I always get a little giddy whenever a new Kurt Vile album is imminent. Something about that breezy groove in Vile’s speak-easy vocals and jangly musical persuasion that feels like something special is just around the corner. Since Smoke Ring For My Halo I’ve been a fan of the Philly-based singer/songwriter and with each successive record after that he’s built on his chops(both in writing tunes and his guitar playing.) If there was someone that could possibly fill the monumentally empty shoes left by the passing of Tom Petty, I think Vile definitely could be that someone.
I do have to admit, I felt that B’lieve I’m Goin Down felt a little long in the tooth. Not without it’s amazing tracks(“Pretty Pimpin”, “Life Like This”, and “Lost My Head There” are classics), I wasn’t as enthralled with the dusty, country-ish vibe that hung over a good portion of it. And for me, Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze is an absolute classic. Just a pure rock and roll epic.
Of course, last year’s collaborative record Lotta Sea Lice with Courtney Barnett was near a perfect mix of both the unique artists. Just a great breezy summer spin with these idiosyncratic personalities shining thru.
It’s been 3 years since B’lieve was released and it seems Vile is readying something new for us. He’s just released a new single called “Loading Zones” and he seems to be back in the heart of Philly doing his thing again. The track is a minor key pop nugget with Vile’s signature storytelling and slight twang. There’s enough city street grime to keep things urban, as opposed to rural. There’s new, little elements thrown into Vile’s sonic palate here that makes his signature sound all the more engaging. One of which is a vocal effect thing that, oddly, I heard earlier this year on Graham Reznick’s excellent Glass Angles.
If “Loading Zones” is any indication, Kurt Vile will be dropping a new record soon. The track makes me hopeful for the return of Mr. Vile. Oh, and I could totally hear Tom Petty singing this one.