There’s something eerie about suburbia, and slacker singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett hits the nail on the head with the newest single from her upcoming album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. If nothing else, Barnett should go down in the books as one of the cleverest songwriters of the year. Barnett’s lyrics are both effortlessly — yet thoughtfully — witty. It’s almost as though she’s gone back to the 1800s and rejuvenated realism for us. (That’s the art movement, not the international relations theory, Hoyas. It may be midterms week, but that’s still no reason for class to take over your life.)
It’s musical realism — she encapsulates the minutiae of daily life that we take for granted in “Depreston,” from urbanites who regularly pay an absurd amount of money for coffee (“We don’t have to be around all these coffee shops / Now we’ve got that percolator / Never made a latte greater / I’m saving 23 dollars a week”) to the dusty, forgotten belongings of those who have recently passed away (“Then I see the handrail in the shower / The collection of those canisters for coffee, tea, and flour / And a photo of a young man in Vietnam”).
This isn’t a track to play in the background while you tackle the reading for your seminar. The instrumentals in this tune serve as a backdrop to Barnett’s clever lyrics, which demand your full attention. That’s not to say that the band isn’t that essential to the song. Instead, the band perpetuates the forlorn feeling of “Depreston” and makes it more of a musical experience.