Kurt Vile -‘Smoke Ring For My Halo’ (Matador)
..and yet again, Matador demonstrate why they are one of the best labels on the planet).
This is Kurt Vile’s fourth album, and it sees him well and truly having left behind the tape and cd-r scene that he started out in. In a way, parallels could perhaps be drawn with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. While their musical styles may be miles apart, theyve both refined and developed their acts and progressed to more establihsed indies.
If you’ve not heard Vile’s music, don’t assume that he’s just another singer-songwriter-guitarist. Comparisons could be drawn with both Neil Young and Dinosaur Jr; in fact, part of Smoke Ring For My Halo was recorded at J Mascis’s Bisquiteen Studios andVile also contributes to mascis’s new studio album, Several Shades Of Why.
Considering he’s still a young man, there’s a sense of the world-weary about Vile. And yet, this is actually very endearing and attractively, musically speaking. The music is folky Americana, the atmosphere smoky and stoned. There are a number of excellent tracks on this album and I have given up trying to pickout highlights to recommend. Suffice to say that the two free tracks that have been doing the rounds ‘In My Time’ and ‘Jesus Fever’ are excellent examples of what this album is like, and I really like ‘Puppet To The Man’ and ‘On Tour’ as well.
There may be some who find this album hard to get into, but each listen has revealed something new, some else…If you get the chance to listen to it, without having anything else to do it will truly reward you.
Smoke Ring For My Halo is released on Matador on March 7.