Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett unveiled a jangly new deadpan rocker, “How to Boil an Egg.” The stand-alone track is available digitally and will be released physically via the Split Singles Club, a collaboration between Barnett and Jen Cloher’s Milk! Records and another Australian indie label, Bedroom Suck. A limited number of subscriptions for the Club are still available.
“How to Boil an Egg” is an old track that Barnett reworked and recorded as part of a studio experiment in which she played every instrument. The musician imbues her gritty guitar tone with an extra bit of twang and swing to match the shuffle-and-stomp percussion, while her vocals remain weary and her lyrics self-conscious and darkly clever. “Pull yourself together, pick myself apart,” Barnett sings. “Nothing lost for never, so be still my bleeding heart/ Oh, I’ve been dreaming/ Dreaming of a brand new start.”
“I used to perform this song at all the open mics when I was 21,” Barnett said of “How to Boil an Egg.” “It never got recorded, so for personal posterity I updated it and made this version recently when I was bunkered up in the bush doin some demos for my next album. In tradition of the Milk! Records compilation releases, like ‘Pickles From The Jar’ or ‘Three Packs A Day,’ I wanted to include a song of mine for Split Singles Club that was a tad left of album-center. It’s a songwriting experiment that doesn’t really belong anywhere else.”
Barnett released her debut LP, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, in 2015. The record earned her a surprise Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.