Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

I admit it's hard for me to get excited about singer-songwriters these days. It brings to mind artists equipped with acoustic guitars playing overwrought songs that should remain in a bedroom. But Australian songstress Courtney Barnett somehow got through my singer-songwriter deflector shield. It was actually a performance for Seattle's KEXP radio that sparked my curiosity. Barnett came across as charming and genuine, and she made a nice racket on her guitar. Of course, it's Barnett's lyrics that have people talking—tricky twists of phrase that have more in common with hip-hop than indie pop. She displayed it on a couple of EPs, and delivers even more on her debut full-length. Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit falls somewhere between Elastica and Sheryl Crow—catchy, rockin' and sorta snotty, but not too dangerous. “Pedestrian at Best” is the grungiest of the batch, her heavy Aussie drawl sounding disinterested over fuzz guitars. That drawl spits out more wordy tales on the power-popper “Aqua Profunda!” and the jangly “Dead Fox.” It's fun to listen to even if the music isn't always as captivating as what Barnett is saying. But, her career will probably play out like one of her stories—just let Barnett get to it.