10. Courtney Barnett, “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit”

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No doubt this Aussie’s first impression is that of a throwback to a beloved era when the likes of Liz Phair, PJ Harvey and even Sheryl Crow got alt-rock airplay, but her singular, wizened perspective (think Fiona Apple-as-slacker but with a more pronounced sense of humor) and underdog persona (think Amy Rigby, but a decade younger) set her apart from the crowd. Her more exuberant-than-proficient vocals work because her lyrics are sharp and the music’s snappy. I was immediately won over by the New Pornographers-like stomp of “Elevator Operator” and breakneck pace of “Pedestrian at Best”, but the enchanting, laid-back vibe of “Depreston” and guttural blues of “Small Poppies” suggest a real range I suspect she’ll continue to develop and strengthen.

Favorite tracks: “Elevator Operator”, “Depreston”, “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party”, “Debbie Downer”