Kurt Vile: Square Shells EP
Matador it-boy Kurt Vile follows up 2009's awesome Childish Prodigy with Square Shells, an EP that draws on more of the folky acoustic rock of Vile's oldest material than Prodigy's spaced-out summer jams. "Ocean City," the sedate first track on the EP, finds Vile's voice front and center more than ever before, stripped of the piles of echo that previously lent a cold sort of distance. It's a welcome change: His voice isn't much at first listen, but buried beneath its twangy, familiar Americana is a luminous wealth of something more. "I wanted everything/But I think I only got most of it," Vile slurs, a prime example of his cunning lyrical approach. "Losing Momentum (For Jim Jarmusch)" is an instrumental ode to the filmmaker that's more or less a throwaway track. Mostly, though, the EP is quietly entrancing; a fine display of a stirring new talent.
CL Rating: 4 stars.