Kurt Vile – Wakin On a Pretty Daze
Album five brings with it a watershed moment in Kurt Vile’s career. Before even pressing play, the vivid colour saturation of the cover and extended track lengths underline a change of tone and pace from 2011's Smoke Ring for My Halo. Less credence is given to the more tightly wound pop structures of yore, with Vile in a form that's never overtly concerned with immediacy; here he operates on a more panoramic plane. Throughout the LP, his psychedelic abstraction manifests itself in a more freeform, shimmering haze than before.
The result is a record imbued with the mood of a mellowed songwriter relaxing into his own groove, amid his rich heartland heritage. The engulfing vibe of blissed-out simplicity present in lead single Wakin’ On a Pretty Day is a perfect introduction to the warm glow of its parent. An irresistible distillation of Vile's poetic and beautifully hypnotic songcraft. [Sam Briggs]