Kurt Vile-Smoke Ring for My Halo

Has ‘Ariel Pink’ polished up a bit too much for you? Do you miss Elliot Smith’s early work? Then Kurt Vile’s fourth album ‘Smoke Rings for My Halo’ might just be the one for you. Building a cult following through his lo-fi recordings this is his first album ‘proper’ a collection of ten beautiful songs that will no doubt see his fan base increase. With his backing band ‘The Violators’ and guest spots from ‘Espers’ Meg Baird and harpist Mary Lattimore, although a clear progression from his earlier work, it is still a slightly rough around the edges affair which adds to its inherent charm. Every track here is a winner and Vile’s raspy vocals sit comfortably over the acoustic plucks and strums. ‘Jesus Fever’ is so catchy that it will have you on first listen and just a few more will open up the rest of the record allowing you to take it to heart. Obvious comparisons can be made to Springsteen, Petty and Beck at his slacker beginnings but Vile really is his own man and from the evidence on display here it shouldn’t take him long to develop into the kind of artist, that while not writing music to fill stadiums, will make the leap out of the cult and closer to the mainstream.  

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