Kurt Vile Songs Ranked

Kurt Samuel Vile (born January 3, 1980) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He is known for his solo work and as the former lead guitarist of the rock band The War on Drugs. Both in the studio and during live performances, Vile is accompanied by his backing band, The Violators, which currently includes Jesse Trbovich (bass, guitar, saxophone), Rob Laakso (guitar, bass), and Kyle Spence (drums). In 2011, Vile released his fourth studio album, Smoke Ring for My Halo, which significantly increased his exposure. His fifth studio album, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, was released in 2013, with Laakso replacing Granduciel in his backing band. In 2015, Vile released his sixth studio album, b’lieve I’m goin down…. The lead single from the album, “Pretty Pimpin”, was Vile’s best performing song to date, topping the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart in March 2016. His 2017 release, Lotta Sea Lice, is a collaboration with Australian singer and guitarist Courtney Barnett. His latest album, Bottle It In, was released on October 12, 2018. Here are all of Kurt Vile’s songs ranked.

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12. Jesus Fever (Smoke Ring for My Halo, 2011)

“I believe it is about suicide, or at least about death. Or it may be just a breakup. The feeling that the thing is already finished, but the narrator is the only one who knows it. The Jesus Fever is the yearning of the ones left behind that he will come back.”

11. Wakin On a Pretty Day (Wakin on a Pretty Daze, 2013)

“It can be annoying when you’ve always wanted something and it comes through. It is horrifying in this case that the tranquility of Kurt Vile in Wakin on a Pretty Daze is contagious, because it means that the condemned is achieving the objective. It’s not that he didn’t have faith in it, it’s that he did it long before others who were betting heaps more. It is scarier, that a record as soft and friendly as this one, stands out from the moment it starts with “Wakin on a Pretty Day”, a song with which he definitely tells you how this whole journey is going to be”

10. Girl Called Alex (Wakin on a Pretty Daze, 2013)

“Brutal that a person still makes songs to pass the time better, and that each time they are better as “Girl Called Alex”. I remember that on previous albums I always selected something, and here you can only select the whole package. “Girl Called Alex” is six minutes to repeat forever and Wakin is 69 minutes to play in any mood.”


9. KV Crimes (Wakin on a Pretty Daze, 2013)

“It is also annoying that the corniness of “KV Crimes” is understandable when you are one of those typical nerds comedic, and Vile’s guilt interests you to be exploited morbidly, not to serve as a good excuse to do more corny. Kurt, we understand you, keep it up, we give you permission.”

See more: Kurt Vile Albums Ranked

8. Runner Ups (Smoke Ring for My Halo, 2011)

“Runner ups is the song that made me say ‘who is this guy?’ It is an absolutely genius track and his downbound train cover rivals springsteen.”

7. I’m an Outlaw (b’lieve i’m goin down…, 2015)

“Kurt Vile’s so defiantly lackadaisical that it almost sounds like he’s improvising for most of this album. It sounds like someone just fucking around on their guitar half the time, but while that sounds like it might be a bit boring it’s not and I’m not entirely sure why. That’s the thing about this album, it works way better than you’d think it would.”

Kurt Vile: b'lieve i'm goin down Album Review | Pitchfork

6. Lost My Head There (b’lieve i’m goin down…, 2015)

“Lost my Head there” is particularly stunning, its bright keys signaling a sunny reprieve before bursting into the album’s most inspired, bombastic and beautiful arrangement. It’s these moments that make b’lieve I’m goin down… rise above its more skeletal numbers (“I’m an Outlaw”), combining Vile’s sincerity with an arresting musical direction.”

5. Bassackwards (Bottle It In, 2018)

“Driving on the Pa turnpike and I heard this tune….it’s so different it had mt attention…U think I listened to it 10 times this summer…love it! It’s about 8 minutes long!!!”

4. Baby’s Arms (Smoke Ring for My Halo, 2011)

” “Baby’s Arms” has enough melancholia to it to have you reaching for a warm blanket, a mug of coffee and a cigarette and “Jesus Fever” has enough REM optimism to its chorus that it will have you reaching for your copy of On the Road and the keys to a convertible to get you on to a long road to nowhere.”

Kurt Vile 'Smoke Ring For My Halo' 10th Anniversary Review

3. Loading Zones (Bottle It In, 2018)

“I absolutely love this song. One of Kurt’s most brilliant tunes. He’s also a very solid guitarist. I love his heavy retro tones”

2. Freak Train (Childish Prodigy, 2009)

“I can hear the Animal Collective comparison, but I don’t know that I would have ever thought of it on my own, probably because it’s not the general feel I get from Kurt Vile’s stuff. Both great artists in their own rights, who cares.”

1. Pretty Pimpin (b’lieve i’m goin down…, 2015)

“Really love the way this song moves…almost like a lullaby. It relaxes and takes me to a place I like to be…relaxes, meaning it allows me to simply enjoy. I think this artist is underrated. But then if he was anymore mainstream, he might start to sound like everyone else and that would be a pity.”