PREVIEW: Courtney Barnett, Julien Baker and Vagabon at The Anthem on 7/24
We are beyond excited to announce our partnership with IMP, where in the upcoming months, we will be previewing shows for select artists coming through some of our favorite venues in the District.
Our inaugural preview feature is the Courtney Barnett, Julien Baker and Vagabon show at The Anthem on Tuesday, July 24. Want to come dance with us at this femme-strong show? Scoop up your tickets here, and Tweet us or tag us on your Instagram story.
There is something so unassumingly intoxicating about Courtney Barnett’s music. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Barnett’s keen lyricism and moody sound continues to resonate with audiences on both hemispheres. She cut her teeth in garage punk bands, which still bleeds through her musicality as an artist that straddles the line between singer-songwriter and indie rock jester. The inherent and, frankly, impressive vulnerability present in her style as a songwriter is consistently underscored by upbeat musicality. Barnett amplifies the anxieties of the mundane daily grind, the hypocrisy of the self-obsessed, and the ins-and-outs of self-critique.
In her newest album, “Tell Me How You Really Feel,” Barnett extends the lyrical limits of her discography, going beyond the obsession with minutiae that characterizes her earlier work. Tracks like “Nameless, Faceless” busts down doors with mirrors to the world in hand with lines like the song’s chorus, “I wanna walk through the park in the dark / Men are scared that women will laugh at them / I wanna walk through the park in the dark / Women are scared that men will kill them.” This Margaret Atwood quote punches through super gritty guitar riffs, making for the perfect grrrl riot anthem of 2018.
Barnett’s set at The Anthem on Tuesday is bound to prominently feature songs from her 2018 album, along with some of the classic self-deprecating rock ‘n roll that propelled her rise.
Blending folk with visceral singer-songwriter musicality, Julien Baker makes music that is unceasingly intimate. Baker’s music cuts deep, as simple guitar arrangements sustain songs that are profoundly personal. Her personal origins bring increasingly familiar canons to the forefront of her music; as a queer, 22-year-old from Tennessee, Baker uses her music as a vessel of acceptance and healing as she continues to develop her sound and come of age. In an interview with Pitchfork, she said,
“Ultimately, I’m not going to change my behavior to accommodate that fear. I would rather be authentic and risk making people uncomfortable. That’s a boldness engendered in me by the people I’m surrounded by... It’s not like I get on stage and introduce myself as a queer musician, but anyone who reads anything about me knows I’m queer.”
Themes of longing, heartbreak and acceptance seep through her records. A youthful transparency characterizes her lyricism, where no metaphorical obscurity or aloof code cloak her desires, insecurities or excitement. Baker is an act to watch blossom, and her music fits soundly into this show’s bill.
New York City’s Lætitia Tamko is the epitome of the value of DIY spaces for budding musicians and creatives. Her curiosity about songwriting began at a young age, but it wasn’t until a friend encouraged her to publish some of her songs to Bandcamp toward the end of college that her knack for the craft clicked. Vagabon’s music is defiant, resolute and moody. As you play through their tracks, you can hear Tamko experimenting with varying styles, instrumentations and genre-bending musicality. Her DIY roots connect her musical POV to this bill of bold, bodacious women, making her a fit opener for the evening.