Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
Lotta Sea Lice
Imagine the XX without the electronica, a slight country-folk spin, and more introspective lyrics, and you have the indie duo collaborative project between Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice.
Barnett and Vile are the perfect vocal match, a Dylan-esque hand in glove with an undeniable musical chemistry. One of the best song’s on the album, “Continental Breakfast” is filled with vivid imagery and music so cathartically country that it’s hard to not visualize being there with them having the continental breakfast in a hotel somewhere on the sphere around here. Other more enjoyable songs are the silly and fun “Blue Cheese”, “Over Everything” with its meanderings fit for listening and watching the clouds drift by, and the rocking “Fear is Like a Forest.”
For Barnett fans, don’t expect a continuation debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Barnett mostly shelves her former quirky witticisms for an even more mellow and introspective tone. This is clearly closer to Vile’s style, wonderfully complemented with Barnett’s circular guitar sounds and flat, deadpan vocal tones.
Some songs seem to musically ramble a bit too long, like “Outta the Woodwork” with its minimalistic jam for over well over a minute, going nowhere into a fade. And some songs like “On Script” are just purely languid, as close to a Debbie Downer as you can get in dragging down the album’s pace – that is unless you enjoy a cut and slow bleed every once in a while.
Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile are hyper-observers of the ordinary with laid back fleeting thoughts. Short moments of reflective brilliance, the kind where you might think if only for minute that you’ve stumbled upon a rare and simple truth, only to forget a minute later what that was. Except that Barnett and Vile seemed to have captured it on 9 tracks worthy of adding it to your music collection, filed under “songs to sink into your couch on a lazy Sunday.”