Albums of 2011: 5. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo

Until a few weeks ago, Kurt Vile was one of those people who I’d heard a lot about, but never sat down and listened to. And boy am I regretting that now. I picked up a copy of his album in Rough Trade after hearing Baby’s Arms, and quickly became entranced by this record. Ultimately, Kurt Vile is a brilliant songwriter. He doesn’t have the voice of an angel, and the instrumentation isn’t anything new, but its the songs that strike you.

So many great melodies, well written lyrics and quite a 70’s James Taylor, Tim Buckley vibe about the tracks on this album. Jesus Fever is a standout, but Baby’s Arms, Ghost Town, Peeping Tomboy and so many others have such wonderful elements to them. It’s lo-fi folk, in some places there is minimal production and sometimes its just Kurt and a guitar, but other songs build up the full sound of his band The Violators. Both work really well in different songs. A great songwriter for the new hipster generation.

Standout Tracks: Baby’s Arms, Jesus Fever and Peeping Tomboy

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