FLOOD’s Best of 2015: Music (#4)

We continue our countdown of the year's best music with our #4 record of 2015.

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4. Kurt Vile — b’lieve i’m goin down… (MATADOR)

Putting someone like Kurt Vile in a ranked list always feels a little odd. His music, while routinely excellent, exists entirely apart from the work of his indie rock contemporaries. Vile’s distinct brand of quirky, whimsical folk can only come from an artist unconcerned with any scene or modern convention. The Philly songwriter has carved out such a distinguished niche for himself that any imitators of his lucid-dream lyrics or dazed, unpretentious vocal delivery would be spotted a mile off. It’s the kind of unique and likeable persona that gets your home city to declare an official day in your name.

But for all his idiosyncrasy, Vile manages to maintain an admirable lack of control over his own art. With b’lieve i’m goin down…, he creates his own world and then wanders absentmindedly through it, like Walt Disney taking a pleasant stroll through the Magic Kingdom. Whether he be on a spiritual pilgrimage (“Wheelhouse”), penning love letters (“Stand Inside,” “Wild Imagination”), confronting hard truths (That’s Life, tho”) or in the throes of an identity crisis (“Pretty Pimpin”), Vile always comes across as a polite but curious guest in a home he doesn’t recognize as his own. We’re lucky his world occasionally overlaps with ours. FL

Click here to see the rest of our picks for Best Music of 2015.

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