'Nameless, Faceless' comes ahead of an album release in May.
Courtney Barnett is a champion multitasker in music. She manages to simultaneously be deadpan and upbeat, grunge-y yet hilarious and serious, but lightheartedly so. Her new track is great evidence of this, as she returns to her trademark dark humour to tackle internet trolls and ego-bruised men. Barnett reverts back to her thrashing, guitar-heavy sound which you may have missed on her more melodic and mellow jaunt with Kurt Vile for Lotta Sea Lice last year. There’s even a Brit pop, ‘Country House’ feel to it at the beginning.
It’s an impressive feat, interrogating the murky waters of violence against women in such a witty fashion. Referencing a quote from The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood, Barnett sings at the chorus, “I wanna walk in through in the park in the dark, men are scared that women will laugh at them”. Perhaps it’s the same fearful men who sit alone at home in the dark to lambast the Australian singer. Online criticism is a driving force for the song, and Barnett admitted in a press release that the lyric “I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and spit out better words than you” actually cites a real-life blast from one screen warrior she’s had the misfortune of dealing with. Barnett sympathises with the pent-up rage that these trolls experience; perhaps it is a result of the rejection and abandonment issues that make someone women feel it’s necessary to always have their “keys at the ready”.
So, troll, you say you could spit out better words? “But you didn’t”, Barnett retorts. You tell ‘em, Courtney. Meanwhile, we’ll giddily anticipate the May 18th release of Tell Me How You Really Feel.