How We Feel About Barnett’s “Tell Me How You Really Feel”

Published 4 years ago -

Celia Smith, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

In May of this year, Courtney Barnett released her newest album, “Tell Me How You Really Feel.” I always tend to be a little late to the game when it comes to new releases, so the album might not be fresh off the press, but it does happen to be the newest addition to my personal vinyl collection (now tallying in at 90 records, in case you were wondering).

“Tell Me How You Really Feel” is Barnett’s second full album, smaller than her debut “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit,” released back in 2015. Her sophomore album has proven to be unlike anything we’ve come to expect from Barnett lyrically. The album features songs that deal with what it means to not have the right words for everything through a unique and introverted lens. Through introspective lyrics, Barnett addresses issues of discomfort, confidence deficiency, self-loathing, modest fame and more in a matter of 10 songs.

Available on Spotify, I have to admit that there is not one song on this album that I dislike. I’m a notorious song-skipper, and I don’t find myself relentlessly pressing the forward arrow like I usually do. “Hopefulessness,” “Walking on Eggshells,” “Help Your Self,” “Sunday Roast” and “Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack Confidence” have proven to be a few of my favorites.

Barnett’s indie-rock style is accompanied by some serious punky guitar vibes throughout. Though the lyrics tells stories of sadness, frustration and self-doubt, Barnett’s use of instrumentals gives it an upbeat sound that allows you to drown in self-pity and simultaneously reflect on the meaning of life without the deep state of depression side-effects.

I’m a lyric-addict; my focus when I listen to music is on the lyrics more than anything else. That being said, this is probably why I’m so drawn to “Tell Me How You Really Feel.” It is a very lyric-driven work, with lines such as “take your broken heart, turn it into art” and “darkness depends on where you’re standing, jump the creek and watch the sunshine swim, you found inner-peace in the inner northeast” dominating.

I’m clearly very enthusiastic about every single song on this album, so instead of listening to me rant you should just go listen to it yourself. If you’re into it, we can be friends.


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