According to Courtney Barnett, “Keep On” was a song she practiced every night when touring Europe last year. The stellar singer-songwriter took fellow Australians and label-mates Loose Tooth on tour with her and became enamored with one of their songs, plucking away at her guitar in various hotel rooms between gigs, trying to crack its secrets. When Barnett’s label, Milk Records, decided to pull together compilations of its artists covering one another, she probably didn’t have to agonize over which song she wanted to lay down.
With only two full-length solo albums to her credit thus far, the strength of Barnett’s artistic voice is mightily impressive. “Keep On” is a cover, but it sure sounds like a prime Barnett song, even beyond the obvious reasons. Her sensibility — wise, wry, endearing — comes through in every beat. With every song Barnett plays, she tells us how she really feels.