If you thought today’s rock music was devoid of all hope, let Kurt Vile and his new album B’lieve I’m Goin Down relieve you of such gross misconceptions. Recorded in multiple studios across the country, including the spiritual California desert oasis of Rancho de la Luna, this is an album of an old soul making music for a young generation often criticized for lacking such soul. It’s times like this that make it seem like Kurt Vile shouldn’t be a part of our self-obsessed era of hashtags and selfies. But since he is, let’s not take it for granted. Chicago INNERVIEW chatted with Kurt Vile about his year to come, his new album, being vulnerable and Steely Dan.
“It sounds very weird, but his death was actually kind of a relief in a way because he was so tortured in the period before that,” said The Bright Light Social Hour bassist and singer Jack O’Brien. “It was similar to him having cancer or something because it was a long protracted road of watching his physical and mental health deteriorating over time. He lived in our studio, so we lived with him every day and he was really suffering.”
New York-based indie pop group MisterWives released their debut full-length, Our Own House, in the beginning of this year. Their sound is young and unique: both dancey enough for top 40 radio and romantic enough for artsy coffee shops. Singer/songwriter Mandy Lee’s poetic lyrics and vocal style mix unexpectedly well, sort of like if Joanna Newsom started playing MTV jams. Chicago INNERVIEW got to chat with Lee, percussionist Etienne Bowler, and bassist William Hehir about touring, the merits of free music, writing in treehouses, and keeping computers out of their live shows.
Chvrches’ Every Open Eye is a textbook example of the “highly anticipated album,” a pop and rock-adjacent record from a band that has just finished transitioning from cult darlings to festival headliners. Everyone who seems to come in contact with the band walks away converted, including Pitchfork, who declared that Chvrches “embody what a generation raised on electronic music is looking for in a rock band.” So is the band comfortable trying to live up to such lofty accolades?