x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Kurt Vile: Wakin on a Pretty daze

Kurt Vile is establishing himself as one of the premier songwriters in the indie circuit, despite how lazy he sounds.

Kurt Vile
Wakin on a Pretty Daze
(Matador)
***

Kurt Vile is establishing himself as one of the premier songwriters in the indie circuit, despite how lazy he sounds. Over the space of three albums, the Philadelphia artist balanced his complex guitar work over vocals that had him sounding like he just got out of bed. Wakin on a Pretty Daze is his most clear-eyed offering yet. Gone is the slightly claustrophobic sound of the previous album Smoke Ring for My Halo. Instead, we have crisper production and more languid grooves. It takes some confidence to open an album with a track clocking in at more than nine minutes, but the track doesn’t feel epic. However, the rolling drums and Vile’s beautiful acoustic passages make the track resemble a lovely stroll that you don’t want to end. KV Crimes initially raises some excitement, but by the end, the track curls back on itself. Wakin on a Pretty Daze does have some dark, emotional currents. Girl Called Alex exhibits some jealousy and self-loathing while Too Hard has Vile promising to lead a better life. That is, if he can be bothered, of course.

sasaeed@thenational.ae

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