Smoke Ring For My Halo

Smoke Ring For My Halo

by Kurt Vile


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Smoke Ring For My Halo

Philly-based singer/songwriter Kurt Vile lit up the indie rock radar in 2009 with his cynical, lo-fi, classic rock-meets-N.Y.C. proto-punk Matador debut. Fans of the visceral, D.I.Y. fuzz-folk that dominated Childish Prodigy may be taken aback by the production upgrade on Smoke Ring for My Halo, but the cleaner sound doesn't mean that the floors aren't still filthy. Channeling everyone from the Dead to Mellow Gold-era Beck to Lou Reed, Vile comes off as malcontent, but there's an oddball warmth behind his laconic sneer that echoes the late slacker comedian Mitch Hedberg; for every "I wanna write my whole life down/burn it there to the ground" ("On Tour"), there's an "If it ain't workin', take a whiz on the world" ("Runner Ups"). Sweeter and a little more soulful than Prodigy, Halo leans harder on the urban folk side of Vile's disposition (the album opens with a straight-up love song), but tracks like the churning "Puppet to the Man" and "Society Is My Friend" pick up where Prodigy stompers like "Freak Train" and "Overnight Religion" left off. Vile's guitar work remains predictably strong, especially on the fingerpicked "Peeping Tomboy" and the shimmery title cut, but it's his efforltess, serpentine melodies and amiable, burnout wisdom that keep the listener so enthralled. In an age where angst is delivered with the subtlety of a laser light show, it's nice to hear some good, old-fashioned, smokin'-and-drinkin'-cheap-beers-on-the-porch-with-your-friends-style pessimism. [The two-disc, deluxe edition of Smoke Ring for My Halo adds six bonus cuts to the set, including "The Creature," "It's Alright," "Life's a Beach," "Laughing Stock," "Downbound Train" and "(so outta reach)."

Product Details

Release Date: 03/08/2011
Label: Matador Records
UPC: 0744861093824
catalogNumber: 10938
Rank: 58163

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kurt Vile   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar,Mellotron,Slide Guitar,farfisa organ,Guitar (Resonator),Synthesizer Organ
John Agnello   Overdubs
Rob Laakso   Arp 2600
Michael Johnson   Drums
Meg Baird   Background Vocals
Mary Lattimore   Harp
Lea Cho   Piano,Keyboards
Adam Granduciel   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Mellotron,Guitar (Tremolo)
Mike Zanghi   Percussion,Drums
Mike Polizze   Bass
Jesse Turbo   Bass,Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar,Guitar Feedback

Technical Credits

John Agnello   Producer,Engineer
Jeff Zeigler   Engineer
Kurt Vile   Composer,Producer,Sequencers
Adam Granduciel   Composer
Violators   Producer
Reynold Jaffe   Management

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