Kurt Vile runs on his own frequency. He blends rock, folk, and country into something quite unique and very much his own. Jangle one minute and rocking and psychedelic the next, Vile takes Prine, Petty, and Young and blends them all together with a touch of early 90s Dinosaur Jr and Pavement.
Over nine albums Kurt Vile has established himself as this eccentric and goofy songwriter from Philly that makes brilliant songs that sound as if he’s just singing to himself in the kitchen while making a sandwich. On his newest album (watch my moves), and his first on the Verve! label, Vile has made his most at ease and comfortable record yet. Recorded at home, Kurt Vile spreads out over 15 tracks and nearly 75 minutes to give us a rambling, dusty opus about nothing at all.
With so much to dig into you gotta just lock into the standouts at first, then once you’re done taking the full Kurt Vile experience is much easier. And believe me, Kurt Vile is an experience. A one of a kind dude; laid back, funny, a little spacey, and with a feeling there’s more to him than the affable guy on the surface.
Opener “Goin on a Plane Today” is literally about Vile being nervous before taking a plane ride, slamming a beer before hitting the tarmac. Musically with its sing-songy piano and horns there’s an old Sufjan Stevens vibe. Simple and direct. “Like Exploding Stones” on the other hand is all swirling synth and saxophone, a spaced-out psychedelic jam that grooves hard and seems to have everything in it but the kitchen sink. “Hey Like A Child” has a dusty pop sound that sounds more like Mac Demarco or Vile’s friend Courtney Barnett, but still locks into Vile’s woozy sound world.
Kurt Vile sounds at ease here. Not that he was uptight before, but I feel like he’s really digging into his eccentricities and owning who he is as a songwriter. Two tracks in-particular stand out for me, “Jesus On A Wire” and “Fo Sho”. Vile is at the peak of his power in these two songs, living up to the promise of what’s come before.
Kurt Vile’s (watch my moves) is a sprawling rock record that feels like an artist firing on all cylinders. Rock, country, folk, and indie come together beautifully here, making outsider art for the masses.