If there was any takeaway from Courtney Barnett’s 2013 release A Sea of Split Peas, it was that Barnett is undeniably one of the most charming, interesting songwriters of the 2010s. For those who slept on that release, “Pedestrian At Best” is as good a place as any to initiate a rapport with the Australian singer-songwriter.
The song is loaded with urgency, with electric guitars noticeably hijacking the acoustic strums of her 2013 release. But it is Barnett’s quick wit and deft songwriting ability that positions “Pedestrian” as a highlight in a month full of blinding successes. “Put me on a pedestal and I’ll only disappoint you,” she self-deprecatingly sings. But beneath the playful wordplay is a sinister core, as Barnett sings, “I think you’re a joke, but I don’t find you very funny.” Ouch.