Spoiler: The dream never comes true for most of us who, at ten years old or so, sing into a hairbrush in front of the mirror. And this is a good thing. Most people react to the vaguest hint of stardom with horror; the myth may tell you about untold riches and life on a private jet, but the reality is a smelly van and a sink to get changed in.
In this century another vector to that is the contant pressure of both social media and identity politics, a search or rejection of norming that leads to unprovoked criticism and the emnity of strangers. Fewer places is the impact of this more pronounced than in the space between Courtney Barnett’s two albums, her debut Sometimes I Sit And Think, Sometimes I Juust Sit and her new release, Tell Me How You Really Feel.
The former was an unassuming set of ego-less tales of humdrum set to little indie magic, the latter is more complicated, full of regret and emotional dry charges as the impact of being caught in expectation’s cross fire takes hold. Still tuneful, the carefree lines of before have been replaced however by something deeper and more powerful, an autobiography that goes to places most songwriters wouldn’t dare.
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