Kurt Vile

Wakin on a Pretty Daze (Matador)

Phases & Stages

Kurt Vile

Wakin on a Pretty Daze (Matador)

Americana, and folk music in general, holds few surprises these days, which makes the success of Kurt Vile all the more gratifying. The Philly guitarist's fourth solo disc, 2011's Smoke Ring for My Halo, broke him out of the shadows of his former group, the jammy War on Drugs, with lush, rootsy detail and golden tones. On third Matador full-length Wakin on a Pretty Daze, the smoke remains, but sunbeams stream through the curtains. "Was All Talk" finds Vile strolling through sunny Germany to pick up motorik rhythms, ending confidently with, "Makin' music is easy – watch me." That's simple, given that first single "Never Run Away" is perhaps the best thing he's committed to tape, floating atmospherically with a subtly infectious melody and gorgeous synthetic strings. Those string flourishes elevate Vile to new heights, so why they're not included on the album version of the song constitutes a letdown. By the time the album closes on the warm, wandering "Goldtone," Vile and the listener remain dazed and confused, but smiling.

***.5

READ MORE
More Kurt Vile
ACL Fest 2015 Sunday Record Review
Kurt Vile
b'lieve i'm goin down (Record Review)

Neph Basedow, Oct. 2, 2015

ACL Music Fest Friday Interviews
Kurt Vile
The 'Childish Prodigy' mellows out, goes hi-fi

Doug Freeman, Sept. 16, 2011

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
East Cameron Folkcore
Better Off, Fossils (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Sept. 23, 2016

Texas Platters
Midnight Stroll
Heartbreak Bugaloo (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Sept. 23, 2016

More by Rob Cohen
A to Um... With Stephin Merritt
A to Um... With Stephin Merritt
A,E,I,O,U, and sometimes Y am I doing this?

May 6, 2015

Phases & Stages
Björk
Vulnicura (Record Review)

May 1, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Kurt Vile

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)