COURTNEY BARNETT: Tell Me How You Really Feel.




Anyone who has a favourite band or singer knows the exact importance of what music means to them. We take the songs and make them our own. They save our lives, they give us courage and become a source of comfort when there isn’t much else. Their words become like religious scriptures, and can give us something to believe in. If that’s what you’re into.

Tell Me How You Really Feel is the new record by Courtney Barnett and it’s worth noting that this is her best work, so far. The lyrics are beautifully close to the bone and the music is gloriously loud and unapologetically in your face. Her voice is stronger and when needed, Courtney pulls out this incredible aggression that makes you feel 10 feet tall. It’s a record of brutal honesty and fearless vulnerabilities. Courtney is a mind blowing song writer, and those of us who are obsessed with her truly fawn over her brilliant way with words.


The artwork to this record is an up-close photo of Courtney. There’s something really personable about this shot and it is something that filters through the whole record. There’s a song on the record called Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence which the title alone is relatable. The song takes you deep into your mind and makes you really connect with Courtney’s wordplay. It’s a record that should top every list and win every award possible based on her writing alone.

Hopefulessness has a line that will resonate with anyone that hears it, “Your vulnerability is stronger than it seems. Y’know it’s okay to have a bad day.” It feels like a mantra that you can echo to yourself when it all seems a bit too much. It’s okay to have days where you feel terrible, and the thought of being around people is just too much. All you want is to be in the safety of your room and shut the world out. This happens. It can happen to anyone, and it is nothing to ever be ashamed about. The way in which Courtney delivers this vital lyric is so humbling, and makes you so proud to be a fan of hers.

I’ve been a fan of Courtney since I first heard the I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris EP back in 2012. I know I’ve said it loads now, but it was the words that got me. Then it became the way she fearlessly and ferociously played the guitar. I honestly believe that she is most certainly going to be someone that inspires many to pick up an instruments and write songs about what, and who is around them. The fact that she is so easy to relate to provides a cloak of security that well need at times. You can find it anywhere, or sometimes- it’ll find you.

Sometimes I can call out what my favourite song is with first listen, but over the weekend I’ve listened to nothing but Tell Me How You Really Feel and no part of me can choose a song that stands out the most. I can’t possibly let you know which songs stands out for me because every song is a stroke of genius. Everything about Courtney and her band on this record is a true masterpiece.  There is a moment on Nameless, Faceless that if you’ve seen any live clips of Courtney singing this, you’ll notice her voice becomes more gravely than on record. The way she sings, “I hold my keys, between my fingers” on the record is quite tame, but when she plays this live it is like she is releasing a wealth of fury. We’ve all walked home clutching our keys between our fingers, and it’s really sad that this is something we can relate to. It really shouldn’t be like this.

Tell Me How You Really Feel has songs that show Courtney using her way with words to mock an internet troll to adding reassurance to those going through a tough time. There are moments where you truly connect with how fragile a person can be and there are moments where Courtney makes you feel brave. I don’t know if she knows it, but she’s a bloody genius. Musically and lyrically- she’s a genius. There’s no one else quite like her, and no other record is going to move you like this. It is really nothing short of exceptional and relatable.

Buy it. Play it loud, and tell someone how you really feel.




WAVVES-Afraid Of Heights.


“I don’t wanna remember anything.”

Watching one of your favourite bands grow is an exciting thing. I remember when Wavves started. It was only Nathan, and over time has grown. Grown into one of the best lo-fi bands around. Always consistent with their ferocious sound; once you’re a fan, that’s it for life.

Nathan’s vocals on Afraid Of Heights haven’t really changed from King Of The Beach, which came out around 3 years ago now I think. But that’s why I love Wavves. There are no obviously massive changes in their sound, you have to listen extremely closely and have listened intensely to previous releases to get it. However, if you are new to Wavves (where have you been?!) Afraid Of Hearts will lure you in and captivate you just fine.

If you constantly feel like a loser or the arse of society, then I guess you’re going to get a lot of comfort from this record. If you feel hopeless, desperate, out of luck or anything like that; this record will just speak to you. It’ll speak to you like no other. Every song is bold and free of pretentious imagery that is found in far too many bands. Wavves have their own take on it all; I think it is the right way. Simple but nothing short of brilliance.

The summer will creep up on us soon enough, but as you wait and wait for it you are seeking out music to play during the long nights when you feel a bit lost. Or just really really fucking tired. You don’t need to go too far; it’s all in Afraid Of Heights. I really like Cop as it shows Nathan’s gorgeous story-telling in a way like no other does. Yeah it’s about killing a cop and that’s bad- but the way Nathan tells it is so open and vulnerable. Like he’s going to care for his friend and make it all okay again. That’s pretty much the essence of this record; it just makes you feel like everything is going to be alright. Most of the songs on the record last just over 2 minutes. There aren’t many bands that can really hold you and keep you when they make songs this short. The kings of this of course were the Ramones. Wavves do have a hidden punk ethic to their music. Punk isn’t dead, so long as people keep the teachings of it alive. Afraid Of Heights is raw but also frail.

Everything Is My Fault has an ethereal psychedelic vibe to it. Nathan’s voice gently swims through you. Making you take the blame for all the fuck ups. Even if you never did a thing wrong. Some people just like to pass the blame around so they shake responsibility. Those filthy fucks; we don’t need them do we? No. Get rid of them. Right after this, we’ve got That’s On Me which just feels like a massive life lesson. To be honest though, a lot of songs by Wavves feel like a life lesson. If Nathan can get through his troubles which seem identical to your own, then you can get through your own too. They say everything will be alright, maybe it will be. I guess. I Can’t Dream is 5 minutes of sheer heaven. It is stripped back and dreamy. For when you just want something to soothe you, this is the one to do so. Easily.

Nathan has changed. As I listen to the record more and more; you can hear the growth. The band play a bit more harder and his words are more passionate. Growing up does this. Whilst recording the record, Nathan was listening to Weezer’s (best record) Blue Album. You can hear the influence for sure. Not a rip-off, far from it. You can just tell he’s been influenced by something great and in the process has created something really really incredible.

I have no idea how music is going to go this year. I don’t know if we’re going to have a piss-poor year, or if everything is going to be great. I just want it to be as loud as Wavves. So I guess I’m going to call Afraid Of Heights as one of the best records of the year. It’s my favourite so far, for sure. From an entirely personal level, I’m truly connecting with a lot of the lyrics. Wavves merge all I love; lo-fi and garage rock, and just make something I cannot get enough of. This is staying firmly on repeat. Oh and the appearence of Jenny Lewis is wonderful too.

Afraid Of Heights is out on 26th March.