Courtney Barnett and Vagabon Cover Sharon Van Etten’s “Don’t Do It”: Listen

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Another cut from the forthcoming epic Ten

Vagabon and Courtney Barnett
Vagabon and Courtney Barnett, photo by Pooneh Ghana

Courtney Barnett and Vagabon have shared their cover of Sharon Van Etten’s “Don’t Do It,” part of a forthcoming release celebrating the 10th anniversary of Van Etten’s 2010 album Epic. That project, epic Ten, pairs a reissue of Epic with other artists covering each track, and is out April 16. Listen to Barnett and Vagabon’s version of “Don’t Do It” below.

“Courtney and I found that we have a beautiful collaborating chemistry when we made our cover of ‘Reason to Believe,’ which came out earlier this year.” Vagabon said in a statement. “So when CB asked me to join her in singing ‘Don’t Do It’ by the inimitable Sharon Van Etten, I was thrilled! ‘Don’t Do It’ is one of my favorite tracks off Epic and it was such a pleasure to do a version of it with Courtney.”

Courtney Barnett added:

I was so honoured that Sharon invited me to be part of this project. She is one of my favourite songwriters and such an inspiring artist, performer & encouraging friend to me. This song “Don’t Do It” is powerful and personal, I really didn’t know how to make it my own, in fact I tried to pick a different song and convinced myself I wasn’t up to the task, but Sharon was quietly supportive the whole time. in the process of talking vulnerably about the lyrics with her, I had to delve deeper into what the song meant for me. It’s fascinating to hear an artist ruminate on a song that is 10 years old and see how it/they have evolved. I think it’s a beautiful thing to celebrate the journey of a song.

I went into the studio a few days after Melbourne lockdown lifted. Stella Mozgawa played drums and I played guitar and we built the song from there. A week later I was talking to my friend Lætitia (Vagabon) we were saying how we should collaborate more. I nervously asked if she’d be interested in singing with me on this song and I’m so glad she said yes, her voice sounds incredible and really made the song feel complete. After nearly a year of solitude, I was so grateful for this opportunity to create something different with people that I greatly admire. And it seemed perfectly strange that the last time I was on a stage pre-COVID was with these three people.

In addition to Barnett and Vagabon, epic Ten features Lucinda Williams (“Save Yourself”), Fiona Apple (“Love More”), Shamir (“Dsharpg”), and more. Earlier this year, Vagabon and Barnett collaborated on another cover, taking on Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe.”


 

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