Courtney Barnett has released “Small Talk,” an outtake from her latest album Tell Me How You Really Feel, out now through Mom + Pop Records. The release comes in the middle of Barnett’s U.S. tour, and is part of a 10-year anniversary compilation for Mom + Pop.
“Small Talk” sounds a lot like most songs on Tell Me How You Really Feel: an expansive, vamp-based affair with sunny choruses. Barnett’s hook-writing has only gotten sharper as time goes on. Where her early work would have been satisfied to let the interlocking organ/bass line groove ride for the entire runtime, here she injects an immediately felt, warmly rendered chorus of group singalongs.
Her lyrics are, as always, sharp as a tack. She takes the title seriously, regaling us with the shaggiest of shaggy-dog stories about whatever seems to float into her mind. “I’ve got a brother, Blake / he’s four years older than me / and I guess he always will be,” she sings, somehow managing to be both hilarious and weirdly philosophical. If she never got into business as a musician, Barnett could roundly kick all of our asses at this writing thing.
Barnett will be continuing her tour through the end of the year—find those dates further down.
Listen to “Small Talk” and check out a 2015 Barnett performance from the Paste archives below.
05 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Greek Theatre ++
08 – Seattle, Wash. @ Paramount Theatre
09 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Vogue Theatre
10 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Vogue Theatre
11 – Portland, Ore. @ McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
12 – Portland, Ore. @ McMenamins Crystal Ballroom
14 – Oakland, Calif. @ Treasure Island Music Festival *
17 – Waukesha, Wis. @ Pabst Theatre
18 – Chicago, Ill. @ Riviera Theatre
19 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Stage AE
21 – Boston, Mass. @ House Of Blues Boston
22 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Brooklyn Steel ^
23 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Fillmore
25 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Marathon Music Works
27 – Austin, Texas @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheatre
(* with Lord Huron, Sharon Van Etten)
(++ with Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, and Waxahatchee)
(^ Mom+Pop 10th Anniversary Party)
01 – Berlin, Germany @ Berlin at Huxleys Neue Welt +
03 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Kagelbanan +
04 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega +
05 – Oslo, Norway @ Rockerfeller Music Hall +
07 – Paris, France @ Casino De Paris +
09 – Wiesbaden, Germany @ Schlachthof +
10 – Kortrijk, Belgium @ Sonic City Festival +
12 – Dublin, Ireland @ Olympia Theatre +
14 – London, U.K. @ O2 Brixton Academy +
15 – Oxford, U.K. @ O2 Academy +
16 – Brighton, U.K. @ The Dome +
18- Cardiff, U.K. @ The Great Hall +
19 – Birmingham, U.K. @ O2 Academy 1 +
20 – Glasgow, U.K. @ O2 Academy +
21 – Newcastle, U.K. @ Northumbria University +
(+ with Laura Jean)