Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo

It’s taken me a few weeks, but I’m finally catching up with Kurt Vile’s insular new record Smoke Ring for My Halo.  Honestly, at first I wasn’t sure I understood why it was receiving the glowing reviews – I mean, I liked it, but it just seemed so monochromatic compared to his earlier work.  But like a few of my other favorites of the year so far (Kaputt, Let England Shake, Common Era), the charms of Smoke Ring have revealed themselves to me in a bit more of a gradual manner.  It’s as if Vile has created his own fascinating little idiosyncratic world on this record that you’ve been invited to explore, and that journey doesn’t just take 1 or 2 listens.  The whole album has a sustained narcotic mood, sounding like it was intimately recorded in a dark dressing room well after hours.  And then there’s Vile, whose lyrics come closer to inner monologues and intoxicated ramblings than traditional rock lyrics – he has a charmingly unique songwriting style that sets him apart from just about everyone else out there.  All together it adds up to a great album from an artist with a singular (and singularly weird) vision.

MP3  ::  Jesus Fever

MP3  ::  In My Time

(from Smoke Ring for My Halo. Buy here)

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