Kurt Vile lives in Philadelphia, but every time he puts out a new record it feels like he's a voice that came straight out of the wilderness. At 33, Kurt Vile has released five studio albums and at least three EPs as a solo artist, and it's almost impossible to count given the number of small, one-off projects he completed as an unsigned, independent artist before he joined Matador Records in 2009. This kind of prolific writing and recording is no small feat, especially for a man who is also a husband and a father of two kids. One of the most compelling things about Vile is that he's managed to create all this music while pursuing these intense commitments in his personal life. There seems to be no separation for him between life and career, music is simply an extension of his thoughts and emotions that stem from his every day. This kind of synchronicity is rare in a musician, even one as laid-back as Kurt clearly is.
Although he has only gained mainstream, critical attention over the past few years, Vile has been writing and recording music since as early as 2003—even a quick glance back through his discography reveals the incessant obsession he has with making songs. Fervent KV fans cite God is Saying This to You and his first record for Matador in 2009, Childish Prodigy, as essential touchstones that help inform not just 2011's breakout Smoke Ring For My Halo but also his newest project Wakin on a Pretty Daze, out today on Matador Records. So, in conjunction with the release of his fifth full-length record, here are our picks for the 10 best Kurt Vile songs, at least so far.Click to start the list