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Courtney Barnett lives in Melbourne, Australia, in a house she was cleaning when she answered her phone. She said it was a nice day, “kind of cold,” and sounded relaxed and happy to be home after a year of on-and-off touring to promote her album, “Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit,” which is gunning for best record of the year on the lists of everyone from music website Pitchfork (grade: 8.6) to boomer curmudgeon Robert Christgau (grade: A).

“It’s nice to hang out with friends and do some writing,” she says, and pauses before adding, “which is fun.” Barnett’s conversation is full of stops and starts, as are her songs, which are about quotidian matters that apply as much to your life as they do to hers.

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