Words by Keith Hadad

Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is one of the strongest debut records of the last decade, and thus a very tough act to follow. However, her follow-up album, a collaborative effort with Kurt Vile, totally blows away any and all expectations.

Lotta Sea Lice was born out of Barnett and Vile’s mutual love of each other’s work, which is clearly reflected within the music. The entire album glows with a fun and joyous energy that could only come from musicians that are totally excited to be playing together.

Musically, the duo’s styles naturally blend and compliment each other perfectly. Barnett and Vile’s shared sharp wit lands supremely well within the lush, gorgeously laid-back roots rock sound that they’ve created together.

Every track works flawlessly here, even though two are covers and two others are reinterpretations of older songs from their back catalogues. However, it’s the new material that stands out the most, like the catchy and wryly blunt opening track, “Over Everything” and the cathartic realism of “Let It Go.” The John Prine-esque “Blue Cheese” is also a special highlight that will make any listener smile (it gives a shout out to comedian Tom Scharpling, what’s not to love about that?)

The wait for Barnett’s second L.P. was absolutely worth it, as this album is a comforting and charmingly unpretentious breath of fresh air that will leave you wondering how you’ve lived this long without it.


Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
‘Lotta Sea Lice’
© October 13, 2017



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