Kurt Vile Day: Celebrating The Philadelphian’s Finest Moments

Seeing as today’s Kurt Vile day, DIY runs down the chilled out hair-specialist’s finest moments.

It’s not everyday that you can say ‘today is Kurt Vile Day’.

In fact, the chances of this ever being an oft-used statement were slim. That was until Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter saw sense and decided to celebrate the sleepy, hairy musician’s success. Today (28th August) is Kurt Vile Day. It’s a moment to savour the Matador signing’s achievements.

Grab your customary brown wig, strap on an electric guitar and find a beanbag to rest your sleepy head on: DIY’s running down Kurt’s finest moments to date, in a career that’s getting more impressive with each album he releases. Citizens of Philadelphia: You’re being treated to a free show at City Hall Courtyard from 5.30-6.30 in the evening. Vile then receives the Liberty Bell Award from the City of Philadelphia. Good on him.

Overnite Religion
From 2009’s ‘Childish Prodigy’

‘Overnite Religion’ was one the first glimpses through Kurt’s long strands of hair to that charming ear-to-ear grin. Taken from his first major label release, it still sounds fresh to the bone, showing off his ability to carve out folk rock gems. Since then, it’s been hard to stop grinning with Kurt. [Sam Cornforth]

Society Is My Friend
From 2011’s ‘Smoke Ring for My Halo’

KV could easily be compared to a magician, he’s so full of fancy tricks. All of his songs are hypnotising and mesmerising, sending you into that famed daze with ease. But he’s occasionally dealing with some tough subject matter. ‘Society Is My Friend’ finds this very balance, as it meanders along gently, while dealing with the Philadelphia star’s outsider status. Never has someone exploring their inner emotions through mere guitar noodling sounded so absorbing. [SC]

Taken from 2013’s ‘Wakin on a Pretty Daze’

It’s easy to hazard a guess that Kurt’s receiving today’s honorary award because he’s achieved the impossible by single-handedly managing to make an album chock-full of sleepy songs edging over the ten-minute mark still sound interesting. It’s all in the production. Sure, Kurt’s loading these songs with melodies, until there’s barely any room left to breathe, but there’s a pure, clean sound that seals the record from start to finish. Closer ‘Goldtone’ puts it in complete focus. It’s a golden tone that wraps its mitts around ‘Wakin on a Pretty Daze’, giving sedated heady songwriting a new cause. This track also contains the album’s most self-referential lyric - ‘Sometimes when I get in my zone, you’d think I was stoned / But I never as they say, touched the stuff’ - putting to bed claims that Kurt’s just a doped-up sleepyhead. [Jamie Milton]

Baby’s Arms
From 2011’s ‘Smoke Ring for My Halo’

In interviews, Kurt’s pretty open when speaking about his family, how he tries to keep his head out on the road, always thinking about home in the process. ‘Baby’s Arms’ shows the musician’s romantic side in its purest terms. Everyone else can go to hell - ‘I get sick of just about everyone / And I hide in my baby’s arms’ - because there’s only one individual on this guy’s mind. [JM]

Wakin on a Pretty Day
Taken from 2013’s ‘Wakin on a Pretty Daze’

It’s nigh-on impossible not to like this song. No one does carefree better than Kurt and ‘Wakin On A Pretty Day’ is an impeccable example of this – the layer-upon-layer of drifting guitars and languid vocals are like gazing into his laid-back soul. Once this song finishes, life feels better. Yeah, yeah, yeah… [SC]