24 Aug Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin
“Pretty Pimpin” is the first track off b’lieve i’m goin down’, the follow up to Vile’s glorious 2014 record, Wakin on a Pretty Daze.
Like the man himself, the song is something of an enigma. On first listen, my knee-jerk reaction was that Vile was hamfistedly cramming too many lyrics into too little space, akin to Toto’s undoubtedly impressive yet doubtlessly unnecessary sprouting of “Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti” on “Africa”; accomplished in roughly the same amount of time it takes the average human being to say spaghetti. However I was also struck immediately by the delicate, warm tones of the simply beautiful opening riff which drives the song along on an elegant and alluring path.
Upon second listen the almost relentless pace of the vocals took on a rhythmic quality that was not only charming and enticing but absolutely captivating, making my focus shift towards the wonderfully existential lyrics which are masterfully tempered by a commonplace, light-hearted narrative, epitomised by the title itself “Pretty pimpin”.
The track, in all ways, is a grower. By the third listen what I initially assumed was repetition was revealed to be a steady progression; a slight change of lyric from “man” to “boy” hinting at a regression caused by issues of identity; the gradual introduction of synth to slowly develop the soundscape; the multilayering of guitars and vocals hinting at the multiple identities the accompanying video makes explicit; all extremely well thought out, subtle shifts of composition that builds the song to a euphoric, rapturous ending.
It’s a hell of a song that I’ve had on repeat since it’s release and you should listen to it.
b’lieve i’m goin down is set to be released on the 25th of September via Matador.
Watch the Daniel Henry directed music video below..