Courtney Barnett
Calgary Folk Fest

Courtney Barnett

from Australia

Deadpan. Dead cool. Deadly tunes. That sums up songwriter-guitarist Courtney Barnett. Deadpan – well, listen to her sing, “the paramedic thinks I’m clever ‘cause I play guitar, I think she’s clever ‘cause she stops people dying,” without a hint of inflection and you’ll get it. Dead cool – she made an album with indie god Kurt Vile a few years after opening for him, matching him tongue for cheek. Deadly tunes? Barnett’s presented those for a decade, earning a stir right out the gate with her smarty-pants lines and wobbly, wonderful guitar stylings that saunter through songs as if they have nowhere to go except to the pub to nick some chips.

Barnett is the girl next door who is neutron smart but trips over her own feet while backing away if you invite her over for a beer. While many play their cards close, Barnett’s are smothered so deeply she seems to have none, until she flashes them in lines like, “well, it’s a deceased estate, aren’t the pressed metal ceilings great?” Her slice of mundane life songs are both disjointed from and deeply cuddled by reality, like an out of body experience where you end up in the wrong body. The result is music that often meanders and occasionally races straight to the jugular, taking you with in either case.

“I do my own thing,” Barnett said of her guitar playing in 2015. She might well have been speaking about her music and her life.

Biography by Mary-Lynn Wardle


Sunday July 24, 2022

9:05 PM – 10:15 PM · ATB Mainstage Stage 1