You've no doubt seen this quote, from author Margaret Atwood, invoked whenever its stark truth becomes reality: "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them." It cuts to the fragility and hegemony of the male ego, and the primal fear of retaliation that women suffer through because of it. (This extends not just to physical spaces, but online, to men cowering behind keyboards. )
Courtney Barnett has always been equally cutting, and funny, as a lyricist, her observations about the boredom and banality — but also the love and hope — of life are so direct that they become surreal. Today she announces a new album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, just a year after her breezy collaboration with Kurt Vile, with a video for "Nameless, Faceless."
"I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and spit out better words than you," she sings over a bouncy riff, as director Lucy Dyson animates a collage of hot dogs and cherry-topped whip cream (subtle!), letters and Barnett in a serious side-eye. Barnett adapts Atwood in the grungy punk chorus:
I want to walk through the park in the darkMen are scared that women will laugh at themI want to walk through the park in the darkWomen are scared that men will kill themI hold my keys between my fingers
Barnett's darkly observational humor remains in the corners of the verses, but is heightened by a real anxiety, clutching at her keys and ready to strike.
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