Kurt Vile Signs With Verve Records

Chris Willman
·3-min read

After an 11-year, six-album run with the Matador label, singer-songwriter Kurt Vile has signed with Verve Records, the company announced Tuesday.

Vile is said to be preparing an album for the label that will arrive in 2022.

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“I’ve been a massive fan of Kurt’s for years and feel beyond lucky to have him join the Verve roster,” Verve head Jamie Krents said in a statement. “Simply put, he’s one of my favorite artists and songwriters of any era and he makes timeless records. Verve Records has always been a home for unique artists of integrity and creativity, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome Kurt to the Verve family.”

Said Vile, “I’ve admired the Verve logo on the back (and front!) of many a Velvet Underground album since my teens. In particular, the logo on the back of the vinyl boxset of the ‘Quine Tapes; has been haunting me for the last several years now… for whatever reason i often find myself staring into it (true story!). So when i was approached by the label to be signed i was surprised and honored to be sure… but i had already felt that subliminal enchantment and i knew it was a, well… sign!”

Vile began releasing EPs independently in 2003 before issuing his full-length debut, “Constant Hitmaker,” in 2008. He signed with Matador for his third album, “Childish Prodigy,” in 2009. He has had albums on roughly an every-other-year basis since, with the three-year gap. His most recent release was the 2020 EP “Speed, Sound, Lonely KV,” which, besides the title alluding to a famous John Prine song, actually included a collaboration with the late Prine on “How Lucky.”

Vile also worked with the War on Drugs for a time, and he makes an appearance on the new album from Dinosaur Jr., “Sweep It Into Space,” due out this Friday.

Said Vile of his project-in-progress, “I think my previous album ‘Bottle It In’ [from 2018] is my deepest record and I’m still really proud of it. I’m excited to release its follow-up on Verve. It’s been a crazy fuckin’ year and I’ve got hundreds of songs and ideas in the can, on paper, and in tape recorders all strewn about the ‘KV zone’… nuggets recorded before and after pandemic times… in studios and from home… music past, present and, yup, we’re still rolling. It’s gonna be heavy, it’s gonna be beautiful… and it’s gonna be out there.”

Established as primarily a jazz label in 1956 and known as the home of Billie Holiday, the Verve label indeed grew to include such outside-the-box artists as the Velvet Underground. Current artists on the roster include Diana Krall, Bettye LaVette, Jon Batiste, Seth McFarlane and Harry Connick Jr. It is one of three labels under the Verve Label Group umbrella, along with Impulse! Records and Verve Forecast.

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