Album Review // Kurt Vile // Back to Moon Beach
Say you're not a fan of John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, or even Joni Mitchell — I'll call you a liar or a cynic. On this beefy EP, Pennsylvania native Kurt Vile's influences are worn unapologetically on his lushly embroidered sleeve. At its most austere, we hear heartsick echoes of Neil Young at the piano while his most stark moments stretch like shadows to fill every corner of a room like Springsteen on Nebraska.
Vile delivers self-consciously simple progressions and transitions which float his easy drawl like honeysuckle and tobacco on the breeze. His lyrics tackle the mysteries of joy, pain, and confusion with a single vorpal blade. His tempos allow the listener to linger, savoring each aspect. The title track ebbs from Silver Jews' "Trains" and flows toward Robert Plant's "Big Log." "Tom Petty's Gone" punches humbly through Vile's best fan boy banner. Ending single "Cool Water" celebrates the metaphoric romanticism of early country western favorites. These and other original compositions are padded with juicy covers from Dylan and Wilco. This release is a natural addition for any Vile collector and a great introduction for those new to his game.