It's possible, even probable, that Philly lo-fi darling Kurt Vile was wearing nothing more than boxer shorts and a stained wife-beater when he recorded Constant Hitmaker, the 2007 mini-label LP that announced his unique sound to the greater indie-rock community. That's one of the advantages of recording an album in your living room. One of the disadvantages is that Vile often sounds as if he's playing and singing under a stack of down comforters. Still, if muddy phonics is all that stands between us and instantly cherishable offerings like "Freeway," an upbeat jangle of Tom Petty whoops and Lou Reed loops, we'll deal. Earlier this year, Vile (his real name, awesomely) was scooped up by Matador Records, home of twilighting indie heavyweights Sonic Youth and rising talents like Cat Power and Times New Viking. His first album with the label, Youthful Prodigy, dropped earlier this month, features the same non-ironic blend of Americana and dreamy psych-pop that distinguished his earlier efforts. Yeah, it's still a little scuzzy-sounding, but you know how those Philly do-it-yourself rock prodigies are. We're lucky he wears pants.
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