Sinking beers with mates, drives down the coast, lazy afternoons at the beach; Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s collaborative new single, Over Everything, summons memories of summers past with its sunny disposition and blues-infused haze.
Barnett and Vile two-step throughout the track, taking turns sharing reflections on being alone and growing older against a background of twanging guitar chords and a simple, plodding bassline.
Vile channels his inner Bob Dylan in his oscillating vocalisations, with certain words coming out as if someone’s accidentally stepped on a pitch-bend pedal connected to his mic at various times during recording. Barnett’s parts provide a softer contrast and - at the weaving together of the two voices in the final verse - supply a welcome harmony to offset Vile’s near monotonous enunciation.
Lyrically, the duo delves into dealing with solitude and appreciating nature, while also providing some insight into their changed attitudes towards song-writing. A notable line reveals Vile’s new approach to wearing earplugs while jamming - “These days I, plug ‘em up” - and Barnett relates, confessing that, “When I’m struggling with my songs, I do the same thing too.” Not only are they partners in making music - they’re partners in maturing as artists and people.
In an age of genre-bending and electronic revolution we sometimes forget that there’s a place for songs like Over Everything – an uncomplicated piece which evokes simpler, happier times with no sense of contrivance.
Keep your eyes and ears out for Lotta Sea Lice, Barnett and Vile’s upcoming collaborative record due out on October 13, and watch them wear each other’s shoes in the vid below.