Courtney Barnett has just released her new album Tell Me How You Really Feel, her first since 2015’s Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, not counting her recent collaborative LP with Kurt Vile Lotta Sea Lice. We’ve already heard “Nameless, Faceless,” “Need A Little Time,” and “Sunday Roast“— Those songs were apt teasers for the album’s pensive air and classic rock sensibility.
Tell Me How You Really Feel, Barnett’s sophomore album, tightens her expansive jamming and storytelling. The sense of humor that punctuated her last LP, as well as her excellent debut The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas, is traded for something more wistful and abstract. Her songwriting is as strong as we remembered, maybe even better, now looser and less narrative, relying on metaphor and motif.
The album plays like a series of love letters. It starts hopeful (the opening track is literally called “Hopefulness”) and falls into a pit of anxiety. By the fourth song, “Need A Little Time,” she’s asking for a break. Anger and acceptance play out over the next few tracks, leading up to the sweet and sensitive closer “Sunday Roast.” Listen to Tell Me How You Really Feel below.
Tell Me How You Really Feel is out now.