Kurt Vile has claimed his corner of refined junkyard folk-rock so languidly and with such subtlety that it's possible even he didn't know it was happening. Straddling the cowboy cross-section of country and rock'n'roll with an admirably flexible attitude, Vile holds himself with a slouched aplomb and produces music with a similar feel – dreamy country odes with the occasional kick up the backside. With him featuring as this month's Q Maverick in our new issue – out now in print and on digital – Tavi Bromell provides a gentle reintroduction via the king of country quirk's coolest tracks, plus listen to an audio interview with Vile below.
Blackberry Song (Childish Prodigy) Full of deliciously sticky rhythms with a rough, home-made vocal this stands out as one of the best tracks in Vile's extensive arsenal.
Wakin On A Pretty Day (Wakin On A Pretty Daze) This nine-minute summery dream-state epic is a well rounded assessment of Vile’s gentler, stoner-friendly side (which is also quite extensive).
Baby's Arms (Smoke Ring For My Halo) A delicate opener to his fourth full length, Baby's Arms showcases an emotionally expressive side to the otherwise seemingly indifferent multi-instrumentalist and creates space for his ever fluctuating vocal.
Girl Called Alex (Wakin On A Pretty Daze) In the midst of all the country clamour and rock'n'roll edged freedom that defines much of his music; here we are privy to a down-to-earth, tenderly autobiographical snapshot.
KV Crimes (Wakin On A Pretty Daze) A rare fully fledged consideration of his classic rock influences, country has been left at the door and punchier drums have come right on in. We aren't sorry about it.
Losing Momentum (For Jim Jarmusch) (Square Shells EP) Kurt Vile's vocals are undeniably distinctive, providing us with a constant wave of originality in every track. Therefore it's the absence of vocals in this instrumental conjured seemingly from the depths of his soul that gives true exposure. Opening with a comforting record crackle, Vile is at his darkest and most expressive.
Runner Ups (Smoke Ring For My Halo) Often preoccupied, always pensive, the confused psyche of Kurt Vile is unwound through his music. This is one of his more thoughtful tracks but retains a certain grit that has become somewhat synonymous with Vile.
Take My Advice (Constant Hitmaker) Vile explores synths with an electronic lucidity reminiscent of the calmer moments of Tame Impala – repetitive art-folk meets trippy indie.
The Creature (So Outta Reach EP) Kurt Vile produced some luscious, distant indie folk on this EP in between albums four and five. He brushed up on softer vocals and a gentler tone overall.
Was All Talk (Wakin On A Pretty Daze) Another protracted track from his most recent album, this has an undeniable driving force behind it, and is unafraid of twisting time and pushing the edges of every instrument until they bleed into one unified blur.
Ocean City (Square Shells EP) The closest Vile gets to creating a stripped back folk tune, it still has his trademark oddities, particularly lyrically, "bread in my head" being a highlight.
Pretty Pimpin' (B'lieve I'm Goin Down) The first single off Vile's upcoming album B'lieve I'm Goin Down (out 25 September) is a twangy neo-cowboy classic. It's easy to get truly lost in this existential quest-fest.
For more information head to Kurtvile.com