Well here's something rather exciting - a brand new album from melody-drenched longhair Kurt Vile. Thirteen new songs from the prolific troubadour to add to his storied back catalogue of laid back, stoned-out, gently rocking things. This time he's been inspired by travel and the exciting life experiences touring gives but also the heartache of being away from his wife and daughters.
Vinyl Double LP £18.99 OLE11461
Black vinyl 2LP on Matador.
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CD £7.99 OLE11462
CD on Matador.
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Limited Vinyl Double LP £26.99 OLE11463
Orange and Yellow sunburst splatter vinyl 2LP on Matador. Comes in alternative die-cut sleeve with rounded corners. Limited to 800 numbered copies for Dinked Shops only.
Limited Vinyl Double LP £19.49 OLE11468
Limited indies only blue vinyl 2LP on Matador..
I came up with an idea yesterday. That we all only have a certain amount of words we can speak per day. If you go over your limit you have to pay to top them up. It would certainly stop people like Mark Kozelek.....
.....and as it turns out Kurt Vile. For Vile has gone down the Kozelek road to wittering endlessly about his day. Most notably this occurs on opening track Loading Zones which sets the scene for what is about to happen later. There's been some bad lyrics this year but please check out 'Hysteria' for the absolute worst you'll ever hear.
"girl you gave me rabies and I don't mean maybe"
"took a drink of a smoothy and now I feel all loopy"
"and the rest is hysteria...and I stole that"
Perhaps someone like Jad Fair could get away with this nonsense but in this setting it's just ridiculous. Please, please let this get better.
I suppose musically I'm enjoying it fine, 'Yeahbones' is a pretty nice the Feelies type thing with a delicious chord sequence of clipped acoustic guitars, with the vocals causing no offence whatsoever. I'm loving too the beautiful acoustics of 'Bassackwards' but the catch is that you have to put up with Vile in stream of consciousness mode. His vocal style here is almost comedic. Kind of like Lou Reed on a happy day he tells you of his events in a pleasantly chipper style. It also goes on for over 9 minutes.
The record is often saved by lovely, simplistic three chord setting - as Vile suggests on 'One Trick Ponies' ..."I've always had a soft spot for repetition" (and gospel choirs it seems). It's one of the nicest things here. Elsewhere he's on bare minimum setting once again. I mean, what a life he has. Knock out three chords, use the same vocal inflection throughout and sing literally anything over the top...
Like the previous 'b’lieve i'm goin down…' it's just Vile doing stuff. It meanders about, you don't have to concentrate on it too hard and you'll learn nothing from it that you don't already know. His chord sequences are mostly lovely, his vocals and lyrics tossed off. But you knew that would happen, right? Perhaps I'm overthinking. It's a pleasant experience, switch your ears off, kick back, enjoy.
8/10 Joe Hill 7th February 2019
Oh Kurt, I wish I knew how to quit you. A few years back, Kurt Vile released ‘B’lieve I’m Going Down’, an over-long drawling chore of a listen which, despite having a few bright sparks, was so dull and monotonous it felt like a grand tour of his weaknesses. That being said, his new record ‘Bottle It In’ is such a significant improvement I’m almost annoyed at him. It’s like getting ready to dump your boyfriend and then you find out he’s bought you a new car. Not only are his fun songs more fun, but his pensive songs are more interesting and empathetic. His so-laid-back-it’s-horizontal brand of folk-rock has a new edge of genuine anxiety to it which, frankly, is an ingredient his music has been missing for years. This, combined with his most adventurous and hypnotic production yet, amounts to an album that endures and grows with time. ‘B’lieve I’m Going Down’ was a guy saying “Everything is fine” over and over. ‘Bottle It In’ is a guy saying “Everything is... fine?” over and over. The difference is vast.
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- Bottle It In by Kurt Vile
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