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Kurt Vile

Album Review: Wakin On A Pretty Daze - Kurt Vile

With his new record Wakin On A Pretty Daze (Matador), Kurt Vile continues his spellbinding nature. The follow-up to 2011’s Smoke Ring for My Halo, once again, finds legendary producer John Agnello assuming the reins, guiding Philly’s “constant hitmaker” on his latest journey.

The album begins with the epic nine-plus-minutes song, “Wakin on a Pretty Day,” in which Vile confesses his intentions - “Waking the dawn of day, I gotta think about what I want to say…it’s hard to explain my hurt in this daze.” Laced between an eerily comfortable marriage of familiar mercurial electric and steadily strumming acoustic guitars, Vile’s alluring, hazy comforts draw you in as the song raises you out of your slumber. As he lifts the sleep from your eyes, the prolific songwriter announces his intentions in the following track “KV Crimes” - amid a raunchy guitar riff and a steady percussive backdrop - “that’s fine I think I’m ready to claim what’s rightfully mine” - injecting short bursts of guitar as if to flex his muscle.

“Was All Talk” has an aquatic-running musical vibe with its “The Boys of Summer”-esque intro, establishing a customarily complex, yet comfortably moving feel, while coasting along as Vile confidently professes, “In the sea of storm, making music is easy. Watch me.” Spiraling guitars and snappy drums set the stage for “Girl Called Alex” as the mood darkens and intensifies. “I want to live all the time in my fantasy infinity; there, I’ll never be abandoned; there, I’ll have a handle against everything.”

“Never Run Away” is one of the songs that grabs you instantaneously in its addictive simplicity - an effortlessly clean acoustic strumming pattern matched with an equal to the task drumbeat and Vile’s drawn-out spoken/sung vocals that have long been compared to the legendary Lou Reed. It’s a casual groove that seems to tighten up with every additional listen. While “Pure Pain” continues an ongoing trend of establishing a musical identity riff/percussion/vocal, it has a surprising shift as if the guitar decides to uproot. As you hear Vile’s changes purposely dragging along the neck, a marching beat comes to the forefront, leading way to a short elegant solo before he backtracks into its previously assumed position, and then as if battling itself, shape shifts yet again.

“Shame Chamber” is yet another simple sounding song that is anything but that. A quick riff that is joined on the journey by an arrangement that becomes increasingly complex, adding layers as if Vile strolls through another story that despite its multiple facets and heavy lyrical content retains a lightness. In “Air Bud,” he ventures through a spacey, fuzz intro that lands on his steady, easy-going roots, and then the musical interludes are stretched out, forming a terrain that is vast but focused. He elaborates on the final song, which easily floats along on its acoustic-founded riff layered with elevating key work, “I might be adrift, but I’m still alert, concentrating my hurt into a goldtone.”

Vile is continuously refining his art while also diving into new exploratory depths. He is an artist that has proven to mature with every new endeavor, and Wakin On A Pretty Daze shines from the start, etching its way into your mind with each comforting note. - Michael Colavita


New Kurt Vile Double LP Available for Streaming

It was quite a weekend in Philly with the weather on Saturday making a perfect backdrop for Kurt Vile's parade/video shoot (which was directed by The Best Show on WFMU's Tom Scharpling). Well, that positive energy has carried into the workweek with NPR's First Listen series streaming Vile's double LP Wakin On A Daze in its entirety HERE. The album's official release is next Tuesday, April 9 via Matador Records. Kurt Vile and the Violators will be performing next in Philly on Saturday, May 18 at Union Transfer.


Kurt Vile Parade This Saturday! (Yeah, You Read That Correctly.)

Ahhh...do you want to go to a Kurt Vile Parade this Saturday in Philly hosted by The Best Show on WFMU's Tom Scharpling? Of course, you do! To attend, shoot an email to kurtvileparade@gmail.com for time and location.


New Video: "Never Run Away" - Kurt Vile

Here's an adorable new video/"commercial" from Kurt Vile featuring his daughter and the track "Never Run Away" from his upcoming album Wakin On A Pretty Daze due out April 9 via Matador Records. The actual ad aired on the CW in Philly, and was directed by Don Argott. Vile will be back in town with the Violators on Saturday, May 18 at Union Transfer.

Update: You can now download "Never Run Away" for free via Spin.com.


New Video: "Never Run Away" (Radio K Session) - Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile performed a new song solo called "Never Run Away," which is off his upcoming album Wakin On A Pretty Daze (Matador) due out April 9. It was recorded for Radio K, a student-run radio station at the University of Minnesota, and you can view it HERE.


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