Kurt Vile & The Violators
15th June 2023

Time: 19:00 - 23:00

Price: £26 + BF

Crosstown Concerts Presents
Kurt Vile & The Violators

14+ (Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult)

Since his earliest selfproduced CD-Rs, Philadelphia psych-pop master Kurt Vile has referred to himself as “Philly’s Constant Hitmaker”—and while he gave himself that name with a sly wink, he was also nodding toward the songwriting prowess that would result in him becoming one of his home city’s most celebrated rock artists. “I’m always thinking about catchy music, even though it’s fried, or sizzled, out,” he says. “It’s my own version of a classic thing—it’s moving forward and backward at the same time.”

On his latest album, (watch my moves), Vile pulls his talents as a singer, songwriter, multiinstrumentalist, and producer in unexpected directions—and the result is a vibrant, yet meditative album propelled by Vile’s laidback charm and curious spirit. Every lyric has been chiseled down into an aphorism, every bloom of distorted guitar or murmuring synth helping create that “fried” pop. “It’s about songwriting. It’s about lyrics. It’s about being the master of all domains in the music,” he says of his ninth album and first in partnership with a major label, Verve Records.

(watch my moves) comes from a period when Vile, whose touring and recording schedule during the 2010s was seemingly constant, stayed in one place. His mind was always swirling, though, puzzling out pointillistic lyrics, dreaming up spit-shined choruses, and checking in on other dimensions. “My favorite pastime these days is sitting drinking coffee in the morning post-breakfast by the window, reading and listening to Sun Ra, sun shining through the forest trees,” says Vile. “In that moment, it’s all the traveling photo credit: Adam Wallacavag I’ll ever need. This record encapsulates all that—letting two years roll by and staying in my zone, traveling all the while in my brain, at the piano or in my guitar.”

The album gets its name from an aside in the blissed-out “Mount Airy Hill (Way Gone),” which has cotton-ball-cloud slide guitar and Vile bending his voice into its lower and upper registers as he sings of novelty dances and his view high above an urban sanctuary’s summit. It’s the spiritual and musical centerpiece of (watch my moves), showcasing Vile’s potent songwriting as well as his ability to crystallize moments with his lyrics.
“When I listen to ‘Mount Airy Hill,’ I know I’ve arrived somewhere,” says Vile. “It’s some kind of new breed of KV tune, some kind of updated version of myself. When I blast it in my headphones, I feel like I’m in my basement, and skateboarding in my ‘hood, and walkin’ through my woods, and hangin’ with my three baby girls (one of whom is my wife, to be clear). Either way it’s the sound of the elements around me— where I’m from, where I live, and where I’m going.” Much of (watch my moves) was recorded at OKV Central, Vile’s Philadelphia home studio, which he built with his friend Adam Langellotti. “When Waylon Jennings became an outlaw country artist, he liked to record at Hillbilly Central, which was Tompall Glaser’s studio,” says Vile. “OKV Central is my version of that in Mount Airy. I’ve come into my own here, and at the same time I’m getting back to my home-recording roots.”