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Courtesy of Mom + Pop Records.

8. Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit – Courtney Barnett

With witty lyrics and notable relatability, Courtney Barnett instantly feels like an old friend. A practical pessimist, the Australian singer- songwriter shares her concerns, complaints, and insecurities over simple guitar and drum arrangements in a conversational way that feels like late night chitchat over takeout. “Put me on a pedestal/And I will only disappoint you,” she warns in “Pedestrian At Best,” an ode to personal inhibitions. These traces of Barnett’s humility and realness humanize her otherwise impersonal character. With songs titles like “Debbie Downer” and “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To the Party,” she sings with a combination of childlike humor and blunt honesty, delivered in comically dull tone. What makes Barnett most valuable, however, is her narrative songs that read like picture books and capture moments like sketches (“Elevator Operator”). Especially for a debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is understated but impressive despite the fact that Barnett’s mellow tone makes her seem fairly unimpressed herself.

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