Kurt Vile has become quite a prodigious singer/songwriter since his early days in Philly with The War On Drugs, gearing up to release his sixth record b’lieve i’m goin down… on September 25th. The melancholic musician recently caught up with none other than Kim Gordon, of Sonic Youth fame, to discuss his new record.
The interview ran in the autumn/winter issue of Dazed, and rather than the usual ‘how did you write this song?’ ‘where can we see you next?’ re-tread questions, it’s quite refreshing to read about two friends, and mutual musical admirers, shooting the shit. Having written the bio to accompany the release of b’lieve, Kim has an upbeat and fun dynamic with Kurt that helps bring out his personality. The comfort between the two of them really gives Vile an opportunity to express his musical intellect as well as showing the fun-loving side of him, that is anything but apparent in the soulful, vulnerable wails that sit a-top his low-fi rock and roll guitar playing.
Above all else though, Kim is clearly a fan of Kurt, but not in a way that ever comes across as gushing. Her takes on Kurt’s songs and album comes across more as insightful than fangirl-ish, which makes sense, what with Kim being part of one of the worlds most seminal rock bands, she’s hardly going to be overwhelmed by another musician.
As Kurt talks about the darkness in his records, he articulates about his music ‘I think that some – OK, all – of the lyrics are darker on this album, but I think my lyrics are always pretty dark’ it’s not all darkness though Kurt reveals as he continues ‘It’s not total despair, I would just say they’re melancholy.’ On the idea of darkness Kim shares her own astute thoughts on the record, ‘For me, I didn’t really think of the record in terms of darkness. There are melancholy melodies, but I thought the lyrics were especially good and I thought that they were kind of mature, like someone who knows themselves and who is singing about ‘how it is’, but making that sound poetic.’
As well as getting a glimpse into the musical minds of two innovative and pioneering artists, the interview offers some levity with the two sharing some brief, but amusing anecdotes about Kurt day-drinking at the Jim Jarmusch curated ATP festival in 2010, as well as a missed opportunity to hang out with Neil Young.
If you’re a fan of either artist, the interview is worth checking out, and in case you missed it, b’lieve i’m goin down… is available to stream ahead of it’s release date in four places:
b’lieve i’m goin down… is officially released on September 25th via Matador Records.