Kurt Vile has a lot of long songs on his new album, "Wakin on a Pretty Day -- six of 11 tracks that stretch over six minutes, and bookends that run longer than nine. But Vile says that "sprawling" approach was not necessarily by design.
"It was pretty natural," says the critically lauded Philadelphia-based singer, songwriter and guitarist. "We got better at more jams and stuff like that. It wasn't like all of a sudden I said, 'I'm gonna make an album with a bunch of longs songs.' I just had a lot of parts and was just feeling it as I went along, just playing and keeping a part going for awhile.
"It just felt really good to play, so instead of editing them out, which I've done in the past, I kept them in and kept playing, which felt good."
Vile, 33, honed his ideas for the new album from several sources. "I'd be lying if I said Neil Young wasn't an influence," he acknowledges, but another -- British electronic artist Gary Numan and his band Tubeway Army -- is perhaps a bit more surprising.
"My favorite song around the time we were getting deep into this record was 'Are Friends Electric?,' " Vile recalls. "It's long (5.25) but still a total pop song. It's got three or four different, hypnotic synthesizer parts and great melodies and tones and just keeps going and trances you in. That's a totally expansive song in a completely different way than, like the Velvet Underground or something that jams songs out live.
"There's all sorts of different ways to be expansive, musically. I think this record shows that."
Kurt Vile & the Violators and Swirlies perform Wednesday, July 10, at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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