Kurt Vile is sometimes known as a shredder, which isn't exactly right. His guitar playing is accomplished, but it doesn't blow your hair back so much as wrap it gently in a worn, sun-bleached kerchief.
Vile's new album, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, is a perfect soundtrack for a hazy afternoon in a comfortable spot, and the new video for "Never Run Away" provides visuals to match. Directed by a duo known only as HARRYS, it's basically a series of great but slightly baffling slo-mo shots of Vile alone in his hometown of Philadelphia: dressed all in white, walking in the snow; leaning on a pillar supporting an elevated train track; playing guitar in front of a half-painted wall; riding in the back of a smoke-filled bus; playing guitar while standing on top of that bus.
"Kurt's music, to us, has carried on the lineage established by musicians like Neil Young, Harry Nilsson or Tom Petty," HARRYS writes. "We wanted to make a video inspired by some of our favorite iconic album art by these sorts of artists. Neil Young, for example, has some classic videos and his album covers, like On the Beach, served as a jumping off point for us. We wanted Kurt's personality and sense of humor to come through in the video and shot it on 35mm to give it a natural and classic feel."
Vile must have a pretty dry sense of humor — he's alone through most of the video, though there's the great shot of that bus driving up behind a guitar-playing Vile like a buddy rushing up to join a fight, while the bus driver bops his head to the music.
"I had a really fun time working with the HARRYS guys and their whole crew," Vile writes. "Walking around the beautiful urban decay of my homeland with the comedic yet cozy juxtaposition of sporting all white, somehow the whole thing found me in my right element: all dressed up and ready to drift."
Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.