Kurt Vile - God Is Saying This To You... (2009)
Man, this blog sucks! I update it once a week and the last review not by me was written by a Jew on Christmas (?????!!!!!!) I also haven't heard any albums from 2010 except the Aziz Ansari record and the Puerto Rico Flowers 7" so pretty much any new records that get reviewed are just gonna be shitty P4KBNM/Still Single/TermBo recs from a month ago! So not cutting edge, argh!!!!
So I'm not gonna attempt to improve any of that. Here's a review of an album from last year. Since putting the finishing touches on my "best of albums of 2009" list, I've been happily enjoying a free flowing diet of music from years other than that one. Once every now and then, however, I'll just feel unable to spend my time doing anything other than listening to some exceptional jams from '09 because even though I felt pretty disillusioned/overwhelmed/underwhelmed during those final months, I must admit that the best albums were pretty fucking spectacular.
Like this one, for instance. Out of the 180 or so 2009 recordings that I heard last year, I originally ranked this as the 11th or 12th best. Pretty impressive showing, no? Well, it could/should have done much better. This and that Homostupids album. Kurt Vile is okay. He got a lot of press last year because he's an adorable hippy man who dropped out of community college and plays the guitar well and likes classic rock and writes "bedroom folk" songs. Yeah, whatever. Too bad this album was vinyl only and sold out really fast and thus the unjust fate of being overshadowed by his Matador Records debut Childish Prodigy was more or less sealed from the get go. That's what the internet is for, though. There's really no good reason why anyone who jumped on the nuts of that album couldn't have given God Is Saying This To You... a try and hopefully ended up enjoying it as much as I have, i.e. quite a bit. That full band stuff is fine and all but this... this is the real deal, nothing but alarmingly timeless sounding spacey folk jams interspersed with pleasant electronics based instrumental interludes. The way it should be.
But is it, though? Imagine those instrumentals replaced by more incredible songs, why don't you. Oh, well. They're enjoyable, though, and always nice and short. The real points of interest lie in the absolutely fucking lovely vocal tracks. Beautiful playing, beautiful melodies, lyrics that you find yourself singing to yourself as you go about your everyday business... these songs are just damn good. He's used the "Beach On The Moon" lyrics like three times already and this is the best they've ever sounded. "My Best Friend" is dope as hell!!! "Songs For John In D," man. I haven't even mentioned the other three songs! They're good. Oh, shit, one of them is "My Sympathy," that one is more than good. See?
When I listen to this album, I get the same overall feeling that I get from my two favorite recordings to come out of the lo-fi fetishism revival that has swallowed music, the internet, and (as of late) my general peer group whole during the past couple years: Pink Reason's Cleaning The Mirror and the original CDR release of U.S. Girls' Introducing..., both from 2007. Like Kevin Debroux and Megan Remy did on those albums, Kurt Vile utilizes the four track bedroom aesthetic to create music that conjures a remarkably intimate and vivid aura of its creator's solitude, all while keeping things interesting for himself and the listener by exploring a number of different sonic environments despite never deviating from that "signature sound." Saying that Vile "channels Neil Young" is a fairly big comparison for anyone to make, but if there's an artist out there whose music comes this close to recalling the sonic vision and melodic sensibility of Young's mid-'70s space folk "I'm deep inside myself but I'll get out somehow" masterworks like "Will To Love" and side two of On The Beach, please point me in his or her direction. And yes, I am already balls deep in Sun Kil Moon worship.
This is an album that I find hard not to listen to because it's so good but so damn short. Fuck me for complaining about the instrumental tracks, they're barely even there. And they're cool as hell, anyway. God Is Saying This To You... is kind of like a really, really great Jandek album with pop aspirations. Imagine if Blue Corpse was a little less shambolic. This is a record that I won't be forgetting about any time soon.
Download Link: "Songs For John In D"... this one has been really doing it for me as of late.