I just dropped everything I was doing to listen to this song, and now it’s my duty to compel you, require you to drop everything you’re doing and take 10 minutes to really hear this song.
I had the fortune to hear Kurt Vile’s Smoke Ring for My Halo back in 2011, which has become one of my favorite albums of the past few years. It has a wise, meditative quality to it without being too forced or contrived. The Philadelphia rocker is releasing his follow-up Wakin on a Pretty Daze April 9th, and this song is the first track to release from it.
It starts off at a cool pace, as Vile lures you into his space with muttered vocals and crystallized guitars. The way the song slowly surrounds you is mesmerizing — the same way you get ensnared by an optical illusion, “Pretty Day” fills up your speakers and invites you into its warmth. Vile strums in a smoke-filled room with you as his guest, and the song brings you on a sort of mystical journey from beginning to end. It’s a folksy-feeling ’60s-esque rock epic with a grungy drop-tuned guitar giving the song a grounded quality. The closing minutes have a weightless feeling to them, introspectively drifting through space; Vile isn’t telling you what to feel, he merely guides you in his own realm.