop, it’s hard not to be addicted to this music video. A whole cast of characters comes in and out of Barnett’s song as she operates her elevator. While this could get old after a while, the sudden stop in the song when she glances out of the rooftop edge, really helps you realize just how much you like her music. That brief pause leaves you wanting more and when she and her band cue back up the rhythm, you’ll find it hard to not rock out with them.Barnett taking Nuns to their destination in “Elevator Operator”. Photo Cred: NPE News “Music We Missed”
Bonus points for anyone who recognizes the slightly more obscure artists that make a cameo in this video. If you like Wilco, look out for singer Jeff Tweedy as he hands Barnett a banana during a game of chess. Or if you’re familiar with Australian TV you’ll recognize Magda Szubanski, as she pushes an emergency stop button repeatedly.