Singer-songwriter Kurt Vile has signed with UMG’s Verve Records, the label tells Billboard.
The deal marks Vile’s first signing to a major label after a career spent at independents. His last six solo albums were released by Matador; prior to that, he was with Mexican Summer for a brief period.
Verve will put out Vile’s next album in 2022.
“I’ve been a massive fan of Kurt’s for years and feel beyond lucky to have him join the Verve roster,” said Verve/Impulse Records executive vp Jamie Krents 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.”
Vile was lead guitarist for rock band The War on Drugs from 2005 to 2009 before leaving the group to focus on his solo career. He has released a total of eight studio albums (including Lotta Sea Lice, his album-length collaboration with Courtney Barnett) that have sold a collective 310,000 copies, according to MRC Data, which also reports sales of 231,000 digital downloads and 184.2 million on-demand U.S. streams. Vile’s 2015 single “Pretty Pimpin’” peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Airplay chart in March 2016. His most recent release, last year’s EP Speed, Sound, Lonely KV, featured a duet with the late John Prine.
“I’ve admired the Verve logo on the back (and front!) of many a Velvet Underground album since my teens,” said Vile in a statement on the Verve signing. “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! I think my previous album Bottle It In 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 f***in 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.”
Vile is managed by Reynold Jaffe at Another Management Company.