KurtVile, for those not in the know, is not a punk with a faintly ‘orrible name, like Drew Blood or Sid Vicious, but an introspective, down-home, master of picking, multi-instrumentalist making stoner country rock that is laden with hooks, melody and stories that wrap themselves around you like a nana knitted quilt.
New single, Pretty Pimpin, is the first to be taken from new album b’lieve I’m goin down (Matador Records). Bleached Cali pavements meet arid western plains as his unique vocal delivery stretches his vowels over a musing reflection on a reflection. He’s looking in the mirror and not recognising himself. Whether it’s hangover-related or a life crisis, the tune layers his guitar skills, with a steady, pulsing backbeat and builds then fades.
It evokes sympathy…for the ‘character’, curiosity…who is he singing about?…and respect..masterful playing and production, in equal measure. The tune doesn’t seem to do a lot, but is strangely hypnotic. If this is a taster, then we’re ready to gorge on a feast of awesomeness.