Sharon Van Etten Presents “Don’t Do It” (By Courtney Barnett feat. Vagabon)
epic Ten Out 16th April on Ba Da Bing;
Anniversary Double Album Featuring Covers by Fiona Apple,
Lucinda Williams, Big Red Machine (Aaron Dessner & Justin Vernon),
Courtney Barnett ft. Vagabon, IDLES, Shamir, and St. Panther
epic Ten: thedocumentary and concert Benefiting Zebulon Streaming
16th and 17th April
Sharon Van Etten presents “Don’t Do It” (By Courtney Barnett feat. Vagabon), the most recent cover off of epic Ten, out digitally on April 16th and physically on 11th June via Ba Da Bing. epic Ten is a double album celebrating the tenth anniversary of Van Etten’s epic. Alongside Courtney Barnett and Vagabon, the album features Fiona Apple, Lucinda Williams, Shamir, Big Red Machine (Aaron Dessner & Justin Vernon), IDLES, and St. Panther. Each Thursday leading up to its release, Van Etten has been sharing the album’s next consecutive cover song. Preceding today’s “Don’t Do It” (By Courtney Barnett feat Vagabon), she’s released “DsharpG” (By Shamir), “Save Yourself” (By Lucinda Williams), “Peace Signs” (By IDLES),and “A Crime” (By Big Red Machine).
“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, infact 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 ten 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 Laetitia (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.”
– Courtney Barnett
“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. 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.”
The chemistry between Courtney Barnett and Vagabon is instantly captured in this collaboration. A perfect balancing act, the entwining vocal notes and harmonies provide such a compelling depth and pure organic texture to the creation. The guitar tone and buoyant beat deliver this raw appeal. This is perfect rock territory glossed with emotive melody.
“Courtney Barnett has been an important musical influence on me since 2014, when we first met at The Neptune theater in Seattle. From the first time we met, I felt like I made an immediate friend. From performing together, to having home hangs in between tours, commiserating with the very specific mixed feelings of tour life assimilating back to home life and figuring out the in between as we have been learning how to nurture our domestic lives while paying attention to our creative selves outside of the album and touring cycle. I admire Courtney’s writing style in that she has such a unique and intimate narrative approach while being personal and funny, without giving too much away. I feel connected to her music and perspective, while always wanting to learn more – and as a friend she has offered me guidance and advice while also being an ear when I have been in a rut or when I am in need of a new approach to look at my writing in a new way.
The last show I played before the COVID lockdown was for a benefit in Los Angeles that Courtney put together for the Newport Folk Festival. There, we got to perform a song together and she introduced me to the incredibly talented artist, Vagabon. Little did I know that a year later, I would be putting together this compilation of songs from my album ‘epic’ in which we are celebrating the 10 year anniversary now. Happily surprised that she was able to make the emotional space to cover my song ‘Don’t Do It’ with Vagabon – she thoughtfully reached out on what the lyrics meant to me when I wrote it and what it means to me now. Obviously, a deep time of introspection as I reflect on the meanings of the songs now, it was important to give more light and personality and someone else’s narrative in order to give the songs new life and new meaning. Their voices together and choice of arrangement helped breathe more hope in a song that when I wrote it was from more of a desperate mindset. Thanks to Courtney & Vagabon, I feel like ‘Don’t Do It’ is now a more optimistic view of someone getting to the other side. And it means the world to collaborate, even at a distance, to feel a bit closer to getting to the other side as a collective.”
– Sharon Van Etten
For epic Ten: the documentary and concert streaming 16th and 17th April, Van Etten and band perform epic in its entirety from Zebulon LA, the venue that played a crucial role in her early career. Profits will benefit Zebulon. A short documentary on the making of epic and the significance of Zebulon as a haven for Van Etten and many other musicians will precede the concert.
Airtime #1: Friday, 16th April – 6pm PT / 9pm ET
Airtime #2: Saturday, 17th April – 9pm AEST
Airtime #3: Saturday, 17th April – 9pm BST
epic Ten Tracklist
1. “A Crime” – Big Red Machine
2. “Peace Signs” – IDLES
3. “Save Yourself” – Lucinda Williams
4. “DsharpG” – Shamir
5. “Don’t Do It” – Courtney Barnett (ft. Vagabon)
6. “One Day” – St. Panther
7. “Love More” – Fiona Apple