Courtney Barnett Shares New Song “Smile Real Nice” From New “Harriet the Spy” Cartoon

Oct 13, 2021

By Mark Redfern

Photography by Mia Mala McDonald


Courtney Barnett is releasing a new album, Things Take Time, Take Time, on November 12 via Mom + Pop Music/Marathon Artists, but now she has shared a new song not featured on that record, “Smile Real Nice.” Instead, it’s the theme song for Harriet the Spy, a new animated show on Apple TV+ that debuts on November 19 and is based on the 1964 children’s novel by Louise Fitzhugh. Listen to the song below, followed by a trailer for the show.

There was also a live action Harriet the Spy film in 1996, along with other TV adaptations over the years. The new cartoon stars Beanie Feldstein as Harriet, Jane Lynch as Ole Golly, and Lacey Chabert as Marion Hawthorne.

Previously Barnett shared the Things Take Time, Take Time’s first single, “Rae Street,” via an amusing video where Barnett plays multiple characters. “Rae Street” was #1 on our Songs of the Week list. She also shared a different fan-sourced video for “Rae Street” featuring footage shot out various fans’ windows. Then she shared its second single, “Before You Gotta Go,” which was also one of our Songs of the Week. The Barnett was the musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where she and her backing band performed “Rae Street” remotely from a cozy table lamp-lit room. Then she shared an amusing video for “Before You Gotta Go” and also launched a stem mixer on her website (check it out here). Then Barnett shared the album’s third single, “Write a List of Things to Look Forward To,” via a video for it featuring the Australian musician receiving lots of fun things in the mail. “Write a List of Things to Look Forward To” also landed on our Songs of the Week list.

Barnett’s last album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, was released back in May 2018 via Mom + Pop/Marathon Artists/Milk! Records. It was our Album of the Week and one our Top 100 Albums of 2018.

Things Take Time, Take Time was written over a two-year period and was recorded in Sydney, Northern NSW, and Melbourne in late 2020/early 2021 with the aid of Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa (who is also Australian and also worked with Kurt Vile, John Grant, Cate Le Bon, The xx, and others). W.A.M. Bleakley directed the “Rae Street” video.

A previous press release hyped up the album this way: “Things Take Time, Take Time is yet another assured leap forward for Barnett; a breakthrough really, but not in the ways you might expect. This is Barnett at her most creative and adventurous—an exquisite look at Courtney’s private world, and consequently her most beautiful and intimate record to date, with songs dealing unabashedly with love, renewal, healing and self-discovery.”

Read our 2018 cover story on Courtney Barnett here.

Read our ranking of the 10 best Courtney Barnett songs.

Courtney Barnett North American Tour Dates:

Sat November 27 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s
Mon November 29 – Las Vegas, NA @ Brooklyn Bowl with Bedouine
Tues December 1 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory with Bedouine
Thurs December 2 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Depot with Bedouine
Sat December 4 – Phoenix, AZ @ Van Buren with Bartees Strange
Sun December 5 – San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park with Bartees Strange
Thu, December 9 – Los Angeles, CA – The Theater at Ace Hotel with Warpaint
Fri December 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Ace with Bartees Strange
Sun December 12 – Oakland, CA @ The Fox with Bartees Strange
Tues December 14 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount with Bartees Strange
Wed December 15 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore
Sat January 22 – Minneapolis, MN @ Palace Theatre with Julia Jacklin
Sun January 23 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre with Julia Jacklin
Thurs January 22 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater
Tues January 25 – Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple Theatre with Julia Jacklin
Wed January 26 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live with Julia Jacklin
Sun January 30 – Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
Fri January 28 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman with Julia Jacklin
Sat January 29 – Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern with Julia Jacklin
Mon January 31 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel with Shamir
Wed February 2 – Washington DC @ 9:30 Club with Shamir
Thurs February 3 – Washington DC @ 9:30 Club with Shamir
Fri February 4 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Met with Julia Jacklin
Sat February 5 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall with Julia Jacklin
Mon February 7 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
Tues February 8 – Boston, MA @ Wang Theatre with Shamir
Thurs February 10 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground with Shamir
Fri February 11 – Montreal, QC @ Mtelus with Shamir
Sat February 12 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall with Shamir

(Via Stereogum)

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