A rough week gets a bit better with the news that Vagabon (born Lætitia Tamko) and Courtney Barnett have shared a lovely cover of “Reason to Believe,” inspired by Greenwich Village folk singer Karen Dalton’s rendition of the song.
Blues singer Tim Hardin originally wrote and recorded “Reason to Believe” in 1965, and it has since been covered by many other artists, including Rod Stewart and Bruce Springsteen. Dalton’s version appeared on 1966, a collection of previously unreleased recordings released in 2012.
“I recently discovered the Karen Dalton version of ‘Reason To Believe’ for the first time. I became obsessed and so a few days after discovering it, I was encouraged to record a cover of it in my garage,” said Tamko in a statement. “The decision to have Courtney sing it with me came after we performed it together live at the Palace Theatre in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day 2020, a month before lockdown. It was fresh in our brains then so not long after the show, CB came over and we recorded her parts. Oliver Hill plays slide guitar on it.”
Barnett added, “I’m a huge fan of Vagabon and Karen Dalton so this was a dream. They both have a voice that absolutely knocks the wind out of me. I really admire Laetitia and am constantly inspired by her songwriting, production, and our sporadic FaceTime chats.”
Vagabon and Barnett’s take on the song is heartbroken yet hopeful, foregrounding Tamko’s delicate vocals over acoustic strums and Hill’s twangy slide guitar accents. Barnett sings high harmonies on its choruses, adding emphasis to the emotional resolution, “Still I look to find a reason to believe.”
Today’s cover is Vagabon’s first new music since the fall 2020 release of a new version of Vagabon track “Home Soon,” the sole non-score song on the Antebellum film soundtrack. She released her self-titled sophomore album in October 2019.
Vagabon will perform via livestream on Jan. 29, starting at 9 p.m. ET. You can grab a ticket right here for $12.
Check out Vagabon and Barnett’s “Reason to Believe” cover below, along with Dalton’s rendition, and revisit Barnett’s 2015 Paste session further down.