Saturday, May 2, 2015

Track of the Week: Courtney Barnett "Elevator Operator"

Aussie indie singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett is one of my favorite new artists, mostly because she has a unique ability to capture the beauty and strangeness lurking inside daily life.  The first song of hers that drew me in, "Avant Gardener," is about having an anxiety attack while gardening on a hot summer day.

"Elevator Operator," the first track on her new album, is the tale of young worker tired of the daily routine who goes to the roof of his office building to meditate, only to find that people think he is about to jump and commit suicide.  It's a funny song, but also great at describing the feeling of ennui that comes from working a crummy service job where people are always looking down their noses at you.  The song stomps along at a great pace, mimicking the needless, frenetic push of the morning rush, and thus making the listener really put themselves in the shoes of the titular elevator operator. Barnett delivers her words in a kind of deadpan Aussie drawl, milking the most out of great lines like "I'm not suicidal, just idling insignificantly."  If you want to hear the best qualities of 90s indie rock resurrected, or enjoy the poetic observation of daily life, you should definitely check Courtney Barnett out.

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