OK so I’m seriously late with this… Kurt Vile’s new album has been out over a week and I’ve written nothing.
So Walkin On A Pretty Daze is my album of the last week and then some. I’m kind of glad I left it though as this is a record of gems that really start to shine after a few listens. More than anything else the Philadelphia native has put to tape before, this is a record to get truly immersed into. Opening ‘Walkin on a pretty day’ sets the scene perfectly, taking it’s time at over ten minutes in length, Kurt and The Violators wave you in into their sun drenched dreamworld. The band weave an intricate tapestry through acoustic guitar picks and electric noodling which twinkles and shimmers at all angles.
His voice is as nonchalant as ever but more refined than on Childish Prodigy. It drifts over the soundscape as effortlessly as passing clouds and it’s easy to miss the lyrics sometimes. His voice often becomes an instrument, especially with his primal whooping in highly addictive ‘Shame Chamber’. The album is full of moments you’ll want to revisit; ‘KV Crimes’ works on the simplest guitar hook, as heavy as the one in ‘Puppet To The Man’ from Smoke Ring For My Halo and guaranteed to be stuck in your head long after the album finishes. He has a knack for spinning a web of sound with an acoustic guitar that can have a trance like effect. Songs pass you by leaving you feeling like you’ve come out of a trip (exaggerating but with some truth!).
The album is reminiscent of his previous band The War On Drugs’ last effort Slave Ambient, songs are like journeys that chug along like a locomotive. They are unrelenting from verse to chorus making it the perfect soundtrack for being in transit. Out of all of his albums this feels like the most sonically pleasing but it’s also difficult to put my finger on why. As I said the songs take a few listens to unlock themselves but it’s packed full of slight sonic nuances to discover each time.
The vision of lounging in the hazy Barcelona sun to Kurt Vile and The Violators at Primavera is becoming more and more real. 1 month away, I can’t wait.