Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

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Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Courtney Barnett Sometimes I Think.jpg
Studio album by Courtney Barnett
Released 15 March 2015 (2015-03-15)
Recorded April 2014 (2014-04)
Studio Head Gap Studio
(Preston, Victoria)
Genre Indie rock
Length 43:29
Label
Producer
Courtney Barnett chronology
The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
(2013)The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas2013
Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
(2015)
Lotta Sea Lice
(2017)Lotta Sea Lice2017
Singles from Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  1. "Pedestrian at Best"
    Released: 16 February 2015
  2. "Kim's Caravan"
    Released: 18 April 2015
  3. "Dead Fox"
    Released: 11 May 2015
  4. "Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go to the Party"
    Released: 7 August 2015

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is the debut studio album by Australian indie rock musician Courtney Barnett, released on 20 March 2015. The album received wide acclaim and was ranked as one of the best albums of 2015 by numerous publications.

Background and recording[edit]

After playing with various bands in Melbourne, Barnett used money that she had borrowed from her grandmother to start her own Milk Records label[1] and released her first EP, I've Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris (2012). Following that release, Barnett signed to Marathon Artists (via its House Anxiety imprint). In August 2013, Marathon Artists released The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, packaging the first EP with Barnett's second, How To Carve A Carrot into a Rose.[2] The Double EP brought Barnett international critical acclaim, with the lead single, "Avant Gardener", named 'Best New Track' by Pitchfork in 2013. How To Carve A Carrot was released on a limited run by Milk! Records as a standalone EP in October 2013. In 2014, Marathon Artists partnered with Mom + Pop Music for the US release of The Double EP.[3]

Barnett had spent a year writing songs for her album[4] but only showed them to her band a week before they were recorded in order to capture a "fresh" sound.[5] The song "Pedestrian at Best" was written "at the last minute" and the recorded version was the first time that Barnett had sung the words out loud.[5] The album was largely recorded over eight days[4] in Melbourne[6] in April 2014 but the release was delayed due to touring commitments.[7] Some early promo copies were distributed in Europe in mid-December 2014, and Barnett unveiled the album at the 2015 South by Southwest music festival in March and then embarked on a world tour beginning in Paris.[3]

In the liner notes, Barnett reveals that the album's title was inspired by a poster that hung in her grandmother's bathroom.[8] It is also used as part of the lyrics of the hidden/bonus song "Stair Androids & Valley Um..." (see Track Listing section, below).

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic88/100[9]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[10]
The A.V. ClubA−[11]
Chicago Tribune4/4 stars[12]
CuepointA[13]
The Guardian5/5 stars[14]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[15]
NME8/10[16]
Pitchfork8.6/10[17]
Rolling Stone4.5/5 stars[18]
Spin9/10[19]

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit received widespread acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 88, based on 35 reviews.[9] In a review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine called it "invigorating", saying that it provided a "convincing argument that rock & roll doesn't need reinvention in order to revive itself."[10] Mike Powell of Pitchfork awarded the album a 'Best New Music' accolade, saying that "Barnett has nothing to prove and she's proving it."[17] DIY magazine's Jamie Milton called the record "exceptional" and said "make no mistake - this is a debut like few others."[20] Eric R. Danton, reviewing the album for Paste magazine, said that Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit was "one of the most compulsively listenable albums to come out so far this year."[21] Everett True wrote in The Guardian that the album improves upon each listen because "it's been a while since western rock music – let alone Melbourne's fiercely insular and often too-precious indie scene – has thrown up a songwriter and lyricist as intriguing, compelling and down-to-earth, yet surreal and morbidly funny, as Barnett."[14] In Cuepoint, Robert Christgau said Barnett's music has a "drive and focus" it did not have before, complemented by her passionate singing and a lyrical style reminiscent of John Prine and Jens Lekman but still "herself": "Formally, her songs are confessional, only they describe her material life and conflicted feelings acutely rather than dreamily, so that the songs occur in and are inflected by a deftly rendered physical and social world."[13]

In a less enthusiastic review, Christopher Monk of musicOMH called Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit "a likeable, enjoyable album rather than a great one", writing that "the craft of Barnett's words dwarfs that of her music...there are too many compositions here that feel underwritten."[22]

Rolling Stone ranked "Pedestrian at Best" at number 4 on its annual year-end list to find the best songs of 2015.[23]

Accolades[edit]

Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit received eight nominations at the ARIA Music Awards of 2015, including for Album of the Year, Best Rock Album and Best Independent Release. On 7 October, Barnett won the ARIA Award for Best Cover Art, part of the artisan ARIA awards, for her self drawn cover. On 26 November, Barnett also won Best Female Artist, Breakthrough Artist and Best Independent Release. She lost to Tame Impala's Currents for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album. Barnett was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2016 Grammy Awards.[24][25]

Courtney Barnett was announced as the winner of the 2015 Australian Music Prize award which is given for the best Australian album release of the year.[26]

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
The A.V. Club The 15 Best Albums of 2015
9
[27]
The Guardian The Best Albums of 2015
7
[28]
NME NME'S Albums of the Year 2015
22
[29]
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2015
9
[30]
Readers' Top 50 Albums 2015
7
[31]
Rough Trade Albums of the Year 2015
3
[32]
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2015
6
[33]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Courtney Barnett, and arranged by Barnett, Bones Sloane, Dave Mudie and Dan Luscombe.

No.TitleLength
1."Elevator Operator"3:14
2."Pedestrian at Best"3:50
3."An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York)"3:10
4."Small Poppies"7:00
5."Depreston"4:52
6."Aqua Profunda!"2:00
7."Dead Fox"3:33
8."Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go to the Party"2:46
9."Debbie Downer"3:16
10."Kim's Caravan"6:46
11."Boxing Day Blues"3:02
12."Stair Androids & Valley Um..." (extra track on deluxe double vinyl, hidden track on Australian CD)6:33

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from liner notes of Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.

Musicians

  • Courtney Barnett – guitar, vocals
  • Dave Mudie – drums, percussion, vocals
  • Bones Sloane – bass, vocals
  • Dan Luscombe – guitar, vocals

Production

  • Courtney Barnett – production, artwork
  • Burke Reid – production, engineering, mixing
  • Dan Luscombe – production, mixing
  • Guy Davie – mastering
  • Tajette O'Halloran – photography

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[34] 4
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[35] 55
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[36] 80
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[37] 26
Irish Albums (IRMA)[38] 28
French Albums (SNEP)[39] 91
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[40] 73
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[41] 19
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[42] 66
UK Albums (OCC)[43] 16
US Billboard 200[44] 20
US Digital Albums (Billboard)[45] 11
US Folk Albums (Billboard)[46] 1
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[47] 1
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[48] 1
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[49] 1
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[50] 2
US Vinyl Albums (Billboard)[51] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[52] 39

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[53] Gold 35,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ali, Lorraine (20 March 2015). "Singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett lets her lyrics do the talking". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Greene, Jayson (1 October 2013). "Pitchfork Rising: Courtney Barnett". Pitchfork. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Goodman, Lizzy (23 March 2015). "Meet Courtney Barnett, Music's Lena Dunham: 'I Like the Extreme Form of Not Bottling Things Up'". Billboard (magazine). Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Courtney Barnett – Interview". Mucbook. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Rychter, Tacey (25 March 2015). "Courtney Barnett's Ordinary Lives". Broadsheet. Melbourne. Archived from the original on 28 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (29 January 2015). "How Courtney Barnett Made One of 2015's Most Clever LPs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (12 March 2015). "Courtney Barnett: 'Every day I have some sort of breakdown'". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Richie Feathers (1 April 2015). "Courtney Barnett: The Next Dylan Disciple". The State Times. Retrieved 3 July 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Reviews for Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. – Courtney Barnett". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Swedlund, Eric (24 March 2015). "Courtney Barnett masters the mundane". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Kot, Greg (25 March 2015). "Courtney Barnett album just an everyday triumph". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (17 April 2015). "Expert Witness". Cuepoint. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  14. ^ a b True, Everett (16 March 2015). "Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit review". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  15. ^ Roberts, Randall (23 March 2015). "Courtney Barnett's 'Sometimes I Sit' is incisive". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  16. ^ Hewitt, Ben (12 March 2015). "Courtney Barnett – 'Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit'". NME. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Powell, Mike (23 March 2015). "Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit". Pitchfork. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  18. ^ Dolan, Jon (24 March 2015). "Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  19. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (23 March 2015). "Review: Courtney Barnett's Exhilarating 'Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit'". Spin. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Milton, Jamie. "Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit". DIY. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  21. ^ Danton, Eric R. (24 March 2015). "Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit Review". Paste. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  22. ^ Monk, Christopher (23 March 2015). "Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit". musicOMH. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  23. ^ "50 Best Songs of 2015". rollingstone.com. 
  24. ^ http://www.grammy.com/nominees
  25. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Tops Grammy Nominations; Full List". The Hollywood Reporter. 7 December 2015. 
  26. ^ http://www.noise11.com/news/courtney-barnett-wins-11th-australian-music-prize-20160309
  27. ^ "The 15 Best Albums Of 2015". The A.V. Club. The Onion. December 7, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 
  28. ^ "The Best Albums of 2015". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. December 2, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 
  29. ^ "NME'S Albums of the Year 2015". NME. Time Inc. UK. Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  30. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2015". Pitchfork. December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Readers' Poll Results 2015". Pitchfork. January 5, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Albums of the Year 2015". roughtrade.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  33. ^ "The 50 Best Albums Of 2015". Stereogum. SpinMedia. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  34. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  35. ^ "Ultratop.be – Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  36. ^ "Ultratop.be – Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  37. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  38. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week {{{week}}}, {{{year}}}". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  39. ^ "Lescharts.com – Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  40. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  41. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  42. ^ "Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit". Swiss Hitparade. Switzerland. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  43. ^ "Courtney Barnett | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  44. ^ "Courtney Barnett Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  45. ^ "Courtney Barnett Chart History (Digital Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  46. ^ "Courtney Barnett Chart History (Top Americana/Folk Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  47. ^ "Courtney Barnett Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  48. ^ "Courtney Barnett Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  49. ^ "Courtney Barnett Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  50. ^ "Courtney Barnett Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  51. ^ "Courtney Barnett Chart History (Vinyl Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  52. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Albums 2015". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  53. ^ Ryan, Gavin (9 January 2016). "ARIA Albums: Adele '25' Still No 1 Seven Weeks In". Noise11. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 

External links[edit]