Love Letter To A Record: Teen Jesus and The Jean Teasers’ Scarlett McKahey on Courtney Barnett’s ‘Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’

Many of us associate particular albums with pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the first album you strummed along to on guitar, the music that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that accompanied your awkward pubescent years, or the one that inspired you to take a leap into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and helps shape who we become.

Music Feeds’ Love Letter To A Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Teen Jesus and The Jean Teasers Scarlett McKahey on Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett is one of my favourite albums of all time. I heard it for the first time when I was 15 and it completely changed my perspective on songwriting and what makes a good rock album.

This same year I attended the first-ever Australian Girls Rock! camp in Canberra (one of the most positive and inspiring experiences of my life) where Courtney actually did a songwriting workshop. She played an acoustic version of ‘Avant Gardener’ and told us about how the whole story of the song actually happened, and how she created an absolute banger of a song out of a gardening accident. I found it mind-blowing as I’d never even considered writing songs about such normal or mundane things before, it seemed so simple and really changed my perspective on how to write a song.

I definitely struggle with overthinking the themes of songs and can never get the lyrics out the way I imagine them, so songs like ‘Elevator Operator’ and ‘Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party’ really changed things for me. The line “I wanna go out but I wanna stay home” is relatable to everybody, it’s easy to remember, and it’s an absolutely perfect chorus that adds to an absolutely perfect album.

Every song has its own feeling and I think Courtney really puts the listener exactly where she wants them. The mix of high-energy rock songs and slower emotional confessions mix perfectly together – I just hope I can contribute to an album like that one day.

I discovered Courtney Barnett around the same time that we started the band, so I’d be lying if I said she wasn’t a massive influence on me and our sound as a whole. Real rock musicians are a dying breed in 2022 and it was incredible to see such a cool, strong woman absolutely killing it internationally. Representation is so important and I think without amazing non-male artists like Courtney I would never have felt powerful enough to get up on stage myself.

Performing is extremely daunting and the fact that the music industry is such a male-dominated field makes it even scarier. We still cop a lot of “pretty good for a girl band” comments (thus the title of our new EP), but we just hope that by pushing through and playing onstage we will inspire more girls to pick up instruments and get up there, the way Courtney inspired us.

Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers will release Pretty Good For A Girl Band via Domestic La La on May 13.

Teen Jesus and The Jean Teasers Pretty Good For A Girl Band 2022 Tour

Friday, August 12 – Indian Ocean Hotel, Scarborough, WA

Saturday, August 13 – Mojos, Fremantle, WA

Friday, August 19 – Brightside, Brisbane, QLD

Saturday, August 20 -Burleigh Bazaar, Gold Coast, QLD

Sunday, August 21 – Riversounds, Bellingen, NSW

Thursday, August 25 – Unibar, Wollongong, NSW

Friday, August 26 – Crowbar, Sydney, NSW

Saturday, August 27 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Friday, September 2 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Saturday, September 3 – Jive, Adelaide, SA

Saturday, September 10 – Unibar, Hobart, TAS

Tickets on sale now.

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