(Photo: Garrett Borns)

Some albums – like Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour – have enduring beauty. You enjoy listening to them from beginning to end, year after year.

I’m sure that Courtney Farren’s new debut album Punchlines will likewise sound just as marvelous in 2034.

On the strength of her songwriting alone, Farren is already in the Genius Club alongside Musgraves, Taylor Swift, Brian Wilson and Aimee Mann.

Courtney’s songwriting is so strong that it’s easy to overlook the fact that she’s a remarkable singer. Her song “Will I Ever Love Me?” (co-produced by The 1975’s Ross MacDonald) is a soul-baring slow-burner – and her vocals on the track remind me of all-time greats like Bonnie Raitt.

Farren’s music is in no way a duplicate of any of the aforementioned artists. She creates a world that is masterfully melodic, yet unique. Punchlines has the intimacy of a diary shared with the world. If Taylor Swift is the Millennial bard, Courtney feels like the discerning voice of Gen Z.

Here are some of the many great moments on Punchlines:

“I Don’t Mind” is a song about financial uncertainty in 2024 L.A., but the rich harmonies help put those anxieties to rest.

“Internet Age” explores the downside of being “chronically online”, where Farren reveals that “I can’t watch a sunset without aching to prove it.”

“I’m Not Alone (I’m Lonely)” begins with Courtney standing in line behind an obnoxious customer berating a clerk – then the song examines what Farren calls “navigating the complexities of solitude.”

Courtney Farren’s Punchlines is a showcase for subtlety and nuance. She doesn’t try to overpower us with her voice – yet it’s wonderfully expressive. She’s not a look-at-me performer – but every track on the album offers ample proof that Farren is going to make a lasting impact on pop for years to come.