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.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

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
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Rob Cohen
Quickie With Cazwell
Quickie With Cazwell
Queer rapper brings his sexy, subversive act to Austin

Oct. 13, 2017

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


Kurt Vile

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle