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Women We Love Wednesday: Courtney Barnett turns the mundane into music

by Caitlin Carter   Feb 12, 2014 17:34 PM EST

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It's no secret that women can rock just as hard, if not harder, than men. But there seems to be a disparity when it comes to their representation in the music industry. They are topping the charts but barely getting any slots at big name festivals. To do what we can to celebrate these women and give them the positive recognition they deserve, each week Music Times will introduce you to a female in the music industry whom we love.

Singer-songwriters, rappers, DJs, producers, filmmakers, and any woman who is part of the music industry is fair game for this segment. So read on, and get to know the women who continue to wow us. This week we'd like to show off ...

Name: Courtney Barnett
Age: 26
Profession: Singer-songwriter
From: Melbourne, Australia

Why We Love Her: The storytelling in her writing is what first got us hooked on this Aussie. Backed by lo-fi, psychedelic folk instrumentals, her lyrics are detailed, witty and introspective while being matter-of-fact at the same time. She shows us that even the mundane can be interesting as she chronicles her everyday life, from gardening, to feeding ducks to going to bed. For example, her breakout song, "Avant Gardener," tells the tale of an asthma-induced anaphylactic attack. She pokes fun at herself for not being able to do something as simple as breathing and makes a witty comment about the paramedic thinking she's clever because she plays guitar while Barnett thinks the paramedic is "clever 'cause she stops people dying." Her music feels like a daydream of sorts as listeners are offered an escape into an episode of Barnett's life.

Background: She has been putting out records with her friends since 2012, when she started her own label, Milk! Records. Her first release was the EP I've Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris, which gained her attention around Australia, but she broke into the international market with her second EP How To Carve A Carrot Into A Rose. She combined the two releases for an EP that she calls The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas and has inked a deal with Mom+Pop Records to re-release it (originally, it released in the UK under Marathon's label). About her newly signed contract, she told Billboard, "I'm very hands on with my music — I do all the artwork and everything myself — and the songs I write aren't necessarily the most commercial. It was important to me to work with a label that was OK with that and with keeping the creative channels open."

Fun Facts: She began keeping a journal because she read that her childhood idol Kurt Cobain kept one; She worked as a bartender at a music venue in starting when she was 18 years old.

What Now: Barnett has yet to release a proper full length, but is heading to the studio in April to record under her new deal. She just dropped her single "Anonymous Club" today in the United States.

Check it out here, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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