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A conversation between friends, documented in raw, unvarnished song form, brimming with personal history, crackling with energy and shot through with humour - this is the collaborative album of Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile. Two of the most acclaimed and gifted song writers of our generation “Lotta Sea Lice” also sees them roping in friends such as Dirty Three, Stella from Warpaint and Mick Harvey to create a body of work that sounds organic & candid.
The shared chemistry is immediately apparent in the breathtaking jam of opener and first single “Over Everything”, with dovetailing vocal lines and intricate, shimmering guitar stylings from the pair. The lyrics play out as a rambling dialogue as they compare notes about song-writing and inspiration – it was the first song written for this project, and comes accompanied by a beautiful black and white video from Australian director Danny Cohen which features Courtney and Kurt swapping lines over series of jaw dropping backdrops in rural Victoria and New Jersey as well as Melbourne and Philadelphia. It’s deceptively simple but incredibly effective.
Other tracks include the bluesy “Let it Go”, which itself was inspired by texts and emails between the duo, and the drop dead gorgeous ‘Continental Breakfast”, which showcases a more melodic side as the two harmonise over finger-picked acoustic guitars.
There are even more surprises in store, however, when the pair tackle each other’s tracks, with Vile delivering a delicious, souped-up version of “Outta the Woodwork” backed by Barnett herself, and Barnett taking on Vile’s “Peepin’ Tomboy” completely solo, to spine tingling results. The overall effect is that of Barnett and Vile throwing open the doors to their house to listeners - this is certainly Courtney and Kurt’s party alright, but this time, everyone is invited.
Andy says: Originally intended as a one-off 7-inch single ("Over Everything") but quickly developing into so much more, this album features a handful of originals (all excellent!) a couple of covers (Jen Cloher and the Breeders) and both heroes doing a version of each other's songs. More Kurt than Courtney, but hey, that's alright! The slacker king and queen create something kooky'n'cool with some nice tunes to boot!
Let It Go
Fear Is Like A Forest
Outta The Woodwork