Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett announce joint LP, ‘Lotta Sea Lice’, share new song ‘Over Everything’

At long last, we seem to have some tantalising news on this year’s most talked about collaboration, as Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett share a video for their new single, ‘Over Everything’. The song comes as the first single from the duo’s forthcoming collaborative album, ‘Lotta Sea Lice’, announced earlier this week, and set for release this October.

Ideal partners in fiction, ‘Over Everything’ demonstrates how easy Vile and Barnett partner in reality, too. Trading whimsical existential observations above gnarled bluesy guitar riffs, and drawing from each other’s meaningfully mundane monologues, it’s almost impossible to determine where one mind ends and the other begins. The accompanying video shows the duo (very appropriately) finishing each other’s lines in various locations, it’s a six-minute slacker masterpiece, the perfect soundtrack to a long summer’s drive with the windows down. You can watch the video for ‘Over Everything’ in the player below.

‘Lotta Sea Lice’ was allegedly recorded over 8 days, spread over the span of almost 15 months, in between touring their respective solo albums, Vile’s 2015 LP ‘b’lieve i’m goin down’ and Barnett’s acclaimed sophomore release ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’ (also released in the same year). Speaking about the duo’s collaboration in a recent statement, Barnett says:

“In 2014 I scored a support slot opening for Kurt at the Abbotsford Convent [outside Melbourne]. We met briefly after the show but I was a bit nervous and didn’t wanna bother him, just grateful for the gig. Years later we started bumping into each other on the festival circuit all around the wide world and we became friends. He hit me up when he was coming to Melbourne next and said he thought we could work together.”

It’s not secret that the pair are mutual admirers of each others work; Vile says,

“I love all her music but the song that really hit me was ‘Depreston’-I know it’s popular but her voice is so good in that song and it’s so pretty and sincere… i’m a sucker for that kinda song: instant classic.” 

Barnett adds, 

“Smoke Ring was one of my first purchases on vinyl. I was getting over a big break-up, unemployed and drifting and I would just lie on my bed and listen to ‘Peepin’ Tom’ on repeat. One of the most beautiful and luscious albums I ever heard. Me and Jen fell in love to that album.”

(Image courtesy of Tom Ross for Rolling Stone)

‘Lotta Sea Lice’ is set to feature a series of covers, including Barnett’s solo take on Vile’s track ‘Peepin’ Tomboy’, taken from the Philadelphia songwriter’s 2011 album, ‘Smoke Ring for My Halo’, and Vile’s version of Barnett’s 2013 song ‘Outta the Woodwork’ . The album also features a cover of Jen Cloher’s ‘Fear Is Like A Forest’ (Cloher, who is Barnett’s partner recently released her eponymous 4th album), amongst a handful of original songs, including the peculiarly titled ‘Continental Brekafast’, that Vile wrote about the duo’s long-distance friendship whilst on vacation. You can find the full track listing for the album below.

Vile and Barnett previously announced a North American tour earlier this year, performing with an all-star backing band, the Sea Lice, which features members of Sleater-Kinney, Warpaint and more! Find the duo’s touring schedule here. ‘Lotta Sea Lice’ arrives October 13 via Matador and Marathon Artists, the record is now available for pre-order on all formats here. Listen to ‘Over Everything’ on Spotify now.

‘Lotta Sea Lice’ track listing:

Over Everything

Let It Go

Fear Is Like a Forest

Outta the Woodwork

Continental Breakfast

On Script

Blue Cheese

Peepin’ Tom


Words by Joe Bulger

Featured image courtesy of Danny Cohen

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