Since her first full-length album Sometimes I sit and think, Sometimes I just sit, Courtney Barnett has gained not just a Grammy nomination but also huge following and glorification. Now she is back with her new album Tell me how you really feel. Unsurprisingly, with more praise than ever and even wittier lyrics and on-point guitar riffs and solos.
Here are 10 facts about Courtney Barnett that you might not know.
- Courtney Barnett plays the guitar left-handed without a pick. It’s not that she can’t play with one, she just dislikes the sound of a pick. The guitars she is using are regular left-handed guitars with the strings sorted out the opposite way than standard ones. She plays just with her fingers, strumming the rhythm with her hand and using her index finger as the pick replacement.
The first song Courtney Barnett learned was Smoke on the Water
- The first song she ever learned was ‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep Purple, taught by her dad. Then she learned ‘Come as you are’ by Nirvana from her older brother. She was only ten years old by that time.
She likes Fender guitars the best
- Courtney mostly plays on Fender Telecaster & Stratocaster left-handed guitars and Harmony guitars. However, she stated that she would love to play a forest green Jazz Master and a 12-string-Rickenbacker but that it is hard to get much experience on other guitars due to them not being left-handed. The amps she is using are mostly Fender Hot Rod Deville and Fender Deluxe amplifiers. She adds some effects pedals such as Fulltone OCD overdrive pedals or a chorus pedal.
She started a degree in fine arts before dropping out for the sake of music
- However well-known Courtney Barnett is now as a musician, she didn’t always pursue this path. She first started her studies at Tasmania School of Art with the degree of Fine Arts. Later dropped out of University in order to concentrate on her musical career. However, she still is doing all the artwork and merchandise herself and is doing exhibitions of her work around the world.
Courtney Barnett is running her own record label, Milk! Records
- Barnett is running her own record label with partner and wife Jen Cloher, Milk! Records. She started the company in 2012 to release her first EP I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris. Besides doing the traditional work of a Record Label, Milk! Records is also doing curated special events, compilations, collaborations and limited edition vinyl. The companies ethics are to be an independent, artist-run Label.
Her parents are creative as well
- Her parents are creative people themselves, with the mother having been a ballerina and her father the stage guide for the ballet company as well as a screen-printer. But otherwise, she told The Guardian that her parents “didn’t have a musical bone in their bodies”.
- Up until the release of her first full length album Sometimes I sit and think, Sometimes I just sit, she actually had never been travelling anywhere outside of Australia. Now she really likes it and said: “It’s kinda nice to see what the world looks like.”
- In comparison to most female artists in the modern entertainment world, Courtney Barnett doesn’t like to wear make up at all. In an interview with The Guardian, she said about a TV appearance she once did: “There were people running around, telling me I need to go to makeup. I was like “I don’t ever wear makeup, I’d look weird if I suddenly put it on!”
Her favourite food is Asian noodles
- Courtney Barnett’s favourite food is hands down asian noodles. She has even written a song about them “Three Packs A Day”, featured on the Milk! Records Compilation Good For You. Her most loved restaurant is Lam Lam’s in Melbourne where she always orders “vegetarian egg noodle soup”.
- In the song ‘Nameless, Faceless’ she quotes a Margaret Atwood line: “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them, women are afraid that men will kill them” In a recent Interview with Jenni Murray for BBC 4, Barnett explained “I had read that quote in a newspaper…and that quotes was referenced but not Margaret Atwood …and I wrote it down in my journal because I thought it such a powerful strong line and then I was writing this song (Nameless, Faceless) and it was kind a bit of a study about online abuse and how it turns into physical violence and aggression and that line fit in perfectly”.
Courtney Barnett is on tour right now!