A rambling mess of sun-dazed vignettes, wandering recollections and throwaway observation, Lotta Sea Lice offers a warm moment between indie darlings Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett. Trading lyrical lines and guitar riffs with effortless ease, the pair coast upon their own eccentric whims. Lotta Sea Lice may not scale the heights of pathos found within their respective solo works but it as a standalone project it never fails in its charm.
As sprawling opener ‘Over Everything’ rolls by the pair quickly find their shared musical middle ground. Casing themselves between Court’s irreverent urban blues and the countrified twang of Kurt’s mellow Americana, the pair knock out a series of tracks born over their two-year collaboration.
Lotta Sea Lice simmers at a consistently agreeable heat. A definite high comes with Kurt’s sprawling guitar ornamentation of Jen Cloher ‘Fear Is Like Forest’. The potent reworking of Courtney’s partner and Milk Records mastermind comes in as a close second to the harmonies on closer and Belly cover ‘Untogether’.
Underscored by an undeniable alchemy, these two play it loose, fast and with surprising confidence. Coyly matching expectation, Lotta Sea Lice is a neat little concept that doesn’t wear out its welcome. The record may not be a career changing landmark for either but it’s possessed with such a down-home charm that it’s far too difficult to ignore.