Posted Feb 12th, 2013 (4:25 pm) by Rachel Rosenson
Wakin On A Pretty Daze

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Kurt Vile & The Violators' newest single is an ambitious one, to say the least. At 9 minutes and 30 seconds, “Wakin On A Pretty Daze” may seem intimidatingly long at first, but ends up using time to its advantage to create a trance-like folk ambience.

Kurt Vile, best known as founding member of The War on Drugs, has recently been focusing on his solo career. Accompanied by Mike Zanghi on drums, Adam Granduciel on guitar, mellotron and percussion, and Jesse Trbovich on guitar, Kurt Vile & The Violators released their first album in 2008. The band ended up self-releasing two records before signing to Matador Records in 2009. His fifth album, also titled Wakin On A Pretty Daze with Matador Records is due April 8, 2013, but in the meantime, Vile has given us a wonderful taste of what is to come with the single.

Usually, a song this length with such a similar melody throughout would be deemed monotonous. However, Vile does not see a need to fill the long time period with every chord he has ever learned. Instead, he repeats a pretty simple melody with lots of crooning and “yeah, yeah, yeah” chanting. However, subtle overlays of electric guitar solos over the down to earth core of the track adds the perfect amount of surprise to keep the song interesting, while not breaking listeners out of the trance like spell the song puts on you. The last 30 seconds are the most interesting. The power is subtly amped up, and a tiny bit of synthesizer seems to slip in. If you listened to the last minute to thirty seconds alone, you would not guess this was a folk song. If you listen to the first half of the song, you would not think of anything but indie-folk. Yet, the segue between the two is done so seamlessly that while the beginning and the end of the song sound so different, it is impossible to tell when the change occurs.

“Wakin On A Pretty Daze” is a kind and easy going song, with moments of spontaneity and variety mixed in ever so slightly that it takes several listens to identify. However, there really is no need to isolate these moments of change within the song, because absorbing the track as an entirety shows what a masterpiece it is.

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