Kurt Vile: Wakin on a Pretty Daze

Image Not AvailableThere's something about Kurt Vile's voice that transcends whatever is coming out of his mouth. He's not classically trained (not even close), and has no traditional range to speak of, but the laid back Philadelphia guitarist is transfixing all the same. His mumbled words resonate with a dogged determination. It's one of the reasons Vile has become something of a patron saint for the Great Recession's legions of accidental bohemians, who work hard while hardly working.

Wakin On A Pretty Daze, out April 9, is Vile's fifth album and arguably his best yet. He's still mumbling epiphanies as only he can, but his guitar work has taken a real step forward - I'm talking Mark Knopfler heights here. Six of Daze's 11 songs surpass 6 minutes thanks to extended guitar passages that burn slow-motion spirals in your brain. It's not often that you're left wanting more from a 9-minute, 32-second song, but I'm left a little sad when the opening "Wakin On A Pretty Day" finally winds down. And you won't hear a better 8-minute song all year than "Too Hard," a shambling tearjerker that sounds like a promise to love and protect his infant daughters.

No matter the length, every song on Wakin On A Pretty Daze feels like a ride on one of those moving walkways, when for a few wonderful moments life passes you by just a little slower than normal. That's a credit to Vile's crack backing band, The Violators - Jesse Trbovich and Rob Laakso - who never let their leader's feet touch the ground.

-Otis Hart, NPR

Track List:

01. Waking on a Pretty Day
02. KV Crimes
03. Was All Talk
04. Girl Called Alex
05. Never Run Away
06. Pure Pain
07. Too Hard
08. Shame Chamber
09. Snowflakes Are Dancing
10. Air Bud
11. Goldtone