Barnett gives back

Nothing could have prepared Melbourne-via-Hobart singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett for the love she has received in the past 12 months. The affection grew even stronger following the callout for a crowd-funded compilation.

The record label Barnett founded, Milk Records, aimed to raise $5000 to release a 10-inch vinyl featuring all the artists on the label.

The target was easily reached and then quadrupled by the closing date - a strong result for the label that Barnett only started to release her debut EP, 2012's I've Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris.

"It was a very loose concept and it was basically just to make my first release look more professional so people would take me more seriously," the singer behind indie hit Avant Gardener recalls.

"Then I just kept going with it and more people became interested in the label and buying my EP."

Now with over $22,000 raised to press and distribute their compilation record, featuring Barnett's latest winner Pickles from the Jar, Barnett plans to donate 10 per cent of money raised to the Wilderness Society.

She has also just released 500 copies of her breakthrough double EP, A Sea of Split Peas, to raise funds for breast cancer.

"It's kinda cool being able to give back to the community in a way that I wouldn't normally be able to do on a personal level, so it's nice to pool everyone's resources to be able to do something like that," she says.

The songwriter, who has played at high-profile festivals Glastonbury, Coachella and Primavera off the back of her witty slacker folk jams, is also nearing completion of her eagerly awaited debut album.

Due early next year, the album was recorded back in April with Drones and DZ Deathrays producer Burke Reid, and also sees the return of Drones and Blackeyed Susans guitarist Dan Luscombe to her band.

Barnett says she wanted to keep the band line-up simple because her two EPs featured guest spots from whoever was passing through her home studio at the time.

"There was like 20 people playing on the EPs, which is cool," she says. "I like that there's so many different kinds of influences and sounds but I thought it would be cool and challenging just to see how many sounds and ideas you can get out of four people and the same basic four instruments."

Courtney Barnett and the Courtney Barnetts play Fly by Night Musicians Club on September 26 with support from D.D Dumbo. Tickets from the venue.

The West Australian

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