By 2003, Mark Kozelek was at a crossroads. The thick-band atmospherics he'd plied with Red House Painters had eventually curdled into classic rock, the group's oft-delayed Old Ramon trading mood and feel for direct licks and distressingly clean songwriting. So consider Sun Kil Moon a creative rebirth, a halfway stop between Kozelek's twin tendencies. Its opening is deliciously deceptive. Over a plaintive acoustic strum, Kozelek wryly compares the virtues of Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing, finally kicking his feet up on the coffee table to watch Clark Gable movies. And then suddenly, the song shifts, softly and tenderly a reflection on loss and departure: the ghost of his father haunts the doorframe of his house, an old woman he'd befriended dies suddenly, leaving an aching vacancy in the diner where she worked. He pulls the switch so quickly and masterfully you don't see it coming — which, in a way, is as good a commentary on death as a person could possibly ask for. That Kozelek follows this auspicious opening gambit with nine songs that are just as good is almost a bonus. Everything here is beautiful: the lonesome, folky "Floating," the bright grand arc of "Gentle Moon," the steady twinkle of "Si Paloma." It's mystery music, and that Kozelek can spin such fabulous ciphers in a setting so spare is a wonder in itself.
By Marc Hogan on 02.23.15 in News
Led Zeppelin's 40th-anniversary reissue of Physical Graffiti arrives this week, and other artists have covered the songs for a tribute CD to be included with the April issue of MOJO. Sun Kil Moon transforms "Sick Again"...
By Marc Hogan on 02.19.15 in News
The War on Drugs had better double-check their summer festival billings. Mark Kozelek, who traded jabs with the Philly band after hearing their "beer commercial lead-guitar shit" from another stage during last year's Ott...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.22.14 in Galleries
Wondering Sound's staff picks the year's best albums.
By Lindsay Hood on 12.05.14 in News
Greetings! Top of the Morning is your daily AM news round-up. We paid attention overnight and gathered relevant tidbits to share over that first cup of coffee. Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound was reportedly...