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Baker's Dozen

Psychedelic Meditation: Kurt Vile's Favourite Albums
Laurie Tuffrey , November 11th, 2015 13:13

As he starts the UK leg of touring b'lieve i'm goin down…, the Philadelphian singer-songwriter goes from live free jazz to dry-humoured piano sketches in picking 13 albums that steered the sound of his sixth album


Randy Newman - Sail Away
The first song that hit me is 'Baltimore', which is on Little Criminals, which I included on my mixtape for my last record, Wakin'. It's funny, Randy Newman, because I had read a book, Hotel California, which was really important in ways on my last record, but before then, there was a guy at the Record Exchange, Dan Balcer. He said: "There's a beautiful Little Criminals, I think you should have it." I was like, "Randy Newman, as in the guy who sings 'Short People'?" And he's like: "Yeah!" And it took me like a year to go back to it. And now I even like 'Short People', even though obviously it's like this weird pop song, most people hate it. No, not most people - when you say Randy Newman, people will either associate it with 1) 'Short People', 2) fucking Disney soundtracks. But anyway, so that's what I got into. Then I found Sail Away - that record killed me, the lyrics are so good and so sad. There's a song called 'Memo To My Son' and I was away on tour - I have daughters, but it was still the same deal: he's singing to his son who can't speak yet and that killed me, on no sleep on the road and stuff. But there's another song on there, 'He Gives Us All His Love', which is like a gospel song or whatever. He's a notorious atheist, and that's fine; I'm not either, I'm not an atheist but I was brought up Christian. So there's like a nostalgic thing, but it's real beautiful. I totally swore I was going to try to have a cover of 'He Gives Us All His Love' on the end of my record, I probably will do it on another record eventually. It's just the best song. But every song on that record, once I started listening to the lyrics, I just noticed his satirical style and his words are so good, his piano just does something to my heartstrings.