Wednesday, September 9, 2015

...And Sometimes I Just Sit

Welcome to the world of Courtney Barnett. Actually, 'world' may be something of an overstatement - it's really more of an island, consisting of nothing more than the armchair and the blue-and-green rug featured on the cover of her debut album:

And what does Barnett do on this island? Well, sometimes she sits and thinks; sometimes she just sits.

Either way, the important thing is that this space allows her to get away from the madness of modern existence. It's the same kind of retreat as the one sought by Oliver Paul, the stressed-out white collar who decides to skip work in Elevator Operator, the first track on Sometimes I Sit...

Mr Paul's getaway takes the form of a high-rise rooftop (he's not planning to jump; he's just there to get some clarity and imagine he's playing SimCity); his author seems to be searching for a slightly cosier nook*, but ultimately, both Courtney Barnett and Oliver Paul have roughly the same goal.

And that goal is to escape all the drag-ya-down nonsense and find something simple, something easy, something removed from all the guff that clutters up our lives these days. This stuff is all over Sometimes I Sit..., and Barnett sounds distinctly uneasy about all of it, from the nicotine-stuffed apples mentioned in Dead Fox to the coffee shops that crowd the landscape described in Depreston.

Throughout this album, it's made clear (via the ever-reliable medium of perky indie rock) that Courtney Barnett's ambitions closely mirror those of the very first person mentioned in the album's very first song. Both she and Oliver Paul are simply looking for somewhere to sit and build pyramids out of Coke cans instead of worrying about computers and additives and death by lorry drivers who don't indicate.

If you're weary of all that stuff too, you'll love Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. It doesn't exactly offer any solutions, but you'll at least be able to spend some quality time in the company of someone who feels the same way.

*"I'd rather stay in bed with the rain over my head," she sings in Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party.

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