Courtney Barnett’s Tell Me How You Really Feel was noisier and darker than her excellent 2015 debut. But in a taping for our raw “Take One” video series, Barnett decided to show that those new songs work just as well completely unplugged.
Armed with only an acoustic guitar, Barnett delivered the intimate performance at New York’s Brooklyn Botanic Garden before she played a full-band set Prospect Park Bandshell later that night. She began with the album’s optimistic final track, “Sunday Roast,” which Barnett wrote about “seeing your friends suffer and feeling helpless in helping them…I put it last just to leave you with a hopeful note.” The next track she played was the deeply catchy “Need a Little Time,” where she decided to head outside despite the rain – you can see her guitar getting soaked as she plays.
In a conversation with Rolling Stone’s Kory Grow earlier this year, Barnett admitted to feeling pressure after her debut, but trying to ignore it as she booked herself into a rehearsal room and wrote alone, playing every instrument herself when she demoed the songs. “It’s kind of an interesting way to sit face-to-face with yourself every day and try to sort out what’s going on with yourself,” she said.
Barnett resumes her tour behind Tell Me How You Really Feel in Denver on September 29th, and it will continue through the end of the year.