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December 28, 2018

Barack Obama names a Kurt Vile song as one of his favorites from 2018

Who knew the former POTUS loved the Philly music scene?

Former U.S. President Barack Obama released his favorite pop culture moments of 2018 on Friday, as a reminder to the Internet that he was "The Cool President." He does it every year.

This year, Obama included a song by Philadelphia chill-rock mastermind Kurt Vile: “One Trick Ponies,” from Vile’s new record, “Bottle It In,” which feels extremely left-field for Obama’s list.

The 44th President’s lists are always expertly curated to hit the right cultural touchstones of the moment, sometimes to a fault, so choosing Vile isn’t exactly a no-brainer. 

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If he (or his communications staff) was looking for a zeitgeist-approved indie jam, I would’ve guessed he’d opt for something from Mitski’s new record, or maybe a Kacey Musgraves single.

Instead, he chose this mid-album cut by a fairly under-the-radar, 38-year-old rocker from his seventh record:

At the very least, it's a great choice to showcase the Philly accent. Vile's "wooder" pronunciation late in the song is extremely on-brand for the city.

And who knows: Maybe Obama has actually been a huge Vile fan all along!

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