Review: Kurt Vile Releases Stunning New Album 'Wakin on a Pretty Daze'

Kurt Vile
Kurt Vile

When label co-owner Gerard Cosloy signed Lansdowne, PA native Kurt Vile to Matador Records, he issued a press release declaring the singer “one of the more important figures in American music.” If Vile’s first (Childish Prodigy) or second (Smoke Ring for My Halo) album for Matador didn’t sufficiently prove Cosloy’s statement, it is Vile’s stunning, slow, vibe-heavy new record, Wakin on a Pretty Daze that does the trick.

Kurt Vile Wakin on a Pretty Daze album cover
Kurt Vile - Wakin on a Pretty Daze
In the course of three albums, Vile and his band The Violators have gone from tensely anxious, fuzzy grunge pop that comes across like Neil Young at his loveliest ("The Violators are my Crazy Horse," Vile once told me) to something deeper and more introspective. The songs on Wakin on a Pretty Daze stretch and arch like a long, satisfying, morning yawn as Vile’s mix of acoustic and electric guitars slither mournfully and gently across each track. In particular, the nine-minute-plus title tune finds Vile mumbling his way through a personal battle with the dreariness of the everyday versus the hope he imagined as a kid. “KV Crimes” moves even slower – and sludgier - in its forlorn approach to living out Vile’s dreams of his childhood. Throughout this new album, Vile has moved from fuzz to sweet stoner rock of the highest order, yet with a romantic edge (something that genre usually misses) with delicate songs such as "Girl Called Alex" as proof.

Looks like Gerard Cosloy was right.

Kurt Vile & The Violators play an all-ages show on Saturday, May 18 at Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia PA. For more info:

Photo ©Matador Records

Posted on Friday, May 3, 2013