If I am being honest, I’ve never found myself on the Kurt Vile train. The slow jam folk, somewhere between college kid strums and dad rock, fits in my brain less as an album-by-album case and more as a song-by-song case. Live, Vile blinks those big eyes and lets his giant, neverending hair do as it pleases, both his body and notes staying relatively still. His sixth album, b’lieve I’m goin down…, is on the way, and with it comes the first Kurt Vile track I can truly stand behind and say that, with batting eyelashes and a slow-beating heart, I really do understand the love now.
“Life Like This” is a deeply patient, meditative, layered number that builds like a colorful dream. In fact, so does its music video. Watch as a few solemn piano plods build into a swirling number of snarky guitar hiccups and slides. All the while, Vile sings about how he rolls with the punches of tough love and upcoming love. Consider it his portrait of Neil Young pacing in an aubergine sitting room, lights low, in the late night of ’75. There’s anxiety breathing at the heart of his rhythm and percussion sections, the kind that finds comfort within its own rhythm even if fueled by nervous ends beginning to split. That, no matter what your musical preferences are, is something just easy enough for everyone to jive with.
Reserve your copy of b’lieve i’m goin down… if you so please over at Matador Records before it comes out on September 25.