If someone should ask me whose artist I would be able to recognize after listening only to a few guitar chords, I would definitely say Kurt Vile. Few songwriters have in fact developed a style so easily identifiable as the American musician did in the ten years of his career. This characteristic certainly represents a positive aspect from the point of view of musical identity, but it also means that Kurt Wile’s records, at least at first impact, seem to be all the same. Clearly this is not the case, even because all the longterm fans of Kurt Wile (as I am) can easily appreciate that across his eight studio albums there are physiological highs and lows. In such a range of values, Bottle It In, which is Kurt Vile’s most recent effort, places approximately in the middle.
In one hand, in fact, the album indulges in melodies and harmonies that are at times so simple and essential to seem almost improvised, but on the other hand the songs played by Kurt Vile continue to provide us with little sketches of contemporary poetry, always nice and fascinating to hear.
It looks as Bottle It In came out sooner than the right time, and effectively some of the songs seem like flower buds which weren’t given the possibility to blossom and mature into the intimate and moving songs that we were used to enjoy. As a matter of fact, only one year ago we expressed in this blog a great appreciation for the collaborative album that Kurt Vile wrote and released together with Courtney Barnett. That record, when compared to Bottle It In , looks definitely richer in inspiration and more dynamic in terms of musicality.
Anyway, it remains always a pleasure to have something new from a talented and unique singer-songwriter like Kurt Vile. However, I would have preferred to wait a little longer if this could have allowed the songs to gain more substance and, for Kurt Vile, to expand further the borders of his well-established style of music.
Bottle It In can be streamed from Spotify.
Standout tracks: Bassackwards and Loading Zones.
Kurt Vile is contributing to Modern Songwriters, the playlist which collects the best contemporary songwriters and indie folk artists. Check it out!