Sun Kil Moon, Among the Leaves

Mike Wolf

By Mike Wolf

on 05.29.12 in Reviews
A wearily resigned and beautiful effort

Attention younger folks: All that really happens as you grow older is you learn to roll with everything better. Just listen to the gently undulating “Sunshine in Chicago,” from Sun Kil Moon’s fifth album — Mark Kozelek barely breaks stride or even distinguishes the good and bad from the mundane as he drily lists observations in his fine-grained, road-weary voice: “My band played here a lot in the ’90s when we had/ Lots of female fans…Now I just sign posters for guys in tennis shoes.” The directness is refreshing, but as those fans would guess, the real magic of this spare, primarily solo record comes when Kozelek reveals deeper shades of emotional drama, both vocally and in his nylon-string-guitar work. “That Bird Has a Broken Wing” balances multi-tracked vocals with incredibly textured string-picking, while the equally nerve-ticking “King Fish,” a full-band tune, puts lambent yet mournful electric guitar in a drowsy waltz with Kozelek’s softly pleading voice.