Guest DJ Week: Courtney Barnett

Aug 17, 2017

Note: Our week of Guest DJs continues with Courtney Barnett. Later this year the Australian guitarist and singer will release a new album she recorded with Kurt Vile. In October, the two will also embark on limited tour together. Back in 2015, Barnett had just released her debut full-length, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, when she joined Bob Boilen to talk about some of the artists who've influenced her own work and life over the years, from Wilco and Talking Heads to the Sydney band You Am I and fellow Australian signer Paul Kelly.

Melbourne guitarist and singer Courtney Barnett has been an NPR Music favorite since I caught three of her performances at New York's CMJ Music Festival in 2013. Her blend of witty lyricism and deadpan delivery made for two excellent EPs, and this year a full-length that will surely end up at the very top of my year-end list, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.

Barnett just wrapped up a sold-out tour in support of the album, and I invited her to stop by between D.C. shows to act as our Guest DJ for this week's episode of All Songs Considered. I saw both of Barnett's shows at the 9:30 Club, and the crowds were full of younger fans, but also many of their parents. It's clear from the music she picked to play on our show that her musical sensibility, like her sound, spans decades.

The influential artists Courtney Barnett discovered as a kid — Australian folk and rock bands, Wilco, Talking Heads — came to her through family and friends young and old, in school and at shows. Words are often at heart of those songs. It's no surprise for someone who writes such amazing, conversational lyrics, but Barnett is huge fun to talk to, and she was excited to talk about the music that the loves, not just the music she makes.

You can hear the whole interview with the listen link above and read excerpts in our playlist below.

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