Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Art of the Cover - Kurt Vile's "B'lieve I'm Goin Down..." (2015)

"It's a weird, accepting, mature record, acknowledging the inherent immaturity of being a person whether father, husband , partner, adult, musician, not perfect, but compelling for its understanding ... that's life though so sad to say."
 -- Kim Gordon

The beautifully presented 3-LP Deluxe Vinyl Edition of  Kurt Vile's "B'lieve I'm Goin Down..." which just dropped via Matador Records.

The 3xLP vinyl Deluxe Edition contains an extra 4 original songs plus instrumental reprises.

The imited-edition triple-LP edition of "B'lieve I'm Goin Down..." features a third disc, extra fold-out gatefold, extra printed innersleeve as well as a nice poster.

The 3-LP Deluxe Vinyl Edition edition is limited to 3,500 copies.

The Deluxe Edition, of course, also includes a download code for the album.

Art Direction and design was by Gary Burden and Jenice Heo.

Cover and front jacket photography was by Henry Diltz with additional photography by Farrah Katina, Henry Diltz and Katherine Sheehanm as well as by Jesse Trbovich, Kurt Vile and Rob Laakso.

Yap, I've really been digging the hell out of this one, the past few days!

Vile told Rolling Stone in April that he was hoping to make an album that was more transcendent-sounding than its predecessor, 2013's Wakin on a Pretty Daze. "The music drones on and on, but in a freer way," he said. "There's a sort of melancholy in the way the music just sprawls. It wanders."

And he's certainly succeeded in those aims.

With some wonderful extended instrumental jams as well as some beautiful minimalist word sculpting, "B'lieve I'm Goin Down..." is definitely a more leisurely, medatative and, dare I say it, mature collection from Vile.

His 6th album showcases Vile both deeply introspective and briskly self-assured.

Strong resonances of the work of legendary guitar supremo John Fahey pervade the album as well as nods to Bob Dylan and - of course - Bruce Springsteen pervade the album .. all great things in my book!

Truly, this is a thing of intimate beauty to get immersed - and lost - inside.

Kurt Vile does his own myth making; a boy/man with an old soul voice in the age of digital everything becoming something else, which is why this focused, brilliantly clear and seemingly candid record is a breath of fresh air. Recorded and mixed in a number of locations, including Los Angeles and Joshua Tree,  "B'lieve I'm Goin Down..."  is a handshake across the country, east to west coast, thru the dustbowl history (valley of ashes) of woody honest strait forward talk guthrie , and a cali canyon dead still nite floating in a nearly waterless landscape.  
The record is all air, weightless, bodyless, but grounded in convincing authenticity, in the best version of singer songwriter upcycling. In Kurt's words ....  I wanted to get back into the habit of writing a sad song on my couch, with nobody waiting on me. I really wanted it to sound like it s on my couch -- not in a lo-fi way, just more unguarded and vulnerable.


01 – Pretty Pimpin [5:00]

02 – I’m an Outlaw [4:23]

03 – Dust Bunnies [4:39]

04 – That’s Life, tho (almost hate to say) [6:28]

05 – Wheelhouse [6:15]

06 – Life Like This [4:06]

07 – All in a Daze Work [5:00]

08 – Lost my Head there [6:57]

09 – Stand Inside [5:13]

10 – Bad Omens [2:52]

11 – Kidding Around [4:28]

12 – Wild Imagination [5:52] 

13. - B’lieve i’m goin down*

14 - Less talk (more walkin away)*

15 - Nicotine blues*

16 - Bad omens (no faders)*

17 - No stranger to the ball bust*

18 - Sax omens (j turbo)*
*Tracks 13-18 exclusive to deluxe 3xLP vinyl.

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