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- OLE9980 / Ltd indies only edition - Alternate Sleeve, heavyweight blue vinyl plus sticker sheet on Matador
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I learned something today. I learned that Kurt Vile is not a pseudonym but in fact the actual name of popular singer and songwriter Kurt Vile. I know! Me neither! Anyway, Mr Vile’s got a new album out this week and he wants me to tell you about it. It’s called ‘Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze’ and it’s got 11 songs of masterfully hazy slacker pop, thankfully (in this writer’s opinion at least) stepping away from the Springsteenisms of his previous efforts for something a bit more sun-bleached and carefree.
It’s a beautiful aesthetic which is pretty consistent throughout the album, a lilting warmth that brings to mind Woods and Real Estate but with the off-kilter pop savvy of people like Jay Reatard, with the vocal narrative being much more prominent than either of the bands I just mentioned. There’s a strangely Dire Straits-ish feel to some of the songs but with a heavier and more human bent, Vile’s defeated vocal delivery bringing to mind the late great Vic Chesnutt on moodier tracks like ‘Girl Called Alex’ or ‘Too Hard’, but it’s never overwhelmingly downbeat or difficult. He’s still yet to bring out anything I think is truly brilliant, but ‘Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze’ seems like KV’s most (seemingly) effortlessly accomplished collections yet. Fans of his good old-fashioned dusky songwriting nous will no doubt be delighted.
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- Wakin On A Pretty Daze by Kurt Vile
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