Great New Song: Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – “Over Everything”

We’re lucky to live in a time when so many Rock musicians in search of new directions are seeking new musical collaborators. It’s been a real collabo-fest the last couple of years, which is a great thing because the combination of different musical ideas is the story of Rock in a nutshell. A Rocknut shell if you like.

Sometimes weird and wonderful things happen when unlikely collaborators from different ends of the Rock spectrum come together. It was a bit of an eyebrow-raiser when electronica uber-producer Mark Ronson hooked up with power Rock purveyors Queens Of The Stone Age, but they ended up creating a top contender for Album of the Year, so you never know.

Other times the collaboration seems a lot more likely to succeed because the artists share such a similar approach to music, and the Courtney Barnett partnership with Kurt Vile definitely falls into this category. We’re talking slacker Rock heaven, two of the more naturalist Rockers on the scene, both specialists in conveying slices of real life leavened with deliciously subtle wit within a compellingly unadorned Indie Rock context.

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The album they made is called Lotta Sea Lice and it is due to hit the shelves on October 13, but they have released the first single “Over Everything”, and I gotta say I really like it, even though I’m having difficulty explaining why. Vile actually began writing the song with Barnett in mind, when they were only acquaintances. He sent it to her, and the whole project took off from there.

The song just feels so organic. It’s a mostly 2-chord jam, and there’s nothing particularly new or outstanding musically going on, but the voices and the playing just sound so real and human and authentic. It’s a clever little rumination on solitude and the creative process, which in another artist’s hands would sound like a “life’s tough at the top” lament, but with these two it comes across so honestly and relatably:

When I’m all alone on my own by my lonesome
And there ain’t a single ‘nother soul around
I wanna dig into my guitar bend a blues riff that hangs
Over everything

When I’m outside in a real good mood
You could almost forget bout all the other things
Like a big old ominous cloud in my periphery
Don’t wanna talk about it
Simultaneous I shout it

I really love how the sound of the guitars fattens over the course of the song, not growly or crunchy but just the jangly chord strumming of the two electric guitars, I’m thinking somehow it captures the psychic intensity of solitude. Or maybe I’m just grasping at straws, trying to come up with reasons why I like this song so much. What do you think?


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