thu 13/06/2024

CD: Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice

CD: Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Lotta Sea Lice

Courtney and Kurt kick back with some mellow slacker tunes

'Lotta Sea Lice': mellow and laidback

Courtney Barnett’s debut album, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, was a quirky and bitter-sweet disc of sunny lo-fi tunes about wanting to be an evaluator operator, the price of organic vegetables and generally being at a bit of a loose end.

Well, that was a couple of years ago and for her follow-up, she’s taken the somewhat unexpected step of getting together with lo-fi king, Kurt Vile for an album of largely laidback, Americana-infused duets that take a lead from Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’ 70s hippy cowboy ballads and 90s slacker couple Evan Dando and Julia Hatfield’s duets.

Lotta Sea Lice can feel at times like an unashamed homage to 90s slacker guitar pop and kicks off with the jangly guitars of “Over Everything” while Courtney and Kurt sing of the passing of time and noticing yourself getting older. The stoned psychedelic power pop of “Fear Is Like a Forest” with its fuzzy groove and understated feedback has more than a hint of 80s Aussie indie rockers Died Pretty or even Crazy Horse. While there’s also the picked guitars and country groove of “Continental Breakfast” and a sweet cover of Belly’s “Untogether”. Elsewhere though, a real lack of variety and lo-fi strumming that often flirts with tuneless-dirge-without-a-hook only emphasises that neither Barnett nor Vile have the most spectacular of singing voices and that there’s not much else going on.

Lotta Sea Lice may not demonstrate the greatest of reach nor a great deal of the wry sense of humour that was all over Barnett’s debut album but it is a pleasant enough set of mellow and laidback tunes. It’s just that, as with many side projects, it might have made a much better EP than it does an album.

'Lotta Sea Lice' can feel at times like an unashamed homage to 90s slacker guitar pop


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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