Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring for My Halo

"Kurt Vile's new album is low-key enough that becoming aware of how strong these 11 songs are is something of a slow awakening. 'Smoke Ring for My Halo' is the Philadelphia singer's umpteenth collection since he started self-releasing CDs of his music when he was 17, and it's his second for New York's Matador Records. (Vile, 31, performs Monday in Milford.) His prolific nature pays off here, on songs that are airy, a little hazy and quietly engrossing. Vile sings in an offhanded voice swathed in spacey reverb, and he picks out guitar parts that move steadily forward through swirls of keyboards, echoing drums and the occasional cascade of muted piano. His acoustic guitar floats over ripples of atmospheric sound on the opener, 'Baby's Arms,' and his wandering voice evokes a sense of vague foreboding over a driving drum beat and minor-key wash of sound on 'Society Is My Friend'" (Eric R. Danton, "Kurt Vile's 'Smoke Ring' Slowly Envelops You," Hartford Courant, 3/8/11).
View catalog record here!