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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

9.3

Kurt Vile
Wakin on a Pretty Daze

As life slowly morphs into an infinite loop of gas bills, interest rates and political frustrations, the notion of escapism becomes increasingly more appealing. "I know you'll never run away". Kurt states bluntly, in his usual, effortless manner. Mocking our everyday frustrations and repeating the line almost to the point of annoyance. OK mate. We get it. We're gonna stay right here.

But that abstract world is a constant, beckoning sanctuary. A destination void of any documented plans, calendars or responsibilities. No internet connection, no phone, just a casual job at a bookstore to fill the passing days/weeks/years and assist in putting the sufficient amount of nutritionally valuable items on the Stable Table every evening. In the comfortable and dilapidated room-with-a-view I rent above the shop. The shortest possible commute.

I frequently take my work home with me, because I don't own a television and I love to read and time feels like an infinite resource. Bare feet on the windowsill, occasionally peeking up from the leather-encased fiction to gaze out onto the bustling city street below. The large baroque windows invite in plenty of unfiltered conversations and suffocating smog. A nice little reminder that I'm not alone in this world.

The dust-strangled record player frequently skips over random pieces of stray-cat hair that wander into the apartment during the night, the unfortunate offspring of the endless neighbourhood alleyway turf wars. Wakin On A Pretty Daze spins continuously, wobbling slightly as it navigates over the obstacles, but, fittingly, soldiering through on it's single-minded journey. It's presented as a consistent, solitary thought-process, undiluted by any form of governance. It mirrors the lonesome, meditative environment it and I both occupy. It's the first (and most likely last) record I'll purchase this year. At this stage I have no need to search for anything else to add to my small collection.

"I want to live, all the time, in my fantasy".

Realistically, I know this fictional existence would quickly become mundane and lonely. These days my attachment to companionship and my consistent need for some form of validation is stronger than ever. I can't even get through the five minute wait at the coffee shop without checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; or iMessaging my mates to see where they'll be watching the footy that weekend. Further still, there's a billion new albums made every day, Bandcamps that are a handful of PayPals short of breaking even, unvisited Soundcloud URLs and Torrents that need just a few more seeds.

Kurt Vile is perfectly at odds with the uncontrolled complexity of modern life. Time is an unmeasured mechanism in his world. It's an infinitely reflective existence, perfectly uncluttered and beautifully simplistic, not entirely in it's execution, but defined as such with the employed method. Heart, mind, guitar, consummately united in their purpose. All mechanisms flowing simultaneously forward in an unforced manner, like a corpse discarding it's last instinctual bodily functions. The lyrical tone responds accordingly, with pockets of wisdom bestowed as priceless, individual artifacts, albeit at times in a boot-starring, weed-inducing drawl that suggests at an air of discontent.

The subtle alterations in Kurt Vile's musical approach on this album (the Space Invaders synth backdrop on Was All Talk, the sampling intro on Air Bud etc) are overshadowed by his increasingly tenacious lyrical presence. Breathing in slowly with a Cohen-like stagnantly, pausing for decades between each vital sentence and frequently punctuating specific words with a grunted determination; this is the album's controlling human quality taking hold. Alone, back in that apartment above the bookstore, this record acts as a perfect, solitary companion. But away from that, as a brief six-minute headphone escape between stock reports, caffeine replenishments and the stresses of responsibility, it's an infinitely more valued possession.

In the same manner in which we dream of warmth in the dead of winter and yet optimistically yearn for the rugged colder months when battling another humid summer day, Wakin On A Pretty Daze is a vessel of desire. A representation of perfection, taken from a disconnected vantage point at the other end of the spectrum. We know the world it occupies is an unrealistic and equally flawed existence, but there remains an unwavering aspiration to get there. Even if only for a temporary moment.

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Record Reviews
Kurt Vile

 

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Comments

Crowens

more like Wanking on a Pretty Daze

6 years ago

Jonnythan Unix Epoch Nail

@crowens this one is pretty jazzy, but let me know.... http://compare.ebay.com.au/like/130772230783?ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes

6 years ago

Crowens

How did you know that turquoise is my favourite colour Jonny? I'll fax you my postage details asap

6 years ago

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