Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, CA

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile took the Immanuel Presbyterian Church stage last week following the anticipated release of collaborative album Lotta Sea Lice.

The show was a family affair with Barnett’s singer-songwriter wife, Jen Cloher, opening for the band. Folk-rock guitar riffs filled the church air—a weirdly fitting venue for an intimate rock show. Drowned in white light, Barnett and Vile started the set with their most notable song yet, “Over Everything.”

The duo’s signature conversational style lyrics made up for minimal stage banter, leaving audience members peacefully engaged. “Let it Go” followed “Over Everything,” a song inspired by a chain of email correspondences between the Australian and Philly native. The set was an eclectic mix of acoustic and electric sounds, Vile and Barnett’s languid vocals flowing together seamlessly.

The band continued to showcase Lotta Sea Lice with songs “Fear is Like a Forest,” “Continental Breakfast” and “On Script,” also performing Barnett’s “Depreston” and Vile’s “Life Like This.” A short encore consisted of a few more solo songs, Vile playfully telling the audience “you look pretty hot” before launching into “Pretty Pimpin.”

Barnett and Vile have noted that making their album was a spontaneously fun endeavor, and their relaxed performance at Immanuel certainly reflected that; the show reminded fans why they came to love the two as individual artists, as well as presented their newly cultivated joint sound.

Text by Shannen McKee | Photos by Oliver Roman

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