Home Read Albums Of The Week: Kurt Vile | Back To Moon Beach

Albums Of The Week: Kurt Vile | Back To Moon Beach

Vile calls it an EP — presumably because it's not an album of new songs. In reality, it's nearly an hour of decent outtakes, cool covers & even a Dylan Christmas carol.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Back To Moon Beach is an EP by no one’s definition but Kurt Vile’s. Clocking in at just shy of an hour, this would be a long full-length record by most any other artist’s yardstick; but for Vile, the collection is an expression of just how deep his well of non-album material runs. Following his 2022 album (watch my moves), Back To Moon Beach collects new songs, one-offs, covers, and newly reworked versions of beloved tracks.

Lead single Another Good Year For The Roses is Back To Moon Beach’s opening track, a richly psychedelic downtempo earworm with an instantly memorable arpeggiated piano melody. The song was co-produced by and features Cate Le Bon, along with Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint, Courtney Barnett). This is peak KV. The video features a pastoral scene of Kurt and friends in the woods, jamming out, before he joins a new band made up of actors Kevin Corrigan and Michael Shannon for a show at N.Y.C. dive Otto’s Shrunken Head.

“Hi! Here’s the opening track from my upcoming EP… OK, it’s longer than an EP… now I call it a KV comp,” admits Vile. “The first six tracks — which are the ones that fit on a single LP — are new to the world, with one foot in the not-too-distant past and the other with one tiny toe pointing toward the future. Together my feet are like a couple spanning time together.

Photo by Lance Bangs.

“(Another Good Year For The Roses) was started at Stinson Beach, CA in September 2019 for a few days of recording with Rob Laakso, Stella Mozgawa, Chris Cohen, Cate Le Bon (and Adam Langellotti floating as a fly on the wall as well). Adam and I being the two overseers across this entire endeavor: We finished it on our own (and with some friends along the way). We ended up demonically overdubbing for weeks straight at OKV Central, Philly (my studio)… this was all of May 2023… so many magic moments.”

Culled from various sessions over the last four years, and representing a wide swath of the inspirational musical community Vile surrounds himself with, the core four songs of Back To Moon Beach — tracks 1, 2, 3 and 6 — were born in the fall of 2019 at Panoramic Studios in those Stinson Beach sessions and later fleshed out with bandmate and producer / engineer Langelotti. Additional musical parts were played by “Farmer” Dave Scher and Mikel Patrick Avery. Other moments are from Vile’s OKV Central. Mant Sounds — Vile’s go-to recording studio in Los Angeles — was a third and crucial launchpad to ram these sessions home, a familiar spaceship run by Rob Schnapf and often flown by Matt Schuessler as engineer.

Somberly, the Stinson Beach material features some of the final recordings with Kurt’s longtime creative partner Rob Laakso, who passed in early 2023. Back To Moon Beach is rounded out with covers of Wilco’s Passenger Side and Bob Dylan’s Christmas song, Must Be Santa (featuring vocals by Kurt’s daughters Awilda and Delphine Vile), which Vile is excited to bring to a wider platform (“just in time for the holidays!”). The final track brings it all back home with a punched-up, radio-ready version of (watch my moves) standout Cool Water — recorded with The Violators in January 2020 by Schnapf, who remixed it in May 2023 for Back To Moon Beach.”


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