Kurt Vile’s Bassackwards

A Dreamy So-Cal Song with Beachy Imagery

BY: Andy Shoulders

Kurt Vile’s dreamy nine-plus-minute video for his new single “Bassackwards” is quite the lesson in duality.

Fresh off his new album Bottle It In, his first since 2015’s b’lieve i’m goin down, “Backasswards” is a languid, meandering journey of a song.

Vile seems to be of two minds, opening the song with the lines:

“I was on the beach, but I was thinking about the bay
got to the bay, but by then I was far away…”

The dreamy guitars, gentle acoustic strums, and steady drums seem to match effortlessly with the song’s refusal to settle on a definite direction. “Backasswards” never moves in a traditional narrative. Rather, it moves two ways at once, and never tells us which way is up (or if there’s even a down).

Give the video for “Bassackwards” a look & listen. Between the 70’s California-esque summer imagery and the chilled-out, non-committal mood of the music, you’ll enjoy experiencing Vile’s two minds with both ears.