The Dive:  Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile's 'Album of the Autumn'
    • WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2017

    • Posted by: David Pitz


    There's no better musical pairing going than Kurt and Courtney right now. No, I'm not talking about that Kurt and Courtney. That would only be possible with holograms or something. American guitar slayer Kurt Vile and awesome Aussie songwriter Courtney Barnett have teamed up on what I'm calling the "Album of the Autumn". Yeah, that's a thing…and the results are all kinds of adorable.

    Things kind of suck these days. Between tweets from Dear Leader, President Moron and the no good, very bad parade of horrible news on the Telly, music is as necessary an escape portal as ever. And what better way to get away than through a musical collaboration founded on mutual admiration, friendship,

    The whole thing came to be a few years back when Courtney scored a gig opening for Kurt outside of Melbourne. She was on the come-up at the time, Kurt was very much established. So she didn't want to bug him at the gig. But as her profile began to grow the two started spotting each other at festivals, becoming fast friends and fans of each other's music in the process.

    In particular, Kurt points to Courtney's song "Depreston" as the point in which he was officially charmed: her voice, the story that unfolds. He was smitten by the instant classic. The Philadelphian would be in photo shoots in his home town, but his mind would be 10,300 miles away, in Melbourne. Vile recently told Rolling Stone, "I started spacing out and writing a song for Courtney. I had a fantasy that she would sing it with me".

    The original idea for the partnership was to record a 7"…of course, singles get lost in the digital crowd these days. So the pair set out to work on an EP. But over the course of 8 recording sessions, spread out across 15 months, the vibes flowed, and Kurt and Courtney recorded a full-length album called Lotta Sea Lice.

    No idea how the two came up with that title, but the album is a low-key batch of feel-good songs that find Kurt and Courtney dueting, trading guitar solos, and wandering through ramshackle tunes on life as a loner, writing songs, friendship, and yeah…trying to forget that "big old ominous cloud" that in everyone's peripheries these days. It's refreshing.

    Want to escape the madness for a bit? Lotta Sea Lice is available now. And the two will be embarking on a North American tour with an all-star band behind them this fall. Grab some tickets.

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