through a succession of releases for matador, woodsist, gulcher, richie and mexican summer (not to mention constant touring, both as a headliner an in support of a dizzying range of artists including ariel pink, sonic youth, fucked up, big star, the national, dinosaur jr.and others) kurt has quickly established himself as the troubadour du jour for an increasingly large number of clued-in persons. though initially praised in some corners for having 'absorbed a lifetime's worth of fm rock', kurt's music has developed into something less genre / period-specific yet far more focused and powerful. 'smoke ring for my halo' was recorded by john agnello (sonic youth, dinosaur jr.) throughout 2010 at various studios in nyc, hoboken and philadelphia. it's the second kurt vile full-length for matador and is easily his most ambitious work to date. assisted by a cast including but not limited to the violators, 'smoke ring' doesn't merely showcase kurt's versatility (keep in mind, this is a guy who was once compared to leonard cohen, psychic tv, tom petty and animal collective - in the same review), but truly ties otherwise disparate elements together in a way that hopefully causes everyone to seriously re-evaluate the very nature of what they consider to be a classic album.