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Alternative & Indie - Released April 8, 2013 | Matador

Distinctions 5/6 de Magic - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Philadelphia songsmith Kurt Vile's 2011 album Smoke Ring for My Halo was a definitive shift for the artist away from home-recorded overexposed fuzz pop toward a more sprawling, textural, and most markedly introspective style. The follow-up, fifth album Wakin on a Pretty Daze, continues in this direction, but pushes the changes begun on Halo with even more articulate production, extended exploration in lengthy songs, and even deeper looks inward, if all approached through Vile's one-of-a-kind fog. Beginning with the nine-plus-minute "Wakin on a Pretty Day," the album immediately takes the mantle from its predecessor, offering up wistful interplay between acoustic and electric guitar tones, Vile's dour mumbled vocals, and an overall emotional sense caught somewhere between the hope and promise of youth and the exhaustion of everyday life. It's this deceptively complex perspective cloaked in seemingly lunkheaded guitar heroics that makes Vile so interesting and helps keep the compositions on Pretty Daze captivating even as many of them stretch past the six-minute mark. "KV Crimes" comes on with a lazy classic rock riff but beneath its stony shuffle and sneery vocals lies a heart of both melody and a palpable sense of diminished excitement being reborn. Longer tracks like "Girl Called Alex" and "Goldtone" capture the dark wistfulness of Where You Been-era Dinosaur Jr. or the dreamy driftiness of Neil Young at his most guitar-centric peaks. Much like his former/sometimes band the War on Drugs, there's an undercurrent of working-class rock à la Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen here (Vile even drops the lyric "Springsteen... pristine" in one song). However, with the spaced-out vaporous jams of Wakin on a Pretty Daze, it becomes clear that Kurt Vile isn't aiming to ape or even update the canon of classic guitar-based songwriters, but is very much his generation's chapter of the evolution of rock. Easily his most focused and accessible work, Pretty Daze is the strongest so far in a chain of releases that seem to suggest there are even greater heights to be reached. ~ Fred Thomas
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 7, 2011 | Matador

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music - Disque Roi VoxPop
Philly-based singer/songwriter Kurt Vile lit up the indie rock radar in 2009 with his cynical, lo-fi, classic rock-meets-N.Y.C. proto-punk Matador debut. Fans of the visceral, D.I.Y. fuzz-folk that dominated Childish Prodigy may be taken aback by the production upgrade on Smoke Ring for My Halo, but the cleaner sound doesn’t mean that the floors aren’t still filthy. Channeling everyone from the Dead to Mellow Gold-era Beck to Lou Reed, Vile comes off as malcontent, but there’s an oddball warmth behind his laconic sneer that echoes the late slacker comedian Mitch Hedberg; for every “I wanna write my whole life down/burn it there to the ground” ("On Tour"), there’s an “If it ain’t workin’, take a whiz on the world” ("Runner Ups"). Sweeter and a little more soulful than Prodigy, Halo leans harder on the urban folk side of Vile's disposition (the album opens with a straight-up love song), but tracks like the churning “Puppet to the Man” and “Society Is My Friend” pick up where Prodigy stompers like “Freak Train” and “Overnight Religion” left off. Vile's guitar work remains predictably strong, especially on the fingerpicked “Peeping Tomboy” and the shimmery title cut, but it’s his efforltess, serpentine melodies and amiable, burnout wisdom that keep the listener so enthralled. In an age where angst is delivered with the subtlety of a laser light show, it’s nice to hear some good, old-fashioned, smokin’-and-drinkin’-cheap-beers-on-the-porch-with-your-friends-style pessimism. [The two-disc, deluxe edition of Smoke Ring for My Halo adds six bonus cuts to the set, including "The Creature", "It's Alright", "Life's a Beach", "Laughing Stock", "Downbound Train" and "(so outta reach)". ~ James Christopher Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 25, 2015 | Matador

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
​On the back of a few laidback, anecdotal albums, Kurt Vile has well-established his disillusioned, distinctly American voice, as Leonard Cohen and Jay Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. did in times gone by. With b’lieve i’m goin down…, his sixth record, Vile’s songbook continues to draw on the riches of classic folk and album rock. Like his Philadelphia comrades The War on Drugs, KV wears his influences on his sleeve, passing through Crazy Horse, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and acoustic Beck; but, like any great artist, he is much more than just the sum of this, forging a style that is entirely his own. No one spits their cracked poetry of the everyday quite like Vile. His songs, which on this new record can feel more discontent, more to do with wanting than the contented Wakin on a Pretty Daze, inhabit their own universes. Throughout b’lieve i’m goin down, Qobuz had no idea whether we were in 2015, 2005, 1995, 1985, etc. There is a little banjo here, a little piano there, many driving guitars – nothing that revolutionary, on the surface of it – yet after repeated listens, the album wormed its gentle way into the depths of our skulls. A powerful potion, and a fantastic addition to the talented Vile’s ever-growing catalogue. © CM/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 12, 2018 | Matador

With his long hair, nonchalance attitude and baggy t-shirts, Kurt Vile has been ticking all the boxes on the “cool” list for over ten years without ever looking silly. From the hazy folk-rock of Childish Prodigy to B'lieve I'm Going Down and its disjointed rhythms, the man who recently released the atomic bomb Lotta Sea Lice (2017) with his Australian alter-ego Courtney Barnett, is back as a solo artist. With Bottle It In, Kurt Vile continues to develop his style and is far from finished. You can’t help but press the loop button on these thirteen laid-back, cheeky and well-polished rock tracks. Vile draws inspiration from Terry Allen's Juarez (1975), the outstanding Texan songwriter and little-known pioneer of outlaw country.Whether it's in the analogies drawn out in Bassackwards (an impeccable single of Pretty Pimpin’s calibre) or country-folk ballads (the cover of Charlie Rich’s Rolling With The Flow), Kurt Vile reveals his solid lo-fi guitars in an astonishingly simple manner. Sometimes the tracks are even a little grubby and saturated (Check Baby). But they’re always addictive. Produced by Rob Schnapf and Peter Katis, this seventh album features his good friend Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth (Mutinies), Cass McCombs, harpist Mary Lattimore and drummer Stella Mozgawa from Warpaint (Bassackwards). Magic. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 18, 2013 | Matador

Philadelphia songsmith Kurt Vile's 2011 album Smoke Ring for My Halo was a definitive shift for the artist away from home-recorded overexposed fuzz pop toward a more sprawling, textural, and most markedly introspective style. The follow-up, fifth album Wakin on a Pretty Daze, continues in this direction, but pushes the changes begun on Halo with even more articulate production, extended exploration in lengthy songs, and even deeper looks inward, if all approached through Vile's one-of-a-kind fog. Beginning with the nine-plus-minute "Wakin on a Pretty Day," the album immediately takes the mantle from its predecessor, offering up wistful interplay between acoustic and electric guitar tones, Vile's dour mumbled vocals, and an overall emotional sense caught somewhere between the hope and promise of youth and the exhaustion of everyday life. It's this deceptively complex perspective cloaked in seemingly lunkheaded guitar heroics that makes Vile so interesting and helps keep the compositions on Pretty Daze captivating even as many of them stretch past the six-minute mark. "KV Crimes" comes on with a lazy classic rock riff but beneath its stony shuffle and sneery vocals lies a heart of both melody and a palpable sense of diminished excitement being reborn. Longer tracks like "Girl Called Alex" and "Goldtone" capture the dark wistfulness of Where You Been-era Dinosaur Jr. or the dreamy driftiness of Neil Young at his most guitar-centric peaks. Much like his former/sometimes band the War on Drugs, there's an undercurrent of working-class rock à la Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen here (Vile even drops the lyric "Springsteen... pristine" in one song). However, with the spaced-out vaporous jams of Wakin on a Pretty Daze, it becomes clear that Kurt Vile isn't aiming to ape or even update the canon of classic guitar-based songwriters, but is very much his generation's chapter of the evolution of rock. Easily his most focused and accessible work, Pretty Daze is the strongest so far in a chain of releases that seem to suggest there are even greater heights to be reached. ~ Fred Thomas
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 16, 2018 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 5, 2009 | Matador

Don't judge a book by its cover. Kurt Vile's long-haired hippie appearance may suggest West Coast roots -- even though he's actually a Philadelphian -- but his sound comes straight out of the underbelly of the Big Apple. With a slack-singing style reminiscent of Lou Reed or Alan Vega, and his vocals doused in slap-back reverb, the songs on Childish Prodigy shift between gritty numbers driven by guitar fuzz and steady ballads backed by one-key baritone drones. If this sounds a bit derivative of the Velvets, well, it is and it isn't. Vile and his backing band the Violators are knowledgeable students of the CBGB school of rock, circa Son of Sam, but just when you think you have them pegged as leather-clad street hoodlums on "Freak Train," a shuffling Roland 707 groove topped with a distortion wall and tense yelps ("I've never been so insulted in my whole life! Shit!"), they double back the other way with the mellow, fingerpicked circles of "Blackberry Song." The '70s New York scene makes up a big chunk of this album, but Vile's unique as a visionary with his own sound and a wide range of voices that turn from rambunctious to innocent in a blink. Childish Prodigy is split between drunken caterwauling and quiet hangover-recovery sessions, and both sides of the spectrum are fantastic. The band's spirit is captured perfectly, courtesy of Jeff Zeiglar's open-sounding recording style, and the indie underground rarely seems this fresh and free. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 10, 2018 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 4, 2018 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 18, 2013 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 7, 2011 | Matador

"'Downbound Train' is the EP’s only full-on rocker, and it’s a good one. Vile owns it, drenching the song in his signature psychedelic, fuzz-box guitars and tossed-off, sing-speak vocals."
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 24, 2010 | Matador

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 25, 2010 | Matador

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Rock - Released April 1, 2009 | Mexican Summer

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Kurt Vile in the magazine