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Best Albums of 2013: Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile ruled 2013 with his dreamy melodies, stoned guitars and #goodhair, nabbing him the number nine spot on our Best Albums of 2013 list. Here, he shares his influences and tips for maintaining that beautiful mane. 

Interview by Natalie Shukur

You have been pretty prolific with your musical output these past few years. Where do you feel you were at with Wakin on a Pretty Daze?
Every record is special to me because it's just the way that I express myself as a person in the moment, and where I'm at in my life at that time. I can look back at my recordings and remember everything that was going on, what I was listening to, where I had been touring or hanging around that had an effect me, what exactly inspired a lyric, etc. Just listen—that's where I was at!

What are your favorite albums that came out in 2013?
Steve Gunn - Time Off 
Nick Cave - Push the Sky Away
True Widow - Circumambulation

What are one or two of your favorite shows you performed in 2013?
I had lots of fun playing Pickathon Fest in Portland, Oregon and raging with old buddies in the woods all weekend. I played a venue in Berlin I can't remember the name of and, again, had big fun with friends. Steve Malkmus came and hung out too, so that was a memorable blast. 


Do you go out to see bands much yourself?
If there's a good show in Philly and I'm home I'll surely go: Union Transfer, Johnny Brenda's, Underground Arts. This year I saw a lot of music on the road, which was a nice perk.

Who were some of your favorites from the road?
1. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds put the whole Coachella Festival to shame—it was mind-blowing. 
2. Tinariwen at Desert Daze Festival (just outside of Coachella) and Warpaint were great as well. 
3. Dinosaur Jr. in Mexico City at Carona Fest might've been the best I've ever seen them—incredible!

The hashtag #goodhair has become increasingly attached to you on Instagram! Can you share your tips for long, lustrous locks? 
I have a "special" shampoo I guess, but it'd be dorky to let you know (haha), so I guess it's a secret… And naturally I have a house chemist who is a magician with hair, so that helps (sike!).

Wakin on a Pretty Daze is full of expansive, dreamy tracks. Would you describe yourself as a generally mellow person?
I'm not always mellow, I can definitely freak out (in both fun and not-so-fun ways depending on the day and what is going on in my life) but I do have a chill side. A lot of times I save that for home: Reading books, jamming records, not looking at the clock, hanging with the fam. Watching my daughters just being young and cracking us up with their brand of humor keeps one mellow and young at heart by general default.

What does 2014 hold for you?
I'll probably be on and off the road I'm sure. And I'm gonna woodshed in Philly a lot, working on the new songs and eventually the next record. I've got a lot of concepts and a lot of music already. Just gonna keep it going, but try and keep it mellow simultaneously (somehow!).