Courtney Barnett, “Pickles from the Jar”

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 07.25.14 in Listen to This

Yes, but how does Courtney Barnett pronounce “tomatoes”? The Australian singer/songwriter behind last year’s hilarious, tender and purposefully ramshackle The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas — which actually just hit the states in April — tries her asthma inhaler-wielding hand at the odd-couple song form with “Pickles from the Jar,” off an upcoming, crowd-funded Milk! Records 10-inch (via Pitchfork).

As you’d expect, she moves on quickly from let’s-call-the-whole-thing-off speech differences (“I say daance, you say dahnce / I say Fraance, you say Frahnce”) to more LOL-able material: Hugh Grant, Christopher Walken, pot plants. It’s all set to affably bounding garage rock, and the title eating habit turns out to be the narrator’s ultimate distinguishing characteristic — though we never learn how her loved one likes pickles, though, do we?

It’s another low-key triumph from the artist who has already given us casual stunners like “Avant Gardener” and “Anonymous Club,” and a fine example of Australian-born lyricism in the tradition of song crafters like Allo Darlin’ and cited Barnett influence Darren Hanlon (whose pronunciation of “tomato” is also unclear, although you can hear how he says “aubergines”).