Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit (Milk! Records / Remote Control) has taken out Triple J’s J Award, one of her homeland’s highest critical honors.
The indie singer-songwriter’s debut beat out sets by Tame Impala, Gang Of Youths, Hermitude, Parkway Drive, Alison Wonderland and others to claim the national youth radio network’s award, which recognizes the best Australian album of the year.
The 10 shortlisted albums were celebrated at a function Thursday evening in Sydney. “The thing that has always impressed us about Courtney, ever since we first started playing ‘Lance Jr’ back in 2012, was her distinctiveness,” Richard Kingsmill, music director of Triple J, says of the winning effort. “The unapologetic Australian accent was part of it, but her songwriting has always been outstanding. She writes with a mix of insightful observation, stream of consciousness, humor and lots of clever word play. We think this album is special stuff and the way it’s resonated around the world this year has been fantastic for both Courtney and Australian music in general.”
The victorious Barnett had this to say, “I’m very excited and honored to win this award. It’s amazing. It’s a nice feeling for something that you’re not really sure when you write, I guess, how far it’s going to reach and who is going to find it interesting.”
Barnett is riding an international wave of critical and commercial support off the back of her debut, which peaked at No. 4 in Australia, No. 16 in the U.K. and No. 20 in the U.S. Last month she was the big winner at the Independent Music Awards in Melbourne, where she took home four awards including best independent artist, best album and best independent label for Milk!, which she founded with fellow artist Jen Cloher.
There’s an excellent chance Barnett will add to her heaving trophy cabinet at the Nov. 26 ARIA Awards, where she’s the frontrunner with eight nominations. In fact, she’s already claimed the pre-event ARIA for best cover art.
The J Awards is in its 11th year, and has previously be won by Wolfmother (2005), Hilltop Hoods (2006), The Panics (2007), The Presets (2008), Sarah Blasko (2009), Gotye (2011) and Tame Impala (2010 + 2012), Boy & Bear (2010), Ball Park Music (2011), The Rubens (2012), Flume (2013) and Chet Faker (2014).
Barnett wasn’t the only winner at the J Awards. Alternative rock four-piece Tired Lion took out Unearthed artist of the year, You Am I frontman Tim Rogers was crowned the second-annual Double J Australian artist of the year, and the Australian music video of the year honor went to “Mine,” a clip directed by Natalie Erika James for the electronica act Life Is Better Blonde.
2015 J Award shortlist
Alison Wonderland, “Run”
Courtney Barnett, “Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit”
Gang Of Youths, “The Positions”
Hermitude “Dark Night Sweet Light”
Jarryd James, “Thirty One”
Parkway Drive, “Ire”
Seth Sentry, “Strange New Past”
Tame Impala, “Currents”
The Rubens, “Hoops”