Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador)

 |   |  1 min read

Kurt Vile: Runner Ups
Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador)

The captivatingly named rock troubadour Vile from Philadelphia offers a kind of alt.folk-cum-indie rock skew which refers to Cohen as much as Cobain.

But he also has an ear for a mainstream rock melody (Puppet the the Man here with AOR guitars behind his echoed alt.rock vocals) and recently said his current listening includes the Stones' Love You Live and Neil Young's On the Beach from the mid-to-late 70s.

Between those broad parameters he crafts an album which dips into slightly bitter ruminations of being on the road (On Tour with “watch out for this one, he'll stab you in the back for fun” over low and moody guitar); the surreptitiously engrossing Society is My Friend (“he makes me lie down in a cold blood bath”) which works over a hypnotic repeated backdrop of 12-string, mellotron and slide; and Runner Ups which is equally low-range and broody (“my best friend's long gone, but I got runner ups”).

Peeping Tomboy about indecision and being uncertain about what he wants to do comes with finger-picking acoustic guitar.

Although here with a band (the three-piece Violators) and other assistance you can imagine Vile – who repeats himself musically in a few places – would grip just as well if playing a solo acoustic set in a wine bar at midnight.

Dark folk-edged rock with pop smarts from a skeptical, world-weary one.

Like the sound of this? Then try this.


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Maggie Bell: The Best of Maggie Bell (Angel Air/Southbound CD/DVD)

Maggie Bell: The Best of Maggie Bell (Angel Air/Southbound CD/DVD)

Bell was one of those paint-peeling, bluesy post-Joplin singers of the late Sixties and Seventies whose path crossed that of Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, Led Zeppelin, Eric Burdon and others with... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Robert Scott: Ends Run Together (Flying Nun)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Robert Scott: Ends Run Together (Flying Nun)

The last time Robert Scott (of the Clean, the Bats and Magick Heads) appeared at Elsewhere it was for the cupboard cleanout of tapes which made up the lo-fi Tascam Hits. This collection of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD sees the writing on the walls

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD sees the writing on the walls

At some time in the mid Nineties when I was working in Parnell, there was an open air carpark just off the main road. The back wall was perhaps two storeys high and painted white. One day,... > Read more

Phil Judd: uniQue (philjudd.com)

Phil Judd: uniQue (philjudd.com)

Few characters, if any, in New Zealand music can claim to have been involved with as many crucial bands as Phil Judd. He was a founder member, contributing writer and guitarist in Split Enz... > Read more