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Smoke Ring for My Halo (Bonus Track Version)

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Editors’ Notes

Smoke Ring for My Halo is Kurt Vile's fourth full-length release done in a “proper” studio and while the production is certainly cleaner than his lo-fi D.I.Y. days it’s hardly slick. But the improved sound quality allows his music, and especially his lyrics, to shine through easily. This album features well-crafted and focused songs filled with effortless hooks, elaborate melodies, and intriguing lyrics. With a voice that’s somewhere between a street tough and a slacker, or a slightly more animated Lou Reed, he tosses out wry lines such as this one from “Peeping Tomboy”: “I don’t wanna give up, but I kinda wanna lie down, but not sleep, just rest.” A skilled and inventive guitar player, Vile performs nimble acoustic finger-picking (“Baby’s Arms,” “Peeping Tomboy”), strums soulfully (“Jesus Fever”), and fires off gritty electric licks (“Puppet to the Man,” “In My Time”) while backed by his band, the Violators. There’s a vague and endearing strangeness about this album (and Vile’s music in general) that’s hard to pin down. Smoke Ring for My Halo is as infectious as it is perplexing.

Customer Reviews

Calm & Collected

"You were a Tomboy, and I was a peeping Tom."
What a clean, pure sound. I have the digi and the vinyl of this and I suggest you accomplish the same. This is the one you want hidden in your records even though you know where it is. You: "You wanna hear some music?" The person you brought home from the bar: "Sure!" (You dig through the crate acting confused like you have no idea what you're gonna play) You: "Have you heard the new Kurt Vile?" THEM: "No, who's that?" (YES!) THEM 15 minutes later: "This is really really good". Then you make out. Cant fight science. It's that good. I stopped bumping that new Big K.R.I.T. mix tape today and rode around bumping this.

Cut it out

Have mercy!

"Vile" is Not

I don't dig a lot of contemporary "indie" music or "indie folk," whatever you'd like to call this (at least that's how I'd classifiy it as, admittedly, one of the uninititiated), but Kurt Vile has a way with melody and knows his way around a tune.


Born: January 3, 1980 in Lansdowne, PA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Philadelphia songwriter Kurt Vile was already recording himself at home by age 14, shortly after his bluegrass-loving father purchased him a banjo to encourage his youthful creativity. By age 17, Vile was self-releasing cassettes of his home recordings, which in the earliest days were strongly influenced by the raw slacker pop of the Drag City roster. He would continue to record prolifically, releasing cassettes and CD-Rs of his solo material while holding down a day job as a forklift operator. ...
Full Bio
Smoke Ring for My Halo (Bonus Track Version), Kurt Vile
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Customer Ratings