Courtney Barnett says being a songwriter these days can be a worrying job as you sometimes don’t know if you are unintentionally ripping off other acts.
Speaking to Matt Wilkinson at Apple Music’s Beats 1, Courtney said when she is getting into writing mode she stops listening to other music. “I think there was a period I didn’t listen to much music and maybe it was kind of for that reason, but also because I couldn’t find anything that I connected with at all, I don’t know what I did, I didn’t listen to any music, I just kind of wrote a lot”.
Courtney says that for a songwriter a song can subliminally be planted in your head just by walking around a supermarket. “I’ve been writing a lot lately, and it’s just that idea of when, you don’t know if it’s recognisable because it’s been sitting in your brain for a bit or because it’s something that you’ve totally stolen off a song in the supermarket, or it’s a song you’ve been working on for two years, it starts to become familiar but it could be an old Smiths song or something,” she said.
Courtney’s other main stress is acting in her own videos but she says it is fun. She recently made an all-star video for ‘Elevator Operator’ with Paul Kelly, Magda Szubanski, Jeff Tweedy, Tim Rogers and Sleater-Kinney. “I think I’m getting there, I really enjoy it,” she says. “They all start out, when I did the album, at the same time of doing the artwork and getting other stuff finished, I wrote a video for every song basically, like a little script or synopsis, and I just really enjoy it. I did it just in case then I found it was just a kind of element and it can take on a different personality, it’s fun to think through the ideas and how it comes to life”.
Listen to the Matt Wilkinson Courtney Barnett interview
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