Courtney Barnett talks feelings on edgy new album ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’
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“I need a little time out,” Courtney Barnett pleads on the plaintive signature tune of her third full album, “Tell Me How You Really Feel.”
Thank the down-under gods that she’s wasn’t so sick of herself — and us — to forge on after the first two.
Captivating as ever, the Melbourne phenom, who plays the Chicago Cultural Center on Monday, sings her heart out on the 10-track album.
From the haunting psychedelic rock of “Hopelessness” to the edgy, throbbing “I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch,” Barnett’s grunge garage-band roots show, in a really good way.
She sounds just like she did on her first EP, way back in 2012 — like a bored street kid who, still wiping sleep from her eyes and nocturnal hoarseness from her waifish voice, absentmindedly picked up a left-handed Telecaster and let it rip.
Now 30, Barnett infuses Aussie-tinged lyrics with elliptical tales of introspection, troubled partnerships, and even Internet trolling and domestic violence, in “Nameless, faceless” — a biting critique that references “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
The mood softens on the final track, “Sunday roast,” a sweet anthem to acceptance. “You know your presence is present enough,” Barnett sings. So, surely, is hers.
Courtney Barnett plays the Chicago Cultural Center Monday night. For ticket information, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/courtney-barnett-preston-bradley-hall-chicago-cultural-center-tickets-43113190714