Courtney Barnett: 10 Facts about this Australian Music Prize nominee

Australian-born indie rocker Courtney Barnett’s debut full-length album Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit was released in March 2015, and she’s been earning international recognition and praise ever since.

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Most recently, she made it onto the shortlist for the prestigious Australian Music Prize, and she’s an obvious favourite for the win. Among the other nominees in the list of 10 are Tame Impala, Sarah Blasko, Dan Kelly and Jess Ribeiro.

The Australian Music Prize winner will be announced March 9 at a ceremony featuring Henry Rollins, but regardless of whether she takes the award or not, Barnett is becoming a household name. Below are 10 things you should know about her.

1. She is playing Coachella in 2016

Barnett is appearing along with artists like Sia and Guns & Roses, and she’s pretty excited about it.

2. She may win a Grammy Award this year

Barnett was nominated in the Best New Artist category.

3. She has a girlfriend of four years …

According to an April 2015 article in Rolling Stone, Barnett is dating singer-songwriter Jen Cloher.

4. … And the two have a creative collaboration

Their relationship is not just romantic, as the talented pair have reportedly collaborated on a small music label together called Milk! Records — which Barnett founded in her bedroom.

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5. She had a normal family life

She was born in Pittwater, near Sydney, where, Rolling Stone notes, she grew up “in the bush.” Her mom was a former ballerina, her dad a graphic-designer, and she also has a brother.

6. Music wasn’t her first love

It’s hard to believe Barnett didn’t always think she was going to become a famous musician — although she did start writing songs at an early age — because according to Rolling Stone, she initially wanted to become a fine-art photographer.

7. She went through a tough time

Barnett told the magazine she suffered from clinical depression, which was at its worst around the time she dropped out of the University of Tasmania (where she was studying toward that fine-art photography degree) to head to Melbourne. She said was taking antidepressants during this time.

8. Nirvana had a profound influence on her music

In an interview with Pitchfork, Barnett said, “I grew up listening to Nirvana, and then went through some bad ’90s pop stuff — a lot of Australian one-hit wonders. ” The second song she ever learned on the guitar, the article notes, was “Come as You Are,” which took her “ages” to learn.

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9. Jack White is a fan

White Stripes musician Jack White and Barnett have collaborated on a track called “Boxing Day Blues,” as well as a cover of Rowland S. Howard’s “Shivers.”

10. Before fame, she delivered pizzas

Speaking to USA Today, Barnett revealed she used to play open mics on the weekend and do odd jobs for cash. “I delivered pizzas. That was fun, but it could be punishing: turning up to scary houses in the middle of the night where you could possibly be killed,” she said. “Then handing out surveys on trains and annoying jobs where people don’t want to talk to you.”

She’s already achieved so much, but we, for one, are excited to see what the future holds for Barnett.


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