December 18, 2009

The Headphone Masterpiece

Cody Chesnutt might have taken the term "headphone masterpiece" for his own home recordings back in 2002, but no album more perfectly fits and deserves that phrase than Kurt Vile's Childish Prodigy. On "Overnite Religion" there's hints of a hushed Robert Plant and a subdued Jimmy Page; the next moment he's shouting about the "Freak Train" over an uptempo lo-fi pop beast; then there's "Amplifier," which churns along on a railroad rhythm and woozy part-Fahey, part-M. Ward finger-picked guitar riffs that break into a sunrise of building trumpets and crooning vocals. If ecstasy lies within two cupped ears, it starts here.

Kurt Vile - "Amplifier" (from Childish Prodigy)

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