Kurt Vile – b’lieve I’m goin down… (Matador, 2015)
Steeped in melancholy and embracing a more sober sound, Kurt Vile’s b’lieve I’m goin down… is a fitting album to close out the summer season. While Vile’s signature lackadaisical approach to folk rock is still intact—his lyrics at times resembling a blasé word salad—the psychedelia has been diminished in favour of a more immediate sound. Although the immediacy does little to hide his exhausted songwriting template—even treading dangerously close to self-plagiarism on “Kidding Around”—Vile and his band bring forth a new dimension to their jam-based songs by increasing the repertoire of instruments. “Lost my Head there” is stunning, its bright keys signalling a sunny reprieve before bursting into the album’s most inspired arrangement. It’s these moments that make b’lieve I’m goin down… come to life.
Trial Track: “Lost my Head there”