The past few years have seen the meteoric rise of Courtney Barnett to the higher echelons of indie rock superstardom. If her debut LP Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit finally heralded the arrival of a truly unique and distinctive songwriting voice, everything that has taken place after has only confirmed it. For being nominated for a Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards, to appearing on TV shows such as Jimmy Fallon, Ellen, The Colbert Show and Conan and, recently, closing out the latest season of Saturday Night Live, Barnett has shown that following her own idiosyncratic path is the best, surefire path to success.
Now, in keeping with her deliciously skewed sense of humor, Barnett reveals her best video yet, for her new single “Elevator Operator”. Directed by Sunny Leunig (son of legendary Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig, who himself appears briefly in the video) and crammed with cameos from a raft of similarly off kilter, counterculture stars such as Sleater-Kinney, Magda Szubanski (“Kath & Kim”), Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), and musical Antipodean legends such as The Drones, Tim Rogers and Paul Kelly, it features Barnett as a harassed elevator operator encountering a series of strange, surreal characters before, just like the song itself, ending up on the rooftop of Melbourne’s Nicholas Building with her band, looking over the ledge for “perception and clarity”, imagining she’s “playing Sim City”. It is yet another potent reminder of what makes Courtney Barnett so inimitably Courtney Barnett – a gloriously odd and slyly humorous slice of life that only she can imbue with such wit and imagination.