“Back to Moon Beach” – Kurt Vile Album Review

Written by on November 22, 2023

Review by Allen Macaraeg

Released to Spotify on November 17, 2023, Kurt Vile’s newest album feels like the part of a movie soundtrack when everything’s peaceful and resolved. A guitar plays in the background, people are jamming, and Vile is just telling stories. It feels like true solace, when you can let go of your worries and focus on the gentle guitar. It’s the kind of album that you put on as something to fill the air while you and your loved ones hang out and relax, but it doesn’t completely take over the room. It gives you the space to have a conversation while also giving you the breathing room to just enjoy the music.

“Another Good Year for the Roses” has the vibe of a late night campfire with your friends. It’s the perfect song for settling down and watching the sun set. Title track “Back to Moon Beach” introduces a beachy twist, with the guitar chords sounding reminiscent of the typical Midwest riff. Interestingly, the next few songs also take turns into different sounds. We step away from the campfire guitar-esque vibe, and we move towards a synth direction with “Must Be Santa.”

Vile’s voice, no matter the song, is super calming in that he sounds like he is just telling the listener a story from across the campfire. He doesn’t scream, he doesn’t rush through- he just talks and plays the guitar, and it all comes together to create the album.

In all, the album is the meeting place of different takes, and really feels like sitting around a campfire with your loved ones. Different people tell their stories in their unique styles, some of which might be drastically different from each other.

Favorite Tracks: “Another Good Year for the Roses,” and “Passenger Side.”

Image from Amazon.