Courtney Barnett

In May of 2021, Courtney Barnett and collaborator/producer Stella Mozgawa had just handed in the final masters for Barnett’s third album Things Take Time, Take Time when they met up with filmmaker Danny Cohen in a Melbourne studio. Barnett had been experimenting with new gear, making meditative long-form pieces for an audience of one. Mozgawa had just bought an Oberheim OB6 which became the center-piece of her setup, feeding sounds through a tape echo. And for his part, Cohen had a near- finished documentary, Anonymous Club, a candid portrayal of the travails and hard- fought personal triumphs of Barnett’s ascent to international indie rock adulation. Now, he just needed a score.

As Cohen played the final edit of his film that day, Barnett and Mozgawa improvised with one guiding principle—nothing too maudlin, obvious, or instructive, nothing to tell the future audience how they should be feeling about Barnett’s life onscreen. Anonymous Club offers up a plethora of Barnett’s music, documenting her charged live sets and her start-and-stop-and-search songwriting process. The pieces she and Mozgawa made that day, though, float around the edges of the finished scenes, coloring the proceedings much like the grain of Cohen’s 16mm film. Really, one could watch Anonymous Club and never know that Barnett made extra music for it.

A year passed and Barnett found she liked listening to what they had made in Melbourne, putting it on and existing within its reflective gaze. Might this be more than the instrumental music of a film? She began sorting through the panoply of little instrumentals like amoebic puzzle pieces, figuring out how she might adjust them ever so slightly until they fit together into a complete and compelling picture. Almost everything on the result of that work—a seamless series of 17 instrumental improvisations she now calls End of the Day —stems from the film. But this is soundtrack as sound-art collage, reordering and reframing the past to shape and share a different story about who we have been and what we might become.

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End of the Day (Music from the film Anonymous Club)
Things Take Time, Take Time
Tell Me How you Really Feel
Courtney Bsrnett + Kurt Vile: Lotta Sea
Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas


1/6 End of the Day
2/6 Start Somewhere, Life Balance & First Slow
3/6 If I Don't Hear From You Tonight
4/6 Write A List Of Things To Look Forward To
5/6 Before You Gotta Go
6/6 Rae Street