The tenth anniversary of Sharon Van Etten’s epic is almost here, and with it the release of epic Ten. The double LP, which hosts an all-star roster of artists covering each song on Van Etten’s original album, arrives on April 16 via Ba Da Bing.
Since epic Ten was first announced, a new cover off of the album has been released every Thursday. Today (April 1) marks the arrival of track number five, courtesy of Courtney Barnett and Vagabon. The two indie darlings take on a cover of “Don’t Do It,” their voices perfectly blending on the heavy track. It’s no surprise that Barnett and Vagabon would join together to an exceptional effect, given their ercent collaboration on a cover of “Reason to Believe,” as it was performed by Karen Dalton.
Barnett said of working on epic Ten with Vagabon:
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
Vagabon elaborated on working with 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.
In the next two weeks, we can expect covers from St. Panther and a rendition of the closing track by Fiona Apple. For now, check out “Don’t Do It” by Courtney Barnett feat. Vagabon below. Keep scrolling to revisit Sharon Van Etten’s 2010 Daytrotter Session. You can preorder epic Ten here.