Kurt Vile: Wakin On A Pretty Daze (Matador Records)
The three years of anticipation for Kurt Vile’s 2013 release was inevitable. ‘Wakin On A Pretty Daze’ has been an absolute treat this year, and is unfailingly one of the year’s best long-players.
The beautiful consistency that Kurt Vile proceeds to engulf us in followed onto this album, making it perfectly listenable throughout every season. Whilst songs such as ‘Wakin on a Pretty Day’ and ‘Girl Called Alex’ inevitably fit the summer months, they also have those colder undertones that seem to fit those crisp, winter days of endless whims and hibernation.
The whole album is soothing, taking a lethargic yet UV drenched path into the wild outdoors. ‘Never Run Away’ is my personal favourite track off the album, and a personal top 10 track of the year easily. Kurt Vile’s vocals swirl effortlessly from verse to verse, and provoke a joyous mood. The pace keeps the listener active, and creates a contrast between Kurt’s magical harmonies and the dreamy melody of the clean guitar.
The record feels whole, as Kurt Vile visits different tones and paces, but he still manages to keep the consistency through the instruments he uses and how he uses them. The clean guitar melodies stay put throughout the 11 tracks, and Kurt’s vocals are infectiously relaxed, taking the listener into a dreamy haze of off kilter jolity.
In terms of Kurt Vile’s journey through the past five years - this album doesn’t dent his repetoir at all. Instead, ‘Wakin On A Pretty Daze’ sits high in the ranks of his albums, and delves into the re-emergence of lethargic guitar music. It’s perfect timing, and this album has definitely upped his game and allowed Kurt Vile to become even more recognised, and respected as a musician and as the captain of the ever-fruitful good ship Matador.
Whilst his sound on this album is a lot cleaner, it works in pushing him forward as an artist. The songs off this album are perfect to play to a live audience. They’re danceable, uplifting, soft and to me, they have played a large part in how I’ve spent my year.
He’s truly a great musician, and ‘Wakin On A Pretty Daze’ is a perfect end product to represent his worthiness on Shufsounds’ albums on the year. It’s the realisation of someone who has slowly but surely become one of our great singer songwriters.