Monday, July 27, 2015
Kurt Vile - "Pretty Pimpin"
Philly-bred six-stringer Kurt Vile has long plumbed this rock ’n’ roll tradition, and on new song “Pretty Pimpin”—the lead single off his forthcoming album b’lieve i’m goin down…, out September 25 on Matador—he wrangles with the same world-weariness of his guitar-toting forebears. With his trademark lilt, he describes waking up in the morning and not recognizing himself in the bathroom mirror. If he always felt like he could be “one thousand miles away but still mean while I say,” now he feels weightless, “like some leaf come in the window of a restroom.”
The song delves into a serious existential revelation, and in another musician’s hands this could easily have been played for high drama (such as Bon Jovi does with the hokey “Wanted Dead or Alive”). But in “Pretty Pimpin,” Vile is his usual unflappable self. The song is built around a guitar hook that wouldn’t sound out of place on commercial radio, but nevertheless doesn’t sound too worked-over. And in the music video Vile’s shown handling his Fender Jaguar with the same tender ease as he would a lover he’s known for years. It’s an approach to a musty old rock archetype that, through sheer nonchalance, comes off sounding genuine and fresh.