kurt-vile-smoke-ring

There’s nothing vile, unpleasant or remotely rotten about Kurt, but he still manages to fill each of his songs with a sense of someone coughing up bile. That’s not a bad thing: it balances out his sweetly melodic tunes with an intense melancholy so that even his upbeat songs sound sincere. ‘In My Time’ winds along contentedly, but Vile’s voice is a little grisly and you know it’s slipped from the corners of a down-turned mouth.

His songs are like tuneful Dylan-esque tales with a hint of Ben Kweller’s Texan drawl to them, despite him being a Philly boy through-and-through. In ‘Runner Ups’ his guitar picking builds an intricate web of smug satisfaction while his weathered vocals moan lightly and he sounds sad, but his lyrics are anything but – “My best friends are all gone but I got runner ups,” he brags. Still hardly radical, Vile remains pleasingly accomplished.

By DK Goldstein

More from
« Previous Album