Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
Philly singer-songwriter Kurt Vile is blessed with an odd insight into the darker corners of the mind. Vile's deadpan drawl owes a significant debt to Lou Reed but Kurt is warmer and often funnier. Kurt drifts through the tambourine and acoustic buzz of "Ghost Town" with a mix of melancholy and bemusement. His delicate plucking on songs like the gorgeous "Baby's Arms" makes the record a stellar showcase for his guitar skills. He recorded Smoke Ring For My Halo, his fourth album with his band the Violators for a fuller, more rocking sound. The Violators lend a satisfying FM radio crunch to the sardonic "Puppet To The Man" and Springsteen-style keyboards to "Society Is My Friend." "Baby's Arms" is also the only song that sounds entirely sincere, a warm ode to his significant other who makes him comfortable enough to feel small "like Tom Thumb." "On Tour" sees Vile compare life as a touring musician to Lord of The Flies, where you can get pumped full of lead or stabbed just for fun. Vile is a detached, bemused philosopher touring Middle America with a broken guitar case; we're just privileged to come along for the ride.
FeaturesDec 04, 2014
Less Than Jake"Good Enough" on Exclaim! TV
Ska-punk mainstays Less Than Jake have been making music for over 20 years. The group shows no signs of slowing down, judging by the upbeat ...
FeaturesDec 02, 2014
AlvvaysA Long Journey to Overnight Success
It is day two of Alvvays' first-ever headlining North American tour and the band are riding several months of critical acclaim, growing audi...
FeaturesNov 27, 2014
Valery Gore"With the Future" on Exclaim! TV
Toronto songwriter Valery Gore has been recognized by many for her wonderful blend of jazz and pop music, sonic textures, and her welcome ea...
FeaturesNov 25, 2014
Single Motherson Exclaim! TV Chatroom
Saying that Single Mothers have had an interesting past would be putting things lightly. The band reportedly ran through nine different memb...