Song of the Gay: Courtney Barnett – How To Boil An Egg

photo by Matthew B. Thompson

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear.

All this week we are celebrating Seattle Pride and PrideFest 2017 by featuring all LGBTQ artists for our “Song of the Gay” podcast. Today’s Song of the Gay is “How To Boil An Egg” by Courtney Barnett, from the 2017 Split Singles Club series on Milk! Records.

Courtney Barnett – How To Boil An Egg (MP3)Australian singer-songwriter and KEXP favorite Courtney Barnett released her last full-length, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, in 2015. It was KEXP listeners’ #1 album in our countdown that year. Last year, in an interview with Rolling Stone, she discussed her coming out experience: “I liked boys and had boyfriends, but those kinds of feelings were just what I’d read about. It wasn’t really me.” It took her a little while to come out to her parents: “I didn’t for, like, a year, and when I finally did, because I broke up with my girlfriend, I was really scared. And they were like, ‘Yeah, we know!'”

Barnett is now openly lesbian and is married to Australian artist Jen Cloher. Cloher, who is releasing a brand new single of her own today, also co-wrote Barnett’s song “Numbers”, about their relationship. Barnett’s song “Pickles from the Jar” further details their relationship; and Cloher is mentioned by name in the first line of “Dead Fox”. Today’s Song of the Gay, “How To Boil An Egg” was released as part of the Split Singles Club by Barnett and Cloher’s co-created record label, Milk! Records, which released Barnett’s early music. Barnett discussed the song’s origin with Rolling Stone:

“I used to perform this song at all the open mics when I was 21,” Barnett said of “How to Boil an Egg.” “It never got recorded, so for personal posterity I updated it and made this version recently when I was bunkered up in the bush doin some demos for my next album. In tradition of the Milk! Records compilation releases, like ‘Pickles From The Jar’ or ‘Three Packs A Day,’ I wanted to include a song of mine for Split Singles Club that was a tad left of album-center. It’s a songwriting experiment that doesn’t really belong anywhere else.”

Courtney Barnett is touring this fall with Kurt Vile, with Jen Cloher opening up. They’ll be playing two shows in Seattle, at Moore Theatre on Saturday, October 21st, and at Showbox at the Market on Sunday, October 22nd. Find out more on Courtney’s website and Facebook page, and watch below as she and Jen Cloher perform Jerry Garcia’s “Shady Grove” live last year.

Also, be sure to tune in to KEXP all week for more of the “Song of the Gay” podcast songs, and to find out more about the Pride events happening around Seattle, including KEXP’s Pride Party, this Sunday, June 25th, at 5 Point Café in downtown Seattle at the historic Tilikum Place park.

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