Nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in 2016 and International Female Solo Artist at the Brits, Courtney Barnett’s debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, saw her top year-end lists, crash the top 20 and sell out shows to adoring audiences on five continents.
Lotta Sea Lice, her collaborative album with Kurt Vile last year, ended up at number 11 in the album charts on release and gained an NME Awards nomination for Best Collaboration.
Tell Me How You Really Feel is the latest release from Barnett. From its title to the unsettling cover image – a blood-red tinted self-portrait in an uncomfortably tight close up, Barnett sets a different tone. There’s a new-found directness, a muscularity to the instrumentation, a tenderness in her voice and a boldness to the lyrics. It speaks to Barnett, entering a remarkable new phase of her musical evolution.
Out in the Storm, Katie Crutchfield's fourth album as Waxahatchee and her second release with Merge, is the blazing result of a woman reawakened. Her most autobiographical and honest album to date, Out in the Storm is a self-reflective anchor in the story of both her songwriting and her life. As Crutchfield prepared for the release of her Merge debut Ivy Tripp, she found herself depleted emotionally and professionally amidst the dissolution of a noxious relationship. "Ivy Tripp doesn't really have any resolution. It's a lot of beating around the bush, and superficially trying to see my life clearly, but just barely scratching the surface. Out in the Storm digs into what I was going through without blinking. It's a very honest record about a time in which I was not honest with myself." After much self-examination, Crutchfield found renewed energy and support from her bandmates. With these strong women surrounding her, she found the strength, clarity, and poise to overcome the emotionally taxing Ivy Tripp tour in an explorative space that would result in Out in the Storm.