Courtney Barnett is ignoring me. I don’t know this for certain, as she’s on the opposite side of the planet. But I can sense it. Perhaps it’s just the two-second delay that inevitably occurs between my questions and her answers — Barnett is phoning from her home in Melbourne, Australia — but even if we weren’t 17 hours apart, I suspect Barnett would still be someplace else. After the call, I will feel as if I didn’t really talk to her. No matter how much praise I heap upon Barnett’s fantastic debut LP, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, she chooses to stay inside her own skull.
I think I understand why: Right now, Courtney Barnett is the best in the world at writing witty, sad-eyed rock songs. And those songs require the accumulation of dozens upon dozens of finely observed details gleaned from the mundane detritus of Barnett’s daily existence. She’s like a journalist embedded in her own life, which obviously makes talking to me redundant.