Cool indie rock news: Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett made an album together, will play the Tower in the fall

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Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile.

Here’s a delightful surprise: Philadelphia guitarist and indie-rock hero Kurt Vile and Australian songwriter Courtney Barnett have recorded a collaborative album and will tour together this fall.

The hirsute duo will kick off their tour in San Diego on Oct. 11 and are playing the Tower Theater in Upper Darby on Nov. 3. Funnily enough, they’re calling their backing band The Sea Lice, whose rotating members will include Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss, Rob Laakso, who plays with Vile’s band The Violators, Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa, and Katie Harkin. who’s toured with Sleater-Kinney. Vile calls the set-up “a cookin’ band and an intercontinental country duo for the ages – minus the country.”

Vile and Barnett met when she opened for him at a gig outside Melbourne in 2014, and they became friends crossing paths on the road. Their as yet untitled album was recorded in eight days over a 15 month period at various locales.

In a press release, Barnett said: “I’m a huge Kurt fan. Smoke Ring” – Vile’s 2011 album Smoke Ring For My Halo – 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.” Aussie singer Jen Cloher will open all CB-KV tour dates.

Vile, who’s currently a resident of Mt. Airy, added this about the Sometimes I think and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit songwriter: 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.”

Tickets for the Tower show go on sale at 10 on Friday via Ticketmaster.