Courtney Barnett Gets Us Pumped Up for Boston Calling

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Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett Photo by Douglas Gorenstein / NBC

After rocking out at the Sinclair last year, Courtney Barnett is coming back to town for this spring’s Boston Calling Music Festival.

The Aussie singer-songwriter has been pretty busy since she last visited Boston, balancing Coachella and other big gigs with performances on high-profile shows like Saturday Night Live and the Late Show With Stephen Colbert .

Packed schedule aside, Barnett is looking forward to taking the stage alongside other top acts at this weekend’s festival, particularly Charles Bradley and Sia.

“I was just looking at the lineup for Boston Calling and it’s going to be a sick festival,” she says. “I love Sia. I’ve never seen her play live, I’m pretty excited about that.”

Being surrounded by music’s biggest stars has become commonplace for Barnett, especially after she earned her first Grammy nomination for Best New Artist at this year’s ceremony.

While the honor ended up going to Massachusetts native Meghan Trainor, the Melbourne-based rocker doesn’t hold a grudge and is sort of relieved not to have won the award.

“I was kind of just on the fence. I wasn’t devastated,” Barnett says. “It would’ve been fun to win, but I also was glad I didn’t win so I didn’t have to get up and give a speech. That would have been terrifying.”

Even though she often gets the chance to rub shoulders with megastars at events like the Grammys, getting starstruck isn’t her thing, as only a handful of artists really excite her.

“They probably have all just died haven’t they?” Barnett says. “David Bowie was one. It’s hard to tell.”

She also admits that she’s “not very clued into who the stars are” and has trouble remembering all of the different famous faces.

The lack of enthusiasm over today’s pop idols, though, is likely due to the fact that she doesn’t pay too much attention to the all of the noise on social media. She even recently quit Facebook because she was sick of seeing the constant stream of content and opinions.

“I had to take myself off Facebook like maybe ten months ago, I just couldn’t handle it anymore,” Barnett says. “I think we just lose sight of more important issues. We get so strung up on tiny little things in our little bubble.”

Instead of getting bogged down by online chatter, the budding rock star is focused on writing music that’s interesting, fun, and not just another “tacky pop song.”

“I kind of aim for stuff that’s not obvious or too cliché, unless it’s so cliché that it’s funny,” Barnett says. “I’m constantly trying to push past and find something more interesting than my brain initially settles on.”

Courtney Barnett performs at Boston Calling on Saturday, May 28.

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/2016/05/25/courtney-barnett-boston-calling-interview/