Cameroonian-American multi-hyphenate Vagabon has recruited indie darling Courtney Barnett for a cover of Tim Hardin‘s “Reason To Believe”, released on Thursday. Though the song was originally written and recorded by Hardin in 1965, it went on to be recorded by a range of artists including Karen Dalton, whose rendition was the inspiration for the Barnett and Vagabon cover.
This studio recording comes following Vagabon—born Lætitia Tamko—and Barnett’s performance of the song at the Palace Theatre in Los Angeles on February 14th, 2020. That concert, billed as Courtney Barnett & Friends, served as a benefit for Newport Festivals Foundation and also saw appearances from Lucius, Sharon Van Etten, Father John Misty, Waxahatchee, and more.
The cover of “Reason To Believe” immediately strikes listeners with calming energy as Vagabon is accompanied by a simple acoustic guitar. Barnett’s contributions to the song are strictly lyrical, as she joins her collaborator on the chorus of “Someone like you/Makes it hard to live without/Somebody else/Someone like you/Makes it easy to give/Never think about myself.” Meanwhile, home movie-quality footage of rolling landscapes through the vast expanse of the American frontier into Anytown, U.S.A. streams by in an idyllic accompaniment to the folk standard.
“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. “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.”
Watch the music video for Vagabon and Courtney Barnett’s cover of “Reason To Believe” below, or listen on your preferred streaming platform.
Vagabon, Courtney Barnett – “Reason To Believe” (Tim Hardin)