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Despite her country playing their first game in the World Cup, Australian native Courtney Barnett took time to stop by the WERS studio Wednesday to play a few tunes off her new EP, The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas. The piece is a combination of Barnett’s previous EPs and provides a put together sound that feels a lot like an album. Barnett’s music career began to take off in early 2011 when she was a part of the psych/country band Immigrant Union. Along with sharing vocal duties, Barnett’s main contribution was the slide guitar and drums. In late 2012, Barnett released her first solo EP, I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris, to glowing reviews around Australia. As a result of this success, Barnett then started her own label Milk! Records, where she is currently CEO.
While showcasing her immense talent at WERS, Barnett also spoke about what it was like to own a label. When I asked what she had planned in the near future, Barnett commented, “We’ve got a few artistic projects coming out soon. I’ve just always thought an album was rather confined and boring, so were trying to change it up.” With the release of Barnett’s second EP in 2012, How To Carve A Carrot Into a Rose, she began to gain international recognition. During the tour in support of her second EP, both Rolling Stone and The New York Times recognized Barnett as a standout performer. After months of touring, Barnett combined both of her first EPs into A Sea of Split Peas. The double EP was named Album of the Week by Stereogum and Pitchfork Media named Barnett’s song “Avant Gardener” the Best New Track of 2013.
During her visit, Barnett was kind enough to play “Avant Gardner” as well as “Scottie Says” off of Split Peas. Both “Avant Gardner” and “Scottie Says” echoed combinations of The Lemonheads and Bob Dylan. While Barnett’s vocals and lyricism were poetic and pitch perfect, her true talent was highlighted by her guitar playing. Each strum of “Avant Gardner” resonated feelings of Dylan and Ray LaMontagne, while the upbeat chords in “Scottie Says” sounded like a happier Nirvana. Although a little groggy, Barnett complimented the city of Boston. “I’ve never been to Boston, nor did I think I was ever going to come here. It’s such a beautiful city.” After their show in Cambridge the band will head all the way to Canada for the North by Northeast music festival, followed by a performance at the Firefly Music festival in early July. “It’s just crazy how much we’ve traveled in recent months, can’t say I’ve ever gone around the world this quickly,” Barnett commented. When asked about her recent performance at Coachella, Barnett expressed some disbelief; “While I personally enjoy small venues in comparison to big festivals, it was an amazing experience. I honestly was surprised that many people came to our stage.” Judging by her awesome performance at WERS, Courtney Barnett is a show no one should miss.