Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile Announce Collaborative Album and Tour

Fall Tour to Feature an "All-Star Band" with Members of Sleater-Kinney and Warpaint

Jun 07, 2017
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Australian singer/songwriter/guitarist Courtney Barnett and American singer/songwriter/guitarist Kurt Vile are teaming up for a new collaborative album, which will be supported by a collaborative fall tour featuring an "all-star band." Details of the album (such as the title, release date, tracklist, or cover art) are still forthcoming, as is any music from the project, and a press release simply promises that the album will come out later this year. But all the tour dates are below. On tour the duo will be backed by "The Sea Lice," which is "a revolving cast of musicians" that includes Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Rob Laakso (The Violators, The Swirlies, Mice Parade), and Katie Harkin (Harkin, Sky Larkin, and touring member of Sleater-Kinney and Wild Beasts). In a press release Vile calls it "a cookin' band and an intercontinental country duo for the ages-minus the country."

The album was recorded in eight non-consecutive days spread out over the course of 15 months and will be jointly released by Matador (Vile's label) and Marathon Artists and Milk! Records (Barnett's two labels). Australian songwriter Jen Cloher will be the support act on the tour and they have partnered with Plus 1, "so that $1 from every ticket goes to support the ACLU and their work defending and protecting our individual rights and liberties."

Barnett had this to say about the collaboration in the press release: "In 2014 I scored a support slot opening for Kurt at the Abbotsford Convent [outside Melbourne]. We met briefly after the show but I was a bit nervous and didn't wanna bother him, just grateful for the gig. Years later we started bumping into each other on the festival circuit all around the wide world and we became friends. He hit me up when he was coming to Melbourne next and said he thought we could work together."

Barnett later added: "I'm a huge Kurt fan. Smoke Ring was one of my first purchases on vinyl. I was getting over a big break-up, unemployed and drifting and I would just lie on my bed and listen to 'Peepin' Tom' on repeat. One of the most beautiful and luscious albums I ever heard. Me and Jen fell in love to that album." 

Vile had this to say: "I just love her voice in general... great lyrics of course... I love all her music but the song that really hit me was 'Depreston'-I know it's popular but her voice is so good in that song and it's so pretty and sincere... I'm a sucker for that kinda song: instant classic. It started out as, maybe we'll do a split 7" together but then I figured let's make it a 12" so it doesn't get lost in the world, shoot for 5 songs. It wasn't until I had another KV tour booked for the following summer in Oz that we thought we should record as much as we can, just see what happens, no major goal to make it a full length, but it came together that way 'cause the vibe was so strong with everyone."

Barnett released her debut full-length album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, via Mom + Pop in 2015 and it landed at #6 on Under the Radar's Top 100 Albums of 2015 list. Vile's last studio album, b'lieve i'm goin down..., also came out in 2015, via Matador. Read our interview with Vile about that album.

Also read our joint interview between Barnett and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, from our Best of 2015 issue.

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile Tour Dates:

10.11.17 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA
10.14.17 - The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Church - Los Angeles, CA
10.15.17 - Orpheum Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
10.18.17 - Fox Theatre - Oakland, CA
10.20.17 - Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall - Portland, OR
10.21.17 - Moore Theatre - Seattle, WA
10.22.17 - The Showbox - Seattle, WA
10.25.17 - Palace Theatre - St. Paul, MN
10.26.17 - Rockefeller Chapel - Chicago, IL
10.27.17 - Thalia Hall - Chicago, IL
10.28.17 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL
10.30.17 - Royal Oak Music Theatre - Royal Oak, MI
10.31.17 - Massey Hall - Toronto, ON
11.1.17 - Beacon Theatre - New York, NY
11.3.17 - Tower Theatre - Upper Darby, PA
11.4.17 - Orpheum Theatre - Boston, MA
11.9.17 - Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, TN
11.10.17 - McFarlin Memorial Auditorium - Dallas, TX
11.11.17 - ACL Live at the Moody Theater - Austin, TX

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