Best Albums of 2014: #10 Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas

CourtneyBarnettTheDoubleEP

While The Double EP, was first released in 2013, it was finally given it’s official US release in April of 2014 on Mom+Pop Records. Oh yeah, it’s fucking great and that’s why we’re ranking it as the #10 Album of 2014 🙂 Courtney is a wonderful musician, one of my favorite discoveries of the year and it’s a sheer pleasure to watch her absolutely shred on stage. She’s just so damn unique and cool.

Coincidentally enough, I wrote a short capsule about this Album for Paste Magazine’s Top 50 Albums of 2014, where it was also ranked at #10. With that, the capsule is below and check out Paste’s list too. I had a good time making the albums and a bunch of other year end lists with 35 other writers there and it’s a solid compilation, albeit different from Everything Ecstatic’s. And now, back to Courtney:

#10 Courtney Barnett – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas – When it comes to storytelling, Courtney Barnett is as clever they come. The Australian singer/songwriter garners her share of giggles and smirks with songs that tackle situations from hilariously unsuccessful amateur gardening (aptly titled “Avant Gardener”) to drunken dreams where artists “made their paint using acid wash and lemonade” (in “History Eraser”). For every whimsically stoney lyric onThe Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, there are equally as many moments of sheer shred-ability from Barnett’s left-handed tail-spins on the guitar that often feel like she’s channeling Kurt Cobain.

The album itself is a collection of two older EPs, which despite getting released in Australia as far back as 2011, only saw their official US release gain widespread distribution in 2014, as this 12-track collection on Mom+Pop Records. Barnett’s musings are catchy and endearing. She finds ways to loop guitar solos into poppy verses, yet she avoids extremes. On “Are You Looking After Yourself” she opens with a twangy guitar into her isolated vocals that then lead to a full-on-folk implosion that’s utterly danceable. She repeats the pattern as it intensifies with the existential proclamation of “I don’t need to 9-to-5, telling me that I’m alive!” Lines and song structures like these render Barnett incredibly likable. There’s a confidence in place that make her American debut one of the most flat-out-fun records of the year.

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