We haven’t had better use for good slacker rock than in 2020, when many of us listlessly wandered about our homes, wondering how to fill the time. Like the slacker-rock great she is, Courtney Barnett is back about a year too late, readying her aptly titled third solo album, Things Take Time, Take Time, for November 12. The Australian singer-songwriter did record the album during the pandemic in late 2020 and early 2021, according to a press release, but that doesn’t seem to have changed much — it looks to be full of the same delightfully perceptive, somewhat offbeat observations she has made her name on since her 2010 EPs. That’s on display in lead single “Rae Street,” in which Barnett takes stock of the banalities of suburban life, from garbage pickups to dog walking. (Barnett had teased the song weeks before in a trailer for her upcoming North American tour.) It comes with a playful video that finds Barnett playing all the parts of these neighbors, from the frustrated parent to the bored loner.
Things Take Time, Take Time follows Barnett’s 2018 album, Tell Me How You Really Feel. Barnett has recently been performing a string of duet covers: She released Tim Hardin’s oft-covered “Reason to Believe” with former tourmate Vagabon, and the pair reunited to cover Sharon Van Etten’s “Don’t Do It” for her epic Ten reissue; at last year’s virtual Newport Folk Festival, she covered Gillian Welch’s “Everything Is Free” with Phoebe Bridgers.