Their collaborative release Lotta Sea Lice is an audible compare-and-contrast for the pair, meandering between awkwardness, overflowing charisma and camaraderie.
While Vile reigns as the king of chill – bluesy, plucked-guitar articulated tracks and a Philadelphia drawl – Barnett strums into clever lyricism, touching on indie-rock influences. Their writing styles complement the other’s, resting at a natural equilibrium; a blurred and comfortable space of Barnett-Vile goodness.
Opening track ‘Over Everything’ is a blissful introduction, while other standout tracks are ‘Fear is Like a Forest’ – the downbeat jam at the end nears perfection – and ‘Continental Breakfast’ which captures the pair’s natural dynamic.
They also take turns playing covers of each other’s tunes – Vile covers ‘Outta The Woodwork’, and Barnett takes on the ultimate downbeat ‘Peeping Tomboy’. While Vile-Barnett originals would’ve been preferable to fill those tracks, they serve as a reminder of the differences in their music, and what each musician brings when armed with a guitar.
Alternating lead lines, sharing in perfect unison, and a united mindset fuel the album, creating something that’s so endearing in its effortlessness. The lyrics – touching on the mundanity of daily life – are a little nonsensical, but have a natural vibe that’s reminiscent of old friends, inside jokes, and a good time. Case and point – closing track ‘Untogether’.
With a matched apathetic appearance, musicianship and perspective, Barnett and Vile have crafted something that demands (in a playful, relaxed sort of way, of course) that you grab a few friends, recline, and bliss out. Summer afternoons, sorted.