It’s been pretty fascinating to watch Kurt Vile‘s rise to indie prominence. As Philadelphia’s favorite son, Vile started his music career by founding The War on Drugs with Adam Granduciel. Though the band has gotten some good buzz for their work, Vile decided he really wanted to focus more on his solo work and soon after left the band after their first record Wagonwheel Blues.
As a solo artist, Vile initially started as lo-fi hybrid of folk and classic rock. It was after he was signed indie powerhouse label Matador though that Vile started to gain some noticeable traction. Vile cleaned up his sound and brought in his band, The Violators (of whom Granduciel is a member) to help flesh out his music. And when 2011’s Smoke Ring For My Halo came out to considerable press and acclaim, Kurt Vile has officially arrived.
The fascinating part of Kurt Vile‘s rise though is connecting his success with the type of music that he makes. And this can be analyzed through the lens of his latest record Wakin On A Pretty Daze, which builds upon and expands the successful blueprint given by Smoke Rings. As can be heard on Pretty Daze, there’s a certain laid-backness and nonchalance to Kurt Vile’s songs that paradoxically makes it feel like “slacker music” and which makes it hard to understand the idea of his music being big.
But maybe that paradox is the reason why it’s successful. Kurt Vile makes songs that relax and chill, but more importantly they also connect. The wry words and the slow burning guitar melodies have a way of working into your brain. And when they get in, you finally feel connected. You finally understand Kurt Vile‘s music.
Check out the adorable video for Never Run Away embedded below.
Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze comes out 4/9 via Matador (order here)