Posts Tagged ‘Bottle It In’

Kurt Vile released a new album, “Bottle It In”, back in October 2018 via Matador Records. Among our Top Albums for that year. Now he has announced some more tour dates. He has also covered The Rolling Stones’ “No Expectations” in a session for Spotify, where he also performed his own “Loading Zones.”

Matador Records is now sharing a little behind-the-scenes info on the project in the form of a twenty-minute documentary detailing Vile’s experience leading up to its recording. Filmed in New York’s Catskill Mountains, (bottle back) follows Vile as he rehearses the songs that would appear on Bottle It In alongside Canadian alt-westerners The Sadies and guitarist/producer Matt Sweeney, as well as his band The Violators.

In addition to full-song footage of Vile playing through “Baby’s Arm,” “Bassackwards,” and “Check Baby,” (bottle) provides plenty of insight into the artist’s personal life and how he’s learned to balance raising a family with a prolific output of new music. “I basically would do a whole album cycle, then start a new record and go out again when the record was done,” he says at one point before swigging a beer. “I just get so deep into the record that I can’t stomach that ever again—I’ll puke. I just gotta live my life, make music in between everything else—family world, playing live, and otherwise. It’s just the way I live.”

You can watch the Ryan Scott–directed doc in its entirety below, and stream the new version of “Baby’s Arm”.

Bottle It In includes “Loading Zones,” a new song Vile shared in August 2018 via an amusing video for it, When the album was announced Vile shared the near 10-minute long “Bassackwards,” via a lyric video for the song.  Then he shared another song from the album, “One Trick Ponies,” via a lyric video for the song. He also stopped by SiriusXM for a session covering Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly” and perform “Bassackwards.

Then he stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to perform “Loading Zones.” He also shared a non-album track, “Timing Is Everything (And I’m Falling Behind),” which was an Amazon Original. Vile also performed another session for NPR Music to performing three songs as part of their Tiny Desk Concert series, where he did “Bassackwards,” “Loading Zones,” and “Peeping Tomboy.” Then he stopped by Late Night with Seth Meyers to perform the album’s “Yeah Bones.”

“Bottle It In” was the follow-up to 2015’s b’lieve i’m goin down, although in 2017 Vile teamed up with Courtney Barnett for a collaborative album, Lotta Sea Lice. Bottle It In was recorded over the course of two years in various cities (including Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Portland), with various producers (including Rob Schnapf, Shawn Everett, and Rob Laakso, a member of his backing band The Violators). The majority of Bottle It Inwas recorded at Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with Peter Katis (Interpol, the National) engineering and producing. The album also features Cass McCombs, Kim Gordon, Mary Lattimore, Lucius, Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa, and Farmer Dave Scher.


Kurt Vile has become known for his unmistakable nasal drawl and classic rock and folk sensibilities, but his musical origins leaned on a more lo-fi, psychedelic sound with record releases like 2008’s Constant Hitmaker and 2009’s Childish Prodigy. Now, a decade later, Vile says there’s another clear distinction in his mind between then and now. “The one big difference now is my religion is literally ‘Don’t force it,’” he says.

His latest album, “Bottle It In”, certainly doesn’t sound forced as it’s got plenty of breathing space. The tracks that make up the album’s hour and 20 minute length are chill, melodic and perpetually locked into a head-bobbing groove. Mind you there’s still distorted and twangy riffs on tracks like “Loading Zones” and his Charlie Rich cover, “Rollin With The Flow,” and these riffs often interact with his measured grooves, but the grooves humbly take center stage, and it doesn’t take very long for them to become fixed into your mind, body and soul.

The Philadelphia rocker Kurt Vile is back alongside his band, The Violators, for his seventh solo album and his first since 2015’s “b’lieve I’m goin down”. Two tracks have already been released: “Bassackwards” is a sprawling, hypnotic foot-tapper, and “Loading Zones” is a distorted guitar assault with a playful lyrical ode to the humdrum exercise of parking. Across the album’s hour and 20 minutes, the record captures the bare bones beauty of Smoke Ring For My Halo, the guitar prowess of b’lieve I’m goin down and the lyrical transparency of Childish Prodigy. Vile doesn’t shy away from eight- to 11-minute track lengths, and he creates enthralling grooves at the center of each track as other instruments weave in and out, creating a dreamy, sonic transcendence.

Four tracks fall around the eight-to-10-minute range and unlike many songs that long, Vile evades bombastic, over-indulgent territory. Rather, on tracks like “Bassackwards,” “Check Baby” and the title track, he leads these seemingly simple grooves that sneakily weave their way into the listener’s consciousness and lull you into a misty dream with each additional musical element snaking in and out of the song’s strong melodic foundation. “I’ve always had a soft spot for repetition,” sings Kurt Vile on the compassionate “One Trick Ponies,” and these songs reflect that with their hypnotic, circling instrumental interplay.

Vile says he wasn’t concerned about the length of the tracks as he’s got a pretty good feel for when to pull the plug. “I know when not to cut something down if I’m still bobbing my head into the track,” he says. “As opposed to all of a sudden thinking about something else and not paying attention anymore—that’s when I know you gotta cut it out or try again.”

‘Loading Zones’ is the newest single by Kurt Vile, out now on Matador Records.

There’s a whole album’s worth of outtakes. They didn’t fit on the record, but there’s still contenders for another album or EP. I would say the one song that maybe I didn’t expect would make the record because I recorded it a little later was ‘Come Again,’ the banjo song. That’s a lot of people’s favorite.”

In addition to his backing band, The Violators, this album is chock full of guest musicians: Kim Gordon, Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa, Mary Lattimore, Lucius and Cass McCombs. Gordon, who’s become a good friend of Vile’s, contributes ephemeral guitar feedback on the outro of “Mutinies.” “I went to see my friend Steve Gunn who happened to be playing at the Echo in Los Angeles,” recalls Vile. “So I went and saw him. Mary Lattimore was actually opening up. I saw Kim in the audience and we were hanging. I told her what I was about to do and she said, ‘Let me know if you want some acoustic guitar feedback,’ which was her words. It came together nicely for sure.”

While Lucius contributes backing vocals to “Come Again,” the other three musicians all guest on the album’s centerpiece and title track. “Bottle It In” includes drums from Mozgawa, harp from Lattimore and vocals from McCombs. The nearly 11-minute track is the album’s most striking cut with its simple yet breathtaking keyboard riff that mingles with Lattimore’s harp for a divine, melancholy effect.

“That’s one of my favorite tracks,” says Vile. “I wrote it on this weird keyboard at my house. The same keyboard I wrote ‘Cold Was The Wind’ on. You can hear it’s really kind of scratchy and weird. I prerecorded the basic track, which was 11 minutes long and I definitely thought I would cut it down. We listened back and it was very hypnotic and beautiful, just the right amount of all the things—a little bit sad, a little bit beautiful—sort of a song about rejection. A song about getting your feelings hurt a little bit. Normal human emotions.”

“It’s only a few chords really. It’s sort of open to reacting melodically, vocally, all those things, as long as you don’t overplay, as long as you’re in the groove. That’s basically why it’s the title track because I don’t want it to go unnoticed or I don’t want it to be taken too lightly like, ‘Oh this is a weird, minimal orchestral song.’ It’s so much more than that. That’s definitely a different type of song for me. Not out of left-field really but something special.”

The lyrics on this album are up in the clouds—sometimes literally (“Hysteria”) and other times metaphorically. The album is a generous, thoughtful dialogue with himself as he reaches for both abstract musings and level-headed professions. While the bittersweetness and ruminative nature of his predecessor, b’lieve i’m goin down, still lingers, Vile’s playful side is still apparent, most visibly on the lead single, “Loading Zones”—perhaps the most epic rock ’n’ roll song about the humdrum exercise of parking. In fact, the song was actually written during the b’lieve sessions, but Vile felt he wasn’t ready to release it yet.

“It was just I’ve been more one with playing it on the guitar,” he says. “It came off more confident. I had the basic chords written but you know how the words spew—it’s pretty psychedelic and humorous—definitely not absurd, it’s just a little weird. I didn’t think I earned the right to put out such a weird song. I don’t think it would’ve made sense. I’m glad I waited and put out ‘Pretty Pimpin’ or something that people would connect with more.”

The album was written and recorded over roughly a two-and-a-half year period at multiple studios, mostly between touring and family vacations. It features a clown car of guest musicians and producers and it also includes a plethora of instrumental elements: various keyboards and synths, banjo and harp. To the non-musician, it sounds like a steep task to make a cohesive body of work in such conditions, but Vile wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’ve really always been doing that,” he says. “That’s just me having a little experience to take it a little further,” he explains. “Even in the old days, I was at least recording at different people’s houses and various studios. You’d be surprised. I think things would sound weirder if you recorded all in one spot. I think it’s better to record all over the place because you get all kinds of different dimensions and perspectives as opposed to just the same sound of the same room. The same exact guitar and drum sound. That’s not really me.”

Vile’s guitar playing on this record truly runs the gamut. On “Loading Zones,” he uses the same wah-wah pedal as Sonic Youth on their 1995 single, “The Diamond Sea.” “Bassackwards” sounds straight out of Kevin Shields’ playbook. “Yeah Bones” has a cascading, acoustic country jangle. And on “Rollin With The Flow,” Vile’s guitar cries out and reverberates with flare. “I’m kinda like a space cadet,” he says. “I’ll usually never fully master a pedal use it to its full possibilities, but I’m definitely into them. I like filters, warm, analog, weird synthy kind of tones. Vintage guitars for sure—the more beat up the better. Tremolo bars. Anything that kind of bends but in a really dreamy, melodic way. I like vibrato a lot too.”

Though Vile doesn’t consider himself a gear head, he has a certain level of appreciation for vintage instruments. “I’m into old synths that look cool or keyboards that sound fucked up and guitars, weird amps and old pedals—vintage things. Of course they have to sound good, but they also have to look cool. You have to be drawn to them,” he says.

The album artwork for Bottle It In also reflects Vile’s love for all things vintage. The cover features a worn-in black background, a square rainbow border, ’60s typography and a photo of Vile with an Elvis lip curl—though Vile’s retro vibe is, hilariously, nearly sabotaged by his Planet Fitness t-shirt. “You’re dealing with modern fonts,” says Vile, “I always thought like a real typewriter looks better or something beaten up a little. I basically found an old record that I liked and had it morphed and used the wear of that record. I wanted it to look used and worn in. I always think things look a little strange, when they’re super crisp and modern.”

Some artists consider their earlier work immature and are quick to run away from their previous sound, but Vile doesn’t align with those sentiments. Like his lo-fi beginnings, he’s planning to go back to home recording some time in the future and he’s not fearful of repeating himself. “I’m in a super nostalgic phase right now,” he says. “I’m listening to a lot of things that I love in the ’90s like Drag City music and stuff like that. I think that I’m always trying nostalgically to get to my roots. I think I’d be really into this record as a teenager because I’m just trying to sound like what I was into in my teens. Ideally, I think I’m always gonna evolve and fine-tune my craft, but it’s always going to sound like me.

From Kurt Vile’s new album, ‘Bottle It In’ available October 12, 2018 via Matador Records.

Last fall, Kurt Vile teamed up with Courtney Barnett for the collaborative album Lotta Sea Lice. Now, he’s about to launch his upcoming seventh solo album — his first solo effort since 2015’s b’lieve i’m goin down, which became highest charting Billboard 200 release . Judging by the instrumentally intricate and lyrically humorous lead single “Loading Zones,” Bottle It In picks up where Vile left off with few detours: His brand of twangy slack-rock is unmistakably him, and this new project will fit seamlessly into Vile’s quickly growing catalog.

Kurt Vile has now shared a third single off his new album Bottle It In, which comes out next week (10/12) via Matador Records. Like the previous singles, “One Trick Ponies” has that laid-back, trademark Kurt Vile feel but manages to sound like something new for KV too. He’s joined by Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa and Beachwood Sparks’ Farmer Dave Scher on the harmony-fueled chorus, and KV also shows off his harmonica playing on this one.

Kurt Vile also has several tour dates coming up, including a run with the great Jessica Pratt


Last month, Kurt Vile released his first new single since 2015, “Loading Zones,” and now he’s giving the people what they want by wheeling out a new album. Bottle It In, due out on October. 12th via Matador Records, It will be Vile’s first LP since 2015’s b’lieve i’m goin down…., and the Philly singer-songwriter has shared another new song alongside today’s announcement, the gorgeous, nine-plus-minute epic “Bassackwards.”

Vile recorded “Bassackwards” with engineer and producer Shawn Everett at The Beer Hole in Los Angeles, and his Bottle It In bio describes the track as “the album’s beating heart and Vile’s most compelling evocation of how he sees the world.” Vile is of two minds—and sometimes none at all—on the song, singing, “I was on the beach but / I was thinking about the bay / got to the bay but by then I was far away,” over dreamy backmasked guitars and gentle acoustic strums. The polarized instrumentation fits perfectly with the song’s refusal to settle on one direction ”Bassackwards” moves two ways at once, leaving us wondering which way is true North, or if there even is one.

Listen to “Bassackwards” below