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Show Review

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 thingand the results are all kinds of adorable.

And trust me. We need this record right now! 'Cause things kind of suck. Between tweets from Dear Leader, President Moron and the no good, very bad parade of horrible news, 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 and 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 yeahtrying 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.

Artist Bio

Courtney Barnett is a Melbourne-based guitar player & singer & songwriter. In 2012 she started her own label, Milk! Records, and released her first EP Ive Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris to glowing reviews around Australia. That quickly snowballed into International critical acclaim in 2013 with her second EP How To Carve A Carrot Into A Rose.

Lead single Avant Gardener tells the story of an anaphylactic panic-attack in the midst of an Australian heatwave, with lyrics like The paramedic thinks Im clever cos I play guitar, I think shes clever cos she stops people dying. Pitchfork was so enamoured with Avant Gardener that they named it a prestigious 'Best New Track.

Courtney has combined these two releases into one and called it The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas to be released internationally via House Anxiety/Marathon Artists. This collection collates her story so far and is a unique introduction to an incomparable and exciting new talent.

Along with Avant Gardener, selected highlights from the album include the gorgeous and woozy piano-strewn opener Out of the Woodwork, which showcases a darker side of her writing. Anonymous Club portrays Courtney at her most romantic and melancholic, while History Eraser is an infectious Dylan-esque cavalcade that was recently nominated (alongside Tame Impala) for the APRA Song Of The Year in Australia. And lets not forget Lance Jr. which was the first song to catch peoples ears.




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Courtney Barnett

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