After a week in which she dropped a mysterious album teaser online and indie record stores worldwide unexpectedly received vinyl copies of a new song, Courtney Barnett has today announced details of her second studio album Tell Me How You Really Feel, out on May 18th through Marathon Artists and Barnett’s own label Milk! Records.
In Tell Me How You Really Feel, Barnett has revealed an exhilarating and unexpected shift. From its title (A question? An order?) to the unsettling cover image – a blood-red tinted self-portrait in uncomfortably tight close up – Barnett sets a different tone. There’s a new-found directness with this record, a muscularity to the instrumentation, a tenderness in her voice and a boldness to the lyrics. It speaks to Barnett entering a remarkable new phase of her musical evolution. She’s saying more, with less. Whereas once she examined the world through the prism of self-analysis, Tell Me How You Really Feel shifts that focus to those she interacts with – the good ones, the bad ones, the loved ones. Those she knows intimately and those who are strangers.
Every lyric is memorable as Barnett quotes one of the more creative burns she’s received in a comments section, “I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and spit out better words than you”. It would be pure comedy if it didn’t invariably and insidiously cross over into anxiety about ones safety in the real world… illustrated perfectly by the chorus which borrows from a famous Margaret Atwood quote “I want to walk through the park in the dark / Men are scared that women will laugh at them / I want to walk through the park in the dark / Women are scared that men will kill them / I hold my keys between my fingers”.
Barnett have also released the lead single, “Nameless, Faceless” along with its video. Watch / listen to the new song below:
Tell Me How You Really Feel artwork & tracklist:
2. City Looks Pretty
4. Need a Little Time
5. Nameless, Faceless
6. I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch
7. Crippling Self Doubt and a General Lack of Self-Confidence
8. Help Your Self
9. Walkin’ on Eggshells
10. Sunday Roast