Women In Rock Who Rock: Courtney Barnett

Kiran Josen
Kiran is your average 20something living in Astoria and working in Manhattan--the hustle is indeed real. You can frequently find her lounging in the park (with a bottle of cheap-ass Rosé), checking out some obscure band in the basement of a Brooklyn warehouse (probably called MilkToad), or attempting (and failing) to cook.

Courtney Barnett was undoubtedly that girl in high school sipping whiskey under the bleachers instead of attending Chem class. Her signature style of plaid shirts and frayed jeans paints quite a picture; honestly, she could probably kick your ass and drink you under the table. Lucky for you, she’d rather just make insanely catchy rock music.





The 27 year old singer/songwriter from Melbourne, Australia is a breath of fresh air amongst the Top 40 artists that are constantly on rotation. There’s not an auto-tune to be heard on her latest record, Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, and thank god for that.

Barnett is a rising star and word is certainly getting around. Heck, I don’t know why she’s not more famous already. I will admit that I do enjoy being amongst the few that can quote “Pedestrian at Best” off hand.




Part of the formula that makes her so unique is her vocal delivery—it’s a mix of spoken word and deadpan singing, all brought together by a killer guitar riff.

Her lyrical prowess is also unparalleled. Her words are razor sharp and she has the uncanny ability to transform the mundane into an insanely likable rock song. In my opinion, she’s one of the best lyricist in the game right now. Don’t believe me? Give “History Eraser” or “Poppies” a listen and see for yourself.

The magic of Barnett’s music is how she makes you feel like you’re getting glimpses into her life through the stream-of-consciousness style of her words. It’s like reading the thoughts inside of her head.



Perhaps the most likable thing about Barnett is the honesty you find in her music. She’s not pretending to be more than she is, she’s just another fucked up 20something trying to get through to the next day with her sanity relatively intact.

Do yourself a favor, turn down that Ariana Grande and turn up some Courtney Barnett. Your ears (and your soul) will thank you.