Kurt Vile announces 'Back to Moon Beach', his new EP out November 17th on Verve / Virgin Music Australia, and presents its lead single and video, 'Another Good Year For the Roses'.
'Back to Moon Beach' is an EP by no one’s definition but Kurt Vile’s. Clocking in at just shy of an hour, this would be a long full-length record by most any other artist’s yardstick; but for Vile, the collection is an expression of just how deep his well of non-album material runs. Following his 2022 album, '(watch my moves)', 'Back to Moon Beach' collects new songs, one-offs, covers, and newly reworked versions of beloved tracks. It is presented in three ways: a standard vinyl release with six tracks, a digital/CD format with nine tracks, and a deluxe “direct-to-consumer” double-LP with ten tracks (which includes the only place non-Amazon users can hear Kurt’s cover of Charli XCX’s 'Constant Repeat').
Lead single 'Another Good Year For the Roses' is the EP’s opening track, a richly psychedelic downtempo earworm with an instantly memorable arpeggiated piano melody. The song was co-produced by and features Cate Le Bon, and also features Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint, Courtney Barnett). This is peak KV, and “roses” shows Vile remains “nothing short of one of the best modern American songwriters” (Uproxx). The video features a pastoral scene of Kurt and friends in the woods, jamming out, before he joins a new band made up of actors Kevin Corrigan and Michael Shannon for a show at NYC dive Otto’s Shrunken Head.
Kurt himself explained, "Hi! Here’s the opening track from my upcoming ep… ok, it’s longer than an ep… now I call it a KV comp. The first 6 tracks — which are the ones that fit on a single LP — are new to the world, with one foot in the not-too-distant past and the other with one tiny toe pointing toward the future. Together my feet are like a couple spanning time together. This song was started at Stinson Beach, CA in September 2019 for a few days of recording with Rob Laakso, Stella Mozgawa, Chris Cohen, Cate Le Bon (and Adam Langellotti floating as a fly on the wall as well). Adam and I being the two overseers across this entire endeavor: we finished it on our own (and with some friends along the way). We ended up demonically overdubbing for weeks straight at OKV Central, Philly (my studio)... this was all of May 2023… so many magic moments"
Culled from various sessions over the last four years, and representing a wide swath of the inspirational musical community Vile surrounds himself with, the core four songs of 'Back to Moon Beach' were born in the fall of 2019 at Panoramic Studios in Stinson Beach, California alongside close musical partners Rob Laakso, Stella Mozgawa, and Chris Cohen, with co-production by Cate Le Bon. Later fleshed out with bandmate and producer / engineer Adam Langelotti, additional musical parts were played by 'Farmer' Dave Scher and Mikel Patrick Avery.
Many other moments (including hella overdubs on the Stinson Beach material) are from intense sessions on Planet Philly at Vile’s studio: OKV Central. It’s been a heavy few years and plenty of excuses to get lost in outer space behind the microphones. Mant Sounds — Vile’s go-to recording studio in Los Angeles — was a third and crucial launchpad to ram these sessions home, a familiar spaceship run by Rob Schnapf and often flown by Matt Schuessler as engineer.
Somberly, the Stinson Beach material in the collection are some of the final unreleased recordings with Kurt’s longtime creative partner Rob Laakso, prior to his passing in early 2023. 'Back to Moon Beach' is rounded out with a few fan favourites — his covers of Wilco’s 'Passenger Side' and Bob Dylan’s Christmas song, 'Must Be Santa' (featuring vocals by Kurt’s daughters Awilda and Delphine Vile) which Vile is excited to bring to a wider platform ("just in time for the holidays!") after its Spotify-only release last year. The final track brings it all back home with a punched-up, radio-ready version of (watch my moves) standout 'Cool Water'– originally recorded with the Violators in January 2020 by Rob Schnapf at Mant sounds and remixed by Rob Schnapf again in May 2023 for 'Back to Moon Beach'.
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