May 2018
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Sun Kil Moon – Benji:

Back in the day, I would occasionally listen to new music, and sometimes write about said music.

A couple of weeks ago I ordered the new Sun Kil Moon CD. For those of you whom are unaware, Sun Kil Moon is basically a nom de plume for Mark Kozelek, fondly remembered as being the main man in the Red House Painters. Back in the 90s they wrote long poetic elegiac pieces of guitar based melancholy that 4AD chose to release wrapped in evocative sepia images by Simon Larbalestier. I remember a review at some point that said they were the archetypal 4AD band and as a devout follower of the label I would not have disagreed.

Things change. Kozelek started to record under a new moniker, and as I gradually stopped listening to new music, I stopped listening to him.

I saw his band’s name pop up in a recent Rough Trade email, thought the album sounded interesting and gave it a go.

I’m glad I did. It’s the most extraordinary thing I’ve listened to in years.

At some point he’s evolved from telling these lush songs full of poetry and reverb into an acoustic folky kinda thing. And his lyrics are no longer obtuse – they’re direct and to the point. As some reviewers have said, they’re maybe even banal.

You’ll either like it or hate it. There is a track on the middle of the album called – I Watched the Film The Song Remains the Same, in which Kozelek sings about watching the above film and which parts he liked of it, before tracking back into his history, discussing how he got his first record contract and that he owes Ivo a thank you. Yes – to an ex 4AD nut like me, this is manna, but it doesn’t really matter. The next track, Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes doesn’t touch on that 4AD history at all. He does mention his nagging prostrate. It’s utterly utterly brilliant.

There are a lot of reviews that can explain this far better than can I – here is a link to one of them

And here is a link to that song about serial killer Richard Ramirez.

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